- The Story of B by Daniel Quinn
- The Chalice & The Blade (Our History, Our Future) by Riane Eisler
- Adventures Beyond the Body by William Buhlman
- The Eagle's Gift by Carlos Castaneda
The first two (Quinn and Eisler) are strong clues of where the human race has come from and, most significantly, of what happened to create our civilization where evil flourishes and that has developed to this time when our destruction seems assured. What they say, in a nutshell, is that a portion of humanity living on the outskirts of the predominate culture of about ten thousand years ago, gained enough consensus and strength to impose their view of things on everybody. Their view was a "Dominator" belief in might-making-right and over the succeeding centuries it fought all other views to near extinction (today, only scattered tribal cultures retain the previous, alternate culture of cooperation). I discussed all this in my reviews of those books and in my previous journal entry.
So with that insight into where we came from and where we are, how now should we live? That is, how should we live in a culture where the odds for living a happy, effective life are way stacked against us?
We will not find the answer to those questions in this expedition, but we will uncover some clues to guide our thinking and so help us to find our personal answers. Making that exploration is the purpose of these journal entries, and is ultimately the purpose of everything I write, and is certainly what Dentville will be about.
Now the next book in this journey is Adventures Beyond the Body by William Buhlman. It is a very readable account of the author's experiences with traveling the higher dimensions in his energetic form, outside of his physical body. This is subject matter very akin to Near Death Experiences (NDE) and communication with the dead. These are usually regarded as spooky, "woo woo" subjects but Mr. Buhlman does a great job of bringing the OBE out of that realm and discusses it as an ability natural to all humanity because we actually spiritual beings. You find my Goodreads review of Adventures Beyond the Body here.
The implication of Adventures Beyond the Body is that the universe is a very extensively multidimensional place and we inhabit only one small, very dense, dimension. Of course, that idea has been the foundation of mystic beliefs for many years but now books such as Mr. Buhlman's put a modern, more scientific face on it. The idea that we live in such a multidimensional universe puts a much larger framework around our physical lives and offers a foundation for psychic phenomena and the beliefs of folklore. That's why I posit such a universe in my Dentville saga where I feature a general acceptance of the numinous world by people living, once again, very close to nature.
For the sake of this journal entry and to advance our expedition, however, I only want to focus on one feature of the numinous world brought out in Adventures Beyond the Body. That feature is the malleability of the higher dimensions by sheer thought and the implications of that. Mr. Buhlman says that all matter is energy and energy is susceptible to manipulation by thought to some degree. The denser the matter, the less susceptible but still, it implies that the power of thought can influence our physical world. In Mr. Buhlman's words:
Negative and self-limiting thoughts are the real enemy we must face. Within the inner dimensions of the universe, our thoughts, both good and bad, exert a powerful creative influence upon our immediate environment.
Following world events and seeking to understand the reality of the way our civilization works, and the truth of historical and current events can lead down a very dark road. A person can get lost in that darkness and some very good people have in recent years. Very often, such seekers-of-truth will pooh-pooh a positive attitude as "wishful thinking," but being positive, even happy, is not necessarily the same as being deluded. It may be that we construct our world to a very large extent from the energies we send out into it. Certainly, the dominators of the world send out much negative energy with all their dark machinations, and so make the world dark. We seek to be lights in that darkness.
And so maintaining a positive outlook, even in the face of dire times, could be a more effective strategy for living than is generally imagined. If our thoughts and attitudes can affect our world, then the Golden Rule becomes a very sound baseline for morality.
I am currently reading the last book in my list for this literary expedition. It is The Eagle's Gift by Carlos Castaneda. One passage in it strikes me as very relevant to the theme of this journal entry. At one point in the book, Castaneda and his shaman-apprentice-girlfriend become very disillusioned and negative. They have been pondering mysteries and dark questions to the point that they are miserable. Then Castaneda is hit with an insight that is simple but powerful. He suggests that they stop focusing their energies on the dark questions and concentrate on the ideas of wonder and mystery that had originally brought them all into the study of shamanism. They jumped on this suggestion and their mood instantly changed for the better and they found the joy in their work again.
This idea of positive thinking (or at least not being negative) is simple but powerful. It is often not easy. When practiced honestly and with integrity, it is not delusion. In the face of evil, it can even be an act of defiance.
I take from this that the best strategy for exploring the numinous world is also the best for living in the physical--strive to keep the negative from dominating you, don't express negativity, and believe in yourself. Whether flying through the higher dimensions or slugging it out in the flesh-and-blood, its best to remain positive.