onsdag den 12. oktober 2011
mandag den 19. september 2011
”THE SUPERNATURAL WORLD”
Are you fascinated by the supernatural? By the idea, that there may be a deeper meaning to existence?
That demons - or just beings from other worlds or dimensions - actually exist? Or do you simply wonder why some people seem to believe in, or even in some form experience, the supernatural?
If not, then you probably belong to a very small minority. In all likelihood it will not have escaped your attention, that there are entire retail chains, that exist to provide you with anything from gemstones with healing properties to inverted crosses - anything according to taste.
What is it all about? And what has auras and reincarnation got to do with the religion we were taught at Sunday school?
Are people who communicate with spirits insane, do they have real contact, or maybe both? And is the fascinating “forgotten wisdom” in any way compatible with modern science?
In this little book you will meet supernatural beings, and even follow them into their own world. You will learn about how they think, and what they are doing here. You will discover that they are neither angels nor demons, men from Mars or hallucinations, but that they nevertheless visit us for a very specific reason.
And what is even more: That they and their world are only separated from ours with a thin veil. That it does not require a mystical spell to get to see them, but on the contrary that we every day more or less unconsciously perform a “ritual of deflection” to keep them away from us.
Have you ever had the feeling that you were not alone, even though you ‘knew’ that you were? Or thought about how goldfish in a bowl might feel the same way?
Maybe this book will answer questions, which you have asked yourself a thousand times. Or maybe it will start you on a journey of discovery, more exciting that you would ever have dreamt possible.
We all have some kind of opinion about the supernatural. It could be in the form of a firm belief that such matters belong in a superstitious past.
It may be an openness towards there being something we might not quite understand. It may be a more traditional belief, such as Christianity.
It may be an experimental attitude toward all the disciplines of spirituality, which we today group under the heading “New Age”. Or it could be the little joyful shiver we get, when we hear a friend tell us about something he or she has experienced, but cannot fully explain.
A common trait uniting these attitudes is however, that they are rarely very specific. Even the Christian confession of faith has usually been shortened down to an almost anonymous “God”.
This might strike us as odd, especially when we compare with the well-defined mythologies and rituals of other cultures. Maybe we feel that this very practical attitude toward the supernatural would characterize them as being “primitive”, but still we may envy them their easiness in dealing with the supernatural.
Aura-reading and numerology may therefore seem more appealing, because there seems to be some method behind the madness. It can, however, often be hard to get to know what all those vibrations and astral bodies actually are, and especially how they relate to the more traditional scientific view of the world, that we learnt at school.
It would seem somewhat rash to discard a view of the world, which has given us immunization and computers, on grounds of it being “materialistic”, especially when the effect of the alternative practices can be somewhat dubious at times. This little book aims at showing that supernatural phenomena in the broadest sense are not in any way contrary to the scientific line of thought, which lies at the foundation of our civilization.
Furthermore it aims to show, that these phenomena are rather close to everyday phenomena and can be experienced after we have gotten rid of some - prevalent, but not very scientific - prejudices about what reality is, and that these experiences are a natural result of how the brain operates, and does not necessarily have anything to do with insanity or demonic possession.
This book is not a learned dissertation, but an attempt to provide the reader with a basic understanding of the phenomenon of the supernatural and at the same time clear away a few misunderstandings, especially those, which makes us believe it all to be dangerous, mysterious or simply ridiculous. It is by no means different from other kinds of understanding and achieving experience: An effort is demanded, but apart from that, only sound common sense and sensible caution.
When addressing something, about which so many have an opinion not founded in proper knowledge, there will always be many prejudices to be cleared away. We will attempt to do this in the following.
Two tendencies would be extremely unproductive here. First there is, as mentioned above, the complete rebuffal of scientific method.
On the other hand we have parapsychology assuring us that these are natural phenomena, we just cannot explain yet. This in turn leads to rather exotic claims with a topping of ‘scientific’ lingo.
It should however be clear, that supernatural phenomena are of another order than electricity and magnetism. This may make them seem ‘unscientific’, but science is, as we shall see, as a methodology far broader than we maybe think. First it is important to know the difference between science and metaphysics.
We are often told that science is limited, that it unable or at least unwilling to speak about questions, that seem important to us. This is to some extent true, but at the same time we will have to understand, that this limitation at the same time is the strength of science.
As we know, there are no limitations to what claims can be made, and this is why it at an early point became crucial for science to be specific. The reason science has succeeded is primarily that science is basically procedure.
The scientist does - at least in principle - not speculate. He observes, and if he were to claim anything it would be that his colleagues will make the same observations under similar circumstances.
If he is right, his hypothesis is strengthened. It is never proven - scientific evidence belongs in the realm of popular literature.
This furthermore makes a technology possible, for if we can be reasonably sure what we get when mixing sulphur and nitrate, gunpowder becomes a possibility. We cannot be absolutely sure - such certainty belongs in the world of faith only.
If we ask the vicar, he will tell us, that there is a God in heaven. Such a claim makes no sense to the true scientist.
Everything he can and would be willing to make statements about is what the pointer of his measuring equipment will probably show (which is no mean thing, since nuclear energy and computers are made on such surmises). He cannot know and does not want to know whether his measurements correspond to anything in what we call the ‘real’ world.
But does he not talk about stars and atoms? He does, but these are theories.
Instead of a long list of observations, he prefers working with a model, a mental construction containing the observations in the form of predictions, prediction being, as we have seen, the nature of science. This confuses us, since we do not normally walk around thinking about the physical world as a theory.
The confusion becomes even greater when scientific theories contradict each other - as in physics - where light is tiny balls (photons) and a wave in nothing at the same time. This also annoys the physicist, who would rather work with one theory instead of two.
What it does not mean, however, is that one of the models is wrong. It only means that theories are tools, and not statements about what is ‘real’.
If we think about it, we might realize that this is the way it must be. If the scientist can only be concerned with what he is able to measure, he obviously cannot be concerned with the question of whether these measurements reflect an ‘outer’ reality.
He may, as most of us do, believe it. Einstein believed in a God, who had created this outer world. But this is just a belief, or in other words metaphysics.
This can be hard to get used to, because the scientist in many ways has taken over the role of the clergyman. If God does not exist, we would like to know what then does exist.
At the same time it runs counter to our usual conception of what it means to experience something. But in a way, we are of course to some degree in the role of the scientist.
Our brain ‘measures’ photons and atmospheric waves - and forms a ‘theory’ on the basis of this, and again it does not matter very much whether these measurement reflect an outer world, as long as the model, which the brain creates, enables us to predict the next measurement. The physical world is thus basically an object of faith.
It should therefore cause little wonder that it differs from culture to culture - it is clearly useless to state, that we are ‘approaching truth’ as time progresses. Can any of those different models possibly honour the scientific demand for reproducibility, meaning that we will experience the same things under the same circumstances?
In this little book we will attempt to show that they can. We will often change to more modern models, for instance neurophysics, but this does not make the more ‘mythological’ ones any more or less ‘true’. With this realisation we have taken a long and difficult step into a wondrous world.
The fact that most people are not immediately willing to accept the existence of a supernatural world probably has two reasons.
Firstly we may feel that it is something, which ‘science’ as our new religion rebuffs with the same insistence as the one with which the Roman Catholic Church once denied the movement of the earth.
Therefore it was important for us to establish what science is, and that it is not rooted in this type of dogmas, but only deals with phenomena. Secondly, if fairies and trolls have any reality outside fairytale books, it seems to be an invisible reality (which at least makes them unscientific according to our first definition).
Or put in another way: If supernatural beings exist, why are we unable to see them? Here we have to remember our brain as the experimenting and theorising ‘scientist’.
It is an in many ways unusual mode of thought for us, so we shall devote a chapter to it. When we are sceptical toward ‘the Invisibles’, it is of course because we need to see before we can believe.
In order to find out something, we are basically accustomed to taking a closer look. This is of course not always possible - we are for instance unable to see the atoms - but in the cases where it is indeed possible, no doubt remains.
‘Seeing’ is something quite unproblematic for us. In other words we imagine, whether consciously or not, that we are sitting inside our head, looking out at the world through two windows.
This is, however, not the way it is. Firstly, what the brain reacts to is nerve impulses, triggered by photons.
Furthermore the objects which reflect the light are themselves swarms of particles, which may also be interpreted as waves, but only because they share some mathematical properties with these. This is not a crash course in physics, which the interested reader is fully able to undertake for himself, and the crux of the matter is therefore just, that the world of objects and properties, which we experience, has very little to do with the picture science paints for us.
Secondly, this world is the result of complicated processes in the brain, the purpose of which is to produce a ‘map’, to navigate after. We may say that the colour ‘red’ corresponds to a certain wavelength and believe ever so strongly that this in turn corresponds to ‘something out there in the world’.
In the end it does not really matter, because what we experience is not a wavelength, but the colour red. From whichever angle we view it, this reality is something, which the brain produces for the benefit of us.
How come, that we all see the same world, then? But - how can we know that we do?
If we ask our neighbour, we might find such correspondence, but how can we know, that this correspondence is not already embedded in the question? Let us assume that I see a cow every time others see a horse.
I will then from my childhood have learnt that the cow I see is called ‘horse’. ‘Point at the horse’, says mum, and I point at the cow.
Do we see the same thing? Another important thing here is that we do not have to live in the same world, as long as we speak the same language.
What then, if my neighbours do not have a word for the cow that I see? Would it exist for them at all?
The obvious answer would be yes, since it is right there to see! But the cow is after all no more than a pattern on the retina and is therefore not much different from the patterns we sometimes amuse ourselves with finding on timeworn wallpaper.
Have we got words for them? No, but they sometimes look like something we have words for.
And if they do not? Then they are not there.
Three oval stains arranged in a certain pattern do not look like a ‘ki’. But they would, if the word existed.
That other senses interfere does not make a difference, since the fact that the sound ‘moo’ belongs to a cow is merely a linguistic norm - one of the preconditions necessary before we can talk about it being a cow. A duck goes ‘quack’ unless we are from Denmark, in which instance it goes ‘rap’.
So, what happens to the cow, for which mum and dad do not have a word? It disappears.
What happens when the child points at a horse? We say ‘horse’ and smile.
The child has begun to get to know the world it will spend the rest of its life in. And when it points ‘out in the blue’, as children do?
Nothing. No word, no smile and no accept.
So - either the cow goes out the door or the child goes. And outside the door there is no milk, only darkness and emptiness.
Sometimes they are persistent, the cows, the invisible friends and talking teddy bears - we shudder and label it imagination. We detract the child so it does not become autistic and hope that this thing will eventually pass, for adults who see cows get locked up.
And for a good reason too, since cows, which no one else can see, can be incredibly disorientating. It is of course a very different matter, when we read about other peoples, who have kept or maybe still (think that they) are keeping cows.
They are of course just unenlightened, for we find it somewhat hard to believe in a society where everyone is insane, but nonetheless builds pyramids and invents alphabets. The reader must not read this as arguments for the viewpoint that reality is a linguistic norm - this discussion has its place in larger volumes (which I have also written).
Here we will limit ourselves to providing the reader with a sense of the fact that deciding what is real is no easy task. That does not mean, that we are in imminent danger of falling out of the reality, which is ours (and especially our neighbour’s), but rather that it more than anything else is a part of the social contract, which also tells us that it wrong to steal from supermarkets.
Here too we are dealing with something, which has no reality apart from our common agreement upon it, but this agreement is nevertheless a very important part of this reality. What if it fell away?
Would our society be able to exist without it? Would we? We usually view prejudice as something negative.
But if prejudice is what the word says - a judgement, which we pass before we see for ourselves - then prejudice is defining the way we see things and therefore also what we see, and it is very unlikely, that we would be able to survive without such prejudices. It is however more than likely, that they provide us with ‘tunnel vision’: That they in other words prevent us from experiencing what we may or may not have benefitted from experiencing.
In the end our relation to the supernatural does not hinge on whether or not our assumption of its existence is in accordance with some more or less ‘scientific’ belief, but whether we can benefit from this expansion of our field of experiencing or if we would be better off staying in our back garden. This is not a decision for the author to make - he is not on a crusade.
All he can do is to point to the possibility. We will take a look at this in the following.
We have just acquainted ourselves with the brain, which defines the world we are living in. In the following we will take a further look at what the function of this wondrous ‘machine’ is.
The brain is part of the nervous system, which works like a telephone network connecting the cells in our body.
The ‘purpose’ is the reproduction of a system, which came into existence by chance, and has evolved by the continuous elimination of variations less capable of surviving. All organs - including the brain - have as their sole purpose to maintain this pattern through the intake of food and through reproduction. Originally the brain was a large sensory centre, but over time it acquired a controlling function, as the organizer and planner of the behaviour of the organism.
Neither the body nor the brain is what we understand by ‘us’ - our consciousness is a by-product. This is maybe an even stranger fact to accept, than that the world we experience is not a photographic representation of an outer world.
We are in other words seeing ourselves as the crane driver operating his machine. Earlier it was believed that ‘nature’ tricked ‘us’ to taking in food and reproducing by making these activities feel good.
Today we know that the brain always initiates the action before it becomes conscious to us. Our (inborn) behaviour is, that much is true, being adjusted and modified by a ‘feelgood-mechanism’, but our inclinations and disinclinations are not motivating, only ascertaining.
The acknowledgement of the fact that we, also with regard to ‘our own’ actions, are solely observers, does of course contribute even further to blur the line between us and the world. In other words we have here one of the prejudices mentioned before, which serve us so well within a certain range of our understanding, but at the same time do not allow us to break out of it.
What is ‘I’, then? It is a question so fundamental, that even physicists have run their heads against it in their search for ‘the smallest building blocks of the universe’.
As mentioned earlier, a thorough analysis of this does not belong within a brief summary like this one, and we will therefore limit ourselves to remarking that the role, which the observer plays as inseparable from that of the observed, seems to lead to a most unscientific subjectivity. If the observed is merely an aspect of the observation, the problem is however not that important.
All this has to seem very uncommon for the reader, and centuries may pass before this becomes common knowledge. This does not in any way - unless you subscribe to the idea of undeniable progress -mean that it has not been noted before.
Actually the ‘crane operator theory’ stems from Descartes, a philosopher, who lived in the first part of the seventeenth century. What would it be like, had we not grown up with this philosophy?
We would literally be between heaven and earth, or less poetically phrased: Between the forces, which controlled our ‘fate’ and the world, whose existence they were ultimately responsible for. And we would not be there like a speck of dust blowing in the wind, but as the very thing, which connected the two - the will of the gods and the earthly existence.
Let us now fast forward (hold on to your hats, gentlemen) to a time, where the existence of these acting forces or beings are still being suspected, but cannot in any possible way be made to fit with Descartes. The pivotal ‘I’, which in the meantime has gained almost physical proportions, can of course not be denied, and because of its ‘covenant with the gods’ it has furthermore assumed the properties of something divine.
We no longer talk of human beings as servants of the gods, about putting another before you and suppressing the I - as in the formally popular oriental tradition - no, the inflated I has become an immortal soul, around which the universe revolves. In this way it has all come down to spoiling yourself. Massage to relaxing music.
Does it sound familiar? Probably, and it would be far from us to deny anyone these harmless pleasures.
But should someone ask - and my reader just might - why the supernatural remains an unsubstantiated postulate within this field, you do not have to look far for the answer. Should you choose to go through this little book (and maybe later through some of its larger siblings) the reader will find himself in deep waters.
Nothing is as we have learned. But thereby something happens as well. We literally wake up to another world with other opportunities to understand and experience - in that order.
But is it not dangerous? Yes it is dangerous to enter the traffic without knowing the rules.
But the rules are inevitably the first thing we acquainted ourselves with; otherwise our brain would not let us experience these things - so wisely construed is it. But then the doors start opening.
To what? Angels or demons?
Is this not what the church has warned us about for centuries? Very probably it is, and that is the reason why we have to take a short look at Christianity.
Why did you pick up this book? What is it that is so fascinating about the supernatural?
The answer is really quite simple. We are born curious.
A cat in a new environment explores all parts of it, but with some caution. The supernatural is also frightening - maybe excessively so.
Your local vicar will probably try to persuade you not to read this book. He may not be able to explain why, but hint at dangerous and hostile forces lying in wait for those, who engage in such matters.
His ‘competitor’ in the alternative bookshop will strangely enough often tell you the same, warning you about ‘evil’ influences. None of the two have ever been really at ease with your truly.
For Dialogcentret I am “Denmark’s most intelligent occultist”, but I am sure it is not meant as a compliment. Nevertheless, being labelled as an expert in the occult often leads to people contacting me regarding things they have ‘seen’. In these cases I have often wondered, that the first question tends to be: “Are they good or evil”?
“I have just gotten a new neighbour. Is he good or evil?”
Usually I do not really know what to answer. Are cats evil? Or is it the dogs?
In our culture there is basically only one legal way of engaging the supernatural, and it is Christianity. This is so, because it (unlike ‘occultism’) is a religion, and even more, it is the real religion.
In some way Christianity has become the lesser evil regarding the supernatural - at least it is decent and moral, and has over the years learnt to limit its weirder aspects to a hazy belief and a little symbolism. For many people its attraction therefore paradoxically lies precisely in the intolerant and unqualified attitude toward the very things it has gained the exclusive rights to work with.
On top of that comes its role in the popular literature and on film as the signifier of ‘good’. It does sound good, but it is not without its complications, since this as a minimum requires someone to play the part of ‘evil’.
This tends to befall those who are not quite like us, something which the inquisition and the crusades bear historical witness to. Maybe we have gotten so used to the Christian dogmas (or the few that are left) that the accommodation with them has become some sort of supernatural reason as opposed to spirits and cults.
It may therefore not seem surprisingly absurd to us that a man ‘died for our sins’ two thousand years ago, which we commemorate by symbolically ingesting his flesh and blood. We may not really know what it means, but at least it is comfortingly familiar.
And it has, as mentioned before, an effect like an immunization against worse things - real phenomena. This is of course not a prejudice we can in any way subscribe to, if we are to get anywhere in the supernatural world. Nonetheless it will remain a ghost from our childhood closet until we find out what it is.
If we ask the door to door evangelists, they will of course tell us, that it is an original religion, founded by a man, Jesus. This is, however, not the case.
Christianity is a mix of practically every religious cult in vogue in the Roman Empire around the beginning of our time reckoning. Some of these influences are - mildly put - not denied, while others remain rather undisclosed.
That Christianity is a “development” of Judaism is perhaps widely accepted. The Jews were one of the peoples, who felt oppressed by the Romans, which is why they dreamt of a king, who would liberate them, even make them masters of the world. Jesus was only one of many who claimed to be this Messiah.
This should not have caused the Romans much worry, but the advocates of the new faith had the shrewdness to mix the hope of a ‘universal’ redeemer with various ‘heathen’ cults, which ensured that there was something in it for everybody. This stew became so popular, that the governing powers have been allied with it ever since.
Of greatest importance were the teachings of Zarathustra, which the Christians received through the Jews. It is from here the fear of the supernatural stems, and needless to say there are many reasons for this.
We have in an earlier chapter seen how the world our brain creates for us is limited by our need to communicate it. It is, as we saw, a process we all go through, for we cannot bring the talking teddy bear and the invisible playmates with us to school.
The child’s reaction to this censorship is quite naturally one of fear. That something, which it experiences along all other phenomena, does not ‘exist’, does not make any sense to it. All it understands is that the beings, the existence of whom is so vehemently denied by the adults, are wrong and dangerous.
Readers with children will recognize this ‘phase’. The child insists on sleeping with the light on, and the beings, who used to be cherished playmates, become bogeymen in the closet and under the bed. No contemporary parent would scare their children with such stories, but on the contrary keep the child away from everything able to cause such ‘nightmares’. It just does not change something, which is a common human experience, and society’s common reaction to it.
After all it took a hundred years to discover, that the danger did not lie in masturbation, but in the feelings of guilt it provoked. It is of course something we will get over - or will we?
Who can honestly claim not to fall subject to a very uncomfortable feeling of not being alone on a dark country road? The point here is that the History of mankind demonstrates a very similar devolution.
Here too the supernatural beings become strange and frightening, and since people seem to be powerless against them, the hope is to ally oneself with a few or a single one of them against all the rest. And if there are evil spirits, then there must be evil persons cooperating with them.
Paradoxically the Jews also became the chosen people in this context, to which two millennia of persecution bear witness. Other favourite victims were witches and Muslims, whom we treated as mortal enemies until they became exactly that.
If we care to consider this for a while, we will not have any trouble realizing that this is nonsense. Nobody is ‘evil’.
We can all get scared and angry and in extreme situations do things we normally would not do. Nobody wants to be ‘evil’ - apart, maybe, from teenagers with pentagrams on their foreheads, who would not hurt a fly, and the pop stars who want to sell them CD’s.
What has indeed always existed are people, who commit genocide and maim and mangle their fellow human beings under the pretext of fighting for the common good, the Christians are a case in point. If some people are ‘evil’ it must be them. It is a hope, that the future will see a higher degree of human understanding, and that the ‘little people’ will be the first to benefit from it.
“We are not alone!” it read on the “Close Encounters of the Third Degree” movie poster. The movie was about the meeting between humans and beings from another planet. Some might find it disturbing, others soothing.
The aliens in the movie are friendly - a kind of angels, who will probably ensure, that humanity will enter a brighter future. This is quite lucky as it were, since we would be less than likely to match their superior technology.
Mankind has thus again found a loving father in the sky, almighty and all-wise. We do not have to solve our problems - others will do it for us.
Is the tree of life not preferable to the one of knowledge? But what, then, if they were hostile, like in “The War of the Worlds”, where the Martians regard us much like we regard bacteria under a microscope, or what if they were armed with crop dusters?
That would not be so nice. They could also hide among us, maybe even take our shape.
A few years later the same director made a film about a boy, who befriends such a being - even though it looked more like a troll or an ‘imaginary friend’. It is only natural, that people in the fifties and sixties, where there was much talk about how humans would one day travel into space, also considered that someone from out there had visited us.
Perhaps they did so in prehistoric times, and all the worlds tales of gods are based on the memories of such a contact. This hardly does explain why so many claim to have been abducted by aliens.
Usually the abductees are completely ‘normal’ people, who seem to be in a state of shock after experiencing what they believe to be a real occurrence. Some centuries ago it would not have been aliens, since this concept did not exist. Most of them would nevertheless be able to tell about meetings with the ‘undergrounders’, brownies and elves, which could be almost as frightening. To make a long story short, accounts like these have always been ample - the historians have just refused to take them serious, because they do not fit our conception of how the world is.
They do not seem to be around anymore. Or do they?
Let us assume you find a strange cat in your house. What would you do?
A guess would be that you ask your neighbours if they are a cat short, and maybe you will put up duplicated posters in the local supermarkets. But what would you do if it were a brownie?
Probably nothing. People would think you were crazy, which might entail unpleasant consequences for you.
Maybe your neighbour has seen something similar, but chooses to keep quiet. Why?
Because brownies, according to science, do not exist.
Earlier we spoke of the scientist, who does not engage in metaphysical speculations, but only observes.
This is, however, just an ideal. Although it is an ideal that defines science, it is still an ideal.
Scientists do not answer any call - they are busy enough as it is. In other words there has to be a probability that the report is well founded, and that again means that it corresponds with an already accepted theory.
In 1768 France was hit by a meteorite. The Royal French Academy examined the case, and concluded that “since there are no stones in heaven, no stone can fall from heaven”.
Meteorites are, as we know, rare, and so are brownies. I mean, you would never tell your neighbour about the specimen you found in your house, and nor would your neighbour - he would think you were crazy, and you would think he were.
The only person likely to talk about it would be the one, whom the neighbour already perceives as being mad. All accounts of brownies therefore stem from crazy people.
This was not necessarily the case in the seventeenth century, where brownies were an accepted phenomenon. Where did they come from then?
It was something people imagined, wasn’t it?
Just like you keep seeing real, living elephants in your bedroom, simply because science has no objections to them. I hope you are able to see how stupid this explanation sounds.
But what about the many accounts of abductions then? They can be said to exist in a grey zone.
On the one hand they are not exactly accepted by science, but they are still connected with something there is - the possibility of life on other planets. In the shape of a brownie, the brownie can only be a hallucination, but could he perhaps be a little Martian?
Could you possibly disclose what you have seen without being perceived as a complete fool? But how could anyone mistake a brownies cap for a space helmet?
Here we have to remember what we established earlier about the brain as a scientist. The brain theorises - in other words it tries to establish a meaning from the information we provide it with.
It can find patterns on wallpaper. Normally there would not be any reason for this (unless we are very bored), but if the wallpaper went for our throat, it should have no problems spotting the ‘ki’ - maybe as a hybrid between a wall and a mad dog.
When the peasant sees a brownie with a red cap, it is because the peasant owns one himself. What does a brownie really look like?
As mentioned earlier, this question makes no sense. All we can say is, that the brownie according to any meaningful definition of the term is there, and that we are struggling to perceive it in any which way, that makes sense to us.
We are not alone. These beings, whatever they are, have always been amongst us.
We can fear and deny them or try to establish a working relationship with them. In this respect this little book could be compared to the botanical atlas we bring with us into the forest - until then everything is a green mess.
And people seem to have been better at finding four-leaf clovers and strawberries in the woods. Maybe we can learn it again.
Or maybe we should rather stay at home, because it all seems so very dangerous. This is solely the reader’s decision. Next we will see what we can learn about our mystical neighbours and their supernatural world.
What can we initially say about our mysterious neighbours? Firstly, that they seem to be of much varying sizes - a brownie and a god hardly belong to the same species, though we have to include both in the zoology book.
Furthermore they tend to grow. To illustrate this principle we will start with the greatest of them all: God.
Some might find this disrespectful or even blasphemous, but we cannot be concerned with this. That an Australian tribe might worship the kangaroo can of course not prohibit the biologist from studying that animal.
So who is this God? At first he might seem somewhat distant.
He is unfathomable, we are told. None the less his adherents have provided us with some clues.
From our short encounter with Christianity we know, that He is identical to the God of the Jews, or more precisely, the God of Abraham, so lets fast forward to Genesis, chapter 15, now - that’s much better!
Here we have not only a description of the animal, but also of its habits. It seems to be carnivorous, but not at all as big as initially presumed. Small birds are swallowed in one bit, but cows, goats and sheep have to be cut into smaller pieces. This creature used to be something very concrete for the zookeeper, whereas now they try to appease us with an empty cage.
Frightening? Maybe, but not at all hard to get along with, as long as you remember to feed it. It is further clear from the text that Abraham benefited greatly from his acquaintance with this creature, since it seems to reside in the shadowy zone, where the world is being made, and is able to influence it, if not directly create it.
We may be surprised to learn that it is completely unscrupulous in moral matters. In return for a take-away meal it right away promises the lands of the surrounding tribes to its favourite.
This is practically arranged by the Jews exterminating them all with the help of the god. Before we are completely overcome by virtuous indignation we should keep in mind that those tribes had their own oversized animals, who no doubt has given them the same sales pitch.
Sometimes the others won, and according to the same logic we will have to conclude, that the Roman gods were stronger, at least in their heyday. This is the picture of God we get, if we read the Bible, so it is really hard to blame the Christians for usually staying far away from the book.
What happens now, when Abraham dies? The god is inherited by his son, who is not very pleased at first - “The fear of Isaac”, He is called - which is understandable, considering the little intermezzo, where he almost got eaten. Maybe Isaac forgets feeding time? Anyway ‘God’ deems it necessary to establish a new contract, a ‘covenant’ with Isaac’s son, Jacob, who is at first somewhat disoriented. He soon enough catches the drift and guarantees his new partner a tenth of the surplus. “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and clothes to wear and so on and so forth; then shall the LORD (the original text has the Hebrew proper noun YHWH here) be my God: And this stone, which I have set [for] a pillar, shall be God's house”.
What was that about? Does God live in a stone?
Maybe he does, but it is no ordinary stone. The original noun is ‘maccebha’, which a Hebrew dictionary tells us is the same as ‘idol’. That these beings in some sense are ‘behind’ the objects of this world is expounded thus, that they inhabit them.
Furthermore they can take up dwelling in a specific object, namely an image, which resembles them. We can also say that we are connecting ourselves - i.e. entering into a covenant - with the ‘spirit’ residing in the object.
It could for instance be an animal, which is what we call totemism. The two large idols, depicting the God of the Jews in ancient Israel, were bulls - just like the golden calf.
Maybe we start to grasp the Jewish and Islamic interdict on pictures. Their God is a ‘jealous’ god (as all pets are) and any picture of an animal will inevitably contain the animal’s spirit, which you will thereby have gained power over, and be able to ally yourself with.
Again we may wonder how concrete everything is. As we have also seen, it would not remain that way, and these creatures become something abstract, which can be manipulated for political purposes.
For the Jewish people it was no less than unthinkable, that their God should have been defeated in open battle. Thus viewed, it would be more acceptable to say, that He had turned away from them. What had they done wrong? They have wondered ever since.
The Jews were first and last a warrior tribe, and an obvious conclusion would be, that they had let down their warrior ethics. As a nomadic people they had difficulties settling into almost any culture, which is why we repeatedly hear about their migrations out of the ‘houses of bondage’ of civilization.
But in the end they usually settled down in the conquered areas. Then the prophets are enraged by the apostasy of the people, who prefer the porridge of Egypt to the manna of the desert.
Their God eventually abandoned them completely. Not because of the beatings he had received from the gods of Babylon and Rome.
No, those rulers of the world were only the ‘tools of punishment’ of an almighty God. One day he would finally be mitigated and send forth a new David - we know the story.
With Christianity it takes an additional turn. The Christians ate up Rome from the inside, but there was not much left at that time.
Subsequently they ‘christened’ the barbarian peoples of the north, and the church became a significant political power all the way up to our time. Our purpose is an altogether different one. We want to get to know these beings, not invent clever stories about them.
And though we have not so far gone beyond the biblical tales of our childhood, we have already learnt a good deal about them. For instance that they grow.
With this I do not mean the God of the hymnal, who is unfathomable simply because He is an invented figure. What I mean is, that a ‘bull spirit’ can become protector of a person, a family, maybe even an entire people - and that alone because of the aforementioned covenant.
Not only does the world manifest itself through man, the spirits or the gods manifest themselves through man as the world. How this is done will be the subject of the following chapters.
Reality is, as we have seen, shared, which makes it limited. In our case this means that especially the supernatural reality is not only denied and rebuffed, it is simply not experienced.
Or more precisely: Normally not. These experiences are admittedly rare, but as we have seen in connection with what is normally interpreted as alien abductions (and which a few centuries ago would have been “being taken into the mountain”, since this was where the trolls were believed to reside) they do happen, and perhaps more frequently than most of us would think.
If these things happen so often, that it becomes hard for the ‘victim’ to function with people he no longer shares consensus with (consensus being the shared reality), we would usually define his state as being one of ‘mental illness’. Suddenly the things said by these individuals do not make sense any more, but if we view their testimonies in a religious context we might see some sense behind the ramblings (which is why some deduce, that religion is a kind of insanity).
Under any circumstances we will here find the beings, who are invisible for us, and like the bogeyman under the bed during the child’s phase of denial, they will be perceived as hostile or even stalking. As a concession to our shared reality the stalker may be identified as the neighbour, which in turn then further reinforces our suspicion that the person in question has indeed lost his mind. Basically the things, which make sense for the patient, only rarely make any sense for us.
This is especially true with regard to the contents of the psychiatric drawer labelled ‘schizophrenia’. The patient lives in his own world and is unable to perform anything sensible, that is - sensible in our eyes.
Tellingly the psychiatrists call this behaviour ‘ritual’, in other words it is strikingly similar to that, which was earlier utilized in relation to supernatural phenomena (and which our church services are a watering down of). Are these persons then sages, from whom we should learn?
Yes and no. Basically they are probably as confused as we would be if we had taken LSD.
What we can learn from them is how the brain functions when the common reality stops working. Why does it stop anyway?
To understand this, we will have to return to what we said earlier about the brain as a scientist. Its task is, as we have seen, to make sense of what it experiences, and which it therefore for practical purposes splits into two ‘areas’.
First there is the world ‘outside’ with its own life, its own tendencies and laws. Besides that, there is that, which defines what we interpret as ‘our’ behaviour.
In its most primitive version, which is the one best known to us, this becomes the interpretation, that we from somewhere inside our head observe the world outside, and yield influence upon it by issuing orders to our muscles. In a slightly more advanced model ‘we’ simply live out an earthly fate, laid out by unearthly forces.
In the latter example we do not just have to come to terms with a dead ‘outer’ world, but also with its inhabitant ‘spirit’, because it is the wellspring of this world. The world is as it is because the behaviour, which ensures the cellular metabolism, manifests itself that way. This would be the neurological way of putting it.
Of course this can all seem a bit hazy - the ‘supernatural’ model is often better. This will become clear when comparing modern psychiatry with for instance Babylonian demonology.
Let us say that we have a problem with the world, which our brain ‘defines’ as inner, and in our time and place often lies in complete and utter darkness - the ‘unconscious’. Often it will be a conflict, which is not necessarily just between on the one hand what we would like to or crave and on the other hand what we are able to do and can get.
As we have seen, the ‘personality’ - I - is just a figure, an ‘explanation’ of the behaviour, which is fundamentally not ours. It may be obvious to us, but not to the brain.
The brain prefers order. In our culture it is downright anal.
When the church evicted everyone except its own idol from the heavens, a calm surface was immediately ensured. In other words Heaven became a totalitarian state, where the tripartition of power - Father, Son and Holy Ghost - is a pure illusion.
The rest of the inhabitants could seek employment as civil servants (angels) or be relegated to devilhood. When the natural sciences took over, we found it hard to survive without this ideal organization, which then turned into the Order of Nature, in which mankind shall not interfere, just as it should not have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge.
But nature knows only disorder. Those scientists, who expected to discover the genetic code as a neat and tidy recipe, found to their surprise that most of it was nonsense.
‘Nature’ only does things right by mistake, because that is how It works. Man is a fried egg, discovered by coincidence - nature always drops something on the floor.
Some of its mistakes are nonetheless persistent (or capable of survival if you will) and lead to others. This is Unintelligent Design.
Nature is a laboratory, where no one ever cleans up (even though ‘natural selection’ does the best it can). This is why the brain is a sandwich with layer smacked upon layer for at least a hundred million years.
Such is the mess, which the brain must continuously keep in order, so that we can get a grand personality, which says: I am now going down to the supermarket.
Of course a precondition for this is, that a selection of behavioural patterns (some of them ape-manners, others crocodile tendencies) gains the right to bear the title ‘me’.
But who? ‘Me! Me!’ they all shout, and the brain makes its pick and for a while there is quiet.
But as we know, the world’s mythologies - the experts in this field - are full of rebellion and divine brawls. Sometime a piece emerges, which does not fit in the jigsaw that is us and the world, and which the brain so carefully has put together.
Then it has to reluctantly invent a new picture, an X-ray, to tell it what is wrong. This is very practical, but not in a society as dependent on a completely consensual reality as ours.
Then the X-ray becomes a hallucination - unless we try to make sense of it, in which sense it is a delusion - the diagnosis is in any case mental illness. In ancient Babylon, they would have had a different approach.
Here the neural rebel would have turned into a demon, who could be persuaded to cooperate. The ‘patient’ would thus remain a productive member of - a not so primitive - society. Today he has the choice between remaining fatally disorientated and becoming a medicated vegetable. Back then they could repair the radio and remove the noise, we can only mute it.
There is in other words a way in which we can experience the supernatural world. We can go insane.
This does not mean that we have to go insane in order to experience it, as little as those who experience it are insane. When the brain normally only makes us aware of the ‘spirits’ in those cases where a neural conflict makes it absolutely necessary, it is due to the fact that it does not like to confuse us - and with the primitive view of the world we have today, we are easily confused.
Our task is in other words to tell our brain, that we are able to bear a little more reality. How to do this will be examined in the next chapter.
In the chapter before we explained possession, which is maybe best known from ‘The Exorcist’. Firstly this is a horror movie; secondly it is the Christian version, which of course prevents the possessing spirit from being persuaded to cooperate.
Strangely enough they have their own (positive) version of possession, where the spirit is ‘The Holy Ghost’ or ‘The Holy Spirit of God’. That these two are opposites can be seen from Jesus’ own comments on his exorcism-business.
Evil spirits are driven out by the Spirit of God, but when this unclean spirit flies from a man it wanders restlessly about, and then returns to the ‘house swept and garnished’. The Holy Ghost must in other words remain in the person and the apostles do also receive it on Whitsunday.
As is known, the Jews were held captive in Babylon and brought much with them home (the Deluge amongst other things). Demonology is of course no exception, but in Christianity it gains a new aspect.
In Babylon the spirit, which drives out the harmful spirits, is the person’s own, whom the Greeks called daimon and the Romans genius. It did not quite mean the personality, rather the spirit behind it - the part of our behavioral pattern we identify with our self, if you will.
But seen from a Christian perspective, this ‘soul’ is not sufficient to keep the ‘evil’ spirits at bay: Stronger measures are needed. What is then “The Spirit of God”?
We may not offer it much consideration, though it is a recurring theme in the “technical language” of the Christians. Maybe we think of it as a kind of peace of mind in trusting God.
But if we read biblical descriptions of how people behave when they are ‘possessed’ by the Spirit of God, we get a very different impression - something along the lines of an epileptic seizure. Such people prophesize, like when they are possessed by a ‘familiar spirit’, they are out of themselves (‘ecstasy’) and the Spirit has taken its place (‘enthusiasm’).
It is in other words something, which happens to prophets, so when it happens to King Saul, people exclaimed: “Is Saul a prophet?” Jesus on the other hand, hinted that this is something, which could and should happen to everyone.
This is again because of the times Jesus lived, or is supposed to have lived in. It is the beginning of the messianic era - Jesus is, as we remember, the Messiah, the returned David, who will ‘redeem’ Israel. And in those days, says the prophet Joel, He will pour out his spirit on all flesh, ‘your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions’. Possession is in other words something else and more than teenagers able to spin their head 360 degrees and vomit spinach.
It is the most intimate communion with a god or a supernatural being, and in so-called primitive religion (like voodoo) it is the natural or even the only one. It sounds and can be overwhelming, but as we have seen, it is in principle an everyday occurrence.
Basically this is what happens every time we experience something, and if we are to experience anything at all. The behavior, which is not basically ours, is not just interpreted as an act of the will, but also as the world in and on which it works, with the ’I’ as the transmitting principle.
This is the true meaning when we say that God has created the heavens and the earth. We have just merged all the spirits in and behind the things into a giant corporation, about which it is hard to believe - though we try to - that it truly cares, and that not one sparrow is forgotten before God.
This process, however, is not conscious, because we are only conscious of what we are immediately able to communicate. Should we want to experience more than this, we will have to ‘transcend’ (go beyond) this limitation.
We then in a way come to meet the spirit, who at the same time ‘descends’. In some cultures this is seen as being a precondition for having a working reality, and our relation to the world is strangely detached from the world.
How often do we actually go out and look at the world instead of just talking about it, and letting ourselves be spoon-fed with carefully edited images of it? There is of course a reason for this, since the deeper reality has now become impractical or even dangerous to our superficially well-functioning but also incredibly limited and unsatisfying modern life.
When we talk rather than think, watch TV rather than read, and prefer not to be alone, we are, consciously or not, building barriers against a private and essential reality. How many of us do not automatically turn on the stereo, when coming home to an empty apartment?
It is as if we say that if there is someone, then we would like not to see them. Some literally wear these blinkers in the shape of headphones, when they go out, and if nobody is around we can always call them on our mobile phone or text them. We are in this way behaving exactly like the child, who demands to sleep with the light on.
And yet we wonder why we do not see brownies! Experience tells us that it is hard to hear with your fingers plugged into your ears.
Still we are basically ok with that. Honestly - have these lines not been just a little bit unsettling?
No wonder, considering how we have always been told, that these kinds of experiences are the straight path to insanity and demonical possession. We are rarely told why the forces that are behind the world should be anything but loving.
In fact it is supposedly the Christian God, who seems to have ordained eternal torment for those who do not believe in Him. Otherwise we really do not look too kindly at powers persecuting people for their opinions.
But then of course it is the Devil, who tempts us to sway in our belief that the burning of witches is a good idea. It is a discussion we cannot win.
Nonetheless the peasant does not fear the brownie - at least not until he has broken his deal with him. Until then he views the good relationship with such beings as a precondition for his ‘happiness’ (happiness as in ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’), for when we no longer partake in the creation of the world, it becomes detached and hostile. The individual human being ceases to have a value of its own as the binding link between the gods and the world, it becomes a mere ‘resource’, something you can attach a price tag to and later dispose of when it is no longer profitable.
We are in other words not supposed to dream dreams and see visions. We could get an overblown sense of our own importance!
Nonetheless it is the dual process of transcending and descending, which at all times has made it possible for man to relate to his self and the world - the meaning of life if you will. We take a closer look at this in the next chapter.
As mentioned, transcending and descending are pivotal themes in the supernatural explanation of the world, since this is the way in which we get in touch with ‘the beyond’. About the first we could maybe use the terms visions or astral travels, while in the latter case we could say haunting or possession.
As we might be beginning to understand, the two are closely connected, we could almost call them two aspects of the same phenomenon. This should come as no surprise. In order to see spirits you should be in a very perceptible state, like mediums entering trance in order to manifest these beings (or even be ‘possessed’ by them).
As we have seen, the connection between them is even more intimate. Like descending is the world (as we know it) coming into existence, transcending becomes in a way our participation in this process.
This necessitates an ‘I’, but paradoxically this I can also block the connection between the spirit and the world, namely if it starts seeing itself as something more and else than an aspect of creation.
This is why religion inevitably tells us to forget ourselves, to perform the will of the gods or God, in order for their blessing to come through us to our neighbour. Unfortunately this is a natural charity, which Christianity has corrupted with its strict morals.
In other words we do good, because we are afraid of going to hell (or to prison). It makes lip servants of us, trying to see how much evil we can get away with.
You wind up concluding, that man is evil and self-centred. This is actually a shame, since it takes the greatest joy in life away from us, which is forgetting ourselves in order to benefit our fellow human beings.
Think of the last time you fashionably ‘spoilt yourself’. And then think of a time, when you did something for somebody, which really made them happy.
Which of the two was the most satisfying? Or think of the second job you maybe take in order to be able to pay for a larger TV.
And think of what you built in your basement in order to make a child happy. What were you most proud of?
People are not evil beings, which Christianity has made good. They are good beings, which Christianity - in all probability unintentionally - has made evil.
With evil we do not mean what it means, but afraid or indifferent. We are then ‘good’, when we open ourselves to the world that comes from above and comes through us, but not from us.
We may grow radishes, but we cannot create them. Are they then really our radishes?
Are we put in this world in order to steal from our neighbour or to be the guardian of our brother? This is a question we have to ask ourselves individually, for as we have seen, it does no good letting others impose their morals on us - this actually has the opposite effect!
The only thing we can say for certain is that as long as we only think of ourselves, the heavens will remain closed to us. Its inhabitants are not stylites as our philosophical ‘God’ is. They love like we do (only more so) and they can become angry and scared like we can (and then the good idea would be to duck and cover).
But one thing they do not understand, and that is selfishness.
This is of course not welcome news for the church - if we do good of ourselves and talk to angels, we would not need it anymore!
Therefore it has to invent those most wicked demons and some equally vicious witches and wizards who are in league with them. But then we must do as Jesus says and know the tree by its fruits, in this case crusades and inquisitions, which were not isolated occurrences of stupidity or violence, but the expression of the philosophy, which is still the one of the church, namely, that there is not, cannot and must not be any salvation outside it.
Does this remind you of anything? Maybe certain figures in the alternative scene, who are maybe not interested in anything apart from their own personal ‘spiritual’ development and spend much time on having their aura read and being massaged - ‘cause you’ve got to spoil yourself, right?
Enter into your closet, is what Jesus said too. Leave the incense and mantras outside, turn off the lights and listen. In other words: Do what you would do at the edge of the woods when you want to see a hind: Leave the boom box at home!
What is transcendence? We may already have grasped the fundamental workings of descendence, though we had it introduced in its most dramatic form: Possession.
With possession we usually mean, that our own personality is completely driven out. This is however not the case with people who hear voices.
Are they then raving mad, or do they just know how to listen to the beings, who do not happen to have become me, or to a world I cannot communicate to others?
Maybe our initial reaction is fear, maybe not so much because of the voices, but because of the fact that we can hear them, and what possible consequences this may have on the relationship with our neighbours. Of course people are different, also in these matters.
Some panic, others get used to it, and some simply keep it to themselves. Maybe they more or less accidentally tell others about it, and are surprised by how many have had similar experiences.
Some try to ignore the voices - others try to make sense of what they say, which is not always very easy. After all they come from a country, which is at the same time very close, and very far away.
What is it then, which tries to contact us in this way? Is it devils, who want us to murder someone? Angels who want us to relay their message?
Deceased ones, who wants to warn us of an imminent danger or just ensure us that they are all right? Aliens, who want to study us and perform abominable experiments on us?
Often the message will simply be: ‘Is there anybody’? Like two children separated by a wall until they find the door.
One with fair skin, another with dark (the colour of the Devil!), but none particularly interested in murdering the other. ‘What’s your name?’
‘Where are you from?’ It is no more dangerous than that.
Children do it all the time. It is only adults who do not speak with the neighbour and suspect the worst. Distrust has to be learnt.
Someday our invisible neighbour may enter through our door, or we will pass through to his side. Descending - transcending.
It really is not that strange. Whether we take a step into the other world or it takes a step into ours is really just a matter of definition.
The important thing is that we meet, as we have to meet if anything has to come into being - We, because the spirit and the world always meet in the ‘I’.
But not the I as a wall, which closes off the world, but as a door. What kind of a world is the supernatural one? This will be the subject of the tenth chapter.
What kind of a world will reveal itself to us, once we have taken off the glasses, others have made us wear? It does not seem to be a world, which satisfies the demands we usually make of our reality.
Instead we are presented with one reflecting the circumstances we have treated in the previous chapters. The world is a manifestation of spiritual forces - in the religious sense.
A neurologist would say that the physical world is an extension of the biologically determined behavioural pattern, just as the brain is a ‘bulge’ on the nervous system, which takes care of the automatic behaviour. Perception or sensing is therefore in a way the most basic of actions, since it provides the world in which we seem to act.
The difference between perception and ‘normal’ action is that we do not think of perception as ‘action’, the way we would normally understand it. Whether this ‘model’ has a counter piece in an ‘outer’ world is, as we have seen, a matter of belief.
All we can say is that we cannot talk meaningfully about sensing in any other way - it is in other words a prejudice built into the language, because this is how the brain works. What it does not mean is that this model does not have its limitations, as all models have.
Those are exactly the ones we ‘transcend’. We know, as mentioned before, that the normal action has been decided and implemented before ‘we’ become aware of it.
Nonetheless the idea that we are the ones acting is indispensable if we are to be able to function - just like the ‘illusion’ of an outer world. In the supernatural world we will have to accept, that this illusion breaks down, and from a more ‘normal’ point of view it will of course be the breakdown of our sense of reality.
We shake our heads when a psychotic claims to be stalked by invisible beings, who are controlling his thoughts, but as we have seen his perception of reality is in fact much more realistic than ours. The reason he is still severely confused, is that he in some or other conflict suddenly has been confronted with the supernatural world without ever having been informed on how to handle it.
Naturally this will not be the case with us, who will enter this world properly introduced. What we will see is a far more elastic world - the ‘rubber world’ of the LSD trip.
The philosopher Plato compared our normal world to a theatre, where we are unable to leave our seats. But we can while transcending. We can in other words visit the prop department, and if we are lucky, exchange a few works with the staff behind the scenes.
As we get more used to the theatre, we will get to see more and more of the it and maybe some time sneak into the manager’s office to see what is going on there. In the beginning we will probably be told, that we have no business backstage.
If we cannot be driven out, shoulders are likely to be shrugged, or maybe we will be handed a broom - now that we are there anyway. The rest of the audience will of course not grasp any of this, since they think the stage is the only world there is.
Even though you appear on stage during a play, they most probably will not even notice you, since you make no sense in the context of the play. But if they did, they would be very surprised, since you would be able to change the course of the action.
That would be magic. And ‘wizardry’ has never been very popular, so perhaps it is a good thing too, that they do not see you performing it.
What does the supernatural world look like? It does look a lot like the natural one, which really should not make us wonder.
Firstly it is our own world seen ‘from the backside’ - secondly the brain only has a limited amount of pictures at its disposal. When you arrive from your seat in the audience a tree will still be a tree.
It will just be a prop. Maybe you will discover that it can move and talk too - for instance it might say ‘this thing is really heavy’ and that it could do with a drink right now.
I see - there is a man inside it! Yes, there always is, otherwise the tree would not be up there on the stage.
‘What in the world is happening?’ asks the brain, as always confused with all the things a brain does. The heavens are similar to any other company in the sense that no one is really sure what they are doing or why.
Do we? This is just another basic condition of existence.
Maybe we would like to see heaven and earth as a smoothly functioning bureaucracy, but in that case we would be disappointed. Surely God’s will is happening on earth, but as will be clear from the newspaper headlines He is not always sure of what He wants.
Therefore, if an angel tells you otherwise, do not worry too much about it. They are always somewhat arrogant.
So if you want to go ‘up’ into that world, you will be given a mountain to climb. “Is that OK?” asks the brain.
“Or would you prefer a moped?” The unquestionable reality belongs in the kindergarten teacher’s sermons in a kindergarten we no longer attend.
Everything is possible, even though not everything is practical. For practical reasons we will however start at the ground floor, which is normally called Malkuth, “The Kingdom”.
How far away the supernatural world may be, you will probably have guessed that you are not the first visitor there, and our forerunners have been kind enough to draw us a map. To these cartographers belong the cabbalists, and in their version - these things are always topics for debate - there are ten worlds: Four plus six sideworlds.
They are traditionally called sephiroth. On our voyage of discovery we will rely heavily on this map, simply because it is the best we have got.
It would of course have been more convenient if these explorers had all been Vikings, and that the map therefore had been in Danish, but you cannot have it all, and those Jews are just big time cartographers!
This is presumably because God (who is, as will be known, their God) gave them the blueprint He used when building the universe. The blueprint is known as the Torah, which is the same thing as the first five books of the Old Testament.
Think of that what you will, the map is definitely useful. Welcome to the real world!
[in the original we have a map of the sephiroth here (p. 66)]
We have in the ten preceding chapters tried to convey a basic understanding of the supernatural world to the reader, who probably is at least considering a visit. We have so far seen that the assumption of the existence of such a world does not collide with scientific method.
The problem arises, when we try to slink metaphysics - something ‘behind’ experience - in through the back door. It can be the conception of two separate worlds, a ‘physical’ and a ‘psychological’ (and where the supernatural is written off as psychological).
Or it can be the equally strange misconception, that this ‘psyche’ has an individual existence outside of ‘the body’ and survives it. We could not put this primitive materialistic idealism or idealistic materialism to any kind of use and thus got rid of it as soon as we could.
And as we inserted this magic key in the lock, all doors started opening. We understood not only the more or less dead religions, but the religious experience in itself as something natural, even commonplace.
Finally in the last chapter we compared transcending to the spectator entering unto or perhaps more precisely behind the stage. We saw how this would initially influence the ‘play’, at first for the transcending person himself.
Well-known objects would reveal themselves as flat, painted props, and we would at the same time get acquainted with a whole new kind of co-actors, namely the hitherto invisible stage workers. At first we would probably be to some degree awestruck by their presence, since they would seem to have magical abilities and, unlike the actors, be able to change a desert to a forest and vice versa. But courtesy and a certain degree of caution has never done any harm when meeting new acquaintances.
Later we would discover that they too were under some form of dictate of the manuscript and the common project: The show as an expression of the author’s intentions. It is of no real relevance, that the author in question has turned out not to be an all-wise God, but an experimenting nature.
Thereby we have actually left the scene (also as seen from behind), and these higher perspectives do then, not surprisingly, belong to other sephiroth. In this chapter we shall limit ourselves to what we can expect to see in Malkuth.
One of the best sources for this can be found in folk tales. It has often been discussed whether these tales have truly originated with the ‘folk’ or they are merely retellings of a literature, which was originally reserved for the nobility.
The answer is that they contain traits from both sides, much like the alien abductions mentioned earlier. Here too the literary source is evident - namely what we usually call science fiction - but it does not mean that these experiences are not real. Like all others they undergo interpretation, and here visits from other worlds are the obvious solution.
What the peasant saw on nightly path could best be explained by the mythology of the nobility, which was often rooted in times preceding the decivilizing influence of Christianity. Therefore these tales are often about kings and princes, but just as often they feature a poor peasant maiden or lad as the main character.
The connection between the two is then made up of the ‘elevation’ that is transcendence. The Ash Lad (and his female counterpart Cinderella) is not only poor, as a sluggard and a bungler he ranks even lower than his fellows, but nonetheless ends up with the princess.
It is often the third son, who succeeds. He is not completely without advantages - he has certain abilities. As we know from Disney, Cinderella converses birds and mice.
Often he finds a helper among these animals, maybe a cat, who demands a pair of boots in return for his favours. He rarely has any special abilities apart from being able to talk with the stagehands and strike deals with them, enabling him to change the course of the play to his advantage. In the Christian version such persons are naturally witches, and their assistants devils.
In many cases they meet in the forest, maybe a little man, whose beard has gotten stuck in a tree trunk. No matter if these beings are perceived as ‘evil’ or not, the overall tendency is, that friendliness is rewarded with friendliness.
The peasant has a covenant with his brownie (Just like Abraham), the being, who has moved into his house, maybe because it used to live in the forest, where the peasant has made a clearing. If he keeps his part of the agreement, he will succeed, if not he may fare bad.
Rather than seeing this as the revenge of a malicious creature, we should see it as a reminder, that the world cannot be seen as an inexhaustible stockpile. If we do not respect the forces working for us, they will turn against us.
In long gone times it was customary not to rake the fields too thoroughly after harvesting, thus benefitting the ‘poor man and the bird’, as the song goes, but maybe we no longer feel obliged by such charity in this era of progress and unlimited growth.
The brownies have in other words moved away. Instead we have gotten genocide and environmental destruction. It is thus not a question of it being pleasantly romantic to get to see these (not always little) beings.
When the theatre is burning it is a good thing to know members of the staff, who know the location of the exits. In instances like these panic always breaks out, and only a very few will manage to escape via the ramp.
The world that reveals itself on the other side is in other words the world of the fairytales. Malkuth is simply “the forest” where the “dead” objects become living and the animals talk.
Other aspects, like the union with the prince or princess and the tasks we have to complete to show us worthy thereof, belong in other “heavens” - hekhaloth, ‘palaces’ as the cabbalists call them. This one is in every way a good place to start.
It is only demanded of us, that we behave nicely. Often Malkuth seems like a holiday resort, and there is always a party on in the hill, which stands on glowing pillars.
Is it not true, that we can never return? Yes and no.
Of course we can, but do we want to? “The World As We Know It” does not always compare favourably.
But we can still say our hosts a polite good-bye and be back for work on Monday? Some can - others find it hard.
And here a warning is for once appropriate. Compared to the life and the meaning we encounter in that other world, this one may seem dead and empty.
But then it must be up to us to provide our everyday life with that meaning and purpose, to bring it along with us and share it with our neighbours. As we have seen we are responsible for them and their reality. We may understand this better, once we have been to the hekhal that is called Yesodh.
As pointed out earlier, we will not advance far in our cabbalistic studies unless we acquire a certain knowledge of Hebrew. This in turn is caused by the fact, that the point of the secret Jewish teachings is that the world is fundamentally linguistic - a fact, that should no longer surprise us.
We hurry on with the lesson: CADDIQ YESODH OLAM. The quote is from the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon, and means as much as ‘a righteous man is the foundation stone of the world’.
This may not make all that much sense to us, maybe because this mode of thinking is unknown to us. As democrats by heart we do accept, that we cannot always have it our way, but this also roots a kind of resignation within us.
We feel that a righteous man cannot make much of a difference in an unjust society, and that it may not even be worth it fighting for truth and justice - it will end up with us having gained enemies and having made fools of ourselves in the process. The crux of the matter is however, that the individual does not just make a difference, but the entire difference.
Here we will have to remember again, that the accepted reality is only real because it is accepted, and therefore actually less real than the personal one, which is built on experience. In what some have dubbed the social contract we do not only abandon our right to make our own decisions to the political powers. Like children who accept being punished when they have been naughty, we give them the responsibility for our reality.
Maybe we start to grasp why religion, especially of the ‘alternative’ kind, is not popular. As long as we accept the common reality, any protest will always crash against the purpose-built ‘realities’, which really puts us back in the position of unreasonable children.
In the above quote, the point is the exact opposite: We are personally responsible for the world. It is no use making excuses about us not being worse than so many others.
It is as have we been sent before the throne of God, and He says to us: ‘I am considering creating the world. How would you like it?”
This is some responsibility. Picture yourself in Nazi Germany, where everybody laughs politely at the boss’ anti-Semitic joke.
Everybody - except you. Suddenly the laughter subsides, and everybody’s gaze turns to you.
This is what is meant by a caddiq, a righteous man. Maybe some of the colleagues go home feeling ashamed of themselves, maybe they do not.
But you have torn a hole in the trousers of reality, and as we know, such rips tend to widen. Have you ever wondered why we feel angry at those who are of a different opinion, and why we feel the urge to tell things about them, which would make them appear disagreeable and unreliable?
If reality was so solid, why would we bother? The righteous man is a very dangerous person.
And if we are unable to find ways of discrediting him, we always have the overbearing laugh, the one where we check over the shoulder if everyone else is laughing too. Already in the early seventeenth century, when Cervantes wrote his ‘Don Quixote’, the lonely travelling knight had become a comical figure, ‘fighting windmills’.
Nonetheless this appeals to many youths of today, which the widespread ‘roleplaying’ testifies to. Perhaps fighting for the rights of the oppressed against the oppressor lies deep in humans - even though we are told that we are living in a ‘competitive society’, where everyone is fighting for himself.
Much of what the knights do in the old tales seems to make little sense, and still we seem to be sufficiently interested in the legend of the grail in order for it to form the basis of a bestselling novel. Basically we are fascinated by these people who do the right thing for its own sake.
Jesus may be the best known example of this, and at least in this case nobody wonders that his sacrifice saved the entire world - justice becomes not symbolic, but truly magic. What is then ‘the right thing’ in this universal sense, disconnected from all moral and judicial principles?
We have already seen this, when discussing the way in which the spirit through a human being manifests itself as the world. The caddiq is the one, who does not step aside from the process of creation, but paves the way for it.
If we are to look at it in the familiar view of transcendence and descendence, we can view him as a transcendent plumber, cleaning the pipes. It is not really that strange.
Once we have been upstairs and seen how human the world is at its springs, all inhumanity and selfishness suddenly seem to us the stubbornness of a child. At the same time we lose our respect for mediocre leaders, who are more interested in their political ‘career’ than creating a just society, where few have too much and fewer too little.
And again we are reproached! When we have to go upstairs to see how everything works, it is of course because it is not very clear down here - the artificial common reality will see to that.
This is another insight we will only gain by entering the ‘second heaven’, which is appropriately called YESODH. The party is in other words over, and we are put to work - but definitely not on a factory line!
Rather the job is more like an adventure east of the sun and west of the moon. Often we have to find something - an overgrown path, ourselves.
The grail, perhaps? Why this theme is so commonly recurring we will see in the next world, RACHAMIM.
Maybe it is time to overview the entire system. As we will see there are ten sephiroth or hekhaloth, all interconnected with roads.
At the bottom we find Malkuth, which in many ways is a mirror image of our world - or more precisely, which our world is the mirror image of. Directly over this ‘heaven’ we find Yesodh, as the central estuary of the many rivers in the ‘sea’ of Malkuth. Yesodh is also called ‘the Treasury of the Souls’, since they enter through this place into the world. At this point we should remember not to think of the soul in the body - everything comes from above.
We will see that the next stop is a very central location, a kind of ‘hub’ - but what about the localities to the sides?
Well, as we can see, the uppermost sephira splits into two, which in turn form the capitals of two columns, of which the left one is traditionally called ‘justice’ and the right one ‘grace’. These two keep each other in balance, and are united in the central column.
Our nervous system (which this in a sense is a blueprint of) maintains the balance or homoeostasis necessary for the cells in our body to function, by being divided into a sympatic and parasympatic nervous system. We will get back to all this, once we have reached the Crown of the tree of the world.
As mentioned before, having our reality dished out by the mass media can be a problem - at least when we feel an urge to expand it. Earlier the problem was the opposite - the necessary picture flickered, because there were so few to sustain it.
Pictures were then made, which to a much higher degree were understood by our forefathers as preconditions for the common shared reality than as an image of it. The later interdict on pictures gives us an impression of this view: Pictures are something the spirit can move into and become real.
Historians are spot on in describing cave paintings as ‘hunting magic’, something which will ensure good hunting by manifesting the prey, but they forget that all pictures are magical in this sense. The cave artist has not had any concept at all of an ‘individual’ buffalo. In a sense it was his own work walking about ‘out there’, and therefore only the same one existed (just like in the fairytales, where it is not a fox or a wolf, but the fox and the wolf).
When he had eaten, he would put the bones back - he was even afraid of ‘breaking any bone’ of the animal, thereby corrupting its ‘revival’. Only later would people be buried in a similar way.
All this changed when animal husbandry began, and the discovery was made that cows may come from cows, and furthermore that the presence of a bull was needed. The women of the tribe would have suspected that already, also because they were the ones who took the offspring of the killed prey in, and sowed the wild cereals in the backyard after having seen it sprout on the dung heap.
This was the greatest blow ever to masculine pride, also because the ‘magic’ had become increasingly inefficient in the growing tribal communities. In short, it became something the forefathers were able to do, and their help was needed in order for the world to continue.
Fortunately they were still present as ‘spirits’, but how could they be contacted?
The answer was to be found in the new ‘magic’ the woman worked. She in other words had to play the role of the heifer in relation to the heavenly bull.
The relationship to the spirits thereby becomes a sexual one, which the scholars of religion call fertility cult. In the long run the man is indispensable in the fight over the waning resources - the hunter becomes warrior.
From now on society is dominated by a military upper class with a substantial need for cultic legitimization. Hereby the most common religious figure of all is introduced.
The king is king because he is the Son of the (fore-) Father, who impregnates the woman by his Holy Spirit. The first occurrence may be the Egyptian version, where the goddess Isis by trickery usurps the power from the ageing god of the sun, Ra.
She appears to be more sympathetic toward her husband Osiris. In this version she tries to revive him, but in the end it was the son, Horus, who was to triumph over his and humanity’s enemy, the chaos, that always threatens, when the ‘pictures’ fail.
Egypt calls this both cosmic and social order Maat, and as the god in human shape it is the task of the pharaoh to sustain it. His entitlement to the kingship is the very same as that of Jesus. His father is The Father, who has come unto a virgin and magically impregnated her.
The legend of the grail tells the same basic story. The king - Amfortas or Arthur - is ill, and can only stay alive because of the grail, which his ‘son’, the knight, must find.
It is guarded by women, and as the receiving vessel it itself represents the female. It was not too hard for Christianity to ‘take over’ this much older myth by referring to a couple of verses in the Testament.
However its sexual connotations are thereby concealed. Why are the Christians still so scared of sex, that most of them probably - unlike all former religions - feel that religion and sex are to be sharply separated in the name of ‘decency’?
Or put in another way: Why do women have to keep quiet in congregations? Was she not already oppressed in antiquity?
No, actually she was not. In the first Christian congregations, as in other ‘mystic religions’ she had a considerable power, being the one to whom the god came.
In the so-called temple prostitution she was thought to pass on this blessing, and this has also been the case in what the Christians called ‘the bridal chamber’. But St. Paul was Jewish, and as we know from the Old Testament, ritual sex was not tolerated, even though, as can be read from Genesis 38, patriarchs frequented temple prostitutes - but that’s another story.
What it does not answer is why the Jewish cult, unlike their neighbours’, was not sexual in nature. As we have seen, it was not easy for the Jews.
As nomads incorporated into agrarian societies like Egypt, Babylon and Canaan they could easily have lost their distinctive traits, the same fate, which threatens the Danish Muslims. In other words, they had to figure out some way of ensuring their ‘otherness’.
And all other cults at the time being sexual - and since they as a warrior people feared being feminized by more civilized peoples - the result was a manic fear of sex as anything but a means of procuring new Jews. In spite of his need to make Christianity more Roman, St. Paul naturally shared this prejudice.
In other words we may prepare for a bad surprise, if we expected to find eunuchs on clouds. If not earlier, we will receive this revelation in Rachamim - the master bedroom of the supernatural world.
How can the cabbala as the secret teachings of the Jews tolerate something like this? It is its single most important sacrament.
We cannot do without it. At most we can keep quiet about it. And the secret Jewish teachings are after all secret.
In this context we should remember not to misinterpret sex as the agreeable pastime it has become after the ‘demystification’ of the relationship between man and woman. The union in question is on any level the union of the divine and the human, from the shy ‘succubus’ seeking the lonely man at night to the lavish wedding between heaven and earth which was earlier a part of new year celebrations, the impregnation of the world.
That the religious should not be sexual is in other words a prejudice we shall have to discard a long time before we reach ‘third heaven’. If we are not able to receive the divine with the same devotion and trust as the one with which a girl in love receives her lover, the supernatural world will remain a closed country - a country where the law is Love.
As mentioned earlier, this little book is intended to be a very short introduction, and its brevity might have lead the reader to the erroneous conclusion, that entering the supernatural world is an easy task. The lifelong dedication of mystics and monks of all times ought to serve as a reminder that it is not.
‘Transcendence’ is a departure from the established reality itself, a reality, which does not only surround us, but which is constantly being reinforced, exactly because it is an interpretation.
‘To remain on the ground will serve us the best’ says an old song. This is what the brain believes as well - or rather - those parts of it, which upholds the interpretation mentioned above.
We should only be grateful for that, for without it the world would be chaotic, the same chaos the old Egyptians struggled to keep away. The existence of gods did not, however, lead to any such breakdown - quite contrarily, since the Egyptian interpretation entailed these gods as well.
Quite contrarily, we say. The forces underlying ‘our’ actions and our (perception of the) world, are very hard to argue against, and though it may have a relaxing effect not to see the tiger, it would nevertheless be a bad idea to switch off the light.
Maybe it is tame or not hungry, but no matter what, we will have to figure out how to deal with it, and it being invisible does not make it any easier. As we have seen this is basically the function of antipsychotic drugs.
They makes the tigers invisible, but they do not make us healthy.
Freud tried another method, which his contemporaries labelled ‘demonology’ - maybe it would have worked better had it really been. The danger of insanity is a real one.
I do not know if LSD will make you insane, but I do not recommend it. And I do not understand the churches and established society’s fear of knowledge, or rather, I understand it far too well.
Books enable us to choose. When you have read this book, you will be able to choose whether you will proceed to something a little larger and more difficult.
You can choose to remain in the world into which you may not have been born, but at least have been raised in. Or like the curious peasant lad you can climb up the church tower and see what it is, that makes the old vicar feel so dizzy.
Maybe you will even ‘venture beyond the seas’. It is all up to you.
Whatever it will be like, it will not be a day trip. Maybe you will find that the inhabitants of that world are just as scared of you, as you are of them.
Maybe you will choose to spend a while with them in the mountain - Malkuth - some of them may warn you about venturing further up. You may reach the wellspring of Yesodh or the bridal chamber of Rachamim.
And maybe you will one day stand at the summit of Kether - the crown. Inevitably you will look down, noticing the two ways leading down the abyss from whence you came.
These roads lead to two other hekhalot, Chokma and Bina. Chokma means ‘wisdom’, bina ‘understanding’.
It may sound all the same, but the difference is, that understanding is always the understanding of something. We probably will not wonder, since we are used to think of the world we live in as a copy of an outer - that, which we understand.
But as we have seen this metaphysical speculation is superfluous, and we often only need it the moment we have to communicate in this world. Only then does it in a way make sense to speak of a common world, not outside our perception, but in our common perception.
As we have seen this splits the world in two, the supernatural and the natural. This may be the most fundamental opposing sides of being - heaven and earth, if you will, and it comes into being here on the ‘map’.
The cabbalists go even further, to en soph, ‘without limit’, or as we would phrase it: undefined. Not only is everything defined by its opposition, darkness as the absence of light and so on, but by what it is not.
No matter what we speak of there is always something it is not. The exception is - still from a cabbalist perspective - God.
But as having no opposite He does not in any real sense exist. All we can say about Him is, that He is one, who manifests Himself as many, as implied in the plural form of Elohim, God(s).
This multiplication happens through a number of separations into pairs, which we know from the biblical myth of creation: Light and darkness, day and night, heaven and earth, land and water and so on. He sets ‘limits’, in the end for Himself as well.
To make room for the world to become, God had to become smaller. This divine figure is therefore both infinitely far and infinitely close.
We know the far aspect from the spirits of the forefathers, and the close and intimate aspect from our dealings with the multitude of beings. Again according to cabbala, God is in the world in the form of Shekhina, who at the same time is the bride of God and mankind.
At every single step of the divine manifestation as world and human being, we are insofar speaking of a wedding, since only the wildest kind of falling in love can serve as an illustration of this actualisation. God never approaches us as the judge or the hangman, but always as the bride or the groom.
This can make us feel awkward, partly because we are brought up that way, partly because we understand something else with ‘sex’. Let it suffice to say, that God is love. Literally.
When we have made a short mention of these things it is only for the sake of completeness. These are things to be discussed with archangels - if you should ever be so lucky as to come across one of those - and to give the reader an impression of how high the ceiling is in that world. Next time we feel overwhelmed by the icecold gasclouds of the universe, we would do well to remember, that there is a much closer and more human world to explore.
That these worlds are inhabited is a matter of fact, and we do not have to wait a thousand years with our radio telescopes in order to get an answer. These beings have always been among us, and are only ‘invisible’ in the same sense as the nameless stains on the wallpaper are.
Therefore invocation is basically the same as naming, just like the botanical names make the individual plants stand out from the blurred, green background. If we really are to get to know this people we will need both an atlas and a history book.
This could be my DET OVERNATURLIGE and MENNESKETS AFVIKLING, each one about 700 pages long. Let us see how much further we can advance over the remaining six chapters.
Though having been deliberately brief, we have come some way. We have - maybe to our surprise - found out, that the supernatural world is not in any way conflicting with science, only with metaphysics and superstition.
That man can be viewed as a machine only makes it all easier to understand. We also learned, that the soul, which, according to some people, travels in and out of bodies, was not so different from its neat psychoanalytical counterpart, and that we have to sacrifice both on the altar of understanding.
Maybe we felt comforted by the fact, that the solidity of the world, like the world itself, is very much an invention of the brain, or did it perhaps make us feel slightly alarmed? A lot of things were turned upside down, and these parts of the book may be worth revisiting and reconsidering.
We probably already would have suspected that the vicar’s sombre warnings were just as much caused by fear of competition, as by concern for our soul.
We already know a little about our invisible neighbours, but not nearly enough.
Partly because we naturally want to know what to expect from them, and partly because their invisibility is primarily caused by our uncomprehending brain, which blocks them out. We shall try to mend this state of affairs in the remainder of this little book.
We have established that transcendence and descendence are closely related, being two aspects of the same process. Nonetheless the brain is more able to cope with someone visiting you, than with what it perceives as a whole new world, and therefore the first phenomenon is usually the first to occur.
This is also reflected in the fairytales, it will often be the elven girl who invites or lures the passer-by into the hill, or the mermaid the seaman to the bottom of the ocean. Luckily we already know a few things about those beings.
1. They do not possess you, and do not make you murder the good people of this world.
2. They do not suddenly appear in your living room because you chalk circles on the floor while muttering words in languages you do not understand.
3. They are not employees God (and if they are, they are at least showing a praiseworthy degree of initiative).
4. They are not your deceased grandmother.
5. They are not devils.
6. They are not from Mars.
7. They are not something you have eaten.
8. They have no specific interest in moving furniture or smashing dinner sets.
9. They do only on the rarest of occasions communicate with teenagers by way of inverted drinking glasses.
10. They do not look at you with less astonishment, than you look at them.
Maybe you do not, after this description, feel any urge to meet them, and as the Devil’s advocate (i.e. the one of the church and of the cause of mental hygiene) we shall take this as a given thing in order to test the strength of our fortifications. We shall therefore distribute the following pieces of advice to the reader, who at all costs wants to avoid encountering these beasts in his bedroom:
1. Be alone as little as possible. Invite your friends over for the weekend, or even better: Visit them as often as you possibly can. Stay in crowded places, preferably those, where you are always touching someone else’s shoulder. Physical contact is good, because it desexualises it. Restaurants and discotheques are ideal. The most effective means of all may be the party. In times long gone we celebrated with these beings, later we tried to scare them off with fireworks, now we have karaoke.
2. Should you nevertheless find yourself in a setting, where you are alone, then turn on the TV or the music, preferably both. Call your friends all the time, and if they do not answer, send them a text message - the Lord’s Prayer of our time. It works best if you have nothing to say - ‘hi and how are you’ is as effective as ‘Hail Mary’.
3. Be sure not to have any privacy. Endlessly tell your friends and colleagues about all your thoughts and feelings. Wear them thin, and use them up, you can always get more from the kind of programs, where the guests in the studio expose themselves and their partners. Identify with them. You are them, and they are you. You are not, and you will never be alone.
4. Do not read. When you read you have to form images of your own, and that might start your brain again.
5. Always accept the official explanation. Consider any person a dangerous madman, who does not believe unconditionally in what they say on the news and does not vote for the ruling party of the day.
You can never be sure, but if you comply with those five simple rules you have at least done everything you possibly can, and with a bit of luck you will never experience any reality at all. And if you do not?
If you ‘enter your closet’? If you dare to be alone with your thoughts and feelings, without the censorship of the rest?
If you out of sheer propensity for contemplation try to come to terms with whom you are? If you through reading try to understand the thoughts of someone else, some one else, instead of the great happy or not so happy majority?
If you in other words are alone with yourself long enough to forget the façade and the role you are playing in order not to cause anyone to worry, you may discover, that there is something behind, which you have never known, something great and wonderful, which is you. Not because you are Cleopatra reincarnated, but because you as a Human Being is part of the miracle of Creation, part of the world.
And if you discover, that it is not hostile, but human, and that its law is not subsistence and selfishness, but self-forgetting and love - well, then things can get a bit livelier than you had thought.
But do you want to? Many people find it ever so interesting with spirits and UFOs, but at the same time they consciously or unconsciously make sure to follow the five rules above - nothing happens, and that may be a good thing too.
For it is a large world. Large as man himself.
Though we should not, as we saw in the last chapter, believe everything we hear about our invisible friends, there are things said about them, which are compatible with what we have learnt about their nature. First and foremost, that they are invisible, and that they therefore feel an urge to manifest themselves.
When you think about them as being unrealized reality, and that their basic manifestation is the world itself, you will recognize this need as a pivotal trait of their personality. When we see them as descended gods, it is in other words a kind of double exposure.
The brain needs the world in order for it to make its behaviour conscious (as an I in a world) but at a time this model becomes dominant to a degree, where we become totally unable to see outside it any more. Instead we now establish that the world is ‘alive’, that every ‘object’ it cleaves out of chaos has its ‘spirit’.
That too demands a picture, which loans from both the object and the ‘personality’, which we can only perceive as being human. The Egyptian animal-gods are a good example of this.
On the one side they are the spirit behind the most essential hunting prey, which later became livestock, and the most essential picture of the cooperation between humans and the world (or as we say with an eighteenth century expression: Nature). On the other side they are completely human with - very fundamental - human traits.
The god of the Jews was, as we saw, originally a bull (and in their nomadic existence a goat - Azazel). However this figure is not quite as mandatory, as the object in itself.
The bull is always a bull, but its spirit can not only flicker before our eyes, but assume different shapes. The Jews often described angels (malakhim, ‘messengers’ from another world - the Greek angelos has the same meaning) as flaming wheels, which had led some to believe, that Ezekiel’s vision was an early UFO-sighting.
They are in other words privileged with regard to form of appearance, in the same way as the stage worker, who can take the props he needs from the stockroom. Some read into this, that they want to ‘deceive’ us, but again, also on this topic opinions differ.
THE LORD does not ‘deceive’ Abraham, because he shows himself in the shape of three men - it merely eases communication. At that point of time, the important issue was the other, namely that the anonymous guest was shown suitable respect.
On this St. Paul admonishes the Hebrews: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body”. There is a twofold purpose here: We should always be respectful, hospitable and compassionate, something worth considering in these times, where so many seek asylum here.
Nor can it wonder, that these beings prefer coming as our deceased grandmother rather than in the form of flaming wheels. You should always recheck, for the image is always incomplete.
Vampires have, as you would know, no mirror image, elven girls are flat (‘hollow backs’) and should the Devil drop by, he will be recognizable by his hoof. This may seem an enviable freedom - which the ‘werewolf’ imitates when he changes shape - but also reveals a basic ineptitude as regards performing in this world.
As purveyors of reality they never become entirely real themselves (and the same could to some extent be said about us). They may not be bound by time and place like we are - just like the stagehands are not bound by the manuscript - but this is not necessarily an advantage.
How would you fare, if you had not got a railing (in the shape of the dimensions) to cling to? Maybe you will start to grasp this once you have passed Rachamim. The example with the dimensions is actually quite useful.
We live in four dimensions (including time). The supernatural beings live in five.
It may be easier to visualize if we shorten it down with a couple of dimensions. Then we can imagine a two-dimensional world; Height and width, but no depth - something like a map of green and pleasant England.
The ‘flatlanders’ living on the map naturally have to crawl from “Bristol” to “London”, exactly like we are, when we travel between ‘real’ cities in the three-dimensional world. Can we overtake an ant on the road to Newcastle on Tyne? Yes, we can in principle land anywhere on the map (or anywhere on a timeline). All it takes is for us to hit the right place, and that should not be too hard?
Well, try finding your street on a map of the world! On the other hand the rules for the up- and downward movement of the finger are relatively simple - transcendence and descendence - though this would not make much sense to an ant.
What now if we wanted to contact them? It would probably just walk around a finger placed in its path, but does that mean, that it has noted your presence?
Then you could pour water on the map. Wrath of the gods or a natural disaster?
It would be up to the ant to interpret that, would it not? Pour out some sugar instead, and it will praise God or note what amazing progress antkind has accomplished during the past hour.
Do you already feel tired of being a god? There is a reason why we have never gotten a cable wire: BEHAVE NOW STOP OR I SHALL MELT THE POLES AND DROWN YOU STOP NOW STOP THE FIGHTING STOP STOP STOP LOVE GOD.
Maybe you decide that you really need to speak with that ant. But then you would not only have to diminish yourself to the size of an ant, you would have to move with the exact same speed and obey all the rules of insect traffic and the world of the ants.
Let not your fiendishness and sinister ulterior motives be known - that you do not live for the sake of gathering dead spruce needles for the anthill. And for god’s sake - don’t start talking about clouds.
And that is not all there is to it. Our guests also have to make sure, that time is running right.
For them seconds are nothing like pearls on a string. Imagine taking a pair of scissors, cutting the movie of your life up frame for frame and then throwing it all across the floor. That ought to give you an idea about how the supernatural being sees your world.
And it gets even worse. As we have seen they are into magic for real.
Yes, why do you think? What is magic?
Shortly put: Effect without a cause. Now imagine that time breaks down.
It makes no sense talking about an effect preceding the cause, does it? Yes, they’re into magic all right.
What they cannot grasp is the thing with natural laws. So - if you after having finished the book and tried out a few things for yourself should happen to meet an angel, there is one thing you should always keep in mind.
Be tolerant! It is not easy being an angel.
In the past chapters we have heard a good deal about the supernatural beings, but much of it may seem to be somewhat negative, in the sense, that we know what they are not. That is all right then, but it does not tell us much about what to expect from them.
If they were devils, as the vicar says they are, we could simply inform them, that we did not want anything, for as we have seen they only very rarely put their foot in the door. If they were angels, we could live on, comforted by the fact that they would watch over us when we are crossing the street.
If it were granny, her purpose would no doubt be to ensure us, that she was all right, and that we would be all right too - we would just have to die first. Beings from other planets would play doctor with us and warn us against nuclear warfare (the danger of which we would never otherwise have realized).
But these time- and spaceless aliens - What are they up to?
There must be something, for even though they are not inclined to intrusion, they have been visiting us for several thousands of years. What do they hope to achieve?
And this is the heart of the matter. When we want something, we perform the actions which we presume will cause the desired effect. But what about beings for whom these terms make no sense at all? In the chapter on demons and insanity we spoke of the behavioural pattern of the schizophrenic as being ritual.
What is a ritual? A ritual is an action, with a magical purpose.
It differs from our everyday actions by not being based on cause and effect. What is it based on then?
It is the action that precedes all other actions, because it establishes the world in which they are being acted out. In other words it is the cave-painter creating the picture - the picture that is our world - of the buffalo, in order to enable us to later on hunt it with spears, which will cause it to die.
If supernatural beings act (and it would seem that they do), their actions must be of this order. Are they then after all to be viewed as God’s handymen, building His house?
No, not really. Their purposes are not those of a distant philosophical God, even though they may appear to be, just like animals appear to ‘live in accordance with nature’.
Their self-preservation is just of another kind: They strive to become. And the thing is, that the world is their existence (or, if you will, their way of gaining consciousness).
This process is however impossible without our more or less conscious and effective cooperation. Transcendence is descendence.
There can thus be no doubt whatsoever about what these devils wants to tempt us into doing. They want to engage us in their own process of creation, so that ‘seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease’. And with some right one could say, that their demonic side shows itself here.
For pessimistic religions like Christianity and Buddhism it is no given thing, that this unceasing creation is a good thing. Moses may originally just have been the “king of the Jews”.
But as a branch of this religion spread to the Roman Empire, a bit more was needed. Christ became redeemer of the world, and the Day of Judgment a complete reckoning with this world. That the church later saw it profitable to become first a means of political power and even later to become a harmless party organizer is a whole different story.
Earlier we discussed how gods and men used to celebrate together, until the first mentioned became unwelcome and at best uninvited guests. Quite tellingly, these times of celebration fall on critical dates, ‘dead points’ on the yearwheel, for instance at solstice, when the sun is most removed.
The ‘resurrection’ we celebrate around Easter was originally that of the world. At the same time it is of course the god returning to us.
He was not dead after all, as we feared. Maybe we tend to disbelieve this superstition - the calendar will start all over again without our assistance.
Sure enough the calendar will, but not necessarily the year. We say that we do not need the rituals - the world is there.
Sure it is, but what kind of a world is it, if we have no share in it? Is it not then by necessity a dead and hostile world?
A world, where we are alone after all? A truly inhuman world, where all there is to life is fighting like dogs over a bone.
When religion was abolished, we were told that we would do just fine without it - responsible grown-ups as we were, we should be able to see our advantage in exhibiting a limited solidarity with our neighbors. After a thousand years with the most irreligious of religions we were easily persuaded.
But it did not work out that way. The promised utopian society, where everybody was led by common sense and attention to the common good never materialized.
Instead we got Auschwitz and Hiroshima. The world, in our view, did not need humanity, and maybe it will soon learn to make do without humans.
But is has not always been so. Once gods and humans needed each other for the sake of the world, which both found worthy of sustaining, a world which, unlike ours, was not a plundered corpse.
It sounded like such a good idea, the extension of the supermarket, making room for more goods and customers. Suddenly there were not so many, and we started to skip the queue.
One day it was closed, and we stood there. Instead of unlimited growth the sign said climatic breakdown.
The clerk shrugged regretfully. Maybe we should have sacrificed to the gods anyway - but there was nothing to be grateful for.
We could create and recreate the world as we pleased, so we recreated it into destruction. What we never learned was that man and the world mean nothing on their own.
It is man’s relationship with the world, that means everything to its existence. And that is, and will always be, religion.
Why is this insight so dangerous, that it has to be suppressed by all means and its adherents smeared? Why must the gods and spirits, who for so long have been cooperating with man, be labeled devils and their deeds and nature reduced to pure evil, to ‘Satanism’?
Maybe because there are still those who believe they can draw advantage from it. The business has gone belly-up, but the proprietor still tries to escape with the cashbox - a kind of covered retreat. And that is, if anything, ridiculous and dishonorable.
In the last chapter, we learned that the actions of supernatural beings are ritual. This should not surprise us when thinking back at the fairytales of our childhood, where they often acted strangely.
Often the aim of the main characters was to be reached through equally unusual means. For instance there was this recurring theme of them having to repeat everything threefold.
That it is exactly three times is maybe not so strange after all. We can all check the door an extra time to ensure that it is properly locked, but the third time it is magic (or psychotic).
Many people feel an inexplicable urge to perform all kinds of meaningless actions, often repeatedly. If we retreat a step we may notice the similarity to the Jew, who sways rhythmically during prayer or the catholic crossing himself, but in the context of OCE the ritual is void of meaning.
Of course many things have become that, or, like the fairytales, expelled to the realm of the childish. When I grew up we still had incomprehensible rhymes and the girls were playing hopscotch, which happens to be called ‘jumping paradise’ in Danish - and we did not have a clue why. Nonetheless the temples of antiquity had ‘dance floors’ and labyrinths, where we flatlanders could practice transcendence in two dimensions.
Do you throw salt over your shoulder, if you waste some? That is a ritual.
We in no way intended to show the magic and conserving salt any disrespect, what we performed was a ritual offering. In earlier times offerings were often made to the invisibles with the back turned - as we have seen, ‘invisible’ and ‘unseen’ is virtually the same thing.
‘When in Rome, do like a Roman’ the saying goes, and that would be at least one good reason to get to know the rituals before we embark on the journey to the land, where this is the accepted way of behaving. As we have seen, the supernatural beings are actually trying to learn our habits when they visit us, however strange and inconvenient it may seem (to them).
Consider that you on the road from London to Bristol not only have to ‘travel’ the distance ‘in’ a certain time - we cannot skip a single point on the way. A strange ritual indeed!
Do we then not owe our ‘invisible’ neighbours the same courtesy? The problem is of course, that these rituals often have been distorted beyond recognition.
We eat Jesus in the church. Come again, please?
Yes, the bread becomes his body and the wine his blood. It does not make much sense, does it?
But then think of our distant forefathers, who actually ingested their totem, the animal god, who sacrificed itself to them. At some point hunting was of course given up, and cultivation of the earth begun instead, but a good relationship with the gods was still important, and even though the bread and wine had replaced flesh and blood, it was in a way still there.
Does it make more sense now? Not for your local vicar - there are people who cannot afford to understand.
It is commonly so, that the rituals seem more meaningful the further we go back. From around the beginning of historical times they belong in the temples of course, but at some point many people start to believe that they should be every man’s property and duty.
One of those was Jesus, who even spoke of demolishing the temple, which was not widely received as a good idea. In those days too, religion was an instrument of power, with which it was ‘dangerous to experiment’.
Later the Christian priests were to go out and expel the brownies from the cottages and the hills. Christianity is nonetheless originally a ‘mystery religion’.
This means that ‘ordinary people’ can receive instruction and afterwards receive the sacred. Here Christianity primarily borrowed from the ‘heathen’ mystery cults.
The Jews know of no life after death. When they are dead they sleep until the Messiah comes, whereupon they shall rise from their graves - the Resurrection of the Flesh. This is one more thing to understand before the Christian dogmas make any sense.
The god resurrects during springtime, but before then, he is dead and we mourn him. We have repressed this ‘dark side’ of Easter, as we see it in the passion plays, but long before the birth of Christ the members of the cult (‘the mysts’) searched for the goddess Demeter, who had been abducted to the Realm of Death by the Father.
She is of course saved, but still has to spend part of the year with her subterranean husband, just like Jesus dies next year as well. We cannot live without the supernatural world and its inhabitants, as dark or as light as we may perceive them.
But is it not just a kind of commemoration? Unfortunately yes, but it was not so for the mysts, who took part in the cult drama.
And this is, as we have seen, the very essence and secret of a living, human world: Participation. At times we need somebody not quite of this world to show us the way.
Dionysus was a god, but also a cult leader, who was persecuted along with his disciples almost a millennium before Jesus. Why then, is Jesus made the only road to salvation?
It is a means of power.
Compared to the much heavier atlas and history book we mentioned earlier this little book can almost be compared to a tourist guide sold at the airport.
It contains a rough map showing the main streets and a short phrase book, enabling you to say hello and goodbye and how much for this postcard. When you - not without a sense of relief - return after fourteen days, you can stalk your friends and neighbours with lots of snapshots of you and your significant other in front of various fountains.
But did you really learn anything about that country (apart from the easiest way to the hotel and the local McDonalds franchise)? Well, no harm done.
As you may have gathered, it is somewhat more complicated with regard to our supernatural neighbours, but you still will not go to hell by neglecting them (not any more than you already are). You may satisfy your immediate curiosity regarding the existence of a supernatural world by reading these lines, or you can start on the heavier volumes.
Finally you can study the relics and testimonies in detail in works on the history of religion and folklore. I recommend the latter option if you consider buying a ticket, but it is entirely up to you.
You may even be so absorbed by all the brightly coloured travel guides, that you forget that it is all the trickery of the Devil. We shall try to sort this out in the final chapter.
In films in a medieval setting, you will often see people crossing themselves, whilst muttering about the forces of darkness. Quite understandably, for as we know from Sunday school the Devil lurks everywhere. He tempts the youth into roleplaying, and as if that was not bad enough Walt Disney puts one satanic propaganda movie after the other on the market, and when you know what you are looking for, you should be able to spot the number 666 in Mickey Mouse’s ears.
In the USA alone a number of virgins exceeding one million a year are being sacrificed, and the shrewdness of the devil worshippers is proved by the fact, that none of their victims are ever found or even reported missing. This is of course being held secret from the public - especially now, when Barack ‘Antichrist’ Obama has become president.
It is in no way unthinkable, that a reader or two has immediately leafed forward to this chapter, to get to the straight dope - and so we had better deliver. We cannot sweep the man in the red clothes (no, not that one - the other one) under the mat any longer!
Who is he then, this mysterious, and yet so intrusive person? The local vicar will inform you that he is a fallen angel.
In Genesis chapter 6 we read that ‘the sons of God’ descended and ‘came in unto the daughter of men’, who bore them children, and what a rugged bunch they were. They were the ‘mighty men which were of old, men of renown’, and who were also born ‘after that’.
And they really were. They were the pharaohs - and Jesus. According to the Book of Enoch, they caused severe troubles at the time of Noah - a theme also known from Greek mythology.
Here we have a similar ‘war in heaven’ between two godly races - the old titans and the new Olympians. The cause of the fighting here seems to be the humans. Zeus and his clan are somewhat worried, that the humans might become too powerful, especially because they have the titan Prometheus on their side, among other things he provided them with fire.
As a punishment he is bound, and at the same time the woman Pandora is sent to earth with a jar filled with all kinds of disasters, which she cannot keep from opening. There is not really anything new in this - the woman is the favourite of the god, and he provides her with knowledge.
Apart from the negative interpretation, that is. It is in other words the man trying to assert himself.
Prometheus thus becomes the opponent of God (‘Satan’), who through the woman tempts mankind to gather knowledge, which He intended to keep for himself. Thereby the god ceases to be the woman’s lover and becomes the man’s feudal overlord - the judging and punishing God we know.
The woman has of course since the times of Eve been aligned with the Devil. Made from male spare parts as she is, she is a subordinate creature, and should as such be humble before the man - ‘and he shall rule over thee’, says God in the Bible.
But sometimes she is stupid and insubordinate. Then she turns into a witch, and those are to be burned, just like the Bible advocates the stoning of naughty children.
What a lovely book that one is. Before Satan, there are no truly ‘evil’ gods.
Yes, there is a huge dragon, threatening to swallow the world. It is the chaos, which comes into effect, when we fail to create the world alongside the gods.
Satan is of course not in any sense more ‘real’ than God - both are principles, abstractions. Contrarily the very real supernatural beings have become devils.
When Christianity became a means of power this ‘negative’ side was considerably expanded. As God came to be identified with the ruling political power, Satan becomes the eternal rebel.
During the enlightenment it was the declared goal of philosophers to rid the world of Christianity, which in their eyes was nothing but an excuse for intolerance and social injustice. The church disavowed them as Satanists.
And of course they were in a way, but in this way only. The founders of Democracy did not worship Satan - they fought Christianity as a harmful influence.
Paradoxically, the church has always been willing to take the credit for humanism and neighbourly love, even though it has always practised the opposite. It is of course nothing but a great swindle.
Seen from what must necessarily be the Christian viewpoint - unconditional obedience toward God and His earthly representatives, as opposed to self-determination, we are because of our modern ideas all Satanists. In Islam this conflict between democracy and theocracy (the rule of priests) is perhaps clearer, but this is only because theirs do not, like our own, try to hide their intentions.
Christianity is not more modern or tolerant than Islam - quite the contrary is the case - it has simply chosen to ignore the Holy Scripture it was founded upon. There is nothing new in that.
Christianity has always survived by adapting to the political powers that be, even entering into the service of these powers. In the land of the Jews it was Jewish, in Rome heathen and in the era of kings it provided them with the divine right to rule, and when the bourgeoisie got the upper hand, it readily assured them that wealth was the bounty of God and poverty His punishment.
Today it weds the homosexuals, whom the Bible tells us to kill, but do not be fooled. As soon as it sees the opportunity, the intolerance, the scares and the smearing of the more liberal will return.
It is, and will always remain a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This will probably be interpreted as a most Satanist point of view, something with which I have no problem at all.
No one has ever murdered or tortured someone in the name of Satan, but frequently in the name of God. This is a quite obvious historical fact, which is why it is being distorted. This is what the horror movies are for, and we do not know if we are to take them seriously, as the vicars do when it suits their purposes. Then the spirits are no longer superstition, and there is exorcism after service like there used to be tea and biscuits.
Polite assistance is offered by teenagers hoping to shock their parents and teachers by wearing inverted crosses and listening to hoarse pop singers. They advocate selfishness and ‘might is right’, so they are well primed for a later conversion to Lutheranism.
The Lutherans were of course in their time accused of alignment with the Devil, and Jesus of being possessed by him. Nothing is new under the sun.
It may make you angry, but thereby you are just playing the opponents game. In the end the only effective weapon is understanding and love of your neighbour - also when he act foolishly.
So get started, goddammit!
All right then, the reader may ponder, it all sounds very good and convincingly scientific, but how does it relate to aura, healing crystals and reincarnation? The answer is that these are two completely different tracks. One leads to the ancient culture- and mystery religions, whereas the other springs from nineteenth century Spiritualism.
It all began in 1848 with two little girls playing a prank on their parents by making strange sounds. To make the tale more exciting, they invented a story in the style of the day, including the restless spirit of a peddler, who had been murdered in the house.
He was the one doing the knocking, and soon people came from near and far to witness the phenomenon first hand. Often the visitors decided to try it out for themselves, and it must have been a busy time for peddlers, since most people seemed to have the body of one under the floorboards.
The sisters got scared and confessed to the innocent prank, but at that time it was already too late, and Spiritist séances had become a blooming business. Also the supernatural beings, who had gone for so long without offerings and reality must have seen some possibilities in these undertakings, just as they did a century later in ufology.
All this was not enough, people wanted more, and Spiritist media began spicing up their performances with real stage magic. Fortunately enough the grateful audience would only on rare occasions shout that she had it up her sleeve, or under her long dress, and the same applied to the ‘parapsychologists’, who saw it as their primary duty to investigate phenomena like mind-reading and knocking table-legs.
It may seem funny, but any overbearing laugh should subside when you hear that the easily seen through ‘spirit photograph’ is an image of the investigators only son, who got killed in World War I. The craving is intense, and is in fact so on both sides.
Here was, at long last, a living religion as opposed to petrified Christianity! It was then quickly organised, not least by a certain Madame Blavatsky, of whom it can at least be said that she had a vivid imagination.
The promise of an afterlife was combined with the Hindu concept of reincarnation - that the latter in its original form is only a depiction of the spiritual cycle (transcendence and descendence) made no difference to anyone. Most of the ingredients in New Age stem from here, from karma to Atlantis, and so do the racial theories, which inspired the Nazis.
In its modern form Spiritualism does not feel the need to exterminate anyone. On the contrary it is about feeling better about yourself, to relax and forget about the dogfight out there for a while. It is extremely tolerant to anything, except perhaps science, which it views as having a hostile attitude toward not only them, but toward religion as such.
This tolerance unfortunately leads to a certain lack of critical sense. This could lead you to suspect, that the attitude is, that since nobody takes all this too seriously, one thing might be as good as the other.
As we know Jesus says, that “In my Father’s house are many mansions”, and in this esoteric department store there is a room for almost everyone - aura-reading in the attic and crystal healing in the basement. In reality there are probably very few things that are not there.
There is astrology, though our life - unlike peoples for whom sowing and harvesting time was crucial to their survival - is not exactly ruled by the stars. There are chakras and acupunctural points from before the mapping of the body by modern medicine.
This latter practice has been developed over millennia from trial and error (albeit only on the ‘outside’) and often works. At least it gives the patient consolation and a sense of self-worth which he or she may not find in the halls of established medical science. And the world we learn about at school is, as has been demonstrated, cold and impersonal.
Some seek the lost connection with nature and become ‘witches’. If we were to be completely honest, we would have to admit that this has to some degree been commercialized.
Of course the author, whose job it is to enlighten, deserves his bread and salt and the same thing goes for the publisher, publishing his book, and the bookseller pushing it over the counter: But much of what is being sold in a certain kind of shops is strictly speaking a kind of toys.
There is nothing wrong with that. We live in a society, where we are constantly told, that we can buy our way to health and happiness. The question is how ‘alternative’ this is.
In the end it is not the crystals or pendulums (or this book for that matter) that have power. It is the understanding of how things are interconnected.
Often the knowledge that we are more than ants in an anthill will suffice, and no need for a more active participation in the supernatural is felt. Actually it seems scary - maybe we remember the vicar warning us that angels appearing in our living room cannot be angels.
If they were, they would be quieter by nature and stick to praising The Lord in his heavens. In this way no risk of transgressing normality is run.
Every man is, as the quote says, allowed to seek salvation in his own way, but hallucinating is sort of not really cool. Then the ‘energies’ suddenly become a bit more concrete than a discreet tingling at the fingertips.
It is a sales pitch we have gotten ourselves used to from a Christian faith no longer able to deliver miracles and Holy Ghost. ‘Seeing is believing’, as another saying goes.
But in this peculiar case believing is not seeing - like for instance rebuffing the theory of evolution in spite of its explanatory power.
In other words it is a world conveniently devoid of revelations of any kind. God has probably returned to his heaven, and mankind neither can nor should attempt to storm it (despite the fact that Jesus urgently requests us to do exactly that).
It may sound as a battle between two religious systems - Neutzsky-Wulff two stairs down and then to the left - but in fact it is not at all. What it comes down to is fabric of personality.
Do we belong to those who feel safest in a world, which others have arranged for us, be it the one dished out in the church, the planetarium or in the alternative bookstore? Or do we feel an urge to go out and see for ourselves despite all warnings of shipwrecks and cannibals?
This little book - and the bigger ones - has been written with the latter type of personality in mind. And that is about all there is to be said about that.
Our journey into the supernatural world ends here. Or maybe it has just begun.
By now you should at least have some degree of understanding of that world and its inhabitants, and this basic knowledge is the first destination of the journey. From this harbour, ships depart to all worlds - and as we have seen there are many more than one.
And if you should sometimes have gotten the feeling that someone was looking over your shoulder while reading, don’t be scared. You decide if you want to turn around.
 ‘The Dialogue Centre’. Danish Christian ’watchdog’ institution of some prominence, primarily concerned with issuing dire warnings about anything and everything from Charles Manson to Jehovah Witnesses and the Hare Krishna Movement. The Centre was closed in April 2011 due to lack of (public) funding.
 Danish: ”trold”. The meaning may not be entirely similar to the English “troll”.
 Danish: ”nisse”. Again “Brownie” (the creature, not the cake) is perhaps not a very accurate English translation. The Danish word has a lot of connotations, and would therefore need a longer explanation in English. The nisse bear striking similarities to the Roman ‘lar’.
 Some criticism of the official Danish translation of the Bible has been omitted from the translation here.
 Or: ’house of slavery’, ’land of slavery’ etc. depending on the translation. “Bondage” is from the the King James Bible.
 Based on Luke 12;6
 Matt 6;5
 In the original only italicization is used when emphasizing words. After this point italicization and fattening is sometimes used. I have mirrored the typography of the original.
 Some criticism of the official Danish translation of the Bible has been omitted from the translation here.
 The original has ”erfor på natlig sti” – which is from an old ’folk song’, which I have been unable to relocate.
 1½ line about the Swedish substantive ”tomte” is omitted. “Tomte” means both a cleared piece
of land, where a house is built and is the more or less exact Swedish equivalent of the Danish “nisse”.
 The hill on flaming pillars where the undergrounders feast is a well-known theme in Danish folklore. It appears for instance in the “national drama” of ”Elverhøj” and in Vilhelm Bergsøe’s collection of short stories “Nissen” (“The Brownie”).
 Danish national-romantic author N.F.S. Grundtvig (1783 – 1872)
 Danish poet Jeppe Aakjær (1866 – 1930)
 Obsessive Compulsory Disorder
 A reference to the traditional Danish rice porridge (risengrød), which is said to be the staple food of the ”nisse” (see note above) is regrettably omitted here for lack of a short way of putting it.