The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible
My first impression of this text is that it is incredibly ambitious. Eisenstein begins his book by making some very lofty and far reaching statements (that the world was better in the past, and that as we move forward everything becomes worse). While I may not agree with his initial statements (not that I necessarily disagree, just that his assumptions are a bit too grand for me to get behind without evidence) I did find a bit of resonance in what he was saying. The big piece that really resonated with me was Eisenstein’s ideas on how to best go about these massive changes he calls for. Eisenstein asserts that change will never be significant under our current mental paradigm, rather we must fundamentally change the ways in which we think as a species in order to best move forward.
This is a huge idea, and one that I find myself strongly agreeing with. As someone who has studied psychology for a few years, and is fairly interested in evolutionary psychology, I have definitely seen the things that Eisenstein describes when he talks about humanities current flawed ways of thinking. These are thought patterns in which individualistic desires for food, shelter and wealth often come before ideas of community and group cohesion. Obviously these things were vary important when resources were scarce and gathering them was dangerous, however when we look at the ways in which society has advanced we see that a lot of these external pressures have faded, and our old ways of thinking and behaving (hording and gathering for ourselves) may not be the best fit anymore.
After reading the first few chapters, I decided to jump over to the chapter on “doing.” I thought that this was a great chapter that furthered some of the ideas I was drawn to initially. Eisenstein talks about the potential downfalls of society’s tendency to pressure people to continue acting and “doing” rather than contemplate the situation. As someone who is about to leave college and enter the “real world,” these sentiments highly resonated within me. I think the idea of contemplating where we are and where we’re going before taking the next step is vitally important, and hopefully something I use (but could probably use more) in my own life. As someone who chose to forgo the more stable route in favor of taking some extra time to explore the various paths before me, I sure hope Eisenstein is correct.
I thought that this was a great book to read at the end of our unit on near death/mediums. As we started the class professor Mann discussed simply taking in all the stories we came across rather than trying to sort or classify them. As we went on I was often fascinated by the many similarities that all these people felt as they entered their “higher” states. I thought Dossey’s book did an amazing job of unifying all of these paranormal experiences through the idea of the “one mind” or a universal consciousness through which all living things are connected which can be accessed in a number of ways.
I had previously discussed Carl Jung’s ideas of collective unconscious in classes before, however these discussions were never as in depth as Dossey gets here. I definitely find these ideas fairly appealing if for nothing else due to the fact that Dossey’s theory is able to provide explanation for a wide range of unexplainable phenomenon. Dossey uses the concept of greater consciousness to explain things from near death experience, twin telepathy, mediums, and savants. Many of these claims are backed up with fairly convincing evidence/stories. For example the section on twin communication where Dossey talks about his ability to communicate with his twin brother through the mind struck me as quite powerful. The connectedness of twin siblings is something I have heard about quite often be it in news reports or other psychology classes, Dossey makes a good point that these strange phenomenon may be due to the fact that twins being so closely related are better suited to tap into this overlapping collective consciousness.
I find myself quite willing to accept Dossey’s explanations for all the strange things humanity seems to experiences when we delve into matters of the mind, however like most things of this nature, there is no real way to be sure. Especially with a book such as this, it is impossible to prove that all these strange events, though they may share similarities, are in fact related. Having one blanket explanation for almost every unexplainable psychological phenomenon seems a bit to “neat.” However, even if this is not the whole total truth, even the idea that Dossey has maybe taken a step in the correct direction is fascinating and could have many wide reaching and compelling consequences.
This book was interesting because rather than a biography it was the account of one single event of communicating with the dead. Helen Greaves and Fances Banks were good friends and spiritual companions in life to the point where they believe that they had developed their own form of telepathy. When Frances passed away, Helen claimed that they were able to maintain their telepathic connection and that she was able to communicate with Frances while she was “on the other side.” The book “Testimony of Light” details many of Helen’s telepathic interactions in which Frances describes what she is going through on the other side. One interesting aspect of this is that Frances talks often reincarnation, which is odd considering both woman are Christian and believe that Frances is in the Christian heaven. The author refutes this by asserting that reincarnation was always part of the catholic faith that was phased out in the middle ages.
During their many communications Frances details many aspects of the afterlife. Frances’ description of the afterlife is much different than what we have come to know. The afterlife that Frances finds herself in still involves a great deal of work and is not necessarily kind to everyone. Frances describes many souls how have been sent to the shadow or a hell like state for their actions during life. According to Frances upon arriving in the afterlife one is given two “blueprints” one which describes what life could have been and one which describes what their life was. According to Frances this process involved a lot of guilt for many as their actual lives didn’t live up to potential.
This is not to say that heaven was totally negative in this description. Frances describes a garden of light and a web of light protection to be used as souls continue their work in the afterlife. I thought this description of the afterlife was interesting because it delt with a lot more personal accountability and punishment than the others. That is not to say it is not appealing though. I find myself a little drawn to the idea that there is still work to be done in the afterlife, because in my mind just getting absorbed into a being of light seems a bit boring.
For my second medium i found this interview with chip coffe famous television medium (psychic kids)
Its from some VERY low budget youtube show so its a bit poorly done , but the interview that starts at about 6 minutes with Chip is fairly interesting. He talks a alot about what it is to be a medium in modern society, a discussion that i found very interesting