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Orgone: Origins

A while back EVP team member, Jamie, picked up a pendant made of Orgonite. It was ugly but it was supposed to shield her from negative energies especially whilst working with the paranormal. In time, I forgot about it, my questions about the stuff going largely unanswered. Recently, she showed me a video on YouTube that demonstrated the wondrous shielding properties of this manmade “crystal” and suddenly, my curiosity resurfaced. So I decided to do a blog post about it.

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Though I made that decision a few months ago, this is the first time I’ve attempted it because I was not prepared for the research RABBIT HOLE it would take me down. Not to toot my own horn but, I have diligently slogged through every pseudo-scientific  video and website I have found…devoting WAY too much time to what is, to date, a fruitless pursuit.

Why then, you may ask, am I writing about it? Well… I am writing about it because A. I’ve done ALL this research and it shall not go to waste and TWO because I have actually discovered some pretty mind blowing stuff.

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Here we go again…

Orgonite was thusly dubbed for the concept of Orgone Energy, which was created by a man named Wilhelm Reich. An Austrian psychoanalyst, Reich was the deputy director of Freud’s outpatient clinic, The Vienna Ambulatorium. He coined the term “sexual revolution” and influenced various ideas like Gestalt therapy and body psychotherapy. And while he was not without considerable and legitimate contribution, he was eventually banned from the Institute of Psychoanalysis due to his radical political views and had to leave Germany shortly after Hitler came to power.

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That hair though!

Though he continued his work in the Untied States, his views did him no favors with the conservative American public. It Probably didn’t help that his theories were very focused on sex which, while common to Viennese psycho-analytic circles, shocked Americans.

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The word “Orgone” was a pseudo-greek formation and it is no coincidence that the first syllable is “org” (meaning “Impulse or excitement”) as in “orgasm.” Reich discovered it shortly after coming to America. He considered this biological or cosmic energy to be an extension of Freud’s idea of the libido. Like Freud, much of Reich’s theory was focused on libido except, instead of the focus being on man’s inherently selfish primal drives, Reich felt libido was a life-affirming force repressed by society.

Simply put, Reich believed that what the world needed was: more orgasms. (I mean…who can argue with that?) His theory of orgastic potency, the ability to release emotions from muscles and lose one’s self in an uninhibited orgasm, was the ultimate goal of character analysis.

If you really want to get  into the crazy world of Orgonomy go to the Wilhelm Reich Wiki and knock yourself out. It’s really too much to put here, all of it ~fascinating~. But for the purpose of this post, I will simply say that Reich believed this Orgone energy was an untapped, undiscovered gold mine of health and wellness.

His next efforts were focused on the harnessing and amplifying of this energy…none of which resulted in necklaces like the ones shown above. Instead, Reich created a box he called an accumulator which was made of plywood layered several times with rock wool and sheet iron which supposedly intensified the accumulation of Orgone energy inside. His first prototypes were small, designed for mice. He claimed his experiments showed a decrease in tumors throughout the bodies of mice with cancer. Later, he grew the boxes for humans. A simple design, this box was about five feet tall and had a chair inside on which the patient would sit naked.

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But see? There’s a little window for all you claustrophobes!

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Through much adversity, Reich continued his research, attempting to win Einstein as one of his supporters. But after conducting his own experiments on Reich’s accumulator, Einstein was unconvinced of its effectiveness, relegating results to environmental factors. Though Reich made repeated attempts to sway Einstein, he was ultimately told not to attach Einstein’s name to his work for the purpose of advertising.

It wasn’t until 1947 when several magazine articles were published drawing attention to Reich’s work, with the intention of attacking the field of psychoanalysis, that his reputation was notably damaged. Though he refuted it as a smear campaign, the inflammatory spin was enough to draw the attention of the FDA who, upon investigating, touted Reich’s work as fraudulent and marked it a “sexual racket” further damaging his credibility.

Still, he continued his work, discovering another form of Orgone he called Deadly Orgone Radiation or DOR. He attributed desertification to accumulations of this radiation and created a device called a “cloud buster” to combat its effects. Large aluminum pipes were mounted on a mobile base and connected to cables which were then inserted into water. He believed it could unblock Orgone energy in the air and cause rain.

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Anti-aircraft? Anti-DOR! Make it rain, boys!

Whether or not it actually worked was debatable.  Eventually his findings were dismissed by the American press and he and his students were labeled “A cult of sex and anarchy.” And joining his reputation on the slippery slope of deterioration was his sanity. He became convinced that the Earth was under constant attack by UFO’s or “energy alphas.” And, when the Food and Drug Administration saddled him with an injunction which prevented him from making medical claims and from shipping his Orgone devices across state lines, he felt he was the victim of a conspiracy. Upon defying the injunction he was imprisoned and, sadly, that is where he spent the remainder of his life.

So there you have it, the story behind the father of this Orgone/Orgonite movement. I know! I have not even touched upon the ugly necklaces or how this questionable science experienced a renaissance which created a burgeoning Etsy market and awesome Instagram accounts of child stars with too much money and nothing better to believe in! Not to mention picking apart the vast list of jargon that poses as explanations, detailing the life missions of people who believe they are helping the planet through global Orgonite littering campaigns, and the direct link to the ever-fascinating chemtrail. I told you it was a rabbit hole and I am bringing it ALL to you. Stay tuned for the next installment of the saga that began with one ugly little necklace.

The Rainbow Connection

Children do not need a reason to appreciate rainbows. The first time they see one, the reaction is visceral. They draw pictures of them and write stories about them. Rainbows instinctively represent magic, beauty and freedom. But like many things once magical, as we grow up, the significance sometimes fades. We resign ourselves to the banal aspects of day to day life and most of us don’t even stop to search the sky when the sun shines through parting clouds as it continues to rain. What was magic to a child’s eyes is diminished to a simple act of science. To quote the very wise Professor Pendergast from Disney’s Pollyanna:

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Mystery Solved.

While I can’t speak for everyone, of course, I have a feeling that MOST of us are still wowed by rainbows. We post pictures of them on Facebook, we watch videos about them on YouTube. And for SOME of us, each new occurrence still holds that same sense of mysticism we felt as little kids.

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Others still need some convincing.

But is our fascination with these ribbons of color as simple as it appears? There’s a magic in taking things at face value. And it’s definitely a magic that is damaged as we mature. Adults are perpetually waxing about seeing the world “Through a child’s eyes.” “If only it were that easy.” But I often wonder if they understand what it is they are actually missing. That longing is one for a simpler time, of course; a blissful ignorance in which we were isolated from the troubles of work, bills and general adulthood. But perhaps it goes beyond that. Perhaps in the absence of grown-up complications, we are better able to connect with the essence from which we came.

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“I wonder what is on the other side…”

I’ve said it before: The answers to life’s most confounding questions are contained in repeating themes. Our brains are designed to utilize pattern recognition. This process happens automatically. It is a command that our on-board computers perpetually execute to the point where it is taken for granted.

“If we had a body that matched the relative brain size of other mammals, we would tip the scales at around 2,000 pounds. This increased brain size allows us to process information faster and with more flexibility. This has allowed us to become so adaptable that further physical evolution became unnecessary perhaps as long as 20,000 years ago. We evolved a superb ability to not only remember vast amounts of information, but to process and match patterns in a complex, changing, and uncertain environment.”

~Synchronicity: The Art of Coincidence, Choice, and Unlocking Your Mind~

By: Dr. Kirby Surprise

Evolution may be the way in which we arrived at the top of the food chain but the persistent reflection of this cycle in societal structures is a result of something even deeper. From advancing grades in school to climbing the corporate ladder, we naturally apply the concept of “leveling up” not because the body evolves through a lifetime, nor because our race has evolved through the ages. We apply this system repeatedly because it reflects a deeper yet similar system: reincarnation, the process by which our souls evolve.  The body ages and matures over one lifetime, the soul matures over many.

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There are a growing number of anecdotal accounts from children who remember their past lives. They can recount in great detail how they died and who they were close to. These accounts are awe inspiring to the point of being unbelievable and yet, after checking their facts, only one conclusion can be reached: they are true.

It is often said that children are more in touch with where we come from, be it god, the oneness, the light, because they’ve spent less time in their journey here. As with all journeys, we can’t help but move farther from the origin as we travel along the path. But while on this spiritual road trip, there are markers that catch our attention. These markers do more than just add interest to the landscape. These markers speak to our souls.

The awe that rainbows inspire is a result of what they represent in the depths of our unconscious. The white light we hear so much about with Near Death Experiences is always described as a place of pure love and acceptance. It is the origin. When entering this physical realm, the soul is funneled into the body, an organic machine through which we experience this world.

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Like light through a prism, we are now divided, forced to view and be viewed through six senses. And we spend the entirety of our lives looking for ways in which to heal and explain this perpetual feeling of uncomfortable separation.

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We spend our brief time here, searching out that feeling of oneness by connecting with others. Regardless of how many times we have been hurt, we repeatedly seek out people with which to share our lives because we know that we are meant to feel connected. We are meant to be part of something bigger. And when we cannot achieve that connection it causes the deepest kind of sorrow.

And while that sorrow can sometimes be overwhelming, there is a purpose behind the separation. Advancing through the school of life can be a difficult and sometimes painful process. Rainbows resonate with us because they assure us on the deepest level that this feeling of separation is temporary. They are markers along the road that serve to remind us that great beauty can be achieved in this divided form.

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Written by: Heather of EVP

Building The Psychic Muscle

 

 

If hiding under the bleachers could have gotten me out of Phys Ed when I was a kid, I would have never gone. I did not like running, hitting things or being hit by things much less doing any of those things in front of a group of my peers.

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And while I LOVED gymnastics and Ice skating, it only took one rotation around the bar for me to realize that I did not like the feeling of having my guts crushed by my own weight and one awkward lap around the ice rink in those green vinyl rental skates to dash my delusions of Olympic gold.

With practice, I could have advanced past my discomfort and fear. I could have achieved some measure of success. But I knew from those first experiences that those muscles would require more work to build than I wanted to put in. In fact, exercise in general would never  come naturally to me.

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People often wonder if they have psychic ability or if it is something that can be developed. The answer is: YES. You have psychic ability and YES it can be developed. But like everything else, we are each born with an individual aptitude that is part of what determines the ease of our developmental success.

I’ve always been sensitive. When I was little I had no idea that it was unusual. I remember my first trip, of course, to The Queen Mary. It sounds funny but, I had a feeling we were being followed by three unseen people. It didn’t feel unusual. It wasn’t scary. I just took for granted that there were extra kids and, possibly, an extra adult with our group. They followed us on our guided tour and I wondered why the tour guide didn’t mention them.

This type of experience continued as I grew up but it was no more than a peripheral curiosity. I never considered myself “psychic” or a “medium.” And while several people I met throughout the years looked at me and said, “You’re an empath.” I didn’t even know what that meant.

When East Valley Paranormal began pursuing investigations, I noticed that my abilities grew. Just like athletes work out their physical muscles, I was working out my psychic muscle. Repeated contact with the dead expanded my awareness; leaving me open to clearer connections. What once were just “feelings” expanded into very palpable interactions.

I remember our first investigation. It was a large group of people. There was a lot of noise. But I remember Bob Davis of Planet Paranormal could hear familiar voices that belonged to no one in our group. I watched him closely that night. And I wondered if he was fooling himself….until I listened to the audio recordings. Sure enough, when he heard something, we would inevitably catch something on audio.

As we continued investigating, I found that I could hear more than I previously could. “Did you hear that?” became my catch phrase to the point where I became so conscious of it that I had to make myself stop saying it!

Here are a couple of clips from a pretty wild investigation we did in Pasadena. The first, is a clip of me talking about something (I have no idea what). You can hear Brian respond but in the middle, I heard something say my name. It felt like they were right in my ear…like a bug had flown into it. It still makes me cringe when I hear it.

You can hear in my tone how uncomfortable it made me.

This is the sound I heard, isolated.

It STILL makes me uncomfortable!

While investigating is one way to stretch and build your psychic muscle, it is by no means the only way to improve it! In fact, The hardest step in learning to use your psychic muscle is following your intuition; having faith in what your gut tells you. Remember multiple choices tests?

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Test tip: If you are unsure of the answer, follow your first instinct.

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It sounded so easy! But it  wasn’t! The moment you tried to let go and fill in the bubble to which your first instinct guided you, you paused, grunted, thought about it, and changed your mind. Why? Were you afraid of getting it wrong? I know I was. In fact, fear like this guides most of what we do.

But the illusion of control to which we cling is holding us back in so many ways. Intuition is our introduction to the unseen world we want to understand. And we have little to lose when it comes to listening to it. It taps into knowledge we have tucked away, information we are not conscious of. To access it, we must learn to hear and then listen to our inner voice, a voice we ALL have. Practicing this helps us learn not only to trust ourselves, but to open ourselves to a source of guidance we often disregard. And the more we listen, the better we hear. It speaks to us more often than you think! But we must be willing to risk being wrong or feeling “crazy” in order to reap the possible rewards.

Another method for building that psychic muscle is meditation. This is something that I am usually too lazy or unmotivated to do. Interestingly, there is science behind the act of meditation. Time even did an article on it!

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(TIME also did an article drawing a link between farting and how it may cure cancer but, I’m sure this proved to be a better day for them.)

Meditation is a way to put the computer at the front of your brain at the disposal of the automated processes in the back of your brain. Your task as the executive (of your life) is to be presented with information, and then to decide how important it is. You tell the rest of the computer if it needs to continue processing it as a high priority. The goal is for your decision process to remain passive. Whatever comes up for you in the meditation, you observe and assign no importance to it. Whatever meditation presents you, you let it pass by.  It’s all just data. This does two things.First, you are assigning a low emotional valence to the thoughts. This lowers the priority it gets for consolidation. That lightens your processing demands. Secondly, your undivided attention is actually providing additional processing power to the thoughts. Once you become aware of them, it takes less time to put them in long-term storage. Most of what we think is fairly repetitive. Processing through them with meditation frees up your computer to do other things. 

Edited excerpt from Synchronicity by Dr. Kirby Surprise

I’ve been thinking a lot about investigating lately and how it has changed my awareness regarding my own array of abilities. It’s been quite a while since the team has been out on an official hunt (official defined as: darkness, equipment, free run of an historic locale, the whole nine yards); amazing how one’s life can get in the way of one’s predilection with death. But while other obligations keep us from collecting our cameras, audio recorders and meters, I will continue to build my psychic muscles through research and by listening to my intuition. Sometimes you need only focus on the first step of a journey in order to embark.

Shadow Work

It seems that I am not alone in the emotional work I am currently doing. My closest friends are also struggling with issues that they cannot quite grasp. That feeling of being held back or trapped by some unseen barrier, imprisoned by pieces of ourselves that broke so long ago that we can no longer identify their source.

Like a broken bone that never properly healed, there are things in all of us that now cause a noticeable limp. And while we have managed to mitigate the ways in which they hold us back, there comes a time when we realize that the coping mechanisms which once fostered our progress are now the very things that are keeping us stuck.

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The work to get through these barriers is difficult. Like resetting a broken bone, the process is painful. But unlike an old break, there is no x-ray that can clearly show the point at which we fractured. We must dig.

The “shadow” or the “shadow self” is a concept I’ve heard about before. It’s one of those peripheral topics that has presented itself in songs, psychology classes, and through the various new age-ish offerings that, being in the field of paranormal research, I often click through while researching other topics. Originally attributed to Psychotherapist Carl Jung, our shadow consists of those parts of us that we reject or deny. These parts of us are usually aspects we fear, the things that make us not worth loving or make us less valuable.

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There is no clear-cut process by which we can root out our issues, no way to simply step back, identify, and discard them. In fact, that is the process that got us here to begin with. There are, however,  threads that appear around our frayed edges and when we spot them, we must be willing to examine them. And this is no small task for the second we pull at a thread, it feels like we risk unraveling the very fabric of ourselves, a fabric we spent years weaving.

Frayed edges are represented in different ways, the most common of which is repeating our mistakes. And when we make the same mistake countless times we are hardly kind to ourselves about it. Getting hurt makes us angry ~especially~ when we feel like we could have prevented it. We chastise ourselves or start to wonder if we are crazy. After all, how many times have we heard “The definition of ‘crazy’ is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”

But it’s never as easy as deciding NOT to do something. In order to truly change our behaviors we must find the root of them. What is it inside of us that is bringing about this same result time and time again?

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Some people are haunted by dreams which often depict frightening images. They are chased by monsters or experience themselves behaving uncharacteristically. The other day, my friend was telling me about these horrible dreams she’d been having. In them, she watched herself behave in ways she never would. But the dreams had her wondering if this was her real inner self struggling to get out.

As she laid out the details of her dream behavior, it was easy to see what was going on. She was not dreaming about what she was actually capable of. She was dreaming about what she FEARED she was capable of. And it didn’t take long for that little nugget of  revelation to expand into an answer to a question we’ve been pondering for years. We have always joked about her terrible taste in guys. But relying on a cliche like “Your picker’s broken” is hardly a consolation when you are dealt one heartbreak after another.

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I then realized that while the behaviors she was describing in the dreams were never something she would do to someone, they were all things that had been done to her. At that moment, we realized that she had been dating her fears. Suddenly the levity and banter stopped and we just stared at each other.

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The things we try to bury will always find a way back to the surface no matter how hard we try to push them down or hide them. Whether through dreams, physical illness, self sabotage or stagnation, there comes a time when we can no longer move forward broken. We MUST be courageous enough to risk unraveling for it’s the only way we will heal.

Written by: Heather of EVP

 

 

 

Clearing My Cookies

So it’s Thursday and I know I have a blog post due tomorrow. This isn’t something I owe someone else. It isn’t something that will make me money. It’s a commitment I made to myself which makes completing the task even more important. And it is the tensile strength of that single thread on which my motivation now relies because it feels like every other thread that makes up the weave of my life has unraveled.

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I ate so many cookies this week.

Taking an entire day to coax myself through the process of finding inspiration and organizing words on the paper resulted in using that day to stare at a blank screen. And this activity was broken up by puttering around attempting other projects, all of which yielded what felt like a minuscule amount of success.

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Yup. It was about like that.

It is now Thursday night and the paper is still blank. But after walking the dog who currently looks like I feel (she pretty much looks like a tumbleweed), I came home and flipped a brain switch. I sat down at the computer and I committed to making this happen. Still lacking inspiration, I turned to old faithful, YouTube, and sitting there in my recommendations was a TED talk entitled “Getting Stuck in the Negative.” Fitting, I thought.

While watching the video, I thought about all the things that brought me down this week and I realized that, while there were odds and ends that were less than enjoyable, nothing ~actually~ happened to make me THIS depressed and anxious. As the video continued I rolled my eyes and grumbled while the psychologist spoke about practicing positivity but, with a heavy sigh I tried to find some perspective. And then it dawned on me…

I have been no more than a ghost, trading in the present for a narrative in my head that has been constant and unending. It rambled about the things I should have done, it rambled about the things I should be doing and it worried about the future that I will and will not have.

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I had a drama teacher who always said: “Be in the moment.” It kind of made me want to slug her. And it galls me to say she was right. So I’ll pretend the advice came from Cookie Monster instead. After all, he was right about the cookies.

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I totally ate them.

Negative tapes have been repeating in my head and pressing <STOP> felt like an impossible task. But the moment I went looking for inspiration, it brought those negative thoughts to a halt. Becoming conscious of them left no other choice.

Now I sit here aware of my breathing. I feel the breeze coming through the windows. I hear the traffic out on the main street. And as I listen to the noise of the world around me, the noise in  my head remains quiet. Sometimes finding peace feels like an impossible task, but if you take that moment to step outside of yourself and to become aware of your surroundings, it’s often as simple as flipping a switch.

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I’ve given Cookie Monster back his cookies for now, happy once more to walk amongst the living. And I can only hope that each time I learn this lesson, doing so will make it easier to put down the cookies before I feel compelled to pick them up.

This post was brought to you by the letter C (as in cookie) and the number 24 (as in the number of cookies I ate.)

Written by: Heather of EVP

 

A New Lease on Hope

Just wanted to take some time to talk about our favorite haunt “The Queen Mary” in Long Beach, California. She’s been in the news a great deal lately and there has been a lot of buzz about the possible changes both she and the land surrounding her could see within the next five years.

As some of you know, The Mary is near and dear to our hearts. Our small team consists of three native Southern Californians. She was a part of our childhoods and she has become an even bigger part of our adult lives. The word ~passion~ succeeds only in describing the surface of our love for this historic wonder.

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Her history since finding a permanent home in our very own backyard has been disheartening. To the casual onlooker, she is an aging landmark in need of some repair. To those who look more closely, she is an aging landmark in need of ~serious~ repair and restoration. And to those who have come to know her from stem to stern, she is a victim of utter neglect. But for those of us who have done some digging, who have tried to champion her cause, the outward signs of deterioration speak to more than just a simple case of laissez-faire.

In fact, a glimpse behind the scenes reveals that the whole of her retirement time-line has been plagued by rough seas. And while it is convenient to point the finger at the city who owns her, from what we can tell, even they have been victimized by those they appointed to operate her in good faith.

I’m not trying to excuse the decades-long string of terrible decisions regarding the ship. At the end of the day, The Mary is the one to suffer from every single one. But the blame game accomplishes nothing other than to divide what could otherwise be a very powerful, supporting force that the ship so badly needs. It distracts from the real problem that has been the root of all the troubles these many years:

NO ONE, NOT EVEN DISNEY, KNOWS WHAT TO DO WITH HER.

It seems like a simple concept. But identifying the problem is only the first step. And it is a step that has yet to be successfully completed. She’s a hotel! She’s a museum! She’s a hotel/museum. Maybe if we add this or subtract that… or what if….

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In truth, The Queen Mary has been suffering from a business identity crisis since her Long Beach inception. She was purchased for the purpose of “making her into something.” And nearly everyone that has had a hand in guiding her has adopted that same view. And therein lies the problem.

A look at her history reveals that this ship was born from a state of “in-betweens.” Literally. Conceptualized just prior to The Great Depression, Cunard was forced to ask the government for a loan in order to complete the as of yet unnamed project simply called “Hull 534.” But the government would grant that loan only if they merged with their chief competitor White Star who was also suffering financially. Both companies agreed and Cunard-White Star was born. The Queen Mary was their flagship.

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She spent her life between ports and purposes. When WWII began, she, along with her sister ship the Queen Elizabeth were both converted to troop ships. She was painted battleship grey and newly dubbed “The Grey Ghost.” When the war ended and her service was complete, she was restored as a luxury liner and continued her career of ferrying passengers to and from their destinations.

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This state of “in-between” did not end when she arrived at her final destination. As construction began, so did a battle over jobs between land-based and maritime unions. This resulted in a new classification for the ship as a “building.” And when she opened to the public she was not only meant to be a museum (Jacques Cousteau’s New Living Sea Museum) but a hotel.

The point is that the Queen Mary has never suffered from an identity ~crisis~. In fact, during this entire snafu, she is the ONLY thing that has maintained a clear identity! It is the job of her lessees and management to enhance that which she is, rather than to make her fit into some template of what they think she should be.

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Recently, there have been new developments regarding The Mary’s lease and, though many consider it naive, I have a good feeling about this. The lease has finally changed hands and with it, certain conditions will also change:

“Michael Conway, the city’s director of economic and property development, said one reason past plans were stymied was the lease didn’t allow for the land to be subdivided, preventing developers from getting financing to build individual projects.

“This will change in the new lease,” he said in an email.” [LA Times]

Granted, this has little to do with the pressing condition of the ship itself, but if they can alleviate the cost of the land to which she is now tethered, and make that acreage not only financially responsible for itself, but get it to generate income to help with the ship’s proper care, it will remove some of the burden of expectation from The Queen Mary and offer some much needed breathing room.

There has been a lot of talk about the plans for the land next to which the ship sits. Shops, theaters, entertainment, a boutique hotel and a giant ferris wheel have all been bandied about but nothing, as of yet, has been finalized. And I confess that as I read through the articles, though I know the project is in its infancy, I find I have a keen eye for worst case scenarios. After years of watching plans both good and ~horrifying~ fail (thank God for the latter) it is difficult to stay positive. But I have to go with my gut. And, quite honestly, we are already seeing some inspiring changes.

For all of you who would love to visit the ship but have found it, in the past, to be too expensive, there is now an excellent offering! For $25, you can purchase an annual pass and with it, is included, three hours of free parking per visit. (The free parking is particularly important. Though the City of Long Beach website says that parking for the ship is $15, the last time we visited it was actually $18 and they raise it for special events. This compares to Disneyland which is also currently at $18 and, while that is still a ridiculous price, you certainly get more bang for your buck. ~Sorry, QM~) Another very recent and much anticipated change is a new agreement for private group paranormal investigations. It might need some more ironing out in the future but it is a wonderful step in the right direction. Hopefully, these changes will herald more of their kind.

The ship has a long way to go before our faith in her custodianship can be fully restored. But, as a public who cares deeply for this landmark and important piece of history, it is our duty to do what is right for her. And right now, the right thing for HER is to stay positive, to risk the disappointment of being let down. Taking pride and ownership in her is a very wonderful and special thing, but when that pride becomes bitter entitlement, it is just as toxic as the organizations that run her into the ground while expecting her to turn a profit.

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Written by Heather of EVP!

Soul Singularities

Though anecdotal evidence is all we have to go on, the stories of near death experiences (NDE’s) are all relatively the same. Some sort of trauma, usually the result of an accident, results in a short span of time in which the victim is declared dead. During the period of death, the victim’s soul separates from their body and floats upward. They are able to see themselves from this detached perspective but feel no pain. They then travel through or are sucked into a dark tunnel. 

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The depictions and descriptions of this always remind me of a black hole. In fact,the pervasive theory regarding black holes says that if you were to travel into one, it would happen at the speed of light. [livescience.com] And that’s what I would call a ~very~ rapid journey.

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Reports of NDE’s speak of a spiritual singularity which again, shares commonalities with black hole theory. The soul reaches a place of “…all consciousness, all knowingness.”Often, one undergoes a partial or, in some instances, a complete “life review” whereby one sees their entire life history in detail from a meta-perspective.

This meta perspective would also be theoretically achieved if you traveled into a black hole. The faster you move through space, the slower you move through time. If you looked into one as you fell, you would be able to see every object that fell in before you and every object that fell in after.

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In 2014 Stephen Hawking released a paper in which he made changes to his own theories regarding aspects of black holes. (You can read about it here.) Hawking proposes “apparent horizons” which allow for the eventual escape of information. Where it was once theorized that what went into a black hole was destroyed, it is now suggested that, since information cannot be destroyed, only transformed, whatever goes into a black hole will eventually come out. The caveat to this is that when it is released, it will be somehow transformed and unrecognizable.

This falls right in line with the pervading ideas about death. Western religions believe that death is the final journey from which we do not return. It is our “event horizon.” However, Eastern religions tend to subscribe to the idea of reincarnation whereby, once the body,  dies, the soul goes back from whence it came only to return to earth in a new form making death only an “apparent horizon.”

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I’m the first to admit that drawing parallels between these two concepts could very well be over-reaching. After all, the evidence is considered mostly theory or anecdotal. But I also believe that our lives are filled with echoes, repeating patterns that, once identified, help us find the answers to the questions that mystify us. So let’s take one more step in this crazy journey and flirt with the concept that originally spawned this post.

While looking for some interesting things to share on the EVP Facebook page, I came across this video of a TED talk by Lewis Brown Griggs at TEDxAmericanRiviera 2012. This is to blame for this train of thought for, in watching it, I was reminded of some things I have often pondered over the years, especially when interacting with spirits while on investigations or even while casually exploring historical buildings that happen to have some lingering residents.

Usually, descriptions of NDE’s conjure an image of the soul detaching completely from the body and floating upward through that dark tunnel about which I previously spoke. But what if this journey is not so clean cut? Once again, I turn to the parallels between NDE’s and black holes.

“Spaghettification,” a term coined by British astrophysicist Sir Martin Rees, theorizes that, upon diving into a black hole, the top of your head would feel so much more gravitational pull than the tips of your toes that you would be stretched, longer and longer, like toothpaste extruded from a tube. Is it possible that something similar happens during a near death experience?

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What if that link to our body remains in tact and instead, we stretch, the bulk of our consciousness remaining at the forefront of that journey, pulling our focus forward so that the turmoil surrounding the body is unnoticed and the return to the singular consciousness can be fully appreciated? It is purely conjecture, of course, but it seems to me that it would be natural to keep a toe-hold on our bodies during such a journey lest the door to our physical world slam shut. 

And this brings me back to my original pondering over “ghosts.” Let me state up front  that I find the term “ghost” woefully deficient. It offers little information regarding what it is we are actually experiencing. The connotations alone conjure images that instill fear and encourage reactionary thinking. It implies that someone has been prevented from moving on. We hear things like “they had unfinished business.” Or we associate the thought of restless spirits as having had lives that were cut tragically short. “They don’t know that they are dead.” Everything leads back to feelings of abandonment, imprisonment and punishment which leaves little chance of entertaining kinder, more natural ideology.

It is possible that what we experience as “ghosts,” as remnants of other times or people, are actually symptoms of several if not many different phenomena. It is in thinking about these possibilities that I began to wonder if some of what we interact with, especially what we consider to be “intelligent haunts” (they respond and demonstrate a conscious awareness of us),  are not trapped souls but are instead, shards of consciousness that have been left behind.

Let’s look once more at the idea of “Spaghettification.” If the commonalities between black hole theory and NDE’s represent mirroring patterns, could it be that in instances of traumatic or sudden death, the soul, instead of leaving the body completely, cleaves, leaving a piece behind? There is a school of thought that believes the soul is actually holographic in nature, that the parts contains the whole. If this is so, then it could account for the intelligent “ghosts” we encounter.

There is a ghost on The Queen Mary known as Jackie. Jackie is approximately five years old. She reportedly died in a tragic accident, drowning in the second class pool. She has been seen numerous times by numerous people over a span of several decades. She speaks out-loud wth relative ease to the extent that she has engaged in conversations. (You can hear segments of Jackie talking to our good friend Bob Davis of Planet Paranormal on the EVP website.) Often times when people hear about her, they feel a sense of sadness that a child spirit has been left behind or trapped.

Jamie at the party explained

Captured by Jamie, we believe the little girl looking profile is either Jackie or Sarah.

But I can assure you, Jackie is well taken care of. She very much enjoys her place on that ship and the many children that filter through on any given day, especially on the weekends. She is perpetually at play. And while she has demonstrated on many occasions just how sentient she is, I’ve always wondered if the five year old is just one aspect of a soul that crossed over and possibly reincarnated years ago. Perhaps it is only a piece of her that remains. 

Sometimes thinking about this stuff is overwhelming. It’s like getting sucked into a black hole. But even when thoughts and theories become long, dark tunnels, the journey is worth it because, just like after a near death experience, they emerge transformed. And that is the ultimate goal!

 

 

You Are the Product

When I was little I spent the majority of my day singing. I sang regardless of what I was doing. I performed to my stuffed animals. I was mesmerized by musicals. I wanted to be on the stage.

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Before I was born both my parents were performers. They met while doing summer stock and both my parents supported my singing. They taught me. My dad helped me through all of my school performances. From perfecting my cockney accent word by word for the role of The Artful Dodger, to memorizing my lines for Peter Pan, both my parents and, especially my Dad, fostered my growth. That is, they fostered my growth up until a point.

Neither of them wanted me to go into the entertainment industry professionally. When it came to acting, singing, dancing, hair, makeup, or any other creative venture, the support ceased the instant I entertained the idea of being an artist.

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In their defense, there were valid reasons they did not want their daughter anywhere near the industry. I don’t remember a time when my parents were not worried about money. My memories of childhood are built on an underlying foundation of stress over money. Would dad get the commercial? Would mom’s show get renewed? Would they make it through hiatus? Years of being in a business that is unforgiving and judgmental had made them cynical and they didn’t want their daughter subjected to it.

But in their quest to discourage me from subjecting myself to the many pitfalls of the entertainment industry, they discouraged me, period. “You should have something to fall back on.” “You’ll never be a leading lady. You’re what Hollywood calls a ‘character actress.’” “You don’t want to be in the entertainment industry. Look at what your mother and I have been through.” “Do you know how hard it is to make it in a business where so many other people are trying to do the same exact thing? They have more skills and thicker skins.” “It’s so hard to make a living being creative.”

I was one of those kids who wanted to do nothing more than please their parents. I wanted them to see me as successful and smart. While they spent the majority of their time being wonderful and supportive, those statements which cut right to the quick of my own fears were the ones that remained strong in my mind. I spent most of my time running away from that to which I was predisposition. Of course, I always ended up in one creative venture or another. But my mindset was such that I only allowed myself to see it as a hobby. And hobby was equivalent to frivolous. And frivolous meant that it was not something worth being proud of.

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It took me years to finally accept the fact that my creativity is a huge part of who I am. And denying that accomplished ~nothing~ positive. I put off who I was in the name of becoming what I was supposed to be. And all the time I spent denying my instincts, my desires and my passions only reinforced the false notion that I was a failure at life. How quickly the drama escalates when you start off on the wrong foot. But it doesn’t feel like drama at all which makes it incredibly difficult to identify in the first place.

What I’ve learned from this journey, and it’s a lesson I have had to remind myself of over and over again, is that I am the product. Every time my parents asked me what I had that all the others didn’t, my little kid brain answered with: “I’m me.” Of course, that answer was quickly dismissed in the face of the question because it seemed SO obvious that I figured it must have been wrong or, at the very least, not enough of an answer. If being ME had been enough, I thought, they wouldn’t have asked the question in the first place. But all these years later, after battling to figure out what I am meant to do, I have come to the conclusion that my original answer, the one my kid brain came up with, was the correct answer all along.

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Adult brains suck. Adult brains tell you no. Adult brains are full of the voices of our parents who got their adult brains from THEIR parents. It’s a vicious cycle! And the answer to all of it is learning to have faith in the fact that ~You~ are the product. ~I~ am the product. The thing we offer that no one else can offer is our very singular point of view. Each one of us has created a slightly different version of this shared space. It is, I believe, literally, what we are on this Earth to do. And it is that vision, that makes every one of us individuals.

Now, it is true that not all individuals will appreciate your individuality. It is entirely possible that you will be denied success where you attempt to succeed. But that has little to do with how many somersaults you can do, how many octaves are in your range, or how good you are at math. Still, the pain of rejection is great and the worry over failing so often guides our choices. It is easy to see life as a bully or some ethereal entity that is “out to get you.”

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But if you continue to believe you are a victim, you will continue to be victimized. If the pervasive theory behind ghosts, that ~they remain because of unfinished business~ is even a little correct, then we should make it our mission to live. We need to reprogram ourselves to see our failures as stepping stones instead of seeing them as the end. And the next time you ask yourself “Why would they choose me over someone else,” look inward and know that, while your skill set may get you the opportunity, your success has less to do with your skills and more to do with who you are. YOU are the product. And no one else can offer that.

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What he said.

Written by: Heather of EVP

My Latest Read: Synchronicity; The Art of Coincidence, Choice, and Unlocking Your Mind

It’s been a long damn time since I’ve done a book report. Hopefully I have learned a bit more about showmanship since the days of: “The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, is a book about fighting between rich kids and poor kids….” I’m not sure my writing was that bad even then but, it ~was~ seventh grade.

Anyway, as much as I hope my writing has evolved, I KNOW my taste in books has, arguably, for the better. So here goes:

Synchronicity, by Dr. Kirby Surprise, is a book about rich kids and poor kids….. Just kidding!

Seriously though, I AM reading a book called Synchronicity: The Art of Coincidence and Unlocking Your Mind and it IS written by Dr. Kirby Surprise. And though it lacks the socio-economic commentary of The Outsiders, it has managed to captivate current me every bit as much as The Outsiders captivated seventh grade me.

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Surprise!

I bought this book as a Christmas present for my brother. I swear it was on his wish list. And, in all honesty, when I purchased it, I knew it would take him forever to get around to reading it and I was curious about it myself. Why not kill two birds with one stone!

Now, ever the cynic, I went into this read with several reservations not the least of which was the author’s name: Dr.Kirby Surprise. As you can see by the picture above, I am not making this up. There aren’t too many doctors of anything that can instill confidence in their acuity once you find out their name is “Dr. Surprise” and, especially after you find out he is a forensic psychologist.

From the name of the author to the name of the author’s alma mater, which enjoys prominent placement at the bottom of the cover, I was almost done before I began reading.  “The California Institute of Integral Studies” had me questioning: “Is that a real school?” A little research revealed a fairly clear picture. CIIS is one of many “private colleges” which is generally another way of saying “for profit” colleges that offer degree programs in several specified areas of study for a hefty price.  Having gone to a school like this for my fashion merchandising degree, I knew the routine. The credits are not universal, meaning that they do not transfer to other schools. God forbid you should decide their methods are not for you and try to quit before you finish. You will still owe a ton of money but you will have absolutely nothing to show for it.

A look at Yelp revealed exactly what I expected: polarized reviews from one to five stars. If the program speaks to you, you’ll be happy enough. But if it doesn’t, you will be enraged.

As this yelp reviewer said: “Supremely inferior “institute” filled with phonies, “New Age” con-artists, incompetent professors with degrees from mediocre schools, and a very dysfunctional administration.”

Another reviewer said: “If you want to pay out enough money to bail out the auto industry in exchange for the profound academic reward of sitting in a drum-circle while listening to new age platitudes… If you are willing to carefully sift through academic material that ranges from the well founded and intriguing all the way down to proudly presented complete nonsense…”

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College.

Ouch.

But this was exactly what my warning bells were telling me. Thankfully, I didn’t go to the trouble of researching all of this before I jumped into the book. However, venturing into the first chapter did not help boost my faith in its content. This is where Dr. Surprise sets us up to understand that the subject of “synchronistic events” would hence be referred to as “SE.” Having read a number of books on the “Spirit Meets Science Spectrum”  (I can make acronyms too) this pushed the odds that the book would favor new age cliche over scientific theory.

Now, I get the fact that “Synchronistic Event(s)” is a mouthful and that shortening it might simply be easier for us all. But I am always leery when “phenomena” are made more approachable in this way. And worse, when a whole language of jargon springs up around a subject matter that is debatable to begin with. I often feel like it is an attempt to brain wash me into believing what they say is fact. (Incidentally, this is how you can tell I have been studying the paranormal too long. Paranoia. Occupational hazard.)

After detailing my concerns here, I am surprised I started reading this book at all. But having not researched them or written them down, they were merely muttering to me and I was still willing to give the book a chance. At the very least, it gave me a way to pass the time during my tedious cardio sessions at the gym. And, I have to say, I am thankful that this was the case. By the time I made it to the second chapter, I was curious enough to continue.

I am now more than halfway through the book and I have found it to be both interesting and believable. The subject matter does walk the line between spirit and science. And the concerns which could have been warning me against drinking the good doctor’s questionable Kool-Aid turned out to be no greater than supposition.

Dr. Kirby surprise does a wonderful job of explaining his theories. He provides simple examples in a conversational manner that makes his writing relatable and builds the sort of trust that is  required for the reader to set their own doubts aside, helping them to feel safe enough to muse right along with him without requiring them to “believe, or else.” In fact, chapter two is entitled “Don’t believe What You Think.” Here, he doused my concerns over the use of jargon and proceeded to highlight why we should all question even our own thoughts.

In fact, the pages are filled with intriguing ideas and the reader is left to decide whether or not they agree with what the author is saying. He acknowledges both religion/mysticism and science in his quest to detail his theories, focusing on the way they approach the subject matter.

“Philosophies and religions have positive aspects to be sure. But, all tend to declare the nature of your reality for you. A handy service if you would rather cruise the infinite universe of creative possibility on someone else’s autopilot program. The problem is, unverifiable beliefs limit the way you consider alternate possibilities.

Science has a matching problem. A yin to mysticism’s yang.Some followers of the scientific method have made science itself a religion of sorts. They take the easy, self-assured way out. Some devotees declare that their way of investigating reality is the only valid means of determining the truth. Some priests of physics believe that, until something becomes verified by experimental investigation, it is not true. The problem is, science isn’t supposed to work that way. The scientific method is a humble method. It tests one small, very specific set of conditions at a time. Then it asks others to test the same conditions again independently. If results are reliably producible, a small bit of probably true information is added to the knowledge base. Scientists tell themselves stories about reality, just as philosophers do. Good scientists know they are telling stories.”

So I spent chapter 1 ripping the man, the alma mater, and the method apart. But by chapter two I was intrigued. And by chapter three, I was hooked. I hope Dr. Surprise will forgive me because while I, admittedly, spent the first two thirds of this blog post voicing my doubts over the legitimacy of his work, I will likely be devoting two thirds of my time writing other blog posts inspired by it.

Written by Heather of EVP

Past Lives: Opening Your Mind to the Possibility of Multiple Lifetimes

We have found that once you start looking for it, experiences with the paranormal are more common than we could have ever imagined. One phenomenon in particular that I have always found fascinating and falsely believed to be rare is remembering past lives. I always believed in past lives. And I have even had my own memories. But it wasn’t until I started dipping into research that I became aware of just how common it is. Admittedly, it isn’t  the “casual party goer conversation” kind of common but, it does happen more than one might think…especially with children.

The theory is that children have had less time to forget. Granted, not all children remember who they were or how they died, but it seems to be somewhat common to those who suffered a sudden and/or tragic death. Instead of holding on to that lifetime in such a way as to prevent themselves from moving on in the afterlife (ie: the old adage of ghosts having unfinished business) the soul is reincarnated and the memories of that lifetime are carried forward both consciously and, often, subconsciously, in the form of nightmares.

Though past lives have always been a part of many cultures, here in the states, it is only now reaching mainstream consciousness with shows like LMN’s (Lifetime Movie Network) The Ghost Inside My Child. Each episode follows a couple of different stories. Parents are interviewed about the details of the collective struggle over watching their children deal with the often horrific details of the lives they left behind.

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Now, if the thought of gleaning information from a reality television show about a topic over which you might already be wary makes you uncomfortable, rest assured that there are other sources to choose from. The topic of past life memories has been studied for decades and anecdotal evidence was recorded long before that.

One book that blows my mind is Old Souls. Written by journalist,Tom Shroder, Old Souls is an account of his travels with Dr. Ian Stevenson, a physician and psychiatrist who had been braving the dangerous back roads of India and Beirut for over thirty years to bring back reports of children who speak of remembering past lives and provide detailed accounts of who they were before they were born.

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Shroder’s writing is immersive and the subject matter couldn’t be more interesting. He even includes pictures of some of the subjects interviewed in comparison to the people they claimed to be and, the resemblance is often uncanny. This book is an awesome and dependable source for accounts of past life memories which will move even the staunchest skeptics toward opening their minds.

While the topic has now been brought to television and has been written about for decades, it is likely that the first awareness the general public has of this concept is in conjunction with hypnosis. Past life regression is fascinating to some and scary to others. Personally, I’ve always wanted to have it done but I was worried about it being too expensive or worse, that I would pay someone to guide me through one and find out that they really didn’t know what they were doing or turned out to be somehow undeserving of my trust. A certain level of vulnerability is required to sit in a chair or lay on a couch with the hope of uncovering dependable information. and it’s tough to achieve that without an equal level of trust in the person you have guiding you.

Recently, EVP team member, Jamie found a series of videos on Youtube, of all places, by a guy named Michael Sealey. Among them is a session for past life regression. She listened to several of his recordings before attempting the regression. It helped her get used to the sound of his voice and provided practice in giving herself over to it. Not expecting definitive results, she went through the exercise just to see if anything would happen. What she experienced was way beyond her expectations.

While the entire video lasts about one hour, Jamie was only under a short time before she gleaned some important information. As with most of us, Jamie noted that she finds meditation difficult. It’s hard turning off our brains. We are inundated with thoughts: things we need to get done, worries for the next day or week or month, things we forgot to do. All these things keep us busy and it isn’t until we try to turn them off that we realize how they rule our lives. However, in this instance, Jamie found the experience came quite easy. It felt brief and concise, not at all the jumbled mess of images and quick camera edits we see from things like re-creations on tv.

The meditation guided her to a clearing, an open neutral spot. For Jamie, this looked like a large meadow with hills on either side and a grove of trees at her back. Once there, she was told to call forth whoever was going to come forth. Having done this, the rest came to her without thought which seemed unusual given her tendency to over-think.

A name popped into her head and she turned toward the trees. A woman stepped out.  Jamie looked at her and the conversation, telepathic in nature, began. As they interacted, a few more names popped up and they transitioned from the meadow to a large hallway. The floors were wood. The walls were stone and lined with family portraits, all which were familiar to Jamie. This woman was one of many in a line of the same name. And Jamie knew she had been this person more than once. This woman told Jamie that she was the record keeper. And she told Jamie that she was the one to seek if more information was needed.

Though brief, the interaction provided information that Jamie could research online. And it didn’t take long to verify that the person Jamie had spoken with was real and many details of her life were readily available. Though Jamie asked me not to reveal the name of the woman she spoke to, she did give me permission to post their pictures side by side which, for me, takes this story from interesting to amazing.

This is the woman Jamie met during her meditation.

This is Jamie as pictured on the EVP Website

When I was little the thought of past lives mystified me even though it felt “correct.” I was content to believe in them on a basis of faith never dreaming that I would come close to obtaining actual proof that they were real. But as I’ve grown and remained open to new sources of information, I’ve come to realize that many of the things we consider to be unusual, out of the ordinary or “paranormal” are actually anything but. I’ve heard many convincing stories throughout the years that support those things widely considered to be “phenomena.” And though I am continuously fascinated by every piece of evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, I never expect to find it right beneath my nose. Maybe Dorothy Gale was right when she said, “…if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with!”

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