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Wind & Wings 4
Friday, September 20, 1996
© Copyright 1996 by NewHeavenNewEarth

"ANOTHER thought-provoking exploration
of the extraordinary times in which we live."

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CONTENTS:

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QUOTABLE:
Extraordinary Possibilities

HEAVEN CALLING EARTH
By David Sunfellow

THE ERA OF THE NEW AGE & NEW CONSCIOUSNESS
Dottie Titus

LUCID DREAMS INCREASING
Gillian Holloway

MASS PSYCHOKINESIS IN EIGHTEENTH CENTURY FRANCE
From "The Holographic Universe" by Michael Talbot

THE POTENTIAL OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
Linda O'Keefe & Lance Botthof

THE POWER OF SEXUALITY & RELATIONSHIPS
Quotes from "The Multi-Orgasmic Man"
and the Pathwork Guide Lectures of Eva Pierrakos

AN EXPERIENCE IN COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS
Paramahansa Yogananda
from his classic book, "Autobiography of a Yogi"

A MASS AWAKENING
David Sunfellow

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QUOTABLE:

EXTRAORDINARY POSSIBILITIES

"I firmly believe... that all of us can realize at least some of the extraordinary possibilities described here. I am convinced that men and women young and old, in widely disparate situations, at times experience the unitive awareness, selfless love, and redeeming joy that crown human life. I have come to believe that virtually everyone of us has experienced, and that everyone of us can cultivate, moments when the ordinary becomes extraordinary, when mind and body are graced by something beyond themselves."

---Michael Murphy, "The Future of the Body"

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HEAVEN CALLING EARTH
By David Sunfellow

In times past, there have always been people who have had extraordinary experiences and/or demonstrated extraordinary powers. Until recently, many of these people and experiences have been isolated to the particular culture, religion, or part of the world where they appeared. Now, however, for the first time in human history, a growing number of authors, scientists, researchers and common every day people are gathering together evidence of extraordinary human experiences from all over the planet -- both past and present. Separating real events from imagined ones, these researchers have been cataloging the often striking similarities in human paranormal experiences and then sharing their discoveries. Significantly, many of these researchers have noticed that paranormal events, around the planet, appear to be on the rise: the kind of extraordinary events that were rarely reported in the past, appear to be happening with increasing frequency, in many divergent parts of the world.

In studying many of the these reports, several important themes begin to emerge:

1. Human beings possess the capacity to control virtually every aspect of the physical world. Whether this power arises out of some deeper understanding concerning the fundamental nature of reality (that the world, for instance, is a dream), or some other faculty, the end result is that human beings have the capacity to manifest God-like powers: they can heal themselves, and others, of every kind of sickness and disease; they can levitate, bilocate, appear and disappear, move through walls, communicate telepathically, move physical objects with their minds, manifest physical objects with their minds, see physical objects in distant lands and worlds, defy all ordinary laws of nature and/or cause the very fabric of nature and physical reality to alter.

2. Human beings possess the capacity to experience inner worlds, dimensions and planes of existence that far exceed the reality and fulfillment offered by this one;

3. Although still obscure, it is becoming increasingly obvious that some kind of plan of development and/or clear set of laws underlies what humans beings can, and cannot experience. There are, in other words, definite reasons why some human beings can experience specific paranormal events and others cannot; humans beings also seem to be clearly evolving into beings that are capable of manifesting more and more supernatural experiences.

4. The ability to experience and/or demonstrate various kinds of powers or supernatural realities is, by itself, no indication of the ultimate development of a person; people, with personality disorders and fundamental moral imperfections, can, in other words, gain access to various kinds of supernatural experiences. If they do, however, they are often hurt by the encounter; unable to effectively integrate their newfound powers and spiritual experiences, they often develop a host of ills -- psychological and otherwise.

5. While there are many different ways that human beings seem to be able to access, develop, and grow into ever increasing paranormal beings, the path of love and service to other human beings (and life in general) seems to be the safest, surest and most reliable path.

6. The ability to imagine, conceive of and visualize new faculties and experiences seems to play a very important role in helping these new faculties and experiences actually manifest. In addition, the more people that believe they are possible, the more likely they are to happen.

7. A growing number of human beings, world wide, are beginning to tap paranormal powers and experiences.

What is all of this about? Is some kind of major leap in consciousness really underway?

This issue of WIND & WINGS examines the new consciousness that seems to be sweeping the earth, as well as what some of the manifestations of this new consciousness might look like.

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THE ERA OF THE NEW AGE & NEW CONSCIOUSNESS
By Dottie Titus

There is much discussion these days on the "new consciousness" that is entering more fully into our world. It can be sensed and felt when one tunes in to it. More and more people are turning to spirituality, to new paradigms. Things that were looked at with skepticism by the previous generation suddenly don't seem so strange: healing with non-traditional means, energy work, body work, emotional work. All of these represent an attempt to strive higher into the spiritual realm, to realize our oneness, our unity, with all life.

The Pathwork Guide says in Lecture #223, "...an immense new cosmic force that will sweep this earth planet has been released into the universe.... A new surge toward spiritual truth is spreading over your world. New values seek to push through old resistances." Many of us have experienced at one time or another that one part of us is ready to expand, to open up, to "move toward a new and entirely expanded vision of life, of self, and of a new modality of being. It is a new modality that does not shed the old, but transforms of the old what is not compatible with the new, pure and great influx, and incorporates the pure substance of the old self into the new expanded version of it."

At the same time, we all have a lower self that tries to resist and obstruct the movement. Because of this struggle, we experience crisis. The less we recognize the meaning of the crisis, the more upheaval it causes, the more frightening it is. When we can recognize the crisis as an outpicturing of our inner struggle and align with our higher self intent, then the time of crisis shortens and "in fact, that same crisis will transform itself into undreamed-of bliss."

In Lecture #223, the Guide says that the entity earth is now going through such a struggle. There are those who resist the movement (think of the wars, the violence, the drastic acting out of negativity that seems to plague us today), and there are those who follow it, who "will find the deepest joy and blessings and need not fear anything... In following the influx, they keep in harmony with the universe, they are within the process, rather than obstructing it. Their ever renewed decision to give all of themselves to the process that has encompassed them will make their life as fulfilled and glorious as it will be useful and meaningful to the whole of evolution." I personally believe that the "cause" behind so much of the mindless violence in our world today is a last desperate attempt to fight the new influx of spirituality. Beyond the obvious acts of violence and resistance that we hear about in the news, each of us has our own form of resistance.

How do we work with this influx and remove our obstructions to it? "...the fulfillment of this surge cannot occur unless the most profound purification process takes place." This purification has two parts: First, each of us must work toward his personal fulfillment. This means acknowledging our negativity, our faulty reasoning, our lower self traits and intentions and then working to transform them. The lecture says, "Now a new phase has arisen where your own inner expansion has readied you to realize that individual fulfillment is the necessary basis for fulfilling in cohesiveness with the total movement that sweeps your world." In other words, first we must work on our own issues and find our own fulfillment. Then we can see the need to serve a greater cause. "I always emphasize the importance of your individual happiness, wholeness and freedom from obstruction. It is not a contradiction. Your individual fulfillment... is the most important thing, and at the same time there is something much more at stake. Perhaps I can put it this way: you can only find total individual fulfillment if you serve a greater cause. ...you are involved in simultaneously serving that while you fulfill yourself. You have found that this very service enhances your fulfillment, just as this service requires you to be a fulfilled and happy person." So the movement toward a new consciousness requires intense work and purification, but it does not require self-sacrifice or poverty-consciousness. It is a blending of the benign and the divine, of abundance and service. Our job is to put our entire selves into reaching for it.

In the remaining 35 Pathwork lectures that were given after lecture #223, the Guide talks about various aspects of the new consciousness. These lectures include "Individual and Group Consciousness," "Woman & Man in the New Age," "New Age Education," "The Pulse of Life on All Levels of Manifestation," "The Spiritual Meaning of Political Systems," "New Age Marriage," "Surrender," "The Birthing Process - The Cosmic Pulse," and "Aspects of the Divine Influx: Communication, Group Consciousness, Exposure." I'll touch on some of these in future issues.

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Dottie Titus is a Pathwork Counselor with the SEVENOAKS PATHWORK CENTER in Virginia. Dottie has completed the five-year Pathwork Transformation Program and the four-year Pathwork Helper Training Program at SEVENOAKS. She also facilitates the NHNE Pathwork Circle Mailing List. If you would like to join the NHNE Pathwork Circle Mailing List, which has been created to discuss and apply the material contained in the Pathwork Lectures, send a letter to "nhne@nhne.com" and write "pathworkcircle" in the SUBJECT field of your letter.

If you would like to find out more about Eva Pierrakos and the Pathwork lectures, an NHNE Special Report on the subject is available in the database section of the NHNE web site: http://www.sedona.net/nen/nhne/pathwork.html THE PATHWORK NEW YORK REGION also has a Web site at: http://www.pathwork.org

eMail: DottieT@aol.com

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LUCID DREAMS INCREASING

By Gillian Holloway

Most people who remember dreams easily recall at least one experience of recognizing the dream state while it was happening. This odd recognition is called a "lucid dream" and for most of us it has been an exotic and rare occurrence. Over the past year though, I have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of people who report and ask about lucid dreams. I am fascinated by this development.

Are we having lucid dreams more often these days, or are people discussing dreams on a more sophisticated level, and making reference to an experience which was always present but went unrecognized for lack of a proper term? I believe both are true. Research shows that awareness and interest in a phenomenon is correlated with an increase in its incidence. Possibly learning about lucid dreams tends to promote their occurrence. My personal hypothesis is that lucid dreams are another facet of a growing shift in human consciousness, including an increase in telepathic abilities, anomalous experiences, and synchronicities.

Lucid dreams often contain elements of teaching, training, and reframing belief systems. People tend to value the realizations from a lucid dream, and to retain the sense of mastery or wisdom they experience even after awakening.

One man told me he realized in a dream the key to overcoming a current challenge was forgiveness. Knowing it was a dream enabled him to try out an attitude of forgiveness, and found the problem disappeared. Because he had been conscious during the dream, the insight he gained translated easily into waking experience. A woman described noticing in a dream how her beliefs were instantly manifested. She took a second look at the barrier in front of her and decided not to believe in it. Instantly it dissolved. Although aware she was dreaming, she was also struck by the effectiveness of this demonstration, and awakened feeling she had received an enormous lesson. Another woman was disturbed during a lucid dream by the suffering she saw around her. The idea came to her to pray for those she saw. As she prayed in the lucid dream, she saw the loving energy from her prayer go out to these people and increase the vibratory fields of light that surrounded them. Although prayer had not been a large part of her spiritual practice before that dream, afterward she was convinced that the energy released by prayer is quite real, and she has made it a regular part of her spiritual life.

I believe we are all becoming more conscious of the ways we impact and influence the events in our lives, and the ways our thoughts and feelings may influence those we care about and contact. It may be part of human evolution to learn about our powers and abilities in our dreams. Lucid dreams may provide a holographic training ground for emerging abilities, and the state of lucidity may be the closest thing available to replicate our future state of consciousness.

I urge people to examine their lucid dreams not only for their content, but for any lessons about reality, faith, and human power they contain. If we are now inheriting abilities for the next millennium, we may better understand ourselves and our reality by the practice we are afforded in our dreams.

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Gillian Holloway, Ph.D., is a Dream Analyst with a marvelous site on the World Wide Web dedicated to dreams and dreamwork. Called, "LIFETREKS: DREAM INTERPRETATION SERVICES & RESOURCES," Gillian's site is full of valuable information, insights and resources concerning dreams. Along with creating and maintaining a Web site, Gillian is also a dream author, lecturer and counselor. If you have any interesting dreams you would like to share, Gillian's site also has a section dedicated to the "Dream of the Month."

eMail: gholloway@lifetreks.com
WWW: http://www.lifetreks.com/~dreams

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MASS PSYCHOKINESIS IN EIGHTEENTH CENTURY FRANCE
From "The Holographic Universe" by Michael Talbot

"One of the most remarkable displays of miraculous events ever recorded, took place in Paris in the first half of the eighteenth century. The events centered around a puritanical sect of Dutch-influenced Catholics known as Jansenists, and were precipitated by the death of a saintly and revered Jansenist deacon named Francois de Paris. Although few people living today have even heard of the Jansenist miracles, they were one of the most talked about events in Europe for the better part of a century.

"...Jansenism was founded in the early seventeenth century, and from the start it was at odds with both the Roman Catholic Church and the French monarchy. Many of the beliefs diverged sharply with standard church doctrine, but it was a popular movement and quickly gained followers among the French populace... As a result, both the church and the king were constantly maneuvering to undermine the movement's power. One obstacle to these maneuverings, and one of the factors that contributed to the movement's popularity, was that Jansenist leaders seemed especially skilled at performing miraculous healings... It was on May 1, 1727, at the height of this power struggle, that Francois de Paris died and was interred in the parish cemetery of Saint-Medard, Paris.

"Because of the abbe's saintly reputation, worshippers began to gather at his tomb, and from the beginning a host of miraculous healings were reported. The ailments thus cured included cancerous tumors, paralysis, deafness, arthritis, rheumatism, ulcerous sores, persistent fevers, prolonged hemorrhaging, and blindness. But this was not all. The mourners also started to experience strange involuntary spasms or convulsions and to undergo the most amazing contortions of their limbs. These seizures quickly proved contagious, spreading like a brush fire until the streets were packed with men, women, and children, all twisting and writhing as if caught up in a surreal enchantment.

"It was while they were in this fitful trancelike state that the 'convulsionaires,' as they came to be called, displayed the most phenomenal of their talents. One was the ability to endure without harm an almost unimaginable variety of physical tortures. These included severe beatings, blows from both heavy and sharp objects, and strangulation -- all with no sign of injury, or even the slightest trace of wounds of bruises.

"What makes these miraculous events so unique is that they were witnessed by literally thousands of observers. The frenzied gatherings around Abbe Paris's tomb were by no means short-lived. The cemetery and the streets surrounding it were crowded day and night for years, and even two decades later miracles were still being reported (to give some idea of the enormity of the phenomena, in 1733 it was noted in the public records that over 3,000 volunteers were needed simply to assist the convulsionaires and make sure, for example, that the female participants did not become immodestly exposed during their seizures). As a result, the supernormal abilities of the convulsionaires became an international cause celebre, and thousands flocked to see them, including individuals from all social strata and officials from every educational, religious, and governmental institution imaginable; numerous accounts, both official and unofficial, of the miracles witnessed are recorded in the documents of the time."


"It appears nothing could harm the convulsionaires. They could not be hurt by the blows of metal rods, chains, or timbers. The strongest of men could not choke them. Some were crucified and afterward showed no trace of wounds. Most mind-boggling of all, they could not even be cut or punctured with knives, swords, or hatchets! Louis-Basile Carre de Montgeron [an investigator, noted authority on the subject and member of the Paris Parliament] cites an incident in which the sharpened point of an iron drill was held against the stomach of a convulsionaire and then pounded so violently with a hammer that it seemed 'as if it would penetrate through the spine and rupture all the entrails.' But it didn't, and the convulsionaire maintained an 'expression of perfect rapture,' crying, 'Oh, that does me good! Courage, brother; strike twice as hard, if you can!'

"Invulnerability was not the only talent the Jansenists displayed during their seizures. Some became clairvoyant and were able to 'discern hidden things.' Others could read even when their eyes were closed and tightly bandaged, and instances of levitation were reported. One of the levitators... was so 'forcibly lifted into the air' during his convulsions that even when witnesses tried to hold him down they could not succeed in keeping him from rising off of the ground."

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THE POTENTIAL OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
By Linda O'Keefe & Lance Botthof

As the request for an article on the potential of human relationships came out of David Sunfellow's mouth, smiles with the same meaning spread across our faces. We looked at each other knowingly, and memories of our wedding day flowed freely. On that day, we spoke our vows from "A Course In Miracles", which boldly states that "holy relationship" with others is the highest form of honor to our spiritual growth. As we all know by now, that growth includes sifting through the unhealed parts of ourselves which always seem to be waiting just outside the door of our consciousness for acknowledgment. The Course states that as long as we are committed to hide none of ourselves and heal the woundedness within the boundaries of relationship, the energy of God is conspicuously present, almost as though a third entity has been created. Interestingly, this concept appeared in the best- seller "The Bridges of Madison County" as a way to help the characters know and love each other their whole lives, though physically apart. The book had incredible mass appeal because it dealt with two themes that most everyone could relate to: lost potential in love and the power of human/spiritual connection which can outlive circumstances, illness, distance, death -- everything. Sadly, true love is still frequently "misplaced" or destroyed by people unwilling to see the nature of its true power. Its true power lies in its ability to carry us through the dark, hard lessons of life and turn even their grit into something of courage, honor and selflessness. In an effort to understand how any of us misinterpret this gift, we'd like to speak realistically about the stages of relationship we all pass through, and would sometimes like to pass up!

First, of course, is the "honeymoon", the recognition and celebration of connectedness with another that we would love to feel forever. This stage is recognizable to everyone as the couple who "can not keep their hands off each other," are frequently gazing into each others eyes, feel they can hardly live without the other and infrequently experience any form of conflict. During this time, each individual looks and feels more vital, attractive, open and generally loving towards everyone. The decision to have a committed relationship usually takes place, marking the beginning of the end of this stage. Though we are speaking mostly of romantic relationships, any relationship where two people are "attracted" to each other (friends, business partners, etc.) may experience similar dynamics.

The next stage is "familiarity/conflict", where the couple begins to run into possible conflict or disappointment over issues of living together, different habits, beliefs, or methods of raising children. Family of origin issues have usually entered the picture, in more ways than one. It has been said that when we marry or commit to another, we get much more in the bargain. How that person was raised, family traditions, connections (healthy or unhealthy) to other family members or friends, etc., all have an effect on how issues are viewed, communicated and/or resolved. If we carry repressed woundedness from our past, communication and resolution of issues may start to feel hard. Both people may begin to feel that they are not completely understood by the other. Some disappointment sets in, and a growing tendency to blame each other for it can begin here.

Next is the "power struggle" stage. This is where many people get stuck and spend the majority of their relationship. Because most of us did not have role models for healthy conflict resolution, there is a stuck point when both people feel their position is not being heard or respected. Actually, that is the reality because both have come to an impasse with themselves. This usually includes the inability to know or be honest about their own feelings, an unwillingness to "look deeper" into themselves for those insights into the perception that their partner does not listen, understand and/or care. This can be a very quiet power struggle. Many of us may cope with internal or external conflict by "shutting down", and withdrawing. To add to the confusion, most couples are made up of two individuals with opposite reactions to conflict. The power struggle then may sidestep the original issues and become about each person's "right" to do it their way. If we are not aware of these normal stages in relationship we are likely to "settle" in this constant power struggle or end the relationship altogether. Those that do break through, move on to the next stage: "resolution & transcendence."

The power struggle is resolved by both people putting down the weapon of "their reality," and moving to the vulnerability that is underlying. When we establish a pattern of expressing our vulnerability and a commitment to look inward first, the power struggle can be transcended. Then, miraculously, the "honeymoon" stage starts showing up unexpectedly again. A new level of trust has been reached and curiously, it is not so much about each other. It is about trusting self.

This is the divine gift that relationships can give us: A path through the thorns and brambles of woundedness to an understanding of ourselves we could not have reached alone. And with the support of our transcended partnership, we are capable of true miracles towards whatever our life's purpose is calling us to do.

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Linda and Lance together have nearly 20 years of personal recovery and counseling experience. Their marriage partnership is founded in a deep commitment to continued personal growth. They seek to share their inspiration with others interested in discovering the power of relationships. Their site on the World Wide Web (http://www.sedona.net/nen/options) is dedicated to empowering others towards this end. Included therein, is information on a "Relationship Help Line", designed to help callers with relationship concerns and "Life Shift", a two to four day personal & spiritual growth intensive held in Sedona, Arizona. Linda and Lance can be reached at the following:

Options For Growth
P.O. Box 65145
Tucson, Arizona 85728-5145
Phone: (520) 615-1449
eMail: options@rtd.com

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THE POWER OF SEXUALITY & RELATIONSHIPS

Quotes from "The Multi-Orgasmic Man"
and the Pathwork Guide Lectures of Eva Pierrakos


"You may... feel your sexual energy circulate through her and her sexual energy circulate through you. Eventually you may feel as if the physical boundaries between the two of you dissolve. Many men have experienced this oneness with a partner, or even a feeling of oneness with the universe, during extraordinarily intimate lovemaking... This kind of sexual union with another person and between yourself and the universe can actually result in a transformation of consciousness. It is for this reason that sexuality in the East has often been seen as part of the spiritual path, and not as something opposed to it."

---"The Multi-Orgasmic Man," Mantak Chia & Douglas Abrams Arava

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The following quotes come from the book, "Creating Union," which is a collection of Pathwork Lectures:

"The blissful experience of fusion and the sense of timelessness in the sexual union depend on the inner unification of the individuals in question, and therefore on their attitudes on all levels of their being. If the sexual experience is an expression of the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels, and if these levels are unified with each other without any conflict, then the people who express their being on all these levels in accordance with spiritual law have a sexual experience as complete, fulfilling, rich, joyous, nourishing, sustaining, furthering and reminiscent of spiritual reality as any human experience can be."

---Chapter 13: Fusion: The Spiritual Significance of Sexuality, Pg. 142

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"The power of sexuality in its most ideal form can convey more fully than any other human experience what spiritual bliss, oneness, and timelessness are. In the total sexual experience you break through the confines of time and separateness to which your unlimited mind has bound you. Such an experience reminds you of your true existence in the Eternal."

---Chapter 13: Fusion: The Spiritual Significance of Sexuality, Pg. 142

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"Q. Certain people believe that they can cut out sex and Eros and the desire for a partner and live completely for love of humanity. Do you think it is possible that man or woman can swear off this part of life?

"A. ...there is perhaps one person in ten million who may have such a task... It may be in the karma for a particular soul who is already developed this far, has gone through the true partnership experience, and comes for a specific mission. There may also be certain karmic debts which have to be paid off. In most cases--and here I can safely generalize--avoidance of partnership is unhealthy. It is an escape. The real reason is fear of love, fear of life experience, but the fearful renunciation is rationalized as a sacrifice...

"Examine yourself. Go below the surface layers of your conscious reasoning and explanations for your attitude in this respect. Try and find out whether you fear love and disappointment. Isn't it more comfortable to just live for yourself and have no difficulties? Isn't really this what you feel deep inside and what you want to cover up with other reasons? The great humanitarian work you want to do may be for a worthy cause indeed, but do you really think one excludes the other? Wouldn't it be much more likely that the great task you have taken upon yourself would be better fulfilled if you learned personal love too?"

---Chapter 3: The Forces Of Love, Eros, and Sexuality, Pg. 38-39

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"Out of ignorance, humanity has long believed that sex as such is sinful. Therefore it was kept hidden and this part of the personality could not grow up... And this, in turn, has led humanity to believe that sexuality is a sin and that the truly spiritual person must abstain from it. Thus one of those oft-mentioned vicious circles came into existence.

"Because of the belief that sex was sinful, the instinct could not grow up and meld with the love force. Consequently, sex in fact is selfish and loveless, raw and animalistic. If people would realize that... the sex instinct is as natural and God-given as any other universal force... they would break this vicious circle and more human beings would let their sex drives mature and mingle with love..."

---Chapter 3: The Forces Of Love, Eros, and Sexuality, Pg. 40

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AN EXPERIENCE IN COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS
By Paramahansa Yogananda
from his classic book, "Autobiography of a Yogi"

"My body became immovably rooted; breath was drawn out of my lungs as if by some huge magnet. Soul and mind instantly lost their physical bondage and streamed out like a fluid-piercing light from my every pore. The flesh was as though dead; yet in my intense awareness I knew that never before had I been fully alive. My sense of identity was no longer narrowly confined to a body but embraced the circumambient atoms. People on distant streets seemed to be moving gently over my own remote periphery. The roots of plants and trees appeared through a dim transparency of the soil; I discerned the inward flow of their sap.

"The whole vicinity lay bare before me. My ordinary frontal vision was now changed to a vast spherical sight, simultaneously all-perceptive. Through the back of my head I saw men strolling far down Rai Ghat Lane, and noticed also a white cow leisurely approaching. When she reached the open ashram gate, I observed her as though with my two physical eyes. After she had passed behind the brick wall of the courtyard, I saw her clearly still.

"All objects within my panoramic gaze trembled and vibrated like quick motion pictures. My body, Master's, the pillared courtyard, the furniture and floor, the trees and sunshine, occasionally became violently agitated, until all melted into a luminescent sea; even as sugar crystals, thrown into a glass of water, dissolve after being shaken. The unifying light alternated with materializations of form, the metamorphoses revealing the law of cause and effect in creation.

"An oceanic joy broke upon calm endless shores of my soul. The Spirit of God, I realized, is exhaustless Bliss; His body is countless tissues of light. A swelling glory within me began to envelop towns, continents, the earth, solar and stellar systems, tenuous nebulae, and floating universes. The entire cosmos, gently luminous, like a city seen afar at night, glimmered within the infinitude of my being. The dazzling light beyond the sharply etched global outlines faded slightly at the farthest edges; there I saw a mellow radiance, ever undiminished. It was indescribably subtle; the planetary pictures were formed of a grosser light.

"The divine dispersion of rays poured from an Eternal Source, blazing galaxies, transfigured with ineffable auras. Again and again I saw the creative beams condense into constellations, then resolve into sheets of transparent flame. By rhythmic reversion, sextillion worlds passed into diaphanous luster, then fire became firmament.

"I cognized the center of the empyrean as a point of intuitive perception in my heart. Irradiating splender issued from my nucleus to every part of the universal structure. Blissful AMRITA, nectar of immortality, pulsated through me with a quicksilverlike fluidity. The creative voice of God I heard resounding as AUM, the vibration of the Cosmic Motor.

"Suddenly, the breath returned to my lungs. With a disappointment almost unbearable, I realized that my infinite immensity was lost. Once more I was limited to the humiliating cage of a body, not easily accommodative to the Spirit. Like a prodigal child, I had run away from my macrocosmic home and had imprisoned myself in a narrow microcosm."

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A MASS AWAKENING
By David Sunfellow

[The following article originally appeared in NHNE NEWS BRIEF 2 (Friday, November 18, 1994)]

There are few events taking place in the world today more fascinating than the growing phenomena of near-death experiences. In the United States alone, it has been estimated that as many as EIGHT MILLION Americans have experienced this phenomena.[1] Although there is, at present, no reliable estimates of how many people worldwide have had this experience, it is likely than many more millions of people can be added to the number.

Typically, near-death experiences have been studied from the standpoint of the experience itself: What people experience when they cross the threshold between life and death; how their experiences are similar and how they differ; are these experiences real or simply the product of a human brain responding to severe stress. Less has been said about the impact of the experience itself on the lives of the people who have had near-death experiences, and even less about what it might mean for our race that MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS of our members are presently passing through this life-changing experience.

While other researchers have been busily trying to analyze the experience itself, Kenneth Ring, the author of LIFE AT FIRST, HEADING TOWARD OMEGA and THE OMEGA PROJECT has been seeking to understand what the experience itself might mean. His observations are penetrating, thought-provoking and gripping.

Before we summarize Ring's research and perspectives, let us first take a look at the near-death experience itself. Dr. Raymond A. Moody, author of the near-death experience classic LIFE AFTER LIFE, constructed the following hypothetical description of the experience that contains the main elements common to most such episodes.

"A man is dying and, as he reaches the point of greatest physical distress, he hears himself pronounced dead by his doctor. He begins to hear an uncomfortable noise, a loud ringing or buzzing, and at the same time feels himself moving very rapidly through a long dark tunnel. After this, he suddenly finds himself outside of his own physical body, but still in the immediate physical environment, and he sees his own body from a distance, as though he is a spectator. He watches the resuscitation attempt from this unusual vantage point and is in a state of emotional upheaval.

"After a while, he collects himself and becomes accustomed to his odd condition. He notices that he still has a 'body,' but one of a very different nature and with very different powers from the physical body he has left behind. Soon other things begin to happen. Others come to meet and to help him. He glimpses the spirits of relatives and friends who have already died, and a loving, warm spirit of a kind he has never encountered before--a Being of Light--appears before him. This being asks him a question, nonverbally, to make him evaluate his life and helps him along by showing him a panoramic, instantaneous playback of the major events of his life. At some point he finds himself approaching some sort of barrier or border, apparently representing the limit between earthly life and the next life. Yet, he finds that he must go back to the earth, that the time for his death has not yet come. At this point he resists, for by now he is taken up with his experiences in the afterlife and does not want to return. He is overwhelmed by intense feelings of joy, love, and peace. Despite his attitude, though, he somehow reunites with his physical body and lives.

"Later he tries to tell others, but he has trouble doing so. In the first place, he can find no human words adequate to describe these unearthly episodes. He also finds that others scoff, so he stops telling other people. Still, the experience affects his life profoundly, especially his views about death and its relationship to life."

Near-death researchers now know that most near-death experiences are remarkably similar. Regardless of gender, race, social class, education, or religious persuasion, most people tend to share the same essential experience. But what about AFTER the experience? Do near-death victims also share similar transformations in their personal lives? According to Ring, they do indeed. And what's more, Ring is convinced that the transformations people experience in their personal lives "seem to be propelling humanity toward the next stage of its collective development."[2] How? What kind of changes take place in the lives and consciousness of people who share this experience? And how do these changes suggest that the race as a whole may be undergoing a mass awakening?

According to Ring, people who experience a near-death experience tend to share the following changes:

CHANGES IN SELF-CONCEPT AND PERSONAL VALUES:

-- A heightened appreciation for life

-- A greater responsiveness to the beauty of the natural world

-- A greater focus on living in the moment

-- Concerns about past grievances and worries about the future diminish

-- Greater feelings of self-worth

-- Greater acceptance of themselves as they are (greater acceptance of themselves is typically traced back to the overwhelming sense of love and acceptance they felt "from the Light")

-- Increased concern for the welfare of others

-- Increased tolerance, patience, and compassion for others

-- An increased ability to express love

-- An emphasis that sharing love is the primary value in life

-- A stronger desire to help others

-- Increased insight into human problems

-- Deeper understanding of other human being

-- Unconditional acceptance of others

-- While people oriented values tend to rise, concerns for material things and material success tend to plummet

-- The need to make a good impression on others declines

-- There is an increased interest in understanding life

-- There is increased interest in spiritual and religious concerns

-- More effort is made to deeply understand oneself

CHANGES IN RELIGIOUS OR SPIRITUAL ORIENTATION:

-- Near-death survivors describe themselves as more spiritual, not necessarily more religious

-- They feel closer to God

-- Formal, more external aspects of religious worship tend to be less important and less emphasized

-- They express an unconditional belief in life after death

-- They express an unconditional belief that "the Light" will be there for everyone, regardless of one's belief (or lack of belief) about what happens at death

-- There is a greater openness to the idea of reincarnation

-- There is a belief that a single spiritual reality underlies all the world's religious traditions

CHANGES IN PSYCHIC ABILITIES AND AWARENESS:

-- There tends to be an increase in telepathic abilities

-- An increase in clairvoyant experiences

-- An increase in precognitive experiences (especially through dreams)

-- Greater awareness of synchronistic events and experiences

-- An increase in out-of-body experiences

-- An increased ability to enter states of consciousness that tend to produce paranormal insights and experiences [3]

What does all this mean? Here's is what Kenneth Ring has to say:

"With resuscitation technology likely to improve and to spread in use around the globe, it appears inevitable that many more millions will undergo and survive near-death experiences and thus be transformed according to this archetypal pattern.

"It may be that this high rate of transcendental experience collectively represents an evolutionary thrust toward higher consciousness for humanity at large? Could it be that the near-death experience is itself an evolutionary mechanism that has the effect of jump-starting individuals into the next stage of human development by unlocking previously dormant spiritual potentials? Indeed, are we seeing in these people, as they mutate from their former personalities into more loving and compassionate individuals, the prototype of a new, more spiritually advanced strain of the human species striving to come into being? Do these people represent the 'early maturers' of a new breed of humanity emerging in our time...

"I am not one who foresees the emergence of a new, cooperative planetary culture as a necessary consequence of the kind of evolutionary shift in consciousness I detect. Rather, I see that shift as a potential of the human species that is beginning to manifest, but whether it takes hold and transforms the earth depends on many factors; not the least is the extent to which many of us consciously align with these trends and seek to awaken. Clearly, nothing in the collective human potential emerging from the spawning grounds of transcendental experiences precludes the possibility of our planet's self-destructing.

"...the near-death experience seems to be holding out a powerful message of hope to humanity that even, and perhaps especially, in its darkest moments, the Light comes to show us the way onward. It is up to each of us whether we shall have the courage and the wisdom to follow where it beckons." [4]

In conclusion, it is obvious that something remarkable is taking place in the realm of near-death experiences. There is the direct, life-changing impact these experiences have on the people who experience them, and then there is the indirect impact their experience has on others. Those of us that know someone who has had a near-death experience are affected by their story and presence, and those of us who don't know someone personally who has had a near-death experience can't escape the daily mass media coverage. Not only has the topic of near-death experiences made it into the mass media, but the mass media has become unusually preoccupied with the subject. Best-selling books, talk shows, news shows, and televisions specials all prove that the public at large is deeply fascinated with the subject--which may itself be be a sign that the kind of evolutionary leap Ring is predicting is, indeed, taking place...

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[1,2,3,4] From an article by Kenneth Ring entitled, "The Near-Death Experience," that appeared in "Paths Beyond Ego: The Transpersonal Vision", The Putnam Publishing Group, 1993.

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For more information about near-death experiences, and spiritual awakenings in general, you can visit Bob Manrodt's SACRED TRANSFORMATIONS Web site: http://www.well.com/user/bobby/

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NHNE MISSION STATEMENT, CREDITS & CONTACT INFORMATION

The mission of NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE) is to answer humankind's oldest, most perplexing questions: Who are we? Where are we from? What is the origin and purpose of life? Instead of relying on ancient or contemporary wisdom, or the knowledge of isolated experts, we are building a global network of seekers from all walks of life, from all parts of the world, lay people and professionals alike, that can pool talents, experience, and resources to unravel life's great mysteries.

We also believe that our planet is passing through a time of profound change and are seeking to create a global community of like-minded people that can safely pass through whatever changes may come our way and help give birth to a new way of life on our planet.

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