Webdiary - Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent
header_02 home about login header_06
sidebar-top content-top

Leap of faith

Today I told my father the times over the last two days that he woke up. We live a kilometre apart. When he's on the go it's an alarm clock in my head, and most Webdiarists know I'm not a natural 6 or 6.45 a.m. riser. At certain times as soon as he's awake and motivated I'm bolt upright in bed.

Another useless ability is knowing when people and animals are about to die. There's bugger-all you can do except try to be there. Convincing people of the imminence is useless, as they won't believe you till after the death.

Do I consider this stuff extraordinary? No. I consider it extraordinary that mental links between people aren't considered a natural part of life.

I play games with my daughter, with her full consent. Nothing like flashcard stuff, but, say, walking down the street visualising a sausage roll till she says she feels like one, and letting her know she's read my mind. She has since taught me to keep my mind closed from her when necessary.

One more. Gave myself a bad haircut last week, the coldest in Adelaide for donkey's years. Looked at scarves in shops and on people (nice to see them back "in fashion") and rekindled my fantasies from the Tom Baker Doctor Who era of owning a really long patchwork scarf. I'm wearing a luvverly cashmere from Lost Property tonight, though will have to return it to its owner on Friday. So much for visualisation. Mind you, the karma's ok.

Why should any religion hold copyright on the intertwining aspects of human nature? Why should abilities that are disciplined and learned through the focus on a deity be disregarded (or worse) if they aren't developed or practiced as part of a "sanctioned" doctrine? There's lots of things people do that are regarded as inexplicable, and yet in our temples we're required to take a "leap of faith." Why can't we take the leap without the theology?

Can you have a saint without a god? In my beliefs, yes. If the individual believes in him or herself and enough people focus their energies into that person, Christ knows (perhaps literally) what might be possible. The copyright religion has taken on utilisation of mind power is a really simple cash-cow. Unfortunately, it's to the detriment of humanity. How are we going to know what we can do if we don't believe it's possible to do it under our own steam?

Sorry if this sounds like pontificating. I have as much right as anybody else.

Disclosure: The writer wears a pentacle on one hand, a yin-yang on the other, and has a cat named Merlin. Mind you, the last one was a Tom named Britney Spears.

[ category: ]

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

New Dimensions

Perhaps others also get emails from "New Dimensions".  Today's has 4 podcasts of the interesting Rupert Sheldrake, wirth a brief summary of each, including his intriguing suggestion that "the brain is more like a tuning fork than a recording device".

Of course, Richard Tonkin

"some psychic equivalents to inbreeding occurring within some followers of Christianity."

If you do not accept and know that these male dreams – delusions – of the pure woman, instantly deflowered and devalued, is some kind of very common, if not universal, male Jungian archetype, then I would query you.

And if you have found it happy to connect this atavistic wickedness to Christianity, among the myriad of similar belief systems, again, I would question you.


Your comment is too cryptic for me to understand, Richard Tonkin. I am very happy to describe myself as "a bear of very little brain."

What is "this" in your comment?

Are you suggesting that a dream of shagging virgins is related solely to Christianity? Not to testosterone, and a world history of crazy dysfunctional men?

If only.

Thanks F Kendall, you made my day.

F Kendall: "Are you suggesting that a dream of shagging virgins is related solely to Christianity? Not to testosterone, and a world history of crazy dysfunctional men?

I had a good chuckle over that one, F Kendall.

The Virgin Mary?

I have been given a Jungian deck that for years I haven't been able to work with.

I'll need to watch 4Corns again, F Kendall, but I hope you understand that what I'm trying to get to is the possible bastardisation of the etthic, and an echo into society.

Religious predators

I watched that show again last night, F Kendall, and yes it made my blood boil. I would have no doubt that if this Fagan had consummated with these girls that they would have protected him, so complete was his brainwashing. The fact that he screwed his spokesman's wife as part of "a test by God" suggests that he was quite happy to do whatever he liked.

[CNN extract]

A former member of the Lord Our Righteousness Church, however, told CNN affiliate KOAT that he left because Bent wanted to sleep with his daughters.

John Sayer said he split with the church after 16 years when Bent told him he was supposed to sleep with seven virgins -- and that two of them were to be Sayer's daughters, then 14 and 15 years old. He said he told Bent that it wasn't right and that he, his wife and his daughters left the compound.

Sayer told KOAT that his youngest daughter later returned and was one of the three removed by authorities.

In posts on the group's Web site, Bent wrote that the three children were "abducted."

"The state has made its move, and now God will make his," he said.

I think you're right, F Kendall, and that this bloke has spent a lot of time planning the fulfilment of disturbing sexual fantasies. That however, is an aspect not reserved only for bizarre Texan cults.

The power of It

Peter Hindrup wrote below of his inability to really control the IT that has long been a part of his life and which seems to dwell in others as well under various guises, often simply described by its host as my sixth sense.

Maybe these cult leaders are just driven by a different IT and because it gives them so much fun, they see no reason to control It.

Seems to me we all need to be wary of any ITs, our own included. Who knows where they could take us.

I confess I have never really understood how rational people can allow themselves to be brainwashed. Being brainwashed while under the physical control of others is, however, rather different.  That I can understand.  

"Schumann resonance" not a love of Redgum albums

I've always felt (and said often here), F Kendall, that it's about "getting on the same frequency"  but up till know the only reference I've noted is the "Brown Note" in South Park.

Rummaging for those  podcasts I've come across this:

This global electromagnetic resonance phenomenon is named after physicist Winfried Otto Schumann who predicted it mathematically in 1952. Schumann resonance occurs because the space between the surface of the Earth and the conductive ionosphere acts as a waveguide. The limited dimensions of the Earth cause this waveguide to act as a resonant cavity for electromagnetic waves in the ELF band. The cavity is naturally excited by energy from lightning strikes. Schumann resonance modes are observed in the power spectra of the natural electromagnetic background noise, as separate peaks at extremely low frequencies (ELF) around 7.8, 14.3, 20.8, 27.3 and 33.8 Hz.

The fundamental mode of the Schumann resonance is a standing wave in the Earth-ionosphere cavity with a wavelength equal to the circumference of the Earth. This lowest-frequency (and highest-intensity) mode of the Schumann resonance occurs at a frequency of approximately 7.8 Hz. Further resonance modes appear at approximately 6.5 Hz intervals, a characteristic attributed to the atmosphere's spherical geometry. The peaks exhibit a spectral width of approximately 20% on account of the damping of the respective modes in the dissipative cavity. The eighth overtone lies at approximately 59.9 Hz.

Schumann resonances are used to track global lightning activity. Owing to the connection between lightning activity and the Earth's climate they can also be used to monitor global temperature variations and variations of upper water vapor. Extraterrestrial lightning may also be detected and studied with Schumann resonances. Schumann resonances have been used for research and monitoring of the lower ionosphere on Earth and was suggested for exploration of lower ionosphere parameters on celestial bodies. Schumann resonances can be used to track geomagnetic and ionospheric disturbances. More recently, Schumann resonances have been used for monitoring transient luminous events – sprites, elves, jets, and other upper-atmospheric lightning. A new field of interest using Schumann resonances is related to short-term earthquake prediction. Schumann resonances have evolved beyond the domain of geophysics where it initially began, and has since gained interest in medicine, from artists and musicians, as well as from fields such as bioenergetics[1], acupuncture[1], and psychobiology.

OK, so if the brain's a tuning fork to sync the operating frequencies of the body, is a community's priest such a tool in focussing the local spiritual mind? That's going to take a lot of trust.

And I thought....

Hell Richard, I thought you were going to talk about that musician again. But at least I have some hope of understanding him. I have to confess that psychobiology is something I can readily get my mind around.


Perhaps those hippocampal synaptic replays might be worth extrapolating from.


What I meant, F Kendall, was that there might be psychic equivalents to inbreeding occurring within some followers of Christianity.


I happen to consider that it is important to differentiate between:

(1) normal, but randomly distributed and widely suppressed human abilities. That ultimately will be scientifically acknowledged .

(2) some real contact with real other-world entities. Iffy and dangerous.

(3). Some totally delusional stuff, eg, Four Corners tonight. How often such as this involves men coming to understand that God needs them to have sex with virgins.

Karmic fallout

F Kendall, some might say that this is part of the "karmic fallout" of the duration of Christianity.

Hey Kath - watcha going do with that gun in your hand?

Rock'r'roll, Kathy!

Indeed, there's a old potomac floating about somewhere that could tell a story or 27; hey Kath darlin ;-)

Ah, Justin


Touche, albatross

Deep Purple

Deep purple Richard, and a very deep purple at that, but I don't know why.

Black Night.

Deep Purple, Justin!

 Black Night, and a long long way from home, Richard.

 Cue guitar riff....


Colours everywhere

"A more common form of the condition is being able to perceive numbers or letters as colours."

For some reason I've always seen the days of the week as colours:

Monday - brown

Tuesday - yellow

Wednesday - red

Thursday - purple

Friday - blue

Saturday - green

Sunday - orange

Some say Sunday should be yellow but I don't see it that way. Ever since I can remember that's the way I've seen it so I don't blame it on chemical experimentation or stuff like that.


Goodbye Ruby Tuesday

On your last two statements, I have to ask "why/"  and "why not?" 

Also, purple Thursday?  It doesn't grok.

Can anyone hear that picture?

Some people see colour when listening to music

US scientists have discovered people who can "hear" what they see.

The rare form of synaesthesia - a condition where senses intermingle - came to light after a student reported "hearing sounds" from a screensaver.

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology then found three more people with the same condition, New Scientist magazine reported.

Those affected performed better in tests of recognising visual patterns than those without the condition.

A more common form of the condition is being able to perceive numbers or letters as colours.

Play me a rainbow, draw me a symphony

Rock'r'roll, Kathy! No psychic abilities are required to determine that you've been a 'wild child" in your day!

I've just been looking at the BBC piece that Peter linked to, and juxtaposing this:

Several artists have been linked with the condition, including David Hockney who is able to see colour when listening to music.

 with this;

By sending the moving dots image to hundreds of other volunteers, she found three others who could also hear sounds, such as tapping, whirring or whooshing, when watching it.

If the people who see colours from music construct visuals for those who hear pictures, this could develop into a whole new form of communication.

Sorry, I always get like this after Doctor Who.  It puts me in the mood.


Hypos and Hippos

Sorry, Peter, make that the hippocampus:

[extract from Reactivation of hippocampal ensemble memories during sleep.

Simultaneous recordings were made from large ensembles of hippocampal "place cells" in three rats during spatial behavioral tasks and in slow-wave sleep preceding and following these behaviors. Cells that fired together when the animal occupied particular locations in the environment exhibited an increased tendency to fire together during subsequent sleep, in comparison to sleep episodes preceding the behavioral tasks. Cells that were inactive during behavior, or that were active but had non-overlapping spatial firing, did not show this increase. This effect, which declined gradually during each post-behavior sleep session, may result from synaptic modification during waking experience. Information acquired during active behavior is thus re-expressed in hippocampal circuits during sleep, as postulated by some theories of memory consolidation.

In my defence, the piece I remember hearing (I"m searching for the transcript) i think referred to the motor-skill application data for this process being provided by the hypothalamus.

Makes me wonder, if you do something unusual one day and go home and dream about it, what parts of the head are processing?

As example, a dream I had a few weeks back.  I was watching six people carry our chef, blood gushing fatally from a head wound, into a freezer room in a futile attempt to slow things down.  Not knowing what to do about it, I told him.  No point in saying "gee I dreampt that" the day after it happened.  I don't know if the dream was clairovoyant, but I'm sure the cook was watching his head for a few days.  The dream could have been goobledygook, but it might have saved a life.


The only other time I've heard this notion raised, Peter, was from a friend I was visiting in a psychiatric ward.  In a moment of stress I'd suggest that profession of such an ability as described might be considered grounds for admission, and I wonder how many have ended up in such places because of their different perceptions of the world.  I also wonder if this sort of thing relates to the way the blind use the usually more visually focussed parts of the brain for hearing.  Extrapolaton from that to application of paranormal abilities could be worth considering.  It might also be something to do with older rats' declining ablity to use dreams to process information (something to do with declining utilisation of the hypothalamus, I gather)  and thus forget the location of the food they found yesterday. 

Self-defence, Peter?  I'm a bullshit artist, not a martial artist! When I said that that fellow left confused the other night, I meant it.  He had something in his hand he said he was going to hit me with.  I removed it, put it behind the bar, told him he was boring and that it was time to go home.  He went.  My favourite trick, though, is one I was teaching the younger staff last night.  If you've got a "sleeper" you can't rouse, a gentle pouring of warm water down the inner thigh and a tap on a shoulder will have him up and gone in thirty seconds. Self-dignity, IMHO is much more primal than we realise.    I hope he was planning to go where I directed the taxi, though.

My point is related to my teaching daughter the double fisted uppercut, arguably the most painful lesson I've ever taught.  What I was conveying was self-empowerment in a situation,  Also that if you need to get away from a situation, do so in a manner that will leave your problem unable to follow.

A little psychology can go a long way.  Perhaps this also applies to parapsychology, and the interaction of the two?  But how well paranormal activites are processed and applied might well relate to what parts of the brain we use to deal with them.  In the some way that hemispheric transfer is used in therapy with autistic children (and extended ranges of audio frequencies) perhaps people having problems with "paranormal" (I hate the term, as I think what's happening is more "normal" than "para") abilities can be taught more effective application of not only their minds, but their fleshy brains as well?

Whatever works is effective

Richard:   You amuse me!  In most — I would say all valid forms of self defence learning the physical techniques is merely the ‘through primary school’ part of the deal.  People hear ‘black belt’ and assume that that person has reached the peak of their discipline.   The fact is that they have received their leaving certificate.

Things move on into the mind, healing and such like.
Your warm water is an excellent idea.  Miserable, but  quite brilliant. 

[Richard:  Larned it on ma pappy's knee, Peter!  Um, let me rephrase that..]
Faced by idiots intent on mayhem in the cocktail bar I once had, my last warning was: ‘If I were you, I wouldn’t .’   You would not believe the times that people simply looked bewildered and walked away.   

But people handling, in this  sense, is a skill. Particularly when  it happens to be backed by the ability to do real damage if pushed, it is remarkably effective.   

A few weeks ago in the Mall I saw a superb demonstration.  There was an altercation involving Chinese from a ‘bargain shop’ and presumably  customers.  There was a huge amount of pushing and shoving and screeching going on, with the occasional punch being thrown.   

I walked down with the intention of intervening if things looked like turning ugly. (I keep forgeting that I am all but seventy! one day some young bloke is going to remind me!)  I was beaten to it by a dark skinned man, about six foot tall, not heavily built of about 30.  With absolutely no display of threat, simply moving in when things got a bit violent, talking quietly and fading back as things calmed he totally controlled the situation.  It is a long, long time since I saw such a display. If only the police were given the training instead of   relying upon their bloody pepper spray, their batons and, if things happen as predicted, their bloody tassers.

 Teaching daughter that if you need to get away from a situation, do so in a manner that will leave your problem unable to follow, is great advice.   I am an advocate of kids doing something like judo for a few years, not because they really learn enough in that time to be of much use, but because the  confidence and self-discipline that they learn which will help to  keep them from getting into trouble in the first place. 

Might interest you to know that I have seen trained fighters hit hard and cleanly in the testicles, seen the flash of pain across their face and them carry on as if it never happened.   I see it simply as an extension of pain blocking effect of being full of adrenaline magnified by mind control.  The principal is easy, you simply disperse the pain throughout the body.
I have known two people who could hypnotise a person unknown to them instantly. That is instantly into a deep trance.  One of them I saw do in it a jam-packed coffee bar, where folk singers were singing and you could not hear yourself think.  According to the books this is not possible.
I seldom question the possibility of a thing being done. I do however often question the ability of the person making the claim.


From the fact that I am no longer having slight bouts of nausea after eating, I surmise that my daughter in England is over her morning sickness.

But, I don't think that that is mystical, and I think that it is one of those things that science will come to understand.

I saw an exhibition of aboriginal art on Saturday, and although I've often admired the colours and patterns, for once I felt a wobbly comprehension.  I can only describe it as a cellular connectedness:   fairly meaningless words, because it was a sense, not an intellectual understanding.

Daughter was, I imagine, pleased

F Kendall, daughter has the baby, Mother has the morning sickness? Seems fair enough to me!

Perhaps the problem is that we expect science to understand!

Perhaps, just perhaps there are some things that cannot be put into neat, labelled little boxes.


If other aspects involving the human mind can be researched and defined, Peter (ask Dr Reynolds about her studies some time), then why not such as we've been discussing here?

I've only previously encountered the term in the header in SF stories, however well researched they might have been, but tonight, unable to sleep (but soon) looked up the Wiki for the term.  It covers a lot of ground, and confirmed what I'd told an ex-SA premier as he headed off for a temporary posting at the University of Edinburgh about research being conducted there.

This quick extract demonstrates that definitions can indeed be made:


Parapsychologists study a number of ostensible paranormal phenomena, including but not limited to:

  • Precognition: Perception of information about future places or events before they occur.
  • Clairvoyance: Obtaining information about places or events at remote locations, by means unknown to current science.
  • Psychokinesis: The ability of the mind to influence matter, time, space, or energy by means unknown to current science.
  • Hauntings: Phenomena often attributed to ghosts and encountered in places a deceased individual is thought to have frequented, or in association with the person's former belongings.

The definitions for the terms above may not reflect their mainstream usage, nor the opinions of all parapsychologists and their critics. Many critics, for example, feel that parapsychologists are engaged in the study of phenomena that disappear under stringent experimental conditions and are thus normal processes.

According to the Parapsychological Association, parapsychologists do not study all paranormal phenomena, nor are they concerned with astrology, UFOs, Bigfoot, paganism, vampires, alchemy, or witchcraft.[2]


Parapsychologists employ a variety of approaches during the study of apparent paranormal phenomena. These methods include qualitative approaches used in traditional psychology, but also quantitative empirical methodologies. Their more controversial studies involve the use of meta-analysis in examining the statistical evidence for psi

Your own abilities are a perfect example of valid reasoning for attempts at quantification.  While you have self-imposed ethics in their application, others might not.  If someone might wish to control my mind, I would prefer to have, if attainable (and this applies carte blanche) the ability to identify, avoid and defend .  As with other defensive techniques I've taught her (such as the double-fisted uppercut to the nuts that she was allowed to practise once on her seventh birthday, and never again), I would like my daughter to have this knowledge too.

Mind you, the self-ruminations that have accompanied this conversation have been a helpful clarifier.  I'm developing and practising a few techniques that seem to be helpful, and if I can teach a class of uke players to play in 8/6 (through a step-by-step combination of some simple techniques) in an hour, maybe at some stage I might be able pass on some of this new stuff I'm learning. 

If we don't discuss and research, then perhaps many skills will only remain in the hands of a few.  With a bit of help they might become widespread.  Who knows what humanity might then become capable of achieving?

On that note, I've just heard the news I think I've kept myself awake for.


Richard, missed your post. Thanks for making the effort to address something I undoubtedly implied but never intended. It is a long time since I saw the definitions set out in such a manner.

Duke University — US — used to do very advanced studies, spurred on I think by the Russian program that was alive and well and reaching far into areas that I prefer not to go — and so far as I know, couldn’t — and for reasons or uses that I don’t go along with, and if they were even reasonably successful, scare hell out of me.

Perhaps you ought to look at the Rosicrucian Order (AMORC). They were too cautious, pedantic for me, but they are as good as there is.

Some of their techniques are exceptionally effective.

I gather that you have done some form of self defence training from odd comments. Teaching daughter I suggest you teach her that a male’s weakest point is his ego, to lie convincingly, and run.

Testicles are not a great point to attack unless you take a handful and twist. It is all but impossible to hit them if you up against anybody trained, or has done anything much on the street.

The advantage that can be taught to women is that they can get into a position to strike — once — if they can control their fear and be convincing.

There are many who could strike a devastating blow given the chance. It is just a small matter of getting into a position to be able to do so, and to have the timing. A woman with a little training can bypass all this.

A great example was when young Mundine fought the German lad who fought for 8, 10 ? rounds for the one opening he needed.

Alan Jones was raving on the following morning about how “unlucky” Mundine had been, and how comprehensively he had out fought the German. (Apart from losing to a knockout, of course.)

I emailed Alan, having discussed Mundine with him at length on earlier occasions (Alan Jones funded Mundine’s first major fight), and suggested that he take a cold shower and take another look at the tape.

I received a near instant reply that “just because I didn’t like young Mundine, I oughtn’t denigrate his fine performance.” I don’t like the loud mouth. I knew his father well, who was never a loud mouth. Interestingly, I’m told that Anthony is not the insufferable loud mouth away from the cameras. Pity he doesn’t get rid of those who gee him up!

I answered with an analysis which indicated that Mundine had at no time been in control of the ring, or the fight, and that far from it being “a lucky punch”, the German had fought the whole fight for just that opening.

I then put it into rugby union terms.

Alan emailed back his thanks, stating that I had taught him more about boxing than he had previously learned in his entire association with it.

That is the thing I like about Alan, construct a convincing argument and he does listen, does change his position.

I have no argument with your position of learning, and perhaps being able to pass on the knowledge. There are others, and some organisations out there who walk the same path. I don’t have that much faith in people and I have seen displays of power that, if they didn’t scare the bejesus out of you, you are much tougher, or have much less imagination than I have.

The name of "it"

Jenny, first let me say that I loved the B & B story. Reminds me so much of my mother, and how she would have reacted! Her mother used to tell us, "oh don’t mind her, she is old fashioned!"

If I may come in on your "spooked".

Whatever your "it" is, putting aside your faith for the moment, it clearly manifests in times of stress. Almost all of the various religions that contact, or attempt to contact "it" use techniques that raise excitement, and put stress on the body.

Your rosary beads I see as a focus point, yet prayer beads are near universal.

Most of those that I have known function at a higher level when under stress. Those who have never had any indication of having any "it", but suddenly "know" of issues such as danger, accident, illness or a death "waken" under stress.

It seems to me churlish to deny any of these people a legitimacy however it is that they become influenced by their "it".  

Equally it seems that attempting to provide the name by which "it" is called is a little foolish.

Certainly you knew radio way back when where if you got one word in three the reception was good. You certainly found that on some days you could hear more clearly, or perhaps get a station that came and went.

What if we look at "it" in the same way. Some have much better receivers than others. Some have more, or very selective receivers, and some are those old receivers that only on the most favourable days receive anything at all.

Provided we can agree on these very broad assumptions, how much, or how little does it matter in what manner we refer to "it"?

On prayers. I was with a Moslem friend when he needed (was required?) to pray. A late middle-aged, ordinary family man, with no disrespect or disparagement intended, who stunned me by standing, relaxing and passing immediately into a deep state of meditation.  

Never have I seen in any other religious based "praying" any exhibition such as this. This was meditation at the adept level. I am not suggesting that there is anything magical about this level of meditation, it can be learned by many. It was the fact that this was "prayer" to this man that startled me.


Peter, telepathy, telekinesis, clairovoyancy are all useful terms.  Whether or not they are separate abilities I'm unsure.  Your possessive talent might be a combination of abilites?

As for abilities coming into play in emergencies, well, they're not the only ones.  Father tipped a tractor upside down once.  To him he had all the time in the world, like a slow motion movie, to stand, step onto a wheel and jump off.  When it was uprighted one of his shoes was found mashed into the seat.

There's also what I call "guardian angel stuff", those situations where an inch either way is a matter of life and death, and yet it doesn't happen.   I'm nowhere near figuring out that one, except for the possibility we do indeed have guardians.  A story I heard on radio recently, while not using such terminology, was related by a driver who was about to go through a green light, but on hearing a voice tell him "wait" watched a red-light runner hurtlling through the space he would otherwise have occupied.

Perhaps we understand and control these things better when our souls and bodies part company?  NFI.

Jenny, my mother is similarly twitchy with buildings, but usually that's when something bad has already happened in them.  All I know is that when you get such sensations it's better to follow them than not.  Better to be trusting and alive (even if the misfortune doesn't come to pass) than sceptical and dead, I reckon.

Prayer might be a way to influence the use of the powers of the God above us or the God within us, telepathic contact with saints or guardian angels, a hotline to dead friends and relatives now able to act on our behalf.  Faith, focus and belief in whatever you're trying to achieve seems to be the key.

Other times

Richard, I rather got distracted by other things. Excuse the delay in answering. — this happens quite often in my life, I simply do not get back, no offence intended to anyone who has felt ignored —

I didn’t think that I did shy away from discussing the ethics. There are those with whom I have delved into related issues in great depth, however in my view it is a subject outside the ken of most.

The implications of developing the ability always appeared to me, too dangerous for me to want to be involved.

I would like to make the point that for me this is “past”. :-((((

To answer your question. No.

The parents of the then young woman who became my wife detested me with a passion. They were staunch, lifelong members of the then, in New Zealand, High Church of England.

Merilyn lived the first year of Uni in a church hostel, less than 400 metres from where I lived. The church where the Dean of Canterbury lived was half way across the city.

The Dean, Alan Pyatt I believe, was a longtime friend of Merilyn’s family. We, Merilyn and I, agreed to attend a meeting of Pyatt and us that was held in the church hall. Pyatt put Merilyn in the far back corner while I sat diagonally opposite near the door, with Pyatt, not an old man, and I believe an All Black Forward at some time, standing in the centre of the hall.

Not surprisingly things did not go well. Well guess it depends upon the point of view. Pyatt was attempting to break us up, and having no success.

Finally he announced: “"I will drive Merilyn home". I replied: "if I let you".

He began to reply and stopped and stared as Merilyn walked across the hall like a sleep walker, walked straight into him as he stood, arms outstretched to stop her, staring back over his shoulder at me while her legs just kept on walking, although she could not move his bulk.

I said: “It’s okay, let him drive you home”, and she switched back to normal.

In those days of course crossing the city meant walking, for most us, for we did not have the money for transport. So I was left to walk home.

Interesting that your ability flows in an emergency.

For me, find me one of the very rare women who “interest” me and the ability manifests in ways that surprise me.

An instance: I was working on a holiday island where I met a young South African woman who had costed her world trip upon South African prices that were running about 20 years behind the rest of the world.

On Wednesday nights a game was played with everybody sitting along a long string of adjoining tables where everybody started with ?? 5 cent pieces, threw a dice — there were several circulating at all times — and depending upon the fall, passed a coin left, right, held, or tossed one into the pot in the middle. The winner was the person who had the last coin in front of the table, and the pot was $200 odd.

The lass’s coins were depleting rapidly, and she was looking disappointed, although nobody left the table even when they had no coins because the coins could move toward you.

I was doing quite well, and naturally thought that I ought to give her a few of my coins. Hell, why not give her a few of everybody else’s as well?

Her stash began to grow, rapidly.

Interestingly another young staff woman, sitting approximately 8 or 10 feet away — we were near the end of the table line and the tables had “corners” so that sufficient length could be obtained to seat everybody suddenly said: “Peter! What are you doing?”

Yes, the lass “won” the pot. How did I do it? I have not the foggiest idea.

I have some ex military friends, and getting together to help out with major projects (used) to happen from time to time. It probably will not surprise you that there are a good many in the circle who dislike or detest me. That said the moment we’d gather to work, they expect, nay insist, that I organise.

The same applies when I walk in to the various places where I’m known to the owner and perhaps a few others, where they are attempting to move or install anything heavy and awkward. Without any form of acknowledgement from anyone, with people there who have never seen me before I take over. There has never been any dissent.

Your influencing of mood reaction is interesting. I cannot “sell” an object, advertising and such. Bloody hopeless. But an idea!

I was telling an old friend about some noisy yahoo who had been annoying the hell out of me and commented that it was only my belief that your life is measured by the amount of noise you make, and that therefore the said pest might just drop dead at any moment that saw me through.

His reply was that I was the noisiest person that he and ever met. Me???

“Yes, you influence more people, change more people’s views than anyone I have ever met.”

He has very, very good people skills.

I do not profess to understand what “it” is, or where it comes from. I will repeat that I am very, very wary of “it”.

I can't think of a header for the below


Upon rereading your prevous post I acknowledge I misread a bit. Peter, a belief in a person's capability to self-determine coupled with such an ability is a laudable moral stand.

What though, if you could train and hone the ability in a way that would be beneficial to others? Say to stop a suicide jumping, or swerve a pilot from crashing a plane into a second Twin Tower?

All I'm good for at at the minute is speaking the trivia at the top of people's heads, and what #$#% use is that except for party games?

At times though, I'm compulsively convinced that something dire is about to happen, and spook a few people around me. Admittedly I had a quiet smirk to myself when the bike rack at Adelaide Railway Station was "closed for renovation" on 6/6/06. I bloody well knew why, but still had the guts to go and check the situation. Didn't see the humourist in the V for Vendetta mask though ... heard about that later. Anyway, I'd had a disturbing premonition at the casino above it a couple of months before, and blogged it. It was well read. The Tim Blair mob took the piss out of me ruthlessly. But a couple of days after I wrote it, when a shop in the middle of the city blew up, I certainly wasn't the only one who was worried...

As for Sydney at APEC-time, well, given the US intel stuff-ups the probs of a disaster went a lot higher in the days before the weekend. Still though, I went.

I don't know when I might be right or wrong, but if I feel something bad's about to happen I'll do my utmost to prevent it, every time.

I probably sound nuts by now.

Like my instruments, I work at such things by trial, error and practice. Luckily I'm a fairly quick learner at most things. There must though, be an easier way, and a way to pass on what's learned in a way that can be comprehended and adopted.

What I'm trying to say at the end of the day, is that I don't think it's fair for naturally talented (in such aspects) people to have to work everything out for themselves, with the only alternative being to join a congregation.

I loved an intro to a Crowley book I read a few months back. To paraphrase, and you might relate, he explained that to those who didn't comprehend the notion of writing things down and having them printed into a book might be percieved as a "magical" way of placing his thoughts in other peoples heads, but to those who understood the process this was far from the case. I think we need to work out the processes, take the voodoo and mystique out of them, and let people exercise their abilities safely and sanely.

I don't think Pope Benedict is the man for the job. Buggered if I know who is. There's a bloke named Jesus, though, who seems to have given it a bloody good try.

PS a contact from the state planning department has tipped me off tonight about what's on the drawing boards for the land behind the pub. I'm not far off the mark there, either. The megalith slopes downwards towards the parklands, so that everybody gets a nice window-view of the trees.


Richard, your story of the bike rack reminded me of an incident a few years back now. I was driving along one of those main roads in Canberra and started under a large overpass. As I went under I found myself saying: I won't come this way again, this bridge is not safe.  I was quite shaken when a few days later it was closed due to a large crack in the concrete. I still remember that every time I pass under that bridge.

I don't know whether the same warning system was operating, but when Ian wanted to go to his ski lodge but was tired I said: why not go at the end of the week, put it off for a couple of days. And he did, thankfully. The night he had planned to be there the thing slid down the mountain, the only resident in his lodge of course not surviving - the Thredbo disaster.

Mind you, the number of times I sat in that lodge and felt uneasy I cannot count. The trees leaning out at an angle told their story, that soil creep was happening.  The lodge was Carinya, the one above Bimbadeen, immediately below the road slip.

Needless to say I have never felt easy going to the snowfields since. But I was spared the horror of that day, simply by chance, or was it something more? Who knows, but it took me (given the family had just been through a tragedy that took three members), a very long time to stop feeling paranoid. I used to say back then: If it is going to happen, it is going to happen to my family. I found myself reluctant to let Ian out of my sight, telling myself, well then, if I am going to lose him too, then I am going to go with him.  It was a bad way to be as I found my life was being overtaken by paranoia. I still get easily fearful, but not so much.

As for prayers and whether God delivers. I found myself praying so hard back last September when my sister fell ill. We thought she had had mild stroke and she had pneumonia as well. I felt her confusion meant my connect with her was gone. I prayed very hard that if God would just give her back, even if only for a short time, I would make that time the best. She recovered and a month later I gave her the most beautiful party, honouring her contribution over her 70 years to the family. She shone with joy - she had always had been one to quietly support, but stand in the background, but this time she was the centre of it all. 

Four days later I could not raise her on the phone - not unusual, but I had a bad feeling. As I was 100kms away, I sent the security people to the house, but I had already rung my brother to tell him I my fears. And yes, they found her. She had dropped dead, not even having time to turn off the tap had running into the sink.   But my prayers had been answered. We had one wonderful month and I made the most of it.

Since then of course I came so close to losing my Scot, I am again feeling edgy and a bit spooked. Maybe your playing of his CDs that morning in your pub did the trick. Or was it my prayers. Who knows? But I'd put my money on the prayers first!


Meme chose

Jenny: "Maybe your playing of his CDs that morning in your pub did the trick. Or was it my prayers. Who knows?"

We were doing the same thing.  Just different in our methods.

Then thank you Richard

Then thank you Richard, and I do not really disagree.

He's back skiing by the way - with me fussing and worrying a bit of course. But I resisted the temptation to go with him - sent a female friend instead and told her to look after him - with certain  limitations of course.  I found out later the club manager had put them in the same room - yes, Richard, they sorted that out - correctly.

Why do people jump to conclusions? Bit like my old Mum when two tourists turned up at the front door once, a young man and a young woman, both looking for B and B for the night.

Without  a word mum showed them to a room with a big double bed, king size and left them to it, telling them they were lucky as it was her last room.

A couple of weeks later she got a letter from one of them thanking her, and mentioning in passing that neither of them had set eyes on each other prior to meeting at her front door, adding that it was a wonderfully comfortable bed.

Poor old mum, being very conservative, was mortified.  

Common sense and bullshit.

As Sam Harris, author of The End Of Faith, puts it, "I think that 'atheist' is a term that we do not need, in the same way that we don't need a word for someone who rejects astrology.

"We simply do not call people 'non-astrologers'. All we need are words like 'reason' and 'evidence' and 'common sense' and 'bullshit' to put astrologers in their place, and so it could be with religion."

I don't care what people believe in, but I do care that religion impacts on political discourse, public policy and that it stunts the ability of people to think for themselves and question. And that it kills people and causes suffering. But most of all I care that the invisible electric fences that are wired in the minds of children brainwashed by religion are difficult to remove. And impossible if you don't even know they're there.

A quote attributed to Stephen F. Robert sums it up for me: "We are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

Peace be with you.

Catherine Deveny in this morning AGE.

Catherine is correct: how do you choose one god when there may be thousands?

Good questions: how did you choose your god? On what criteria did you reject all the others? Does it matter? How to sort fact from fiction?

Fact from fiction, using The Force

John Pratt, try Douglas Adam's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time Of the Soul. Long before I discovered the Magritheans dressed as Halliurton workers in the Hitchhiker's Guide movie I've been dead impressed with Adams' philosophising.  His idea of humans learning to fly by falling towards the ground while thinking about something totally different is an appealing one, as is his tackling of the Norse gods inability to cope with modern society and lack of faith in them.

Another fair set is Piers Anthony's Incarnations series, focussed on the problems of mortals assuming godhood as weary predecessors passed on the mantle (except for Death, who has to be killed). Anthony ultimately postulates that life is simply a process of keeping matter moving to avoid dissipation by entropy.

My personal belief is that a god exists if you believe it does.  If an arbitrarily sufficient number of people believe, your god is stronger than others.  However, it is my humble opinion that it is a number of people thinking on the same frequency while focussed on the same outcome that is the proverbial mountain-mover.

Somewhere along the line, though, enough people might decide they don't need to anthropomorphise any more, leaving their gods impotent and lonely.

Peter Hindrup's teamwork, F Kendall's landscape flash, there has to be something here.

F Kendall, I've been experiencing something similar to that for years, except in reverse.  The Clipsal land behind the pub has been putting out a vibe for years.  I walk through it every day, sit and watch it, try to feel what is happening to it.  It's about to become the home of around twenty thousand people (15-20 storey buildings) so I'm not surprised the place has its own aura.  I wonder what had happened, or is going to happen, on the place where you stood?

Peter Hindrup, brave or foolish, I might be, but I don't think so.  I try to stay away from the Dark Side, and am fully aware that I'm not a Jedi...yet  ;)

No intention to denigrate

Richard, I in no way intended the comment as a put down. Actually it was mainly the fact that you broached the subject, and the manner in which you did it that prompted the remark.

Incidentally I'm not sure about the good/evil connotations, either. My problem, I seemed to attract wild talents, and that is a little like going on a joy ride with a learner driver who thinks that they can drive at over a hundred miles an hour — no idea what they are doing and no margin of error.

The other aspect the scared hell out of me was that my “major” talent was being able to control people. Nothing subtle about this — at school there was a kid who sat in front of me who used to turn around to copy my answers.

I could, and did, “hold” him. Even the teacher yelling at him had no effect; then the teacher would snap: “Peter!”

I’d “release” the kid, and he would turn and face forward, oblivious of the forgoing commotion.

The effect was much the same as of a person hypnotised — which I studied years later.

How? I don’t know.

I didn’t know when, or to what extent, I was exercising “it”. While some might not be dismayed by this, a basic belief of mine is that people have the ability to, and ought to, exercise free will.

I have spent my life opposing people who were prepared to oppress other people, so I wanted no part of this.

The Nature Of

It's interesting, Peter, that you refer to what can only be described as an ability to "possess" people and yet shy away from discussing the ethics. The ability to superimpose your mandates on the minds of others is surely not one to be taken lightly.

A question: do you need to be physically close to someone to hold their mind?

Personally I have to resort to chicanery/psychology to have such an influence. Give me a lighting desk five minutes before intermission and I can double the drink sales. Had one interesting night, a wedding, where I kept a very drunken groom in time on his bongo by flashing a tempo in his eyes ... every time I stopped his rhythm went to pieces.

Music, smiles, the right word at the right time, completing other people's sentences less often than you are able to (but enough to show that you can), educating a chef on how his state of mind spreads across an eatery ... such devices are useful aids.

Any "mind power" stuff I possess generally only gets triggered in a state of emergency, and that usually relates to being able to be at the right place at the right time to try to help, and is generally without any personal control. An example from not long ago was when my mother fell down some stairs at the front of her house. I had been sprinting from the back yard, unfortunately not in time to catch her but at least able to apply first aid from the instant it was needed. This is always the problem. I'd rather be able to avert incidents than pick up the pieces ... a few more seconds, please!

At the telepathy end of things, I think I'm at the other end to you, more of a receiver than a transmitter. It's why, apart from my daughter, I prefer to live alone, away from other people's heads. And where do I spend so much of that time?

I'm a firm believer that timelines can be changed, and sometimes by small amounts of coercion. In the same way that from onstage you can make thousands of people wave in time with you, I think that small combinations of people can alter what was perceived as inevitability.

It's not surprising that you find yourself attracting wild talents. These people probably sense in you the level of control that they aspire to for themselves.

I don't know what we do about it, but somehow I think that some community evaluation, education and discipline are going to be needed to help people come to terms with abilities they can't control. That's why I play "games" with my daughter. The trouble is that because she can already do things at levels way beyond mine all I can do is provide guidance, would love to find her a teacher.

Ah well, maybe in time. I'm hopeful that the level of communication that technology gives us is a precursor (and perhaps a framework-creator) for much more mind-to-mind communication, if it doesn't make it redundant.

Sometimes I think that churches were created to stop us from doing bad things with our minds. There we are, though, back to what is regarded as good and bad, and what might not necessarily be either.

To Peter

Didnt take you the wrong way. Will respond further tomorrow... toothache giving me shits. Made it onstage to accept 2nd AHA Best SA Venue award in two years though.  Now trying to sleep.

Panadol and pain make for peculiar dreams, I must say.  Must write them down.


Graffiti, Sydney's Glebe, years ago:

Time is just nature's way of stopping everything from happening at once.

Presumptuousness and bullshit

Catherine Deveny says it well with her:

I care that the invisible electric fences that are wired in the minds of children brainwashed by religion are difficult to remove.

That is a problem. It is not exclusively one of religion, though. The secular electric fences that are wired into the minds of children are just as damaging as the religious ones.

Stephen F. Robert, whoever he is, doesn't sum it up for me with his:

We are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

Most people are drawn to seek reasons for their being beyond the pointlessness of existence apparently accepted by Deveny. That seems to be wired into the human brain by nature. And not all who refuse to religiously deny the existence of any God dismiss the beliefs of people who are brought up to believe in some other God. Robert is talking about himself, not believers in Gods.


This means "hidden", as far as I'm concerned, but I see that Peter Jensen uses it as a synonym for "evil". Yes, Peter Hindrup, I am not surprised that churches et al acknowledge these as real phenomena: like you, I am cautious.

I do think that they overlap with natural abilities that we have lost, or denied, and that are now becoming slowly more accepted, particularly as the edges of science can explain them. And the borderline is murky.

Once I was idly chatting with another mum while we watched 2nd class's demonstration of folk dancing. Suddenly 2nd class disappeared, the cement playground, bitumen road, opposite building disappeared, and I was looking at a different landscape running down to the "lagoon", with the conviction in my head "we shouldn't be here." A flash, a moment, a reality.

Today I visited "ErinEarth". Full of native plants – which I really don't care for on the whole, but including many I had never seen that were native to this area. I had a great feeling of harmony, and by that I mean that my body felt it: it was physical rather than mental. Reminded me of watching 2nd class folk dancing.

But it also reminded me of how the physical affects us. Who doesn't feel a certain awe and grandeur in a great cathedral? Does it influence us whether our ceilings are 9, 10 or 14 ft high? Or whether our rooms are proportioned to the golden mean? Are our beautiful, largely English style, gardens in some way at some dissonance to "fringe" Australians? I think that these are among the fringe areas that science could possibly explore.

Studied but not discussed

F Kendall, either the Roman Catholic Church or the Rosicrucians have the largest occult library in the world. I can no longer remember which way around it is. Certainly the Catholic Church has especially trained priests (??) whose specialty lies in this area.

It is possible to talk to these people, or it used to be, but this has nothing to do with church services and the like.

There are other organisations/groups which are less formal, who believe that it is better that people with talent are trained, as opposed to letting them wander around with no knowledge and no control.

Them ol' time religions

Baptised by a Rev, not a Fr, Jenny Hume, and seems to have drawn the ire of the Presbyterian, Wesleyan and Congregationalists, who all thought that he was possessed by the devil; so, no mention of Catholics there (Wikipedia). Although there is no doubt that they would have reacted the same way.

None of the mainstream western churches seem to care for this kind of thing at all.

Talents: the best I have known

1975 I think, had landed in London two days earlier when I found myself at the door of a psychic. As I raised my hand to knock he opened the door. Nice touch.

One of those slightly rounded, slightly overweight people, early to mid forties.

Through into his kitchen, sitting at the kitchen table, him with a window behind him, cigarette in one hand, he asked if I had anything that I wore regularly. I gave him my watch.

He asked three questions, and said: “if you had lied to me I would not have read for you.”

Huh?! I’m paying him three quid to read for me and he is saying wouldn’t have read for me!

Besides, it was usually me who after a few minutes would say: “forget it”, and walk out. Simply indicating that they had at best limited talent.

This guy then rattled off a few items, way in the past and then said: “you lived overlooking water”.


“I’m not asking, I’m telling”.


“High up, church along on the left”.

That jogged me.

“Would you make that a monastery?”

His eyes went funny and he said “yes.”

Oriental Bay, over 20 years ago.”

“I didn’t say when.”

He then described the place where I was working, named the bloke who owned the business and talked about another contractor in the shop and went onto a murder that was actually associated with friends of his.

When he couldn’t a name it would be, Tony, perhaps Toby, type of identification.

I walked out gutted.

Subsequently I took him to dinner. He had been a making a reasonable living as a club entertainer, no contact with, nor any interest in “this type of thing”. Woke one morning with a full blown talent.

Had no friends as, if he thought of them, he immediately knew what they were doing, and this often enough crossed his moral code, and he had been silly enough to tell his friends about the extent of his new found talent. Not surprisingly they cut contact.

I told him that if he went to the right people they could teach him to control the talent. It is not comfortable for other mediums having a powerful, uncontrolled talent around.

I have known more than a few talents in my time, but nothing approaching this man.

Often enough I have been told by people with some talent, or an interest in this type of talent when I have refused to take part in whatever it was that they intended to try, that: “You do not believe in any of this, do you?”

They seldom understand my answer. “I do, absolutely and I have far too much respect for it to play.”

Time is nothing

Richard Tonkin: "Daughter proposed to me the other day the concept that past, present and future were occurring simultaneously."

This concept is not new; even the ancient Chinese and Australian Aborigines shared this idea.

Maybe time is nothing, nothing at all except a convenient manmade calibration to gauge change.

Or maybe we just have time to stop everything happening at once.

Time for a drink I think; now I know why we have time.


I clearly remember the moment standing at the traffic lights as the ambulance went by, and laughing at myself as I released my crossed fingers.  How many years had it taken for me to feel safe enough not to follow this silly ritual that I had done since childhood?

Within a few months, both my mother and husband, in good health at that time, had suddenly died.

Guess who always crosses her fingers now?

Do I think that it was a coincidence?  Of course it was....but, I still cross my fingers.  What do I know?

walking away

Richard, although I suspect that there is much that science will explain, and that thereby it will all become more accepted, cultivated and widely spread, I also think that there is an area of related phenomena which lies beyond nature.

Years ago, our anthropology lecturer, newly returned from a long time in PNG, said to the room: "OK, you won't believe me, but you need to know. I've seen magic, and most anthrops who have worked there have as well. Yes, we've seen the sleight of hand, the ingenious tricks, but we've seen real magic as well." He then went on to distinguish between white and black magic. And black magic is not good.

Now this sort of thing connects in my mind with the notion of forces of evil - a word not to be used lightly. I've heard/read a couple of accounts by good, rational-sounding men who have been in situations where what they describe as "the presence of evil" was palpable. Not the stuff of badness, wickedness, cruelty, your Pol Pots etc, but like an unseen powerful force of a total depravity.

Now, I can't find links to such. However, I understand that the churches' objection to psychic phenomena, and why they refer to them as "occult", is because of the likelihood or possibility of connecting with such. Peter Jensen Anglican archbishop of Sydney, did his doctoral thesis on this area in history, and is a firm believer in such, although he won't, as far as I know, talk about it, except to say: It's all true. Keep away.

Psychics and fraudulent psychics had a small blaze of glory and defamation in Victorian times. Maybe Jenny Hume knows something of this, because I understand that perhaps the most famous of these was possibly a relation of hers. Among his demonstrations was, on one occasion, floating out an upper storey window and floating back in a floor below. Could be handy, I suppose, although I have no use for it myself.

So, I am saying that there are two related areas, both of which our society has denied. One is such as you demonstrate. The other is perhaps connecting with powerful supranatural forces that we have little understanding of. I don't want to go there.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
© 2005-2011, Webdiary Pty Ltd
Disclaimer: This site is home to many debates, and the views expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the site editors.
Contributors submit comments on their own responsibility: if you believe that a comment is incorrect or offensive in any way,
please submit a comment to that effect and we will make corrections or deletions as necessary.
Margo Kingston Photo © Elaine Campaner

Recent Comments

David Roffey: {whimper} in Not with a bang ... 12 weeks 6 days ago
Jenny Hume: So long mate in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 7 hours ago
Fiona Reynolds: Reds (under beds?) in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 2 days ago
Justin Obodie: Why not, with a bang? in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 2 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Dear Albatross in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 2 days ago
Michael Talbot-Wilson: Good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 2 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Goodnight and good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 3 days ago
Margo Kingston: bye, babe in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 8 hours ago