Archive for August, 2008

The soul is a photon and a dribble of dark molasses.

Once again I am so enamored of Rob Brezsny’s Astrology Newsletter that I am compelled to post something wonderful from it…

Tom Robbins on the soul:

“If you need to visualize the soul, think of it as a cross between a wolf
howl, a photon, and a dribble of dark molasses. But what it really is, as
near as I can tell, is a packet of information. It’s a program, a piece of
hyperspatial software designed explicitly to interface with the Mystery.
Not a mystery, mind you, the Mystery. The one that can never be solved.

“To one degree or another, everybody is connected to the Mystery, and
everybody secretly yearns to expand the connection. That requires
expanding the soul. These things can enlarge the soul: laughter, danger,
imagination, meditation, wild nature, passion, compassion, psychedelics,
beauty, iconoclasm, and driving around in the rain with the top down.
These things can diminish it: fear, bitterness, blandness, trendiness,
egotism, violence, corruption, ignorance, grasping, shining, and eating
ketchup on cottage cheese.

“Data in our psychic program is often nonlinear, nonhierarchical, archaic,
alive, and teeming with paradox. Simply booting up is a challenge, if not
for no other reason than that most of us find acknowledging the
unknowable and monitoring its intrusions upon the familiar and mundane
more than a little embarrassing. More immediately, by waxing soulful you
will have granted yourself the possibility of ecstatic participation in what
the ancients considered a divinely animated universe. And on a day to day
basis, folks, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

– Tom Robbins, *Esquire* magazine, October 1993

To read Tom Robbins’ complete passage about soul, click here.


Reincarnating Thetans?

When I think of Scientology I laugh. I find it completely hilarious that an entire religion is based on science fiction – but some people would argue the same thing about a virgin birth and a resurrected savior….

Don’t mark my words, but I heard through the grapevine, about third-hand actually, that Hubbard was challenged by a friend to ‘create a religion’ to which his response was, ‘watch me!’ – voila, Scientology.

Anyway, I was interested to read in the following article that Scientologists do seem to believe in a form of reincarnation, though their ‘reincarnation’ sounds a bit less meaningful spiritually than the Buddhist beliefs, and more like a sort of changing of ones skin-clothes just for the sake of continuing along the tedious path of embodiment (no karma law)…eventually to reach a form of freedom and disembodiment after several incarnations and a heck of a lot of Scientology courses attended and paid for. This freedom place does sound a bit like nirvana but not being privy to Dianetics it is tough to speculate on the philosophical similarities. Any Scientologists out there care to enlighten us Reincarnationists? Comments are welcome.

The Afterlife for Scientologists

What will happen to Isaac Hayes’ legendary soul?

Isaac Hayes. Click image to expand.

Singer Isaac Hayes died on Sunday at the age of 65. Besides being a sex symbol, a soul-music legend, and a beloved voice-over artist, Hayes was also a dedicated Scientologist. According to his religious beliefs, what happens to Hayes now that he’s passed away?

His soul will be “born again into the flesh of another body,” as the Scientology Press Office’s FAQ puts it. The actual details of how that rebirth occurs are not fully understood by church outsiders, but some core beliefs of Scientology are that every human being is really an immortal spiritual being known as a thetan and that the “meat bodies” we inhabit are merely vessels we shed upon death. (Members of the elite church cadre known as Sea Org, for example, sign contracts that pledge a billion years of service throughout successive lives.)

When a body dies, its thetan forgets the details of the former life, though painful and traumatic images known as engrams remain rooted in its unconscious. In order to move up the path of spiritual progression—known as the Bridge to Total Freedom—one must eradicate these psychic scars, which cause a person to act fearfully and irrationally. Once a Scientologist has purged them through the counseling process known as auditing, he or she is said to be “clear.”

According to an avowed Scientology antagonist who claims, on her Web site, to present factual information typically omitted from church press materials, the official Scientology publication Celebrity announced that Hayes attained “clear” status around 2002, though it is not known whether he progressed onto the highest parts of the Bridge, the “operating thetan” levels. Details about what happens in these advanced stages remain closely guarded Scientology secrets, but at the very end of the process, thetans are supposed to gain power over the physical world; consequently, according to founder L. Ron Hubbard, they “feel no need of bodies,” ending the cycle of birth and death and becoming pure, incorporeal souls. [full story]


Bigfoot Is Amongst Us. Not.

So, I am apparently quite gullible because the moment that segment aired on Fox about Bigfoot’s body being found by some guys in Georgia I got a huge adrenaline rush and was completely over-the-moon excited. Then I looked more carefully at the photo of the body in the icebox, read a few blogs and news articles (it even got so far as CNN) and my heart began to sink. My heart was officially sunk when I read that the press conference held on Friday was basically pointless – the dna evidence inconclusive (could have predicted that), and the gentlemen who “found” the “corpse” still vague about all of it. This article from Scientific American put the nail in the coffin for me. Really, if you think about it, any self respecting hoaxer would have done a heck of a lot better of a job than these guys. They could have at least provided the SAME story for how the body was found! I don’t care what the point of the hoax is (some folks say it’s hype for a new game or a new series on television), in fact, I think it is brilliant (and a little scary) that these people were able to generate such an instant and huge buzz with so little finesse or effort. Mostly however, I am irritated that I believed it for half a day at least. That just goes to show how much I wish Bigfoot was really out there…

Hmmmm. Maybe, just maybe, it isn’t a hoax?


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