From Beyond

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From Beyond

I've always been the Observer. Even as a child I was prone to quiet observation and reflection, learning about a situation before getting fully involved in it so that I could come from a more educated perspective. As a result of this Watch and Learn approach, I have been poking around the site to acquaint myself rather than dive on in. There are obvious benefits to this choice, but one of the negative results seems to be that there are certain topics in which I may have something to contribute, but no way to do so because they're old enough to be locked and considered dead. Still, I have some things to say.

In the General Discussions forum, you may be aware, is a poll regarding ones belief in ghosts. Linked within this thread is another thread that was opened for deeper discussion on the topic, a topic I find absolutely intriguing. Unfortunately, late the the party as I was, I found the thread closed nearly two and a half years already. The damage had been done, though, and a desire to discuss some of my own experiences had already taken hold. So, rather than revive a topic many may consider dead in a fashion many may also consider presumptuous or rude, I thought a personal blog on the subject might be the better route.

Here's hoping I've figured out how to do it properly, and that what I tell you is presented in a way that is at least pleasant to read, since there's nothing worse than finding a topic you love written in a style you can't wait to walk away from.

From Beyond

At a certain point, growing up, I think I have to say that I always believed in ghosts, spirits, and the supernatural, because by the time I can remember talking about them or really experiencing them, I already had solid opinions and beliefs. By the time I had what I would consider my first real foray into the supernatural, there were things I just knew to be true. There were things in this world with which we can interact, but may not always understand, and to which we have given various names. Ghosts, spirits, specters, pixies, nixies, gobblins, fae/fay/fey, seelie, unseelie, angels, demons, pan-dimensional travelers, aliens, gods, demi-gods, call them what you will, as humans we struggle to understand what, exactly, they are, so the best we can do is give them a name to make that lack of understanding a little less frightening to bear. And though I think I took very much for granted that these things existed, I could never help but wonder how much might come from my own imagination, how much might be real and merely misinterpreted, and how much must be wrong.

I must have been thirteen when I started having experiences I can consciously label as “supernatural”. They started with and revolved around a friend I'd known since fifth grade, but with whom I'd lost touch over our seventh grade year. We reconnected the summer before eighth grade, and by our second conversation we were talking the unexplainable. He claimed to have had many experiences, both before our reunion and during our renewed friendship, which was sadly fated to end when I turned sixteen, and though I know now that he also claims to have made up a lot of what seemed to transpire between us, there are some events too uncanny to have been pure fiction.

I recall a night when he was feeling watched. This wasn't an unusual feeling for him, not in that house. Located in a small town not to far from where I live even now, it was very rural; lots of acreage, lots of forest land, lots of isolation. He said that he felt that something, or a very someone-like something, was in his house. The hall outside his door and the stairs to the first floor always gave him an uncomfortable feeling, and the Something lurked there, dark and angry.

Closing my eyes, I felt that I could almost see his house in my mind, though I'd never been inside it. I had him describe things for me, so I could get my bearings. To be clear, I'd never seen a technique similar to what I felt I was attempting, nor had I read about them. I followed only what struck me as being right and necessary to complete the goals I set myself. In this case, providing protection. A barrier.

I believe I started with his room, picturing the space, and then picturing layer after layer of steel closing across the walls, ceiling, and floor, wrapping around each surface again and again. In my mind, the door disappeared to be replaced by impenetrable wall, but I struggled with the window. As if something were pushing its way inside. I couldn't force it back out, so I opted to cut it off instead. I completed sealing the room, the presence of the window vanishing, from my perspective, and trapped what I perceived to have been at the window within a hard bubble of energy. I imagined that I then “teleported”, for lack of a better term with the same sort of imagery, the thing far outside his house, and gave it the kind of unrestricted momentum that would send it speeding even further away. At that very moment, he broke the silence that had been between us on the phone, and said that his room finally felt safe.

Similarly, when I addressed the hallway outside his bedroom, I imagined myself standing on the stairs, looking up to see a solid wall where the landing should have been, and felt this nagging feeling. It was odd, because it felt both like a nagging thought in the back of the mind, and like a dog tugging on a pant leg. It was insistent, and irritating, and distracting, and I just couldn't take it anymore. In the astral version of the house I occupied, I turned and looked down at what I interpreted to be a dog of some sort, and swept my arm through the air in its direction. A bolt of energy, like lightning, lanced through it as if cast by Zeus himself. As I did this I didn't think much of it, for I recall many a situation where while trying to do what I believe I'm doing (though, hey, I could be crazy, right?) I would meet some kind of writhing resistance. Rather than treat this resistance as pure figment and let it get in the way, I almost always dealt with it directly so that it would no longer feel like opposition. My friend, though, didn't think this was so normal a situation.

“What did you just do?” He asked.

I hesitated. “Why?”

“Because I just heard a dog cry down stairs, and both of our dogs are outside for the night.”

A giddiness welled up in me, I must admit, for again we had been in complete silence as I imagined myself doing these things. There was no ongoing dialogue of “Ugh, there's this damn dog pulling at my leg. I'm going to Lightning Bolt it!” Followed by his “OMG, I totes heard that!” There was nothing said that would have tipped him off to what I thought I was experiencing, and yet that very moment he heard something that, by all rights, he should not have heard if it was only my imagination at work.

Though I then had a sense of what might be real, it was during this time and through much of high school that I was prone to flights of dramatic fancy and great excitement over the idea of supernatural things happening to my friends and me. A breeze we couldn't place, dreams we couldn't interpret, a reflective scrap of candy bar wrapping, all of these could be hints and clues to something more than mere coincidence. Everything had a hidden meaning. At least, that's what we let each other believe. At least two of us knew, even though we wouldn't come right out and say, that somewhere inside we could tell the difference between the events we REALLY believed, and the events we got caught up in exaggerating for the sake of a good “Oh my gosh!” rush.

I bought a Ouija board at some point, and though I don't believe any of us who used it directed it ourselves, it certainly didn't help keep our imaginations grounded. Though I've had this board for twelve or thirteen years, I can count on one hand the number of people with whom I've used it. From friends too young and guileless to maneuver it themselves, to friends who believe too strongly in its validity to poison the experience with pranks, each experience I believe to be real, which of course raises some tough questions to answer. So tough, and so many that I couldn't even begin to address them here, but I definitely have come to my own conclusions. Personal conclusions that I know aren't universal, and which can't be universal because of the ways in which every individual differs from another.

As our understanding of the world around us evolved, the superficial “rules” that got us through took on different meanings.

“Never use a Ouija board alone.” Most sources will tell you not to do this because it can lead to possession. At the least I can say that I believe if you get an entity that's capable of moving the planchette by using only your energy, you're at least in a disadvantageous position. Personally, I've never been possessed, but it did sort of work like a drug, which is a bit like being possessed by the board itself rather than a specific entity.

I thought about using the board a lot. I wanted to use it on my own, in fact I DID use it on my own now and then, and would come up with almost any excuse for my best friend and I to have a “spiritual” night to ask questions of various beings. It was very frequently on my mind, and it wasn't until my best friend pointed out how easily one can become addicted that I started to consciously pull back, to resist the urge to pick it up, to bring it up even in conversation.

“Never ask the dead about how they died.” Oh, there are any number of reasons why a source would tell you not to do that, anything from “They're sensitive” to “It opens the door for them to reach out to you.” Personally, I believe it has more to do with the fact that they'll flat out lie, so there's no point bothering. But then, I don't actually believe you're talking to the dead.

Ghosts, in the sense of an energetic being left behind after someone dies, aren't what I believe come through on a board. In my experience, ghosts in this traditional sense are like echos, impressions left behind like a photo negative. Usually an intense emotion sort of imprinted on the world around them after death, or even in life that doesn't fully manifest until after someone has died. But what of all the other phenomena attributed to ghosts? For that, you have to think of time not as a linear thing, like a river whose water can only go in one direction, and once it's passed it is gone forever. You have to think of time as more flexible, more formless. Some of what you see, what might be called “intelligent hauntings” could be more like a glimpse into the past, a weak spot between points in time. The voice you hear on your EVP could be someone responding to the sound of your disembodied voice in a different time all together. Then again, it could be interaction with another realm, another plane of being. Think Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation when he is just a fraction of a second out of sync with the rest of the crew and is then able to see the alien race capable of time travel occupying the same space.

Given these options, with a heavy emphasis on the latter most, it's not unreasonable at all to think they'd be free to lie about anything they like. Oddly, they can lie about anything regarding themselves, but somewhere in the process of the connection formed something prevents them from lying about events happening outside of themselves. If they know anything about what you're asking and they choose to answer, invariably they tell the truth, to the best of their knowledge. As to why this is, I don't yet have an answer, but there are so many things in this world to which we don't have answers. Increasingly science discovers that things once thought supernatural and only imagined are in fact quantifiable events. Among the things science has to admit it still can't explain, though, are dreams.

It seems I am unique in my ability to lucid dream. That isn't to say that I am the only person who can in all the world (that's just silly), but that the ways in which I have are unusual. For instance: Flight. I've seen many stories about lucid dream flight. For some people, they say they can only fly when they know it's a dream already, and for others they realize they're in a dream BECAUSE they can fly. I've also heard that you either can, or you can't. Because flight certainly isn't what makes a dream lucid, you can learn to dream this way without ever flying, but you can also learn to lucid dream and realize that you can fly along the way. What makes my experience different is that I could lucid dream when I was very young, but I couldn't fly. I could run very fast by pulling myself along the ground with my arms, helping only a little with my legs as an animal might run, and I could jump very high, but I couldn't fly. My jumps grew longer and higher as I grew up, though couldn't maintain the height, and then at some point if I jumped high enough I could flap my arms (I know, I know!) and tuck my legs up and sometimes gain some altitude, but it wasn't easy. From there I learned how to gain flight from a standing position, which became handy when I wanted to flee a certain dream; I'd just fly higher than they could reach, and go to some other location for better prospects. As flight became easier, I gained other advantages, such as hovering. I could glide, inches above the floor, without difficulty whenever I decided I didn't feel like walking somewhere.

Often there are nights where, despite getting what could be ten hours of sleep in the real world, I wake up feeling almost as exhausted as when I went to sleep. One could say that this is due to sleeping poorly, or sleeping too lightly, but these are the days I wake up with the most vivid, story-like dreams that have a real sense of continuity and the fewest pieces of traditional dream symbolism, dreams that only come when you've fallen into a very deep level of sleep. It is my belief that on these nights I am not merely caught in a state of REM sleep, but that a part of me is no longer with my sleeping self, instead that part of me is Traveling. Whatever it is about sleep that leaves us rejuvenated and revitalized is somehow compromised on these nights and it feels like no amount of sleep could ever be enough. There was even one night where I woke up to find myself screaming. This could have been a problem if I were actually any good at screaming, but luckily for this occasion I'm not very good at making sound above a sustained whisper. What made the situation bizarre was the sense of confusion I had over my body's behavior. I wasn't screaming because of the dream I'd had, because that was actually quite pleasant and I could still remember what I was doing before I woke up. It was almost as if I had two minds, one in which my consciousness resided, and one that stayed with my body while I went off and had dream adventures. There was no fear, no dread, no surprise, and yet here my body was screaming, or as close to screaming as I can get. I think it's this kind of separation from our bodies that can allow us to Travel.

I struggled with a feeling of “Am I really experiencing this?” uncertainty quite keenly in high school and though I can say I have enough evidence now to assuage most of my fears, there's a healthy dose of realism and skepticism that keeps me from accepting every “ghost story” and “medium” the world has to offer. It keeps me asking “Am I really experiencing this?” It keeps me from jumping at every sound with unseen sources, from explaining every little thing out of the ordinary as proof of spectral activity.

Ah, but I could go on forever and ever. There is such a variety to the experiences I've had with things Otherwordly and Unexplainable, beyond simple ghostly encounters and psychic events. So much more than I could write about in one blog, and likely more than enough to write a novel or two without adding fiction to beef it up. I can say this much in closing, though: I refuse to visit graveyards. Too often have I been a magnet for supernatural activity to subject myself to the energies that may be lingering around such places. I'll leave that kind of fun for souls perhaps a bit less sensitive than myself.

Join date : 2012-02-28

Posts : 14
Age : 33
Location : Pacific Northwest

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