Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rock solid miracles

Statues are the source of more wondrous occurrences these days than one of those thousand-dollar weekend workshops where personal-growth addicts sit around bobbleheading while some professional self-promoter teaches them how to manifest "miracles." And one of the good things about a statue-related miracle is that you don’t have to pay a thousand bucks to experience it.* You don’t even have to do any manifesting; the statue does that for you. All you have to do is see, and believe.

Statues have always had a special place in the hearts and souls of believers, of course, but today’s statues seem to be more active in the miracle biz than ever before. Maybe it’s because of the great cosmic changes that are afoot, such as that "galactic shift" I’ve been hearing so much about lately. I’d always thought a galactic shift was a simple little dress to wear at cocktail parties in outer space, but it turns out I was wrong. Even after receiving many important emails that mention the galactic shift, I am still not quite certain what it is, but I do know it is creating a profound spiritual change in the human race. So it only makes sense that it would produce a stir in our statuary as well.

Other everyday objects besides statues are being mystically affected as well, but I’d wager a bet that in the past few years statues have produced a greater number of miracles than all of the headline-making puddles, porch lights and pastries put together. And then there's the matter of provability. A wavering image of the Blessed Virgin in a porch light, or a cinnamon bun shaped like the face of Mother Teresa, are always open to interpretation. That could be Angelina Jolie’s image in the porch light, or some toothless old Italian guy’s mug on the bun. But with statues, you have a much more solid foundation, miracle-wise.

The truth is that most statues (as well as their more utilitarian cousins, mannequins, and even many dolls and certain figurines) are sentient beings and always have been. But now that the shift is upon us, more of them than ever are coming forth with spiritual messages to aid humanity. (By the way, Dr. Cass Ting, a renowned intuitive counselor and statue communications expert I spoke to, informed me that most statues now prefer to be called "inanimate citizens" or "motion-challenged individuals." The Statue of Liberty, for example, is now to be referred to as the Inanimate Citizen of Liberty. I just thought you'd want to know.) Whatever you choose to call them, those inanimates are delivering the goods. You’ve got your weeping Marys, bleeding Jesuses, bleeding Marys, weeping Jesuses, belching Elvises, and all manner of statuary that sweat, drool, dribble, or shake, rattle, and roll. Some smile, some wink, some glow when there’s no obvious source of light, and some have even been known to move of their own accord.

And some haven’t even done anything yet, but people have such high hopes for them that they’re automatically deemed miracle statues nonetheless. Take that new monument of Pope John Paul II, erected in the late pontiff’s home town of Wadowice, Poland. Pilgrims are coming in droves to the statue because they believe the water that flows over its base has special healing properties. They’re splashing it all over themselves and their kids, washing their hair with it, brushing their teeth with it, collecting it in bottles, and taking it home to keep as a relic or to put on eBay. And they are doing this despite the fact that the Catholic Church hasn’t even declared it to be Holy Water. That doesn’t matter to the pilgrims; the statue has been a shrine ever since it was unveiled at the end of June. As one pilgrim put it, "If the water comes from the papal monument, it is holy to us."

Actually, the water comes from a well in the town’s main square that dates back at least to the sixteenth century. The parish priest at the Wadowice basilica admits that no one has told the people that the dead pope water is miraculous (memo to self: drop a line to Dave Barry mentioning that "Dead Pope Water" would make a great name for a rock band). But, adds the priest, "nothing is impossible for believers, and if this water evokes faith, then great things might happen." Great things might happen? Hey, that’s good enough for me.

Not knowing the fine points of Catholic theology, I can’t say if this statue fixation is an example of the mortal sin of idolatry or not, but I'm thinking it isn't, or that priest would probably have been pretty upset about it.

Besides, Holy Water or not, at least the pope statue gives the people something to take home with them, unlike the miraculous statues of the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesha in India. These pachydermic inanimates aren’t givers; they’re takers from the word go. Specifically, they are sopping up the entire milk supply of India. This first happened on a wide scale in 1995, and now it’s happening again. One believer reports, "I put a milk-filled spoon to Ganesha's mouth and he drank it." This dude was one of the innumerable devotees who carried milk in glasses and pitchers to various temples in northern India that have Ganesha statues. A priest at one temple confirmed, "It is a miracle."

While some wet blankets have tried to convince people that the milk-guzzling is the result of scientifically explainable phenomena such as surface tension, which pulls the liquid toward the statues, believers know better.

I’m kind of confused about who started this latest drinking-statue frenzy, but reports indicate it began when a group of Muslims gathered at Mahim Bay in Bombay to drink "sweet water." Apparently they believed it was miracle water of some sort because it tasted much less salty than usual. Some party-pooper scientists stepped in and said that recent heavy rains had lowered the salinity of the water, and people were urged not to drink from the bay, since the water was reportedly contaminated by raw sewage and industrial waste. According to the report linked to above, "Nearly two days later, on Sunday evening, milk was offered to a statue in the town of Bareilly, also in Uttar Pradesh, and the idol absorbed the liquid."

Because that last sentence was written in the passive voice, it is not clear to me who did the offering, but I am assuming it was those sweet-water-drinking Muslims. Apparently they decided to heed the health warnings, and, in desperate search of a miracle that wasn't potentially fatal, they traipsed over to a nearby Ganesha statue to offer it some milk. (In case you are wondering why Muslims would be messing around with a Hindu god, Ganesha welcomes followers of all faiths.) The statue apparently drank the milk, and that got the Muslims excited, and word spread. Before long crowds were swarming in temples in dozens of cities, just as they’d done during the great Ganesha milk riots of 1995. During the ’95 incident, some parts of India had actually faced a milk shortage, and Ganeshas everywhere were sporting milk moustaches. There are indications this could happen again.

The watery pope and the milky elephant god are just two of many examples of miracles surrounding the inanimates among us. Even I have experienced wondrous things in the presence of our motion-challenged brethren. There is, for example, The Miracle of the Big Boy. Over the years, many seekers have had mystical Big Boy experiences, and mine happened on a sunny Sunday afternoon in May a few years ago. The Reverend Ron and I were making one of our customary pilgrimages through the streets of the Bayou City when we came upon a small shop, where we beheld a smiling chubby-cheeked inanimate, decked out in familiar red-and-white checkered suspenders and holding aloft a huge hamburger. We could not tell what sect he was from; he might have been a Bob’s, or he might have been a Kip’s, or a Shoney’s, or a Frisch’s. The important thing was that he was a Big Boy, though admittedly one of the littler Big Boys, and I knew I had to pay homage to him. The Rev stopped the car and we got out in silence. Deferentially, knowing I was in the presence of something holy, I approached the Big Boy and placed my hand upon the pointy part of his hairdo. And then, just as Reverend Ron was capturing the moment on digicam, the Big Boy spoke to me.

Out of respect for the wholesome image of this great American icon, I will not repeat what he said to me, but it was really quite naughty. I was shocked, though for the sake of the picture I smiled and pretended everything was okay. But I still blush even today when I recall the Big Boy’s wicked words. Even so, it is clear that this incident was a miracle. And ever since that day, my eyes, mind and heart have been open, and I have witnessed other miracles with inanimates, one of which involved a group of naked mannequins, some headless Barbie dolls and a local church’s Nativity scene. Some have said that particular miracle was the work of the devil. But I blame it on the galactic shift.

PS added February 2010: Big Boy in the news once again: a dastardly crime, or a Christmas miracle? (No, I had nothing to do with it. I've never been to Ohio that I recall.)

* Another good thing about statues is that if they’re outdoors, they’re often covered with pigeon crap, but at least you can tell right away that it’s crap, and it never pretends to be anything else but crap. And it’s free.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Flipper is out to get us

As science advances, it is getting more and more difficult to know what to believe. I’m not just talking about that recent astronomy debacle that resulted in Pluto being stripped of its planethood; the problem exists throughout all areas of science – astronomy, physics, medicine, biology, metaphysics, cryptozoology, etc. Researchers are constantly coming up with new information about a given subject, while at the same time other researchers are uncovering totally contradictory information about the same subject.

Dolphins are a case in point. Lots of people really love dolphins, and many believe that the dolphins love them right back. In fact, some of the most respected metaphysical researchers working today believe that dolphins were sent to this planet for the sole purpose of helping us humans evolve spiritually. I have to admit there’s quite a body of credible evidence to back them up.

For example, I received an email the other day offering me a gift directly from the dolphins. At least that is what it said on the subject line. The gift being offered was something called "KorManu," described as "A Revealed Art of Transformation." Actually, it wasn’t a gift in the classical sense, since if I’d chosen to accept it, it would have set me back $125.00 USD or more. But I was willing to overlook this seeming inconsistency because the information was so intriguing.

"Today," intoned the email, "you step through a gateway of your own choice. Not many individuals have moved through this sacred gateway of self-knowledge and understanding. This sacred passage is causal and will be a catalyst for your highest attainment as well as for the healing of others. By accepting this energy you vow to use all knowledge forthcoming in only love. Know that this method is from the stars and is used extensively throughout the various civilizations throughout the cosmos."

Despite the subject line, this missive was signed not by the dolphins but by The Great White Brotherhood. However, I think the GWB is working for the dolphins, or vice versa; I am not quite sure. On the other hand, it could be that this particular Great White Brotherhood is some sort of shark union, rather than the more familiar consortium of Ascended Masters and Illuminati. But since the dolphins are involved, I'm sure it's all on the up-and-up.

Actually, when I receive these types of emails I am never entirely sure about who’s writing what and who’s doing whom, since the writers so often use the passive voice and are otherwise cryptic. It seems that in these emails, things are always being "revealed" or "received" or "given" or "manifested," but they are rarely clear about just who is doing the revealing or receiving or giving or manifesting.

But never mind that. I wanted to find out more about this "KorManu" gift that the dolphins were offering to sell me, and I was in luck, for the very next paragraph offered this helpful explanation:

KorManu means ‘core creation’ or ‘first work’ and embodies a multi-dimensional model of energy and thought. KorManu was originally received through two Reiki Masters in the Pacific Northwest of the United States in 1993 from The Great White Brotherhood on the inner planes. It is ancient and futuristic and has been birthed in the language of the dolphins. This system of energy work has a laser like quality which is dramatic, intelligent, powerful and creative. It has comes to us from the fourteenth dimension which is the full circle of past, present and future. KorManu assists in opening the "gates within".

This is a two step process. Individuals who receive these attunements will be inspired by Spirit in the moment, and will bring through many other symbols and methods of moving Light. The actual time requirement for this process is minimal. The results are profound.

All those interested in facilitating greater healing energies in their bodies and in their healing services to others and the Earth are welcome to receive KorManu. For more information on this dynamic process, please contact Ariel at trinityariel@verizon.net.

The message ended with this invocation: "Selamut Gajun!! Selamat Ja!!" This, the writer explained, is Sirian for "Be one!! Be Joy!!" Not "Syrian," mind you, but "Sirian." I wasn’t sure if this is the language spoken on Sirius, the Dog Star, or the language spoken by the Sirenians, aka the manatees and dugongs. But it doesn’t matter; I am always open to learning a new foreign language.

I studied the message with great care. I was particularly concerned with that bit about the fourteenth dimension. As I’ve previously noted, I have enough trouble making my way in three or four dimensions; the fourteenth dimension is almost too much for me to even think about. But if the dolphins went to all that trouble to pop up into the fourteenth dimension just to shop for a gift for me, I owed it to them to at least see what they had to offer. So I went to the Dolphin Energies website mentioned in the email, and learned more about who the dolphins really are:

Dolphins are master healers and keepers of the light upon planet earth. They are highly evolved omni-dimensional beings who live in the oneness. Their role is similar to that of the angelic kingdom. They are here to watch over us, to help us and support us, and to guide us on our remembrance to radiant wholeness. Their love for humanity is profound. Like the angels, the dolphins' influence transcends time, space and physicality. It is not necessary to be in their physical presence to be healed by them and to receive their gifts. Now, more than ever before, humanity as a whole is ready and willing to receive the profound gifts the dolphins have to share.

As it turns out, dolphins are also Reiki practitioners. Coincidentally, it was Reiki practitioners who first received the teachings of KorManu. Naturally, these Reiki folk were on the West Coast of the US, which, it seems, is the place where most of the truly edgy ideas get revealed and manifested. There is even a Dolphin Reiki Meditation on the Dolphin Energies web site, and it’s a simple meditation anyone can do. Here are some highlights:

Breathing in dolphin love to body, mind and soul.. Envision yourself by a body of water...A glowing sun shines down on the calm water. In the distance you see dolphins. You hear their sounds...They call to you.

Slowly you enter the water allowing yourself to be submerged in the energies...Ahead of you the dolphins wait...they have been waiting for you along time…hearing your call, and welcome you. Beckoning you onward...You swim forward until you are close to them...They greet and smile, and watch you warmly come to them...surrounding you in love and everlasting peace...Somewhere in your soul there is recognition of their peace and connectedness, sounds, energies, thoughts. They have come to take you on a spiritual journey through the gateways of the physical world to the higher realms...Swim with them…

So I was doing the meditation, and just as I found myself swimming in peace and joy and light, surrounded by smiling cetaceans, and well on my way to my own imagined paradise, I was rudely jolted back to the third dimension by the sound of the phone ringing. I picked it up, and there on the other end, by spooky coincidence, was a well-known dolphin expert. He was returning a call I’d placed earlier, when I first began researching this piece. Intuitively I knew that any spiritual, feel-good notions I’d had about dolphins were about to be shattered.

The expert in question was Dr. Dell Finnaday, Ph.D., a Marine Mammal Biologist at Southern California University of Sciolism. The controversial Dr. Finnaday claims to have decoded the language of dolphins and whales and to have come closer than any human ever has to getting inside the cetacean mind.

"All of my research on dolphins," Dr. Finnaday told me, "reveals that they don't actually like humans very much. As a matter of fact, they hate us. Further, my research teams have uncovered clear evidence that dolphins’ smiles are phony.

"Put yourself in the dolphins' place and you can understand what I'm talking about. You've probably experienced the ordeal of unexpected, uninvited guests showing up at your door. You put a big phony smile on your face, don't you? Well, that's just what dolphins are doing when we show up uninvited at their ‘homes.’ They really do wish we would just stay the heck out of their waters."

Why, then, hasn’t this information been made available through all the research by the late Dr. John Lilly, or even by the Dolphin Hyper-Resonance movement? "Look, everybody knows Dr. Lilly was floating in isolation tanks and taking some really good drugs when he did that dolphin research," said Dr. Finnaday. "’Nuff said, all right? And as for Dolphin Hyper-Resonance; well, let’s see...that all started with a piece of machinery rigged up by some basement hobbyist named Bob in Colorado. Oh, I suppose it’s possible his Molecular Emission Scammer is picking up something besides a bunch of suckers willing to part with big bucks in order to tune into ‘universal love’...but between you and me, I think Bob has spent just a little too much time in his basement."

Dr. Finnaday paused and then continued, "Many dolphins have communicated to me that they particularly hate those organized ‘dolphin swims’ – you know, when a bunch of earnest, affluent, environmentally correct humans get together and decide they want to swim with the dolphins. Naturally, the dolphins are too polite to protest. But the stress of forced politeness does eventually take a toll, and hundreds of dolphins end up taking their own lives in tuna fishermen's nets – an option that is increasingly being denied to them, by the way."

There's more bad news, according to Dr. Finnaday. "Whales, for the most part, don't like us any better than dolphins do," he said. "Incidentally, my researchers have finally solved the mystery of why whales beach themselves. Virtually every beached whale we've talked to is actually trying to commit suicide, and the whales are very irate over the fact that whenever one of them tries to end his or her life with dignity, the act is interrupted by hordes of California compassion fascists who swarm to the beach intent on ‘rescue.’ A right whale communicated to me recently, ‘Where's that Dr. Kevorkian fellow when we need him?’"

The tragedy of cetacean existence, Dr. Finnaday explained, is that whales and dolphins are intelligent enough to know they are miserable and to know whose fault it is, but inadequately equipped to do anything about it. And all of their efforts to escape their misery are stymied by humans. "In the end," said Dr. Finnaday, "the only certainty is this: If dolphins and whales ever figure out how to get out of the ocean, and if they ever develop limbs and opposable thumbs and advanced weaponry...we humans had better watch the hell out."

So who are we to believe – the Reiki dudes or Dr. Finnaday? Do those "minds in the waters" love us or loathe us? I’m sure there will be even more illuminating and contradictory research in the years to come. Meanwhile, just to be on the safe side, I’d stay out of the oceans if I were you. If the dolphins don’t get you, the Great Whites will. It might be best to stay away from rivers as well; I hear that otters are getting pretty aggressive these days too. We might as well face it: nature is out to get us.

Once again, and with apologies to those who have read the work in question, I have borrowed from Cosmic Relief. Although the first part of this post was from a real email I recently received, Dr. Dell Finnaday and his misanthropic cetaceans are my own invention. But frankly, I think my stuff is closer to the actual truth than the la-la stuff.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Adios, Pluto

Update: Well, as you probably know, despite all of the whining and dining and arguing in Paris last week, Pluto has lost out. Not only has it been demoted from the planetary status enjoyed by the eight "classical" planets, but its longtime companion Charon, a planetary hopeful, retains its own lowly rank as just another moon. Under the new definition of "planet" that the space geeks hammered out in Prague this week, a planet has to "clear the neighborhood" around its orbit. Pluto, alas, is automatically disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune’s. So it is now considered a "dwarf planet," along with Xena (geek name 2003 UB313) and the asteroid Ceres, which was a planet in the 1800s before it got demoted. I’m thinking maybe Ceres and Pluto ought to file a class-action suit against the folks who made this decision. I’m sure they can get Xena and Charon to join in, just on principle. I bet an enterprising attorney would take it on, since this has the potential to be big-bucks litigation. Damages alone would be astronomical.

Lawsuit or not, I really do wish these people would make up their minds. Now that Pluto is no longer considered a planet, the astrology world is truly going to be shaken. That is, the classic Western astrology world is gonna be all shook up. However, there’s still Vedic astrology, and my offer still stands for the Vedic astrology upgrade mentioned in my August 18 post. But you must act now.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Enlightenment: just a mouse click away

Why are we here? That is the question that has baffled and intrigued humanity for millennia. I don’t know why this remains such a puzzler for so many folks when the answer is so very obvious. I can see how PTE (pre-technology era) humans might have been a little overwhelmed by the question of purpose, but there is really no excuse for such confusion today. Marketing and advertising scientists figured out years ago why we are on this material plane: to buy stuff. Internet marketing scientists went one step further when they revealed that our true purpose in life is to buy stuff online. (Viral marketing scientists went even further when they discovered that the true calling of the most highly evolved souls among us is to persuade other people to buy stuff online.) We may think of ourselves as teachers or healers or artists, parents or friends or humanitarians, followers of one God or many. And we may very well be one of more of these things – but we are, above all, consumers. Those of us who are truly evolved are cyberconsumers.

That is our highest calling.

Yet for some people this simply isn’t enough. Ignoring the plethora of genuinely amazing products available today, and the easy new ways to buy these products, they continue to focus instead on abstract notions such as "fulfillment," "meaning," "healing," "making a difference," and even "enlightenment." If you are one of these malcontents, I feel your pain. Well, not really (I’m a narcissist after all). But I do have some good news for you. Now it is finally possible to get fulfilled, healed, enlightened, etc. – and even to make a difference,* if that’s what blows your skirt up – just by buying stuff. The trick is knowing what to buy, and naturally, I can help. Here are just a very few of the hundreds of remarkable products that have come across my cyberdesk over the past couple of weeks alone.

Ascend up
If the face in your mirror is looking a little more age-enhanced than you would like, you have several options. You could of course try cosmetic surgery, Botox ®, dermabrasion or any number of expensive creams or lotions. The problem with these methods is that they only work on the surface; they do not work at Soul level. That’s why you need an Alchemical Ascension Cream – and you are in luck, because Ascended Master Saint Germain is making a limited-time offer of his incredible TransformEssence Rejuvenating Skin Nutrition Cream. Troika Saint Germain, his earthly manifester and sales rep, says that this cream was the first product Saint Germain asked her to manifest. "It is," she assures us, "the Cornerstone of His products. He brought it forth as an Ascension Tool!"

What does TransformEssence do that other creams, or more radical methods such as surgery, don’t do? According to Troika, "This remarkable cream heals and restores skin to health and youthful vitality while raising one’s frequency and vibration to assist with Ascension. Organic botanicals, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other valuable ingredients combine with 16 sacred essential oils, gem elixirs, ORMUS, Chinese medicinal herbs and mystical Alchemy to balance and open the crown and heart chakras along with raising your vibration."

Not only will TransformEssence make you look younger, but, says Troika, "It will also help to break the tightly held collective consciousness thought patterns about aging. It is a necessary step for us to change those thought forms in order to claim and achieve physical rejuvenation and immortality right now." She adds, "Please read the article, A NEW WAVE OF ALCHEMY, located on my website for further understanding of why Saint Germain wanted this extraordinary skin cream produced."

I haven’t tried the stuff myself, but if you need proof that this cream works, you need only look at a picture of Saint Germain (see my August 4 post). This fellow is hundreds of years old, yet it’s plain to see he has the skin of a teenager. (Okay, a sort of blue-looking teenager in this particular picture, but that’s just the light on this blog.) "You owe it to yourself to try TransformEssence as it is quite amazing!" says Troika. Indeed, if you’re going to Ascend, you might as well look good doing it. And best of all, the Cream is only $30.00 for a half-ounce jar, or $85.00 for two ounces.

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Hydrate this, baby!
Water is hot these days. Well, so is everything else, what with global warming and a record number of baby-boomer women experiencing personal heat waves, but water is hot in a mystical sense too. There have been several recent books and auxiliary materials about water and the wonderful lessons it can teach us. But what about the water you drink? You could buy the most expensive, exclusive bottled waters in the world, but more than likely they still wouldn’t be transformed waters. So you wouldn’t be receiving the full complement of physical and spiritual benefits from guzzling your daily H2O. And what about the water you bathe in? Are you really getting the full benefits of soaking in that stuff that comes from your faucet? You aren’t unless your water has been transformed via secret scientific technology that only a few people can understand.

Fortunately, you don’t have to understand this technology to enjoy its benefits. Even more fortunately, water transformation is now easily available from several sources, including the GlobalLight Network, hawkers of "Products For Conscious Living." For example, there is the Quantum Age Calming Wand, a "Stirwand" described as "pocket-sized innovative water technology to maximize your hydration potential and much more." This Stirwand may look like a cross between a tampon and a Kegel exerciser, but it is actually an amazing high-tech device. "The Stirwand," according to the website, "uses the noninvasive resonance of naturally occurring high matrix minerals to get the most out of your water. The Stirwand is the size of a pen, lasts a lifetime, never wears out. Enjoy the blend of the CALMING WAND for personal quiet times like reading, meditation. Place a Calming Wand in the tub for bathing or soaking."

The Stirwand also helps you work on your emotional and spiritual issues. One satisfied customer wrote, "After the initial intoxicating effect of the Calming Wand on my nervous system, I have observed that if you have issues, the frequency from the Calming Wand doesn’t allow the issues to be stored away, rather they are forced up to the surface to be dealt with…"

Another customer wrote, "The wands are amazing! I wouldn't be apart from them. I felt compelled to place the Calming Wand down my bra over my heart chakra as soon as I got into the car. I would say it took until I turned the car around before I felt the effects of the Calming Wand (20 seconds). As I drove home, the feeling of deep relaxation settled over me…"

Also available are the Quantum Age Drinking Water Wand, which transforms your drinking water; the Quantum Age Flavor Wand, which brings out the flavors in all of your favorite foods and beverages; and even the Quantum Age Garden Wand, which does magical things to your green growing things. Although all of these wands look identical to the untrained eye, they perform distinct functions. So if you really want to get the most out of your soaking, buy all four. They’re only $100.00 each.

And there’s more good news: If the Calming Wand, Drinking Water Wand, Flavor Wand and Garden Wand aren’t enough for you, and you long to "enjoy the advantages of Quantum Age Water technology as part of your water supply," you can buy the Quantum Age Water Tube for only $1,295.00. This is a 17-inch copper pipe, threaded at both ends with 3/4" copper fittings, and ready for installation. For some reason there are no customer reviews of this product yet, but I’ll keep an eye open and let you know if something comes in.

From the same good people, you can, for a mere $16.50 each, also buy Cosmic Energy Stones, which utilize "Crystal laminar technology" to turn your water into Cosmic Water. The stones themselves were manufactured using a form of alchemy. Cosmic Water, suggest the sellers, could very well be "most like the waters of the Fountain of Youth."

There is real science behind these products, according to an email I received from the GlobalLight folks. (This info doesn’t seem to be on their website, so you’ll just have to trust me.) Their Stirwands, for example, restore "a special balance needed in water so that it can hydrate and oxygenate cell membranes to their fullest potential, by making the energy and contents of the water molecule fully available to the cell's aquaporins [water channels found in proteins]. Stirwand technology actually drops the specific gravity of the water below the threshold that allows single water molecules to pass through the cell membranes." They even cite the Nobel Prize winner who discovered aquaporins.

Hey, that’s good enough for me.

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Jewelry that does your thinking for you

At the risk of sounding as if I am betraying my gender, I will confess right now that I don’t much care for jewelry and rarely wear even so much as a watch. (I don’t like shoes either. Go figure.) But many women – and an increasing number of men, I’ve noticed – put a great deal of stock in adorning themselves with bright shiny objects. I say, if you’re going to wear jewelry, why not wear "conscious jewelry?"

For that, Dear Ones, you need only look as far as Bali. Or, actually, as far as Santa Monica, California, where an artist, mystic and jewelry designer now known as Shankari has her showroom. Shankari, according to one of the web sites that offers her products for sale, "designs beautiful conscious jewelry with the intent to empower the wearer, heal energetic imbalances, release fear and strengthen the spirit.:

Shankari’s life is a pretty amazing story in and of itself, according to her website.

Following her inner guidance, Shankari came to Bali from Sydney, Australia, a single parent with four small children, knowing no one, with no money, no safety and no language. In twelve short years, she has become the wife of a Prince and lives in a palace by the sea on the West Coast of Bali. She is the owner and architect of an International Retreat Center there, designer and producer of a highly acclaimed line of fine jewelry, an artist and an international teacher…

Given her name by Swami Mukananda while studying the teachings of the Siddha Masters, devotional yoga and chanting, Shankari draws upon her own training as a healer and mystic to infuse each of her beautiful and unique pieces with the intention to empower the individual, heal energetic imbalances, release fear and strengthen the spirit. The Sanskrit translation of her name is the balance of male and female energies and it is that perfection of balance that she strives for in every piece of her jewelry.

And if that’s not enough to sell you on her products, here’s the clincher: She’s also a jeweler to the stars. Yes, Hilary Duff and many other Hollywood luminaries wear her stuff.

And just how does her jewelry work? Shankari explains:

My "Tools of Light," loosely called "Shankari’s jewelry," work all by themselves...

They are actually self-propelled etheric Cleansers and Realignment experts from another dimension. I am an alchemist. Within my work, there are thousands of pieces of ancient encoded information that translate into my pieces by osmosis, not through conscious intellectual instruction, but rather through ancient knowing. My pieces have proved to be profoundly active on even the most unconscious client. Simply put, the energies of my jewelry make anyone who wear them feel good, whether they believe in it or not.

This is why they have the power to work on your relatives and friends in a subtle way, realigning them to truth and a new ‘Integrity of Being.’ Of course, the effect of the pieces can also be amplified by the intent of the wearer, but it is not necessary.

The jewelry ranges in price from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Shankari also offers a large line of "sacred objects," including a "Calmness and Light Wand" for the bargain price of $2,780.00. (Unlike the Quantum Wands mentioned above, however, I don't think you're supposed to stick it in water, and certainly not in other things. It's jewel-encrusted and could injure delicate tissues. I think it's just to look at and maybe wave around.) You can also purchase a "Creativity Mirror" for a mere $2,950.00, and a "Calmness and Light Chalice," which can be yours for only $5,850.00. If you really want to impress someone, Shankari offers several one-of-a-kind objects that will run you five figures. Oh, and she also sells art, clothing and even shoes.

* * * * *

You do the Mat
At the end of the day, after you’ve creamed your face, imbibed your Cosmic Water, stirred your Quantum Wands everywhere they need to be stirred, and removed your conscious jewelry, you’re probably ready for a good night’s sleep. Why just sleep, though, when you can heal while you snooze? The Amethyst Bio Mat, described as a "quantum therapeutic Device," will enable you to "experience a quantum magic carpet ride that will assist us in co-creating a New World!" It promotes "Peace, Inner Sanctuary, and Deep Delta States of Relaxation," thus assisting the healing process on many levels. It is also a "Vibrational Tool." I own several vibrational tools myself, but none like this. Matter of fact, they more closely resemble those Quantum Wands...

The Amethyst BioMat employs quantum physics (of course), which the promoters define as "An equation where: 1 + 1 + 1 = Much more than 3 = Infinite Possibilities." By way of explanation, they offer this: "Far Infrared, Negative Ions, and Amethyst have all been individually revered, however, the BioMat combines all three in this quantum equation."

What does it do? Well, among other things, it "supports Life-Force Energy (Chi), immune system, detoxification, blood flow, pain relief, stress and muscle tension reduction, fatigue, and much more." It has a "special function" that "emits Negative Ions and transforms positive ions to negative ions in the human body. This provides strength and energy to the human body and relieves pain."

In addition, it is "filled with the finest Korean Amethyst Crystals, which are powerful energy conductors….This unique innovation in bio technology consists of 17 different layers." And, even though the website carefully explains that statements about the BioMat "have not been evaluated by the FDA," the product is an FDA Licensed Medical Device (2954299). I think that's because, apart from all the quantum stuff, it's sort of like a glorified heating pad.

You’ll be pleased to know that the BioMat comes in several varieties for health professionals and personal home health care. The price is perfectly reasonable, considering that there’s so much healing packed into one little mat; depending upon the size and other specs, it ranges from $1,350.00 to over $3,800.00. You can also get an Amethyst Memory Foam Pillow for only $250.00.

* * * * *

Well, that’s it for our enlightened shopping op this time around. I hope that by reading these words you have been imbued with a deeper sense of your own purpose in life. In the future I will alert you to more new products and services to deepen your sense of purpose even further. Now get out there and buy, buy, Birdie!

* You will almost certainly "make a difference" in the lives of the people who, out of the goodness of their own hearts and a deep desire to serve humanity, are offering these helpful products for sale.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

They didn't planet; it just happened

Scientists are really beginning to get on my nerves. They’re always coming up with new "discoveries" and ideas that jack with my already tenuous notions of an orderly world and Universe. For example, there was that time in the 1990s when a few Danish biology geeks who couldn’t let well enough alone discovered a whole new phylum of animal that lounges about on lobster lips. Not a new species, mind you. A whole new phylum. That’s almost as significant as an entire new addiction or disorder, or a new drug to treat that addiction or disorder. The discovery rocked the entire science world. It sure rocked my world, but in a vaguely disturbing way.

Eventually I got over it. After all, when you’re talking about things that live on lobster lips, at least you’re talking about microscopic life forms. They don’t affect me. Okay, technically they do, since we’re all interconnected on this fragile web of life and all that – but the truth is, these new critters are very little, so I can mostly ignore them. Let the lobsters worry about them.

But when you start messing with the planets, all of which of course revolve around me, you’re heading for real trouble. And messing with my planets is exactly what an influential panel of astronomers, historians and random writers did in Paris earlier this week.

They gathered in Paris to duke it out over which whirling rocks in our neck of the Universe are and aren’t planets. Don’t yawn. This is a pretty serious issue, and these folks have been laboring for more than two years to define the word "planet." Finally, desperate to reach a consensus in order to present a proposal at a meeting of the International Astronomical Union in Prague, they gathered in the City of Light. They argued, whined, wined, dined, fought, worried and lost sleep mulling over the scientific as well as the historical and cultural issues involved in planet-defining. Their real concern was that they wouldn’t reach a consensus.

But – mon Dieu! – unity prevailed. "By the end of a long day, the miracle had happened," wrote Harvard University Astronomer Owen Gingerich, and I assume he was speaking figuratively about the miracle bit. The panel was able to agree on a proposed definition of a planet. A planet, they decided, is an object that orbits a star but isn’t a star itself. It may look like a star and walk like a star, but it ain’t a star. In addition, the object must be large enough that its own gravity pulls it into a nearly spherical shape. Under these new criteria, Dr. Phil almost certainly qualifies as a planet, but I don’t believe his name was mentioned in the panel’s proposal.

Pluto’s name was mentioned, however – the planet, that is, not Mickey’s dog. It seems that poor Pluto was on the verge of getting kicked out of planetdom just for taking so long to get around the sun. I'll grant that 200 Earth-years is a lot of time, and astronomers, like the rest of us, are impatient sorts. Fortunately, after much French wine had been consumed, the conferees decided that Pluto would be allowed to remain in the planet club. Not only that, it got to bring three new friends along – most notably (for Pluto, anyway), Charon, who’s now considered a "companion" to Pluto rather than a moon, but still cannot get the full legal status of a spouse. Also joining the ranks are Ceres, which made a huge asteroid out of itself and has been petitioning for planethood since it was discovered in 1801; and the newest discovery, 2003 UB313, more commonly known as "Xena," which was discovered in 2005.

Now, what bothers me the most about all of this proposed-new-planet stuff is that apparently a whole group of professionals was left out of the decision making process. I am of course speaking of astrologers. Near as I can tell, those arrogant scientists and academics didn’t even stop to think about the potentially devastating consequences their little "proposal" might have on the science of astrology.

In fact it was Xena’s recent discovery that really shook up the astrology-minded. So serious a matter was this that USA Today (or, rather USAWeekend.com) saw fit to cover it in the "Science" section. In a January piece by Rose Darby, we learn that…

...depending on what personality traits Xena rules, the additional planet could add a fiery or sedate element, for instance, to your forecast.

A big factor in determining a planet's disposition is what was happening in the world when it was discovered. "Uranus was found around the time of the American and French revolutions, and it symbolizes freedom and individuality," says Bill Meridian, Wall Street's resident astrologer, who uses the charts to predict stock and financial trends. Similarly, Pluto's discovery in 1930 coincided with the rise of fascism in Europe, and Pluto is associated with transformation, extreme power and corruption.

So Xena could represent a shifting interpretation of gender roles, [Michael Lutin, horoscope writer for Vanity Fair] says. "It could represent changes in human reproduction, such as what's going on in stem cell research and cloning."

A planet's name also plays into its qualities (think: Venus and Mars). The International Astronomical Union, based in Paris, will determine the title of the new discovery. It likely won't be Xena, although it's hard to imagine a more fitting name for a being that challenges gender roles.

And now that Charon and Ceres are on the verge of being let in as well, there's no telling what kind of chaos there’s going to be in the astrology industry.

Furthermore, there was also no word from the conferees in gay Paree on how commercial entities with the name "planet" in their title will be affected. But I imagine the effects will be far-reaching. Right here in Houston, for example, we have Planet Ford, Planet Fish, Planet Planet, and a host of other businesses that define themselves as planets. I’m sure it’s the same in your city as well. On TV and online, there are Animal Planet, Executive Planet, Planet Porn, etc., all of which may very well have to change their names or at least issue legal disclaimers.

But it’s the effect on astrology that is really keeping me up at night, and since I don’t drink I can’t even take comfort in French wine. Fortunately there is good news: the three new planets, as well as the dozens more that might be out there waiting to be discovered and decreed planets, won’t affect Vedic astrology, which is ever so much more sophisticated than the product we’re used to here in the West. Now, before you start hollering about yet another profession that is being outsourced to India, hear me out. The truth is, Vedic astrology has always been more accurate than the Western method, at least according to Vedic astrologers and the hustledorks who have embraced Vedic astrology, and their word is good enough for me.

Apparently the new planets are NBD because Vedic astrology has always ignored planets further away from the sun than Saturn. This means that Uranus, Neptune and Pluto aren't counted in traditional Vedic astrology. Naturally this shook me up when I first learned of it, since, as an Aquarius, I am supposed to be ruled by Uranus.* Talk about a serious identity crisis. But after a while I got used to the idea.

As it happens, though, one of the proposed new planets, Ceres, lies between Mars and Jupiter. However, the scuttlebutt is that Ceres is unlikely to be taken into consideration by most Vedic astrologers – except, of course, for those who believe that the new planets were destined to be discovered and therefore must be used. Or, as one astrologer explains, "If these new discoveries are included in the solar system, I will accommodate them."

In any case, it is clear to me that Vedic astrology is superior in many ways to all other astrology methods. That is why I am prepared to make you an amazing offer. Now, for a limited time only, you can upgrade from classic Western sun-sign astrology to Vedic astrology without affecting your personality traits or changing your birthday! All you need to do is send me many US dollars now, if not sooner. I urge you to take advantage of this offer while the taking is good. You’ll be showing those smug scientists that nothing they do, say or write can affect the greater purpose that astrology, at least of the Vedic variety, explains so much better than their reductionist little disciplines. And in the process, you will be buying many lobster dinners for yours truly.

I’ll save the lips for you.

* Notice I am not making any jokes based on the mispronunciation of "Uranus." IMO, Jerry Seinfeld would have been wise to exercise the same kind of discretion with "Doris."

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I'm from the cosmos, and I'm here to help

Once in a while, even though it goes against my very nature, I feel I have to get serious on this blog. I believe I have an obligation to reach out and give back to the community that has given me so much.

Being a cosmic sort, I naturally get a lot of mail from spiritual seekers everywhere.* Some of these people just have questions about various metaphysical matters; some are deeply troubled. But all of them have a few traits in common – traits such as extraordinarily wide-open minds (I’m talking REALLY wide-open minds); the ability not just to suspend disbelief but to expel it for life; and, of course, the willingness to attend seminars. I cannot turn these people away, especially since I am continually researching the very matters they ask about. The truth is that I am just full of information.** And so I’d like to share a few recent letters with you, along with my replies.

* * * * *

Dear Cosmic Connie:
I had some stains in my aura, so my reader sent me to a specialist who claimed to do aura cleansings. But when I went back to my regular reader afterward, she told me that the stains were still there, and that furthermore the colors in my aura had all run. Help!

Maria Magenta
Ratt Sass, MS

Dear Maria:
Well, I guess that will teach you to screen your specialists a little more carefully in the future. But there’s good news: a correction in your diet could help you. This may seem like an indirect way to address the problem, but you are, after all, what you eat, and your aura is what YOU are. That’s why it’s called an AURA. And in all probability those stains in your aura were food stains, caused by an imprudent diet. Fortunately there’s an amazing little-known modality called Neo-nutrition that just might be able to solve your problem. I wrote about this technology several years ago, and I was pleased to learn that it is finally gaining acceptance among healthcare practitioners. I recently spoke with Ann N. Seffalee, C.Nd., one of the few Certified Neo-dieticians in the US.

"Essentially," Dr. Seffalee told me, "Neo-nutritional theory centers around two principles: nutrimorphics and nutrichromatics. What that means, in a nutshell, is that the shape and color of the food you eat are even more important than the so-called ‘nutritional’ value criteria espoused by the paleo-nutritionists. That may seem odd to you if you consider it with your limited ‘rational’ mind, but your intuition will tell you it is true. Listen to that inner voice!"

I nodded. So far, this was making sense to me, though I suspected that Dr. Seffalee was about to get pretty technical pretty fast. And I was right. "Let’s talk about nutrimorphics, or the study of the shape of food, first," she said. "The core concept in nutrimorphics is nutrigeometrics, which, simply stated, is the application of sacred geometry theory to the food we eat."

Seeing my puzzled look, she smiled and continued, "For example, the sphere is the universal sacred symbol of wholeness and perfection, right?" I nodded. Everybody knows that. "Therefore," she said, "it is only logical that to lead a truly wholistic and spiritual lifestyle, we must include as many spherical foods in our diet as we possibly can. Not only does this encompass foodstuffs that are naturally spherical, such as oranges, cantaloupes, grapes, Brussels sprouts, etc., but it also includes contrived spheroids such as Swedish meatballs, donut holes, matzo balls and even gum balls – provided, of course, that the proper color mix is observed."

My eyes widened. And I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up as she continued, "The ellipse is another important life symbol, which is why it is essential to include chicken eggs and other elliptical food in one’s diet every day, preferably several times a day."

Now it was all beginning to make sense. My hands were shaking from excitement over this new information.

"Of course," Dr. Seffalee said, "I’ve only touched on the surface of nutrigeometric theory here, and I haven't even mentioned the more complexly shaped foods – croissants, corkscrew pasta, chocolate-covered insects, etc. – but I hope that gives some idea of the importance of nutrimorphics in our diet."

Well, she had certainly impressed me. My head was spinning, but there was more, much more. What she said next blew me away.

"The second major aspect of Neo-nutrition," Dr. Seffalee said, "is nutrichromatics, or food color theory. While the old nutritional theory does acknowledge principles such as the importance of eating green or yellow or purple vegetables and fruits, it misses the mark when explaining the reason behind the principle. The truth is that the vibrational properties of a food's color are far more important than its ‘nutrient content.’ That means you can even eat moldy food, provided that the mold is the right color to help correct your own personal imbalances."

My head was reeling with this new information, but I realized that what she said made a lot of sense. And it probably will to you too, or at least to those of you who are color therapists, for you of course understand the interplay of colors and vibrational influences.

"While I really don’t have time here to delve into the complexities of nutrichromatics," Dr. Seffalee continued, "I will state one important principle: the most perfect foods are white foods, because white contains all of the colors in the spectrum. Therefore, be sure your diet includes plenty of milk, white eggs (especially the whites, of course), instant mashed potatoes, white sugar, vanilla ice cream, white gravy, shredded coconut, and of course, white bread. These are the foods approved and endorsed by The Great White Brotherhood."

Dr. Seffalee told me that Neo-nutritionists are also trained in the science of chakra balancing through ingestion of properly colored foods. "And some C.Nd.'s, such as myself, have special certification in food aura therapy," she added. "I can perceive the aura around foods, which is very important because in certain cases the aura provides vital information about the food's value that cannot be gleaned through the shape or the normally perceived color. Luckily, I sell a complete line of Ortho-auric nutritional supplements, which you can apply to your food to automatically correct any auric imbalances."

Dr. Seffalee repeated that she had of necessity only skimmed the surface of this complex nutritional discipline; it takes weeks of intensive training to become a Certified Neo-dietician. "If anyone wants to learn to apply these important tools to their own life, I suggest they make an appointment with me for a complete consultation," she said. "After you fill out a detailed questionnaire and I perform a thorough chakra checkup and light-body analysis on you, I will be able to fashion a custom diet plan that will allow you to take full advantage of the universal principles of shape and color. My consultation fee is only $600.00 per half hour, minimum time one hour."

Dr. Seffalee is also available for speaking engagements, and her Neo-nutrition workshops are always a big hit. For more information, call: Ann N. Seffalee, C.Nd.: 1-555-4-NEO-NUT.

* * * * *

Another curious soul wrote me this letter recently.

Dear Cosmic Connie:
I’ve been learning a lot about metaphysics and I am particularly interested in the centers of energy in the human body known as "
chakras." These centers correspond to various locations on the body: the naughty bits, the spleen, the solar plexus, the heart, the throat, the brow, and the crown. I understand that each chakra has its own vibration that’s associated with a particular color, number, musical note, etc. Here’s my question. I was always taught there were only seven chakras, but now some of my edge-thinking friends have been telling me that an eighth chakra has recently been discovered. What is it, where is it located, and what is its color, number and note?

Tara Gahn
Dog Run, ND

Dear Tara:
Your "edger" friends are absolutely right. There is an eighth chakra: the prosperity chakra, more commonly known as the "wallet chakra." You may be surprised to learn this, but recent studies have shown there may be up to twenty or more chakras. We’re learning more about the chakra system every day as edge thinkers develop amazing new technologies to access these vital energy centers. The wallet chakra is located near the naughty-bit chakra in men and the purse chakra in women. Its color vibration tends to be a subdued but lovely greenish hue. Its numeric vibration varies from person to person, but generally speaking, larger denominations numbers are indicative of more highly evolved people. Its optimal note is a C-note.

There are, as implied above, many new technologies to access this chakra, but perhaps one of the most effective is a process called "Circles of Cash." Now this is going to get sort of technical for awhile, but bear with me.

Using a unique technology called Meta-Fiscal Harmonization, those who are trained in the Circles of Cash process learn the profound paradox of life, which is that "You can’t have it until you give it away." Meta-Fiscal Harmonization is the technology which allows a person to rapidly and easily part with his or her money in order to receive a greater reward. It utilizes a numeric code language entered at strategic points on a person’s "energy field," which is the technical term for "bank account." Through a complex procedure, illustrative of the basic principle that matter is neither created nor destroyed, but merely relocated, monetary units are transferred from one individual to another.

This will correct any negative energy patterns in the individual’s life, while at the same time rectifying any monetary deficits in the Circles of Cash Master’s own energy field.

As it happens, I am a Circles of Cash Master, so if you want to correct your negative energy patterns, or lighten your overburdened wallet chakra, I will be glad to help you. Simply send me all of your money, care of this blog, and while you’re at it, encourage as many of your friends as possible to send me all of their money as well. Then sit back and be prepared for me to experience wondrous changes in my life.

* * * * *

This concise letter came to me just last week.

Dear Cosmic Connie:
I think I may be suffering from Chronic Death Syndrome, or C.D.S. What should I do?

Sara Bellum
Hornswoggle, Oklahoma

Dear Sara:
The problem could be that you’re living in Oklahoma. Try moving to another state first, and if you continue to suffer from C.D.S., I suggest affirmations. The most wonderfully effective affirmations I’ve ever seen come from the works of Ouisie Lay, author of the perennial best-seller, YOU CAN HEAL ANYTHING. In this book, Ouisie presents a long list of physical challenges and helps us understand the emotional and spiritual causes behind them. She then gives us a special affirmation, or Healing Thought Pattern, as Ouisie likes to call them, for each challenge.

Your problem, Sara, is addressed very beautifully by Ouisie. According to her, the core spiritual cause of Death – whether it is Chronic Death Syndrome or Acute Death Disorder – is "fear of, or lack of belief in, life." She offers this Healing Thought Pattern: "I ecstatically and lovingly choose to embrace Life. It is safe to not be dead."

I hope that helped you. You may also be pleased to know that Ousie has recently released her latest book of healing meditations. The meditations are printed backwards so you can read them while you are doing your mirror work.

* * * * *

Well, that’s it for the mail bag this time around. I hope I was able to help some of you.

Thank you, and Love and Light to You All.

~ CC

* Not really. I’m just making all of this stuff up. I really don't get any mail like this. In fact, today's post is recycled tripe; pretty much all of it was in Cosmic Relief. I am just feeling a little lazy today. Once again I must apologize to the few of you who may have actually read CR, and the even fewer who may have attended one of my book signings in the previous millennium. And by the way, nothing I have written here differs very much at all from stuff that can be found in metaphysical-type magazines, web sites, etc., or even from the info offered by such nutritional and health experts as Kevin Trudeau, whose books, amazingly, are still selling briskly. So all of the information here is, indeed, based upon solid research.

** Or full of something, anyway.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

The Celestine profit sea

As you may know, James Redfield’s 1993 "underground" bestseller, The Celestine Prophecy, has finally been turned into a movie. And as the reviews pour in, the consensus – notwithstanding glowing praise from like-minded souls such as Marianne Williamson – seems to be that the movie is every bit as artfully conceived and executed as the book.

True confession: I actually read The Celestine Prophecy from cover to cover about a year after it came out. At that time the book was embraced by many as a pioneering work in what was being marketed as a totally new genre: spiritual fiction. (The genre wasn’t really all that new, but, it could be argued, the new-age spin was.) Problem was, some people didn’t know it was fiction, since that wasn’t stated real clearly on the cover. The original teal-colored dust jacket was minimalist, almost stark. Underneath the book’s title was what passed for a subtitle: "An adventure." Not "A novel." Or "A spiritual adventure novel." But merely, "An adventure."

The blurb above the title read, "In the rain forests of Peru, an ancient manuscript has been discovered. Within its pages are 9 key insights into life itself – insights each human being is predicted to gasp sequentially, one insight then another, as we move toward a spiritual culture on Earth." This blurb, and much of the content within, apparently convinced many that the book was a true story of a newly-discovered ancient manuscript full of profound secrets. I am not saying everyone who liked this book believed it to be nonfiction. But judging from some of the comments in online discussion groups, many did seem confused.

At the bottom of the original front cover, below the author’s name, was a ringing endorsement from the popular death-and-dying author Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D, who pronounced it, "A fabulous book about experiencing life." She added, "I couldn’t put it down." No worries, Liz, a lot of other people could. And did.

Being the sharp cookie I am – you have to get up pretty early in the afternoon to outsmart me – I figured out right away that the book was fiction. Trouble was, it was very poorly written fiction. (Note that I am only stating my opinion; I am not a licensed book critic.) There was just enough of a plot, if you could call it that, to make me care about "what happened next," and that is the only reason I finished it. But I found something to roll my eyes about on nearly every page. I found the book to be rife with one-dimensional characters, stilted dialogue, preachy narrative and new-age clichés.

Not that Redfield’s general lack of flair as a writer has had any negative effect whatsoever on his success. And, I feel compelled to add, even a poorly written book can have merit if it has new, or at least interesting, ideas. The copy on the back cover did promise that the book was unlike any I’d read before. It even promised to change my life forever. Or, more specifically, to "change lives forever." So did I find, when I had finished my Celestine adventure, that my life was one of those that had indeed been changed? No, but maybe that was because over the years I had read all of the ideas – the insights, if you will – time and time again in countless spiritual and new-age books and magazines. Having these concepts showcased in a badly executed adventure novel did not move me any closer to the "aha" state so coveted by contemporary spiritual seekers and seminar junkies.

Part of the reason for this could be that by the time I read the book, I was well into cosmic-smarty-pants mode. But even at that stage of my spiritual regression, I still could have been moved, or at least impressed, by a competently written book. Even now I can still be moved by spiritual things. I'm not that far gone.

Even so, I have my standards, and The Celestine Prophecy did not live up to them.

In many ways Redfield was fortunate, for at the time his book came out, the world was ripe for "spiritual fiction" with a new-age twist. The Age of Aquarius had been struggling to be born ever since the Fifth Dimension sang about it, and maybe even before that, and as we approached the new millennium, many were wondering if perhaps the Aquarian Age had come and gone and we’d somehow missed it. Fiction or not, The Celestine Prophecy filled a need, inspiring hundreds of Celestine study groups in new-thought churches and metaphysical centers all over the US, and, ultimately, all over the world. It also spawned study guides (make that "experiential guides"), tapes, CDs and countless other auxiliary materials, providing instant new-age-star status for Redfield and his wife Salle. People were drawn to the idea of "a new spritual culture on Earth" – a new age, indeed.

In due time came the unavoidable sequel, The Tenth Insight – and why stop at ten when you have a good thing going? Before long Redfield came out with The Secret of Shambhala: In Search Of The Eleventh Insight. (The latter book, or at least its title, has led me to some meaningful inner exploration in which I have mulled for minutes over whether I prefer the Three Dog Night or the B.W. Stevenson version of the song, Shambala (that’s how it’s spelled in the song title). I love B.W., but I’m going with the 3DN version right now. The Rev votes for B.W., who wrote the song.)

James Redfield is a true publishing success, no doubt about it. He has a lot of stuff on the market, and he also seems to be very much in demand as a keynote speaker; I’m sure his speaking fees will go up dramatically with the release of the TCP flick. Redfield also became a legend in the self-publishing world. After receiving numerous rejections from trade publishers, he had self-published the original version of The Celestine Prophecy. A few folks liked it, and they told their friends, who told their friends, who in turn told their friends…and that’s the greatly over-simplified version of how it became an underground bestseller. I’m not saying Redfield didn’t work hard to promote his book, and Goddess knows he worked hard to write it, the labor being apparent in every sentence. Eventually word of the book’s success reached New York, and Redfield ended up with an $800,000 advance from Warner Books. In retrospect, that’s a bargain price, but it was a pretty significant chunk of change for an unknown author in the early 1990s (or even now).

Not everybody was singing Redfield’s praises, of course. While casually surfing the Net one day many years ago, I came across a delightfully acerbic essay, "Why I Hate The Celestine Prophecy," from a talented and funny Canadian academic, Kenneth Moyle of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. I can’t say which is more hilarious, the original essay or some of the responses Moyle got from people who hated "Why I Hate The Celestine Prophecy." The type of angry, poorly spelled missives he received should be familiar to many who have ventured into debunking territory.

Moyle remained unfazed by his critics. As he wrote in the conclusion to his original essay: "I'm not bothered by The Celestine Prophecy simply because it presents an easy-to-use approach to complex issues. Any religion or philosophical system should have a shallow end in which people may splash about and get their feet wet before being eased, coaxed or thrown into the deeper, more difficult waters in which enlightenment, growth and strength are truly found. I find The Celestine Prophecy bothersome because it lacks any depth at all; it is a philosophical wading pool, full of children's laughter and sparkling sunshine and bright pictures of pretty fish and piss-warmed water."

Amen, Ken.

A much better book, in my opinion anyway, was the inevitable parody, The Philistine Prophecy by McCoy Hatfield, an author who, judging from his name, was continually at war with himself. Actually his real name is Billy Frolick, or that’s his story, anyway. (As Richard Ronald Roberts, he wrote The Ditches Of Edison County, also, in my opinion, a far superior book to the original.)

Sporting the same type of minimalist cover as Celestine, except in a spiritual violet hue, The Philistine Prophecy bore this blurb: "In the swamplands of Florida, a two-thousand-year-old manuscript has been found, along with a book-on-tape version. The document contains thirteen pieces of wisdom so profound that they allegedly induce ‘ice-cream-cone’-type headaches to anyone who reads them. It has been foretold that each member of this planet will grasp and integrate these confirmations and insignificances, with the exception of those who have cable TV – they just can’t seem to find the time. The rest of us will then continue racing on a path toward Armageddon…but maybe it won’t feel quite as bad."

There was, of course, a glowing endorsement under the author’s name, this time by "Elizabeth Kubla-Khan, R.I.P."

"For decades," Hatfield writes in his Author’s Note at the beginning, "we have been knocking upon the door of eternal enlightenment. Often, spiritually speaking, there has been no answer. At other times, a strange clawing sound could be heard from the other side. In many instances, the door had wet paint on it." Thus the author sets the stage for a thrill ride packed with astounding insights.

So now here we are, well into the new millennium, and people are still hungry for the next new spin on old notions. McCoy Hatfield, alas, has faded into oblivion, but James Redfield keeps churning out the books, and his original vision is now on the big screen – an event that inspired the aforementioned Marianne Williamson to write, "It’s impossible to overestimate the spiritual impact of The Celestine Prophecy. The movie version continues its mysterious influence, creating an actual model of this evolutionary awakening. The world will light up after you see it."

I’ve yet to see it, but my world has lit up nonetheless, because when I pulled The Philistine Prophecy from its place on the shelf, where it was nestled cozily amidst my Dave Barry books and a dog-eared copy of Women Who Run With The Poodles, the book automatically opened up to a page at the very end. It is on this page that McCoy Hatfield reveals the Thirteenth Precept:

"People Will Buy Just About Anything."

And that, Dear Ones, is the real key to success in today’s world. Furthermore, I am quite certain that if I could only break through those annoying energy blockages that people of lesser vision call "literary standards" I could then fully embrace this Precept…and it would not be long at all before I was swimming in my own sea of profits. I'm working on it.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Sell me a Secret

If you’re ready to go beyond the astonishing insights of What The Bleep Do We Know? (see my Aug. 3 post), you just might be ready for The Secret. This DVD is featured, among many other places, on the What The Bleep? web site. But for the real whiz-bang special effects, I’d go straight to the source if I were you. Or should that be Source, capitalized?

What is The Secret? you may be asking. Well, I could tell you, but then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore, would it? But since you asked, let me let The Secret people tell you, for they tell it better than I ever could. This is from the "Synopsis" page on The Secret official web site:

The Secret has existed throughout the history of mankind. It has been discovered, coveted, suppressed, hidden, lost and recovered. It has been hunted down, stolen, and bought for vast sums of money. Now for the first time in history, The Secret is being revealed to the world over two breathtaking hours.

A number of exceptional men and women discovered The Secret, and went on to become known as the greatest people who ever lived. Among them: Plato, Leonardo, Galileo, Napoleon, Hugo, Beethoven, Lincoln, Edison, Einstein and Carnegie, to name but a few.

Fragments of The Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation which will be life transforming for all who experience it.

Some of today's greatest teachers will be presented in The Secret and will impart this special wisdom that has been known by so few. They include some of the world's leaders in the fields of business, economics, medicine, psychology, history, theology and science. Each of these teachers is living proof of The Secret; each of them a walking marvel of achievement and success...

The Secret reveals amazing real life stories and testimonials of regular people who have changed their lives in profound ways. By applying The Secret they present instances of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles and achieving what many would regard as impossible.

The Secret reveals how to apply this powerful knowledge to your life in every area from health to wealth, to success and relationships.

The Secret is everything you have dreamed of... and is beyond your wildest dreams.

Are you excited yet?

It should come as no surprise that quantum physics is mentioned more than once in The Secret. Or at least in the promo stuff I looked at. Just in case you’re wondering.*

I did find it surprising, or at least worthy of note, that even though we are told that The Secret has been known to a number of exceptional men and women throughout history, not one of the historical "great thinkers" mentioned in the synopsis is female. Nor are there any women among the contemporary "great teachers" whose mugs are featured on the home page. I thought I glimpsed an animation in which a pair of breasts and female genitalia temporarily sprout on Leonardo’s "Ideal Man" – you know, that nekkid guy who’s flapping his arms and legs – but it’s a transient phenomenon. There are women in the movie, but the producers don’t seem to think they are a selling point. (This despite the fact that the brains behind The Secret – and the person who actually "rediscovered" the big Secret in 2004 – is a woman, Aussie TV producer Rhonda Byrne.)

The amazing thing about The Secret revealed in this DVD seems to be that if you master it, whatever it is, you can be, do, or have anything you want to be, do, or have – and more. And there’s no shortage of opportunities to experience The Secret right in your own living room, or, for a mere $4.95, right on your own computer screen for a limited period of time. Or you can just tease yourself by watching the trailer. And that’s not all! The DVD is for sale** for an amazingly low price on numerous web sites of people who make a living showing people how to be, do, or have anything they want. Want to "own your life?" You can, if you own this DVD. Want to effect an amazing change in yourself and the world around you? You can, for seven bucks and change. (Or if you really want to change, you can fork over a thousand bucks or more to one of "today's great teachers.")

These days The Secret DVD is a hot MLM item on many sites. You know how MLM works; you experience The Secret (or whatever) for yourself, get all giddy about it, and then quit your day job to devote all your time to badgering your family, former coworkers and former friends to experience it as well, until they're ready to shoot you. Or themselves.

The real message in The Secret seems to be that you really can have it all, and the more money you give to the people who can show you how to have it all, the more of all of it you can have. It sort of brings to my mind the Wasis Diop tune that was playing in The Thomas Crown Affair remake during that scene where Rene Russo and Pierce Brosnan were getting it on for the first time. Or, rather, it brings to mind the title of that song, which is "Everything Is Never Quite Enough." Hot song, steamy scene. And then that naturally makes me think of the line in the old Doors song, "When The Music's Over": "We want the world and we want it...NOW!" Which, it goes without saying, brings to mind yet another Pierce Brosnan movie, the James Bond flick, The World Is Not Enough.

And to me that pretty much points out the problem with having it all, or paying thousands upon thousands of dollars for people whom you imagine to be more enlightened than you to convince you that you can have it all. Even if you think you have it all, there's always more to be had – for a price.***

As for movies...well, frankly, I’d rather look at Pierce’s butt, and even Rene’s breasts, than a bunch of great thinkers. So if you’ll excuse me for a couple of hours…

* Here's more on the "science" in What The Bleep.
** Unless you happen to live in Australia, New Zealand or Papua New Guinea.
*** But at least you get had as well in the bargain, so someone benefits, anyway.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Never Metatron I didn't like

First of all, I want to apologize for not blogging for a couple of days. Or should I be apologizing for blogging yet again after only a couple of days? Okay, then, I apologize for that too. And I’m sorry I apologize so much. I also apologize to my neighbors up North and across the pond who might prefer that I "apologise." Now that I’ve covered all of my bases, apology-wise (and I apologize if "apology-wise" is not really a word), it’s time to get serious.

The blazing hot topic for the day is that darned airport situation, and how it affects me. I never go anywhere without a bottle of water and a tube of Chapstick® or a generic equivalent. Or at least a stick of cocoa butter. So that pretty much rules out flying for me, at least until the dust settles. I can’t believe they put those extra security measures in place without asking me first.

Okay, now that I have thoroughly covered that issue, it’s time to get to the real topic: energy blocks. No, these are not a kids’ toy, and they have nothing to do with oil, gas or nuclear power. Energy blocks are a serious problem affecting all of us on this mortal coil, preventing us from enjoying complete oneness with Source. Fortunately there are remedies, as I learned the other day when I opened my email.

There, big as life, or even bigger, was a message from…well, I am not sure exactly who it was from, but I think it was a pretty advanced being. The message asked me, "Are you being held back from the being you were created to be by old patterns and old paradigm?" (Yes, that was "paradigm" in the singular.)

The message continued, "Let me tell you about a process I have been given."

I find it worthy of note that these processes are always "given" to the person sending me these messages, but instead of "paying it forward" or "passing it on" by giving it to me, they want to sell it to me. At a really huge markup.

The message continued with this simple but intriguing line: "The purpose of the deprogramming process" – and underneath that was a byline. This was not just any byline, mind you. It was…are you ready for this?...Archangel Metatron himself. The "deprogramming" blurb contained a link, presumably to an article written by Metatron just for me, but, regrettably, the link didn’t work.

There was, however, some information in the body of the email about the energy-block problem, and what could be done about it.

These acquired blockages have occurred in lifetimes where their experiences have been such that they reacted quite negatively to the experience and energetically it sets up a blip of sorts in their energetic field and as more and more of these are acquired it is impossible for them to know who they are in regards to Source. This de-programming process removes all of these blips from the energetic field and allows an opening that they may access to reassess the way that they react to a certain stimulus in their environment and their experiential process. They are able to have a more complete viewpoint and align themselves more fully with a picture of more complete Love for themselves as well as any they are interacting with or in relationship with…It is through this de-programming process that these blockages and blips are removed . And you are then able to access your free will and not be in a state of re-action. So this is the wonderment of the de-programming process.

There was little if anything about what this "deprogramming process" actually was, other than some stuff about an "initiation" involving some "rods." At first I wondered if I should be calling Amnesty International about these people, but then I settled down a bit and realized the activities are probably pretty benign, at least when occurring among consenting adults. I think there are whole web sites devoted to that kind of stuff. (Old joke: "Why do you love that sadist?" "Beats me!")

But back to the energy blocks. Apparently Archangel Metatron wasn’t the only party responsible for this missive, judging from the headline of the message, which read, in all caps, "PROCESS DONE BY ST.GERMAIN AND HIS VIOLET FLAME, FACILITATED BY JACKY P. ROY." And at the very end, after the contact information, was this line, "Channelled (sic) by Joan Walker."

Talk about a group effort. I almost thought I was watching the credits for a movie, except without the gaffers, best boys, hired escorts and the caterer’s cousin.

I gotta tell you that it sure was good to see my old pal Saint Germain (see my August 4 post) and his she-male consort, Violet Flame, whom I first met at a gay bar many years ago. But it was the mention of Metatron that really perked up my energy fields. Matter of fact, speaking of movies, it was in the movies that I first learned about Metatron. I refer, of course, to one of my favorite religious flicks of all times***, and very possibly one of your favorites too, Kevin Smith’s Dogma (1999).

Metatron was skillfully and reverently portrayed in this film by the great Alan Rickman, some time after he hired Tom Selleck to knock off some abos Down Under, and a bit before he was Harry Potter’s nemesis. In the movie, Metatron appears one night in the bedroom of Bethany, played charmingly by Linda Fiorentino. Like me, Bethany had never heard of Metatron before this movie, a point that our grumpy angel spends more than a few moments grousing about. The truth – at least as told in Dogma, and I have no reason to dispute its veracity – is that Metatron is one of the unsung heroes of Angeldom. He’s kind of like God’s stunt double, or as he explains to Bethany, "Any documented occasion where some yahoo claims God has spoken to them, they're speaking of me. Or they're talking to themselves."

When Bethany asks the logical question of why God doesn’t speak for himself, Metatron answers: "Were you to hear God's true voice, your mind would cave in and your heart would explode inside your chest. We went through five Adams before we figured that one out."

My first thought upon watching this scene was that Yoko Ono should have hired Metatron as a singing double. My second thought was, I have to find out more about this Metatron guy. But then I got distracted with other matters of consequence, and years went by. Metatron became Professor Snape. Bethany fought aliens with Will. The world, as Stephen King said in his Dark Tower series, had moved on.

And yet here now is Metatron again, knocking at my electronic door. Could it be mere coincidence that I was having such deep thoughts about him only seven years ago (of course, the number seven is infused with meaning in and of itself), and now I have received this powerful message from him and his buddies? Maybe my thoughts really do create my reality.

So I am thinking, now, of a winning lottery ticket in my hands. Or at least of a day when I can get on an airplane again with my cocoa butter and my bottle of Canadian spring water. This time around, I hope I don’t have to wait seven friggin’ years****. Maybe if I let Metatron, Germain, Violet et al. clear my energy blocks, I’ll see faster results. But I would ask them to please spare the rod. I can't stand pain.


*** Besides Monty Python’s Life Of Brian

**** I apologize/apologise if anyone was offended by the word "friggin’."

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