Do You Believe In Psychics?

psychic-readingBy Joe Perez

When it comes to all things psychic, I am both believer and skeptic.But You Knew That Already: What a Psychic Can Teach You About Life (Rodale, 2005), a new memoir by openly gay 27-year-old clairvoyant Dougall Fraser, gives me many reasons for celebration as well as a few reservations.

Mystics have experienced the fundamental unity of all things. In the higher realms of existence, all distinctions between separate beings gradually disappear as we come to realize that unity. The awakening to interior spiritual awareness often coincides with paranormal intuitions about reality.

Researchers such as psychologist Susan Cook-Greuter of HarvardUniversity have studied the ways that people develop their sense of self, and they have identified a highly advanced interior state in which authentic psychic phenomena frequently occurs.

Cook-Greuter calls this mode of being the “unitive stage of ego development.” At this stage, peak spiritual experiences have become a habitual way of being and experiencing, and individuals have a high ability to concentrate on the goings on of their inner life.

At this advanced stage of growth, psychic intuitions frequently manifest as a general sense of oneness with another person. For example, you may be in the presence of somebody feeling a strong emotion. You may then experience a profound unity between yourself and the other. You don’t just feel empathy; in a sense, you actually are the other person.

Like many people who have attained a high stage of consciousness, Fraser frequently has genuine experiences of being one with others. He is also blessed with special gifts of being able to “read the energy” of others and gain startling insight into their past, present, and future.

Fraser didn’t navigate the territory of the numinous unity of existence by following the traditions of any particular religion. Instead, his psychic awakening happened spontaneously when he was a teenager at summer camp.

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The Significance Of Sameness

twins1By Joe Perez

Either you are reading this or you are not. If you are not, then a philosopher may wonder if this article is being read all. But let’s say that you are reading this article. In that case, I am addressing you. You are not merely a reader, but the subject. You are what this article is about. Because when you understand that you are indeed you, then you have implicitly recognized that there is someone else who is not you. You may know nothing else about the author of this article, but of this much you can be certain: difference exists.

Whether difference exists absolutely or is a by-product of an alienated, distorted, or false consciousness is a matter which has concerned thinkers for thousands of years. For the moment let us just agree that difference exists in some sense, a point which is clearly indisputable. Let us agree for argument’s sake that there are at least two perspectives from which to consider the question or whether difference exists: absolute and relative. The former perspective is that of an unconditioned, indistinct reality which is All-In-All, including all that exists in every world from every perspective. The latter perspective is relative, conditioned by finite human perspectives on reality. Furthermore, let us say that from an absolute perspective difference has no reality; but from relative perspectives, differences are real.

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A Response To Violence And Tragedy

uscBy Will Davis (Guest Post)

Today, while walking, my thoughts were pulled toward the tragedies that occurred over the weekend. I saw something that caused this reflection. It was a quote by the His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, I saw posted, a quote that expressed my own feelings at first, “I am not ready to comment…” It was with another statement that has become quite popular by the Dalai Lama, “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”

Tragedy, it would seem is a double edge sword. One side cuts and is painful and bleeds. The other side gives cause for introspection, self-reflection. On either side, there will be detractors and champions. Too often tragedy is used as a platform to further some other ideology. And, it would seem that it is becoming all too common place. It would seem that we humans immediately go into denial when something tragic happens and also pluck up the immortality card and hold it very tight. For the great majority, those things happen somewhere else, far away, not here or to me. We can feel momentary sympathy, suck our teeth and shake our heads, then go on about our daily lives, nor do I think that, that is untoward. It is simply human nature.

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Do 7 Bible Quotes Really Support Homosexuality? Don’t Believe It

bible-quotes-gayBy Joe Perez

Whoever headlined this video “7 Bible Quotes In Support Of Same Sex Relationships, By Arielle Scarcella And Matthew Vines” ought to be just a little bit ashamed. Maybe it was the editors at HuffPo, not Arielle or Matthew (I don’t know). Not a single one of the supposed quotes is actually what it is purported to be, and if the gay movement is ever going to change minds and convince religionists then throwing out sensational but misleading content up online is not the smartest thing to do.

Don’t believe me? Check out the video and judge for yourself. Plainly there are no verses which say “Gay marriage? A-Okay!”, just notions that if you buy into them all give you a few reasons to take the Bible’s anti-gay passages with more of a grain of salt. For instance, you have probably heard that the Bible’s story of Sodom and Gomorrah probably wasn’t really about condemning gay sex. That’s true. But the notion that the story actually supports gay rights or same-sex marriage is bizarre.

The title “7 Bible-based Reasons Why Same Sex Relationships Aren’t the Sin Described by Contemporary Christians” would have been a better choice. Some people really benefit from this sort of discussion, though I have to admit that I haven’t been personally all that  interested in this topic in over 20 years. Even in my spiritual autobiography Soulfully Gay I do not discuss the topic of what the Bible says about homosexuality in more than a sentence or two. And I am  (a self-identified Integral) Christian.

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Serenity: The Outlaw’s Spirituality

Serenity_One_SheetOn the planet Haven, a desperate Shepherd Book (actor Ron Glass) delivers a sermon that includes this line: “It doesn’t matter what you believe, just so you believe.”

This is the world created by Joss Whedon in the new science-fiction western Serenity. Whedon created the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayerand Angel and is directing the upcoming movie Wonder Woman. Although Serenity is based on a short-lived TV series called FireFly, it’s not necessary to have been a fan of the original show to enjoy the movie.

Serenity is perhaps the most provocative and entertaining science fiction movie since The Matrix and it nearly rivals Star Wars in its spiritual and mythic sophistication. In The Matrix, life presents us with the option of taking the blue pill or the red pill. We must choose between conventional reality and a deeper, darker, unsettling truth that offers traumatic discoveries, precious little hope, and no guarantee of a happy ending.

In Star Wars, life presents us with the option of joining a fascist Empire that controls reality and manipulates the dark side of the Force to maintain its own hegemony—or join a rebel Alliance that despite its spiritual inclination toward the Force must fight its way through battle after battle like Wild West outlaws on the run.

Serenity offers a message for all trailblazers of new spiritual territory in times when the price of being a pioneer is enough to make you an outlaw.

Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) heads a small crew on a Millennium Falcon-like ship called Serenity. The name is symbolized in a new language that blends old English with Chinese. The newest member of their crew, a 17-year-old girl named River Tam (Summer Glau) is a schizophrenic psychic formerly in the custody of the Alliance, and they’ll stop at nothing to execute her.

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