Letters to the Editor—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, December 2017
I think it was in Lama Anagarika Govinda's book Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism where I read the story of Gautama Buddha's explanation of God. Every page of this book has important information that I've highlighted and flagged so, basically, I've had to reread the entire book to find the passage I'm looking for. That's why it's taken me so long to respond to your AP issues. I've still not come to Govinda's reference so, rather than wait any longer, what I'm about to relate is from memory and, thus, subject to error but, I believe, approximately correct. Here's the gist of the story:
Gautama Buddha's cousin, Ananda, asked him about the existence of a supreme being and this was the Buddha's reply (my paraphrased version):
There is, Ananda, the unoriginated, undifferentiated, unconstituted, unknowable which is beyond our understanding. We are not concerned with this but, rather, with what is within our means of understanding and our ability to effect change (such as the cause and alleviation of suffering of all sentient life).
This would imply an agnostic, rather than atheistic, nature of Buddhism.
The subtitle of The Creation Story – A Journey From Paradise to Duality and a Possible Return Home – suggests another correlate with Buddhism. In both systems, "home" is not a physical place but a state of mind. It is a state of non-duality consciousness, as stated by the authors, which is a hallmark of Buddhist enlightenment, as well. The Vajrayana (Tantric) school of Mahayana Buddhism, practiced in Tibet, has a special interpretation of this concept. Rather than striving to "return" home to enlightenment, Vajrayana Buddhism teaches that we are already home; we are already enlightened beings and always have been. Separation and duality are an illusion, a mindset carried with us from lifetime to lifetime. Ego obscures the all-inclusive oneness which is the reality of our true state. As I mentioned in your close encounter survey two years ago, I experienced this concept first-hand when I entered the bathroom one day and found myself surrounded by what I called the “higher beings”. I was immediately overwhelmed with a sense of total security, the sense that there can be no loss. I was no longer in possession of my self-identity and was, instead, part of an all-encompassing oneness. I was not just part of the oneness, I was the oneness. This was the source of my feelings of security and inclusion. An interesting aspect of this experience is that it was not religious in nature. I felt no ecstasy or sense of being loved or embraced by a supreme being. It felt simply normal, like my everyday existence although, in fact, was far removed from my normal life. I remembered, then, that one day, far in the future, this oneness would be a reality for life on Earth (as far, far-fetched as this seems today). I believed this experience was a lesson taught by the higher beings. I experienced since then, on one occasion, a spontaneous oneness with all that is and, on a second occasion, an overwhelming compassion for all humanity. Each of these incidents lasted but a few seconds but will never be forgotten.
When reading your synopsis of The Creation Story, I assumed at first that you were describing a non-duality consciousness shared by Adam and Eve (but upon reading the article realized the non-duality was between God and Adam and Eve) which reminded me of the first time Carlos and I met in person. I was struck as if by a bolt of lightning by my initial impression which was that we were the same person; not just alike or that we were twins or related in some way, but actually one person. The feeling subsided as we came to know each other better and has now vanished completely. I assumed at the time this non-duality consciousness was instilled in us aboard a craft by the higher beings. What is interesting is that Carlos and I both remember the incident on the craft but our memories differ in some respects regarding the purpose for being there. I asked Carlos how and why he thinks our interpretations of that event differ and his response was profound. He gave his permission to convey some of his thoughts here in my email to you. In Carlos' words:
What seems most valid to me in that statement of your concern was that on board we, separately and together in the same instance, learned about non-dual consciousness and because of our personal backgrounds interpreted the "lesson" according to the moment of a specific merging of our physical embodiment (which implies our minds, our mental processes of perception and ability to conceive ideationally. The provocative stimulation, encouraged by the beings who brought us together, seemed to express a merging of consciousness between us. This resulted in a profound friendship ever since when for a third time we met because of personal obsessions, now made clear, in close encounters. Due to our variances at this new moment, we felt the sense of intimacy that encourages a long lasting friendship, to date as in this new moment. You were led to many readings, as was I, each in regard to our separate literary, philosophical, psychological, scientific, mathematical and other interests. These interests were further provoked by subsequent close encounters and many lessons as to the directions each of us took. These directions began in that encounter as young adults.
What miraculous lives we have led, and I presume we will continue the interlacings, the interweavings throughout this lifetime. A few months ago, while researching the relationship between Carl Jung and Wolfgang Pauli for the book I’m still writing in fits and spurts, I came upon a passage in the book Pauli and Jung by David Lindorff. In the passage, Pauli writes to Jung, via Jung’s secretary Aniela Jaffé, about a recent dream. In Pauli’s words:
I suddenly discovered two children, one a boy and one a girl, both blond. They are very similar to one another – as if only a short time ago they had been one and the same – and both say to me, “We have been here already for 3 days. We find it very nice here; but nobody has noticed us”.
Pauli’s dream felt so much like my initial impression of Carlos.
In your August AP issue, you wrote about the Chicago Phantom of Willis Tower which was also sighted at the Lollapalooza music festival in Grant Park this July. Although it may seem shocking that a Mothman-type creature could be associated with a large city landscape, Chicago actually has enjoyed a fair amount of UFO and paranormal activity. Paranormal researcher Lon Strickler has chronicled over 20 sightings of a Mothman creature in Chicago since April of this year. His work was reported by Ted Slowik and published in the Chicago Tribune on July 29, about a week before the sighting at Lollapalooza. I originally saved the article as a link to the column's web address which no longer appears when the link is clicked. Therefore, I copied the article and attached it as an MS Word document which should still be available. An even more comprehensive article can be found at the Singular Fortean Society website in the link below.
Since the Mothman’s presence originally prophesied an impending catastrophic event, I’m a little concerned about what may be in store for us here. Also, I wonder if a Mothman may have been spotted anywhere near the Houston area before Harvey’s landfall. I’m writing this with a bit of tongue-in-cheek but still … one never knows!
And, last but certainly not least, I very much enjoyed reading about your paranormal and synchronistic life experiences in your Reality Checking article It Is What It Is…But What the Heck Is It?? You really have had a lot going on in your life. I understand now your life-long interest in ufology and the paranormal.
Again, thanks so much for publishing your Alternate Perceptions magazine. Please keep these issues coming!