Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Meaning of Dreams

By Stephen Ellis

Nobody asked me, but…
This blog is a little bit later than most because my wife and I just returned from a brief vacation in Las Vegas. I went to Vegas to visit my money. It seems so lonely there, I left some more in Vegas to keep it company.

When we got back to Los Angeles, my wife and I had a very interesting conversation about dreams. There is really so little known about them, that it takes a careful analysis just to begin to pierce the surface.

To me, dreams are not only important, but I believe them to be a window to both the past and the future. I’ve spoken with numerous people who have had dreams about a past life or previous existence, including myself. My dream occurred the first time I visited Paris, France, when I dreamed I was at a royal ball. People around me were all dressed as you might see in a movie about Napoleon. I felt strange, so I asked someone near me if they had a looking-glass I could use. A “looking glass”? I’ve never used that term in my life! I was handed one and looked at my reflection and saw a red-haired girl. Inasmuch as I am neither a red-head nor a girl, I found this quite disturbing.

I would have passed-this-off as a weird dream, except that a string quartet in an alcove above the ballroom floor was playing a waltz I had never heard before…but it was clearly a beautiful waltz being played by a quartet of violinists wearing white wigs.

The next day, when I went to visit (tour) that Grand Palace which was across the street from my hotel, we were shown the grand ballroom and it looked like the one in my dream…except there was no musicians’ alcove above the dance floor. So I asked our tour guide if there had ever been one. He said, “Yes, but when the Nazis occupied France, they used the palace as a military headquarters and had the alcove removed.”

Was I getting a glimpse of a past life? I doubt if I will ever know for sure, but it does seem kind of likely. Since that time, I’ve spoken to many people who have had similar experiences, including seeing themselves as a Tibetan Monk, as having been killed by a pack of vicious dogs, as having lived in mountain wilderness, etc., etc., etc.

Inasmuch as having lived before would explain many of these dreams and nothing science has had to offer will even recognize that dreams like this exist, I choose to believe that we have all lived before, and will live again…and dreams can be a window to both events.

It’s important to remember that when we sleep, our brain sleeps (or, perhaps, “rests”). This gives our mind/aura a chance to control our thoughts. Since we have overwhelming evidence that our mind/aura has lived before, why would it be unusual to recall instances or flashes of a previous life while we sleep? The problem is that we can only remember what our brain files-away in its memory banks…and if our brain is sleeping, nothing is being filed-away or permanently recorded. That’s why the only dreams we remember are “disturbing” ones where the disturbing factor partially awakens the brain and files it in our memory banks. But, since the brain is only partially awake, it may rapidly discard the details as the brain awakens fully.

Science has been downright deceptive in telling us that electro encephalographs can tell when we are dreaming and when we are not. When the brain is inactive the encephalograph will measure little or nothing…but that does not mean that the mind is not fully active. How many times have we gone to sleep thinking about major problems…and awakened feeling completely fine? Something took place while we slept. We may not remember anything about the activity of our minds when we slept…but something (a) offered a solution to the problem, (b) put the problem to rest or (c) made us feel better. So there was activity in the mind…even if not in the brain.

Similarly, scientists use REM (Rapid Eye Movement) to tell when we’re dreaming. Again, this is misleading. REM has been tested with people who have been hypnotized and told they are in unusual situation…and there has been no correlation, whatsoever, with REM theories expounded in numerous books.

Most dreams can be explained as a distorted view of the day’s activities or plans/wishes being made for the future. Remember, however, that these are thoughts that occurred when the brain was awake…not sleeping.

Next week, we’ll take a look at the strangest thing of all…pre-cognitive dreams. Dreams wherein you catch a glimpse of the future.

If you’ve had some strange dreams you’d like explained, contact me at Stebrel@aol.com

As I said…nobody asked me.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Former Life of Shanti Devi

By Stephen Ellis

Nobody asked me, but…

The subject of having lived before should be of prime importance to everyone. It gives credence to most religious beliefs that life will continue in the hereafter. It also strongly supports my numerous explanations of the immortal soul or “aura” we all have.

There are innumerable cases of past life recollections that can and have been verified and documented. The problem is that the world is full of skeptics who will use any means available, including “sophistry” to try and disprove these claims because claims of reincarnation are contrary to their own imbued religious beliefs.

Of all the hundreds of past life cases that I have studied, the case of Shanti Devi stands out as the most documented, provable instance of having lived before. What makes this so, is that Shanti Devi never lost her memory of her past life. The details of this case have freaked-out a lot of non-believers. In almost all past-life cases, the subject only has flashes and/or very vague memories of his/her past life. Detailed memories can frequently be brought out through hypnosis. Not so with Shanti Devi:

People hear of many cases of reincarnation these days, but in the early 1930s, information about a girl born in a little-known locality of Delhi, who a claimed to remember a past life, was considered great news indeed. The girl at first was known only to the local people, but gradually news of her spread all over the country and finally all over the world. It was natural that the world should wonder about the authenticity of her story.

On January 18,1902, a daughter was born to a family named Chaturbhuj, residents of Mathura, India. Her name was Lugdi. When Lugdi reached the age of 10, she was married to Kedarnath Chaube, a shopkeeper of the same locality; a practice often followed in India in the early 1900s.

When Lugdi became pregnant for the first time, her child was stillborn following a Cesarean section. For her second pregnancy, the worried husband took her to the government hospital at Agra, where a son was born, again through a Cesarean on September 25,1925. Nine days later, however on October 4, Lugdi’s condition deteriorated and she died at 10 A.M.

One year ten months and seven days after Lugdi’s death, on December 11,1926, a daughter was born to Babu Rang Bahadur Mathur of Chirawala Mohulla, a small locality of Delhi. The girl was named Shanti Devi.

Shanti Devi spoke very little until she was four years old. When she did start talking, she alarmed everyone in her family by telling them, "This is not my real home! I have a husband and a son in Mathura! I must return to them!"

This was India in the 1930s, so instead of taking their daughter to a psychiatrist for a dose of Ritalin, her parents told her, "Forget your past life. You're with us now." But Shanti Devi wouldn't give up. She talked about her former family to anyone who would listen.

One of her teachers at school, out of curiosity, sent a letter to the address Shanti Devi gave as her "real home" in Mathura, inquiring if here had been a young woman who had died there not too many years ago. To his astonishment, the teacher soon received a reply from Shanti Devi's previous husband, admitting that his young wife, Lugdi, had passed away some years previously, after giving birth to their son. The details Shanti Devi had given to her present family and teacher about her old house and members of her previous family were all confirmed in intricate detail.

This launched the most thoroughly researched investigation of a case of reincarnation in modern history. Everyone got into the act, including Mahatma Gandhi, several prominent members of the Indian government, and a team of scientific researchers.

The team of scientific researchers, working under stringent conditions to ensure that Shanti Devi couldn't possibly be getting her information from any other source, accompanied the little girl to Mathura.

On her own, she was able to lead them to her previous home, and correctly described what it had looked like years earlier before its recent refurbishing. She was also able to relate extremely intimate information, such as extramarital affairs of family members that no one, outside the family, could possibly have known.

In an attempt to trip-her up, when Shanti made her first visit to her former home, the research team hired an actor to pretend to be her former husband while her former husband pretended to be one of the onlookers in the crowd. Shanti immediately saw through the fraud and identified the man who had been her former husband recalling to him some intimate details of their personal life together that her former husband, in complete amazement, acknowledged.

The award-winning Swedish journalist, Sture Lonnerstrand, spent several weeks with Shanti Devi later in her life, recording her story and verifying information about the famous government investigation.

To those of my readers who still have doubts, I can only repeat what I’ve said many times: “If you don’t believe something, no amount of proof will ever convince you. If you do believe something, no proof is necessary.”

If you have any memories of a past life…confusing or not, write to me at stebrel@aol.com. Together we may find out something about your forgotten history.

As I said…nobody asked me.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Have You Lived Before...Will You Live Again

By Stephen Ellis

Nobody asked me, but…

One of the things that seems to strike a chord with many readers of this blog is the subject of reincarnation. Have we really lived before…will we live again?

The truth is that there is probably no topic in the paranormal world that has so much irrefutable factual support. Scientific proof? Of course not. But then nothing science has alleged can be proven scientifically, either, except for basic physics…and even that has as many exceptions as it has rules. Let’s look at some of the factual support concerning living before and living again:

Some of you may have read the “Before Mommy” story http://thesilkentouch.blogspot.com/2009/01/2204-before-mommy.html. There is simply no rational way a little girl of two or three, living in a city, could even be aware of…no less describe…life in a mountain cabin…without indoor plumbing…using an outhouse for a toilet…hobbling around on makeshift crutches, etc. If you haven’t already read it, please do so. Then tell some of your “Doubting Thomas” friends to read it.

Then there was my blog on Bridey Murphy (one of my favorites) published on (November 8, 2008 Explaininglifesmysteries.blogspot.com) wherein a housewife in Madison Wisconsin, under hypnosis, recalled living in a small village near Cork Ireland. She spoke with a heavy Irish brogue using some words no longer in common use and named and described her husband, their house, their children and the scenery on a trip from Cork to Belfast..even detailing where her family Bible was kept in her house. Of course, she had never been to Ireland; did not know anyone from Ireland, etc.

The Bridey Murphy case became a best-selling book. Because of this, hundreds of newsmen, seeking their fifteen minutes of fame, went to Ireland to verify or disprove what Bridey Murphy had said. The problem was that almost two hundred years had passed and record keeping in small villages 200 years ago was not that good, so they found very little to verify except for her detailing of the scenery on her journey to Belfast.

Those who would challenge the validity of past lives often point to the lack of information which can be empirically validated. Their cry is, "Give us data! Give us names, dates, places.” O.K. How do the skeptics account for this?

On February 11, 1942, the U.S. Submarine Shark, on which James Edward Johnston was a crew member, was depth charged and sunk by the Japanese Destroyer Amatsukaze. All hands including James drowned. The spirit that occupied the body of James appears to have reincarnated again on January 19, 1953 in the body of Bruce Kelly. James Johnston lived so recently that many of the memories recalled by Bruce Kelly have been authenticated by people who knew James Johnston.

Bruce Kelly went to a hypnotherapist because all his life he had a phobia about water and getting aboard an airplane. Under hypnosis, Kelly was regressed and started to say "I'm in a submarine ... I'm dying." The therapist then asked him for the name of the submarine, its ID number and where the incident happened. Bruce answered easily, that the submarine was the Shark SS-174, and that it was part of the Asiatic Fleet, stationed in Manila Bay. He was a crewman aboard the submarine and his name was James Johnston. Bruce was able to answer questions such as the date and time of his death immediately and without apparent effort. He was also able to recall where he was on the submarine and what was happening around him. Friends and family of Johnston have authenticated every detail of what Bruce Kelly said. The therapist also verified information provided by Bruce as to his Navy, civilian and school records.

As James Johnston, he had drowned in a submarine, an elongated, cylindrical pressure vessel which was similar to an airplane in form, fit, and function. Bruce said that he observed the separation of the spirit from his body.

Then there is the case of six-year-old James Leininger of Lafayette, Louisiana. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/dailycourier/news/s_189477.html . "He has always been extraordinarily interested in airplanes," said James' mother, Andrea Leininger. “Lots of kids love airplanes, but James' story is unique: He has memories of being a World War II fighter pilot from Uniontown, Indiana -- Lt. James McCready Huston, shot down near Iwo Jima in 1945.”

At 18 months old, his father, Bruce Leininger, took James to the Kavanaugh Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas, where the toddler remained transfixed by World War II aircraft. A few months later, James Leininger’s nightmares began.

"They were terrible, terrible," Andrea said. "He would scream, 'airplane crash, on fire, little man can't get out!' He'd be kicking, with his hands pointing up at the ceiling."

When James was 2 1/2 years old, he and Andrea were shopping and he wanted a toy airplane. Andrea said to him, 'Look, it has a bomb on the bottom' and he told me, 'That's not a bomb, it's a drop tank.' I had no idea what a drop tank was." Neither of the Leiningers have ever served in the military, nor are they involved with aviation. Until James showed an interest in planes, they had nothing aviation-related in their home.

"I was reading him a story and he got a faraway look," she recalled. "I asked what happened to your plane? 'Got shot,' he said. Where? 'Engine.' Where did it crash? 'Water.' When I asked him who shot the plane, he gave me a look like a teenager, rolling his eyes, 'the Japanese,' as if to say ‘who else could it have been?’

"What little kid knows about the Japanese," she asked. "He said he knew it was a Japanese plane because of the red sun. My husband and I were shell-shocked." James provided other information. He said his earlier name was also James. He flew a Corsair and took off from a small aircraft carrier named the Natoma, and he remembered a fellow flyer named Jack Larson who was later contacted. Larson said he witnessed Huston’s plane crash and verified every detail of what James Leininger had to say.

Foods can set James Leininger’s memories off, too: James’ mother said, "I hadn't made meatloaf in 10 years, so James had never eaten it. When he sat down, James said, 'Meatloaf! I haven't had that since I was on the Natoma.' When we were getting ice cream one day, he told me that they could have ice cream every day on the Natoma."

At first, James’ father, Bruce, was skeptical and set out to disprove his son’s rantings. Instead, he wound up proving every last thing his son said. Bruce began researching his son's memories and discovered a small escort carrier called the “Natoma Bay”, which was present at the Battle of Iwo Jima. Twenty-one of its crew perished. Bruce also discovered that only one of the Natoma's crew was named James, James Huston. James Huston's plane was hit in the engine by Japanese fire on March 3, 1945, went down in flames and sank immediately.

I could go on and detail many more verifiable incidents of past life regression, but this blog has gotten too lengthy already. Next week I’ll detail the most amazing, verified, ‘past life’ of all: The case of Shanti Devi.

If you’re interested in your past life(s), let me know. Stebrel@aol.com

As I said…nobody asked me.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Instinct and Intuition

By Stephen Ellis

Nobody asked me, but…
Last week I received a comment on my blog from my daughter, Frieda. Frieda is a very insightful young lady with a J.D. degree and about to receive her PhD in nutrition. I’m really quite proud of her and love her very much.

The fact is, however, that she misinterpreted what I wrote. If someone as intelligent as Frieda misunderstood my writing, perhaps other readers did, too. More likely, my writing was simply not clear enough. In my last blog I spoke about a “sixth-sense”. Of course the term “sixth-sense” has become another trash-pot into which many paranormal/ mentalist buffs put a lot of different things.

For example: Most people tend to put all déjà vu experiences into the sixth-sense pot. Others will throw dreams and/or encounters with ghosts into that pot. Still others will include retrocognition (past life experiences), faith healing, instinct, intuition and numerous other non-scientific experiences into that one pot. The fact is that none of those things I have named really fit the meaning of a sixth-sense…although they all border on it.

Each of the things mentioned above can be experienced by most people without a sixth sense. You start thinking of someone you haven’t seen in a while and suddenly the telephone rings and it’s that person. You meet someone for the first time and you get a “gut-feeling” that the person is good (or evil). You have a dream in which a dead loved one appears only he/she really seems to talk to you….and even gives you a message, etc. These are things that happen to almost all normal people…and they are not indicative of a sixth sense.

Let’s break some of it down for everyone to understand: The two most common things often referred to as a sixth-sense are instinct and intuition. These are really not a sixth sense although there are many similar aspects to them:
Instinct – Instinct is not learned, it is inherited. Instinct makes an insect with almost no mind run away and hide from someone about to swat it. Instinct makes a baby turtle run towards the ocean as soon as it is born. Instinct makes a human avoid the path of a falling boulder or hitting the brake on your car when someone swerves in front of you.

Intuition – This is the part of your mind that comes to a conclusion without any reasoning. You meet someone and you get a “gut feeling” that this person will be good (or not good) for a relationship. Someone writes you a check and you feel strongly that this check will not be good at the bank. You’re thinking of going on a trip and, without any real reason, you feel it will be unsafe if you go.

Now let’s look at a sixth-sense:

The sixth sense tells you things that you should have no way of knowing: A specific person is going to die shortly. A business deal you are involved in is being plotted against you behind your back. You’ve met and communicated with ghosts of dead people not necessarily from your own family. You pick up a piece of someone’s jewelry and it communicates the owner’s life history to you. You are sitting in a room with someone and their thoughts come to you as if they were your own.

Instinct and intuition belong to everyone to a greater or lesser degree. Having a sixth sense, obviously, is far more rare. But because it’s rare, it has a material value and can be worth a lot of money. Most people alleging to have a sixth-sense are nothing more than frauds cashing-in on that material value.

I’ve had the pleasure (or honor) to meet two people who really had a sixth-sense. One was Peter Hurkos, the internationally famous psychic and a German woman named Christa Gantz. Peter took my keys in his hand and related a number of things that had happened in my lifetime that he had no way of knowing…or even finding out about. Christa was met at a “Psychic Fair” in Wiesbaden, Germany. I tested her by looking at cards with different geometric symbols and she identified each one as I looked at it. Although I could see the faces of the cards, she couldn’t. To be certain there wasn’t some trickery involved, I did the same thing with my own deck of cards and made her guess the identities of five cards. She was correct on four and only missed the one by naming clubs instead of spades (she got the number correctly). I tested her further by thinking of a sentence, then I spoke the beginning of the sentence aloud…and she finished the sentence correctly.
Unfortunately, both of these people have passed-on.

If you believe you have a sixth sense, please let me know. Stebrel@aol.com.

As I said, nobody asked me.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Sixth Sense

By Stephen Ellis

Nobody asked me, but…

I’ve often heard so-called psychics and mediums say that ghosts are visible to them and not to other people because psychics/mediums have a “sixth-sense”. The fact is that all people are capable of seeing…or hearing…ghosts to some degree. It depends of the strength of the spirit, its location, its desire to be seen or heard, etc.

In truth, however, some people do have much more sensitivity to paranormal phenomena than others.

We have only five senses here on Earth: sight – sound - smell – taste and touch. If we can’t sense something with one of our five senses, we say that it doesn’t exist. But, again, there are many things we can’t see, or sense with our five senses.

Among those things is the very air we breathe. We can’t see it or feel it (except when the wind is blowing) and we can’t smell, taste or touch it. But it’s definitely there and science labs can analyze it. What about or minds? We can’t see it, smell it taste it or touch it. But we “hear” it, and so we say it exists. In truth, we do not hear our minds. What we hear is the sound of our own voice talking to us. But where does it come from? It must have a source…

As my readers recognize, I have often stated my belief that what we hear in our head comes from our aura and is computed by our brains into language we understand. If you stop to think about it, no physician or scientist has been able to locate what we call the mind. There is no particular part of our brain that seems to control it. In fact, if you speak with someone whose brain has been damaged (maybe by a blow, a stroke or by Cerebral Palsy), you will immediately discover that although the brain has been physically damaged, the mind still functions with clear and concise thoughts. The damaged brain may not allow those thoughts to be expressed because the brain controls physical movements of the body and, if it’s damaged, it’s damaged. Ask anyone who’s recovered from a stroke. The mind functions perfectly.
That’s why it’s logical to conclude that the mind is actually outside of the body.

The aura?

And since we mentioned the aura, our five senses can’t detect that, either. We know it’s there only because infra-red photography allows us to see it.

So, without belaboring the subject, there are things our five senses apparently cannot detect. Thus the claim of a sixth-sense by some. Whether there is actually a sixth sense that allows some people to see (and communicate) with ghosts is a subject that may never be proven. What we call a sixth-sense may only be a person whose five senses are more acute. Let’s take a moment to look at it closely:

There are people I have met who can actually smell death. They can walk into a room where someone died recently and will say that the room smells of death. It’s never happened to me. But I have met people who, without exception, can sense this.

I’ve met people who can meet someone for the very time and sense whether this is a “trustworthy” or “untrustworthy” person. Forget about the way they’re dressed or how much money they have. My daughter, Debbie, has been unerringly accurate about people. Since I can’t do it, I ask Debbie to meet with someone before I will do any business with them.

I’ve met some people who can definitely know when someone is lying to them (with apologies to the TV Show “Lie to Me”). I wish more judges could do that. I have met people who, miles from an event, know the details of that event without ever having been told.

But is this really a sixth sense or is it a more finely honed part of our five senses?

I have met genuine psychics: people who can sense things about your life by holding your keys or your wallet or some piece of jewelry in their hands. I have met psychics who can complete a sentence you started to say…with accuracy.

And, of course, I have met people who claim to be able to see and communicate with ghosts.

If the so called sixth sense is really an additional sense…why don’t we all have it? Or, as some people claim…we all have it but have not taken the time or made the effort to develop it.

These are some of the questions I intend to tackle in future blogs.

If you have some exceptional senses, please write me and let me know. stebrel@aol.com

As I said, nobody asked me.