Interview-Alternate Perceptions Magazine, April 2015
An Interview with Lyn Halper, Ph.D.:
Psychic phenomena and Kundalini energy
by: Brent Raynes
Lyn Halper, Ph.D., formerly professor of Religious Studies at Rockland Community College of the State University of New York, holds a degree of Master of Science in Education, an Advanced Certificate in Marriage and Family Counseling, and a Doctorate in Transpersonal Psychology. For a number of years, Dr. Halper has maintained a private practice as a transpersonal psychologist, as well as acted as professor of psychology at Mercy College. She is the author of Adventures of a Suburban Mystic(Trafford, 2001), which recounts her personal Kundalini experiences (described in this interview) and she is also the author of Mystic Souls: Nineteen Remarkable People Tell Their Stories (Universe, 2003), a compilation of narratives from shamans, mystics, and clergy who relate their struggles and triumphs with the mystical life.
Brent Raynes: Lyn, you certainly have an impressive background and I’m sure that our readers are going to wonder how you had time to incorporate all of that into a very busy career, plus raising children too.
Lyn Halper: Well if you ask my children, they would say that when they think back over their childhood they would remember me always studying because I was always going to school to pursue another degree. Then they would say that the rest of the time they remembered strange people coming into the house; mystics, psychics, religious teachers - a continual stream of them, and that was an integral part of how they grew up.
Brent Raynes: And you didn’t actually start out in the beginning as a lot of people who are our interview guests, who were always interested in paranormal and religious things, but you got a start back in the 1980s or so; or were you always interested and something just happened that thrust you into it deeper than before?
Lyn Halper: Yes, I remember as a child playing telepathic games with my mother. We would try and say what was in the other’s mind. Otherwise, I think I had a conventional upbringing. I married young and had two children. Then, quite suddenly, I got sick. I had terrible allergies and went from doctor to doctor to doctor and the condition just got worse. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t sleep. I was becoming really debilitated. I had no idea what to do but I remembered that my neighbor was interested in the mystical life, and so I decided to talk to her and tell her that I wanted to go to a psychic for consultation because nothing in the conventional world was working. I said I wanted to go to a “number ten,” not just anybody. I wanted a very strong psychic, and she said, “Okay.” She hooked me up with a man named Craig Junjulius who lived no more than 10 minutes away in Yonkers. I went to him and he was living in his mother’s house, but in the basement with two cats. One was blind. The whole thing seemed weird to me. But I sat down and he impressed me with being able to relate my past history, and I didn’t know it at the time, but I began to fall deeper and deeper into an altered state. After a while, when he was through talking about my past, he began to talk about my future and he said, “You’re going to have a profound mystical experience. It’s going to change yourself and your life entirely, but the idea will be to try and stay balanced and live in both worlds.” I had no idea what he was talking about. I had come in and told him I wanted to get rid of these allergies. He said his job was to give me the esoteric picture. He said that the allergies were a consciousness expanding experience! Stop running to doctors. Don’t go because there isn’t one who will be able to do anything for you, and that had been true. He said, “Don’t do anything. What you need will happen and this thing will resolve,” meaning the allergic condition. So I said goodbye and walked out. I felt so disappointed because I thought he hadn’t told me anything and I still didn’t know how to get better physically. I sat with him for one hour and accomplished nothing, and then I looked at my watch and I had been there three hours and it was as though I had fallen into a time warp.
That night I came home and I went to sleep. People talk about out-of-body experiences, though at the time, I knew very little about them. It wasn’t that I lay down and saw myself floating at the ceiling. Nothing like that. I couldn’t see anything but blackness, and the only reason I’m calling it an out-of-body experience is because of the return. I came back into my body with a crash and woke up, and thought, “That had to be out-of-the-body something.” So from the time I sat down with Craig everything began to change and I started to explore esoteric teachings and read book after book. I found the Actualism Center, a metaphysical school that gives training for becoming a high level sensitive. I started a course of study and while I there I was told that they were expecting a very special visitor – a psychic psychotherapist. I thought, “Wow, what a combination.” I put my name down on the list.
There were dozens of people ahead of me for an appointment. I waited for months and finally did meet him. I went into his office in the city. I remember sitting down and he said to me, “Why are you here?” I said, “I’m here to find out how you can do in a few months what it takes every other psychotherapist years to do.” By this time I had begun my training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. He smiled and he said, “I can do that because I’ve done the work.” So once again I am puzzled. I didn’t know what it meant, “I’ve done the work.” And he said, “You’ve come here because you’re going to be doing the same thing that I do.”
He did bodywork and it was the first time that I experienced anything like that, laying down on the table. When he put his hands on my forehead I felt like an electric shock and saw the walls turn blue. I thought, “This man is very different. It’s like his whole body is wired electrically.” So I was there an hour or two and he said, “I’m going to be your teacher and when the time is right I will call you and we will meet.” I went home and was excited at the thought of some kind of special training and liked the idea of being able to work with him because I felt very drawn to him. A month went by, then two months, and nothing happened. I didn’t hear from him. Finally I called him and felt as if he gave me a quick brush off. He didn’t really say anything and I thought, “That’s it. I’m crossing this off my list. It doesn’t mean a thing.” Three weeks later, he called and he said, “This is the time. We’re ready to begin.” He asked if he could come to my home and I said “Of course.” So that’s what happened. He came to the suburbs, here in Westchester, and he wasn’t like anybody I had ever known. Stranger even than Craig, who seemed quite odd to me.
He came to the house and instead of looking around, went over to the wall and he put his cheek against the wall. He did this in several rooms, this walking around, and I felt he was clearly picking up some kind of information. Anyway, he spent the entire day at my home and we talked about esoterica and the “work” and nothing made much sense or helped me understand why he was really with me on this day. He left and the next day, or two or three, I was sitting on the couch watching TV and all of a sudden I felt a shock of energy coming down through the top of my head, down my body, exiting through my feet, and re-entering through the soles of my feet and going up again and making this circuitous motion through my body. I thought, “Oh my God, what is this?” I thought that if I walked around it would go away. I got up and walked and that only made it worse and then I thought, “Okay, if I sit down and rest it will go away. I will lie down perhaps.” That’s what I did and it was worse because there was nothing to restrict its motion. So that, of course, was the beginning of my initiation into the mysteries and that energy was the Kundalini that I think, now, most people are familiar with, Brent.
Brent Raynes: Right, and with your experience with kundalini energy once that phase started the illness that you had went away?
Lyn Halper: The illness that I had had began to alleviate from the time I began to read esoteric books and became involved in mysticism. Without my even noticing, little by little, I had begun to get better. That initial opening of the Kundalini energy lasted for a year and a half. You can imagine this energy, which is very volatile – it can’t really be controlled – there’s nothing that anybody can do once it opens up at the base of the spine. I did, at that time, meet a psychic and Reiki Master, Frank Carucci, who helped me by extracting some of the energy and I would have relief for a while, only to have it build up again. With this energy, there’s nothing anybody can do except lie low and wait for it to run its course. And so that’s what I did.
It really was very, very difficult. The most difficult thing that I ever had to do in my life was to go through the Kundalini experience. It’s a hot volcanic energy and it rips through your body night and day. So the first phase of that was 18 months and altogether the Kundalini experience was six years, with about a year in between three phases. The first one was most difficult. The second one was a little easier, and the third one was actually very soothing and pleasant.
So that would seem to fit with the teachings that Kundalini is a cleansing energy that burns all of the toxicity out of a person. The first would be the most difficult because where the energy meets with a blockage, like a repressed emotion, is where you feel the pain and the burn. As it continues to cleanse the body you feel that less and less, and that’s how it happened for me over this period of six years.
Brent Raynes: Of course, in Eastern culture it’s something that people are much more familiar with than in Western culture, except for people who have studied it in the metaphysical field. In shamanic accounts, over in Africa, there’s a tribe that does a dancing ceremony where they are very energetic and suddenly from the spine to the top of the head, there’s this energy that they release and have visions and such, which is part of their ceremonies and culture. And what you described with the illness would be what some would call a shamanic illness and that takes you in the direction of hopefully doing what you need to do to get to the direction in your life that you need to go in. Right?
Lyn Halper: Yes, exactly. It’s not like it’s for a particular group of people. Everybody has this energy in them. It’s better if it’s awakened gradually instead of like myself; explosively. But different cultures see it a different way, or experience it a little bit differently and express it differently, but it’s still the same energy.
Brent Raynes: Right, and so for you this was back around 1980, was it?
Lyn Halper: Yes, I think so.
Brent Raynes: And now you’ve gone through this experience and how do you find it affects your day to day life now?
Lyn Halper: What I see is that life seems to come in phases and I just get moved from one phase to the next to the next, so that immediately after the Kundalini resolved itself I felt a need to go out and teach. I thought, “Where am I going to teach mysticism? I have no idea.” I always worked in conventional settings in order to do what I do. So when I saw an ad in the New York Times calling for someone to teach comparative religions, I thought, “Well, what is religion? Religion is based on mysticism.” So I sent in a resume. I didn’t hear anything for a year and forgot about it and then suddenly I was called to come for an interview.
I sat down with this woman, a professor of philosophy and religion, and we talked and she said to me, “I don’t want just anyone to teach my course. I want it to be someone who can give the students an experience.” I thought, “Am I dreaming? She can’t be saying this!” So I told her I could, in fact, do that. I didn’t want to go into specifics. I certainly didn’t want to mention a sacred energy at the base of the spine. She accepted my answer and she hired me.
So for the next ten years that’s what I did. I taught at Rockland Community College where they call the course World Religions. I noticed when I spoke and talked about religion that an energy came through my body and I was moved into an altered state of consciousness and those among my students who were sensitive could feel that. And that was the first expression of my Kundalini energy working out in the world.
Brent Raynes: And in your journey you met someone in the field of parapsychology and I hope I’m not jumping too far ahead here; Dr. Alex Imich from Poland.
Lyn Halper: Yes, but I would like to add something before we get to Alex.
Brent Raynes: Sure. Absolutely. Go ahead.
Lyn Halper: This is an interesting story. As I began to teach World Religions at Rockland, something started to happen. That is, I had a very strong feeling that there was a child out there – somewhere, waiting for me. I didn’t know what that meant because I already had two sons and we were very happy with our family and we decided that we would limit it to two, and yet every single morning I woke up with that feeling, and then I began to have dreams and I could see her and it just became stronger and stronger until I had to act on it.
One day I sat down with my husband and I said, “Listen, I have something to tell you. I want to adopt a child.” Well, his reaction was, I guess, as many men would have, and he said, “Are you crazy?” He said, “What are you talking about? We have two wonderful children. Why should we? I see no reason and I can’t do it.” But, I just ignored that and I began to get information from an organization consisting of adoptive parents here in Westchester, and felt I was with the right people to help me, and very soon after my husband began to fall in step with me and he began to attend meetings with me. Then, I heard about a particular agency that dealt with South American children. For some reason, that appealed to me. So I got their card and I got their number and called up and the woman who owns the agency answered the phone – an unusual thing, I found out later. I said to her, “We’re an older couple and our children are older and we’d like to adopt a girl, but I don’t know if anybody would give us one at our age.” And she said, “Well, I will.” So there we were. Her agency was in Pennsylvania. We went to one of her meetings and there were many people. We requested an older child because we were older parents and said we’d like a girl between the ages of 2 ½ and 5.
So during this meeting she explained that it’s a very long process to get a child, to do an international adoption, and that it would take about a year. We went home with that thought, but that’s not what happened. We got a call from them about a week later saying that they had a child for us. I was very surprised because I had been thinking a year, and she said the child was 4 ½ years old and she was very bright and very pretty and so on. And all the time she was talking to me I was thinking, “This is really the crossroads,” because although my husband became accommodating and supportive, I could not picture him getting on a plane and flying to a foreign country and taking a child that was a complete stranger, one that he had never seen. And I thought this is the end. Then she said to me, “And the odd thing is that you don’t have to go anywhere because the child is here in this country.” It seemed that she had been adopted by an American couple who, after six months terminated, and the director of the agency, this woman I was speaking with, took her into her own home, and that’s where she was in Pennsylvania. She said, “Your birthday is August 18th, and we’re inviting you to come on your birthday and see this child.” And that’s what we did.
We drove 2 ½ hours. My husband wouldn’t talk to me the entire time. I had to drive. He wouldn’t drive. He was angry at me for putting him in this very peculiar situation that was now becoming a reality. We arrived and we went into the director’s home and she said, “That is Nicole.” There was this little girl out on her property swinging. We walked out to her on the grass and my husband took one look at her and said, “Wow, can we keep her? Do we have to change her name?” He fell immediately in love with her. We spent the afternoon with her. We were allowed to take her out. We took her to a petting zoo, we bought ice cream, and five days later we came back and took her home. We brought her to our home and it turns out she was a sensitive. We had a difficult time in the beginning socializing her to our way of life but we fought the battle and all during that time she was giving psychic predictions and that was part of the pattern, and my two sons, when young, were the same way.
Brent Raynes: So it all fit together.
Lyn Halper: Yes, it all fits together.
Brent Raynes: You had developed more intuitively, plus all of the synchronicity – however you want to define it – it all flowed together in ways that you couldn’t quite understand at the time but after the passage of time goes by and you then look back on it you can see it and go, “Oh wow, this all really worked out,” just following your gut instinct on it. All of these remarkable things have come to pass.
Lyn Halper: That’s right. Now about Alex Imich. At the time there was a large organization that researched subtle energy, which of course I was very interested in, and so I joined. It was international, and for joining you got a directory of members, their names and addresses and telephone numbers. So I decided, “I think it would be very interesting to do this kind of research,” but I really had no idea how I’d do it alone. I thought it would be good to have a partner. So I opened the directory to Manhattan and there were a lot of names, but one of them particularly attracted me, and that was Dr. Alexander Imich. I called him and I introduced myself and I said, “I have had sustained Kundalini experiences over six years, and I would like to talk to you about doing research together,” and he said, “Oh Kundalini. I’m very interested in that. I don’t know anything about it. Yes, come over.” The next week, I did and the door opened and there was a very elderly man. I was surprised because on the phone his voice sounded young and vibrant. I went into his apartment on the Upper West Side, and spent the afternoon there. I talked a lot about Kundalini because he kept questioning me and he said that the problem with himself was that he never had a psychic experience and therefore he was fascinated by people who did, and based on that, he agreed to a partnership. I don’t know if he thought he’d gain something by osmosis but as for myself I believe these things are destined. We shook hands and he said, “You know, there isn’t much time,” and I said, “Why not?” And he said, “Guess how old I am?” I don’t like when people ask me that because it’s awkward, but I said, “Seventy-five?” He said, “Higher.” I said, “80?” “Higher.” “85?” “87?” No, he was 90 years old at the time and I thought that was remarkable. He didn’t look it and there was nothing about his personality – his passions, his plans, that really spoke of age.
When I left his apartment that day, and we had set up another date to meet, I was thinking, “How nice to spend an afternoon with this poor lonely man, getting old and worrying about death. Wasn’t that a great thing for me to do.” I found out after I got to know him that he was the center of a wide circle of luminaries from all facets of the psychic world, and ufology – and any kind of mysticism and religion that you can name. He just knew everybody – Uri Geller, Bud Hopkins, Beverly Rubik, Kreskin, was very sought after and respected in his field of parapsychology, and he was never alone. As we went along, his friends began to throw birthday parties for him - maybe fifty, seventy-five guests, and they were always hosted by Ingo Swann. Do you know that name, Brent?
Brent Raynes: Oh right. Remote Viewing, he was the center of that activity in the beginning, teaching them out at Stanford Research Institute to do the remote viewing that the government was quite interested in; the psychic spy program.
Lyn Halper: That’s right.
Brent Raynes: He was an artist in New York. Yes, he was very well known in the paranormal field. He sure was.
Lyn Halper: He was very well known and the first time I met him at his home, I thought his art work was astonishing! What I wouldn’t give to have one of those pieces! He was very receptive to the work that Alex and I told him we would do and offered to help us any way that he could. He lived in a magnificent brownstone in the city and the thing about his house was that the basement had absolutely no light – there were no windows. Now, that was interesting to Alex and I because we wanted to conduct séances using infra-red film and Ingo had the perfect environment. Over a period of months, we held several séances there with a Jamaican-born shaman, Heshheru, as the medium. This opened us to many eerie occurrences, but that’s a story for another time.
In terms of the primary work that I did with Alex, he was quite set on one area of parapsychology. He was interested in researching macro-psychokinesis; the ability of people to move large objects with the mind. And so it fit in with what I was interested in -- the exploration of energy, and so we agreed to do this together, and for the next twenty years that’s what we did.
Alex had been planning to die the next day when I met him at age 90 and he fooled everybody, including himself, and survived practically all his peers. [laughter] So my time with him was a gift and quite an experience. He passed a year ago at the age of 111, shortly after being declared the oldest documented man on earth.
Brent Raynes: I came in contact a little with Alex through Dr. Berthold Schwarz, a prominent psychiatrist, as you know, who had been very interested in parapsychology and ufology for many years. Someone he had studied extensively, and that you and Alex had studied also, was Joey Nuzum in Pennsylvania, a gentleman who seemed quite psychic and able to move things with the ability of his mind- and could even do levitation it seemed. I remember Dr. Schwarz wrote a paper, with lots of photographs showing different instances where he appeared to be levitating.
Lyn Halper: Yes, and that was the feat that Alex was always pressuring Joey to perform and of course you can’t pressure a psychic. They have to feel it and do it when they’re ready. But I seem to remember that Alex did witness Joey levitate at some point. I was not with him. But Joey was unforgettable, a very unusual man, and, of all of the many psychics I’ve met, he struck me as the sweetest. Just a lovely, lovely person. He lived in poverty, as many psychics do, but was very giving. He always found some little gift to give. Nobody left his home without a gift. A very unusual and very talented man.
Brent Raynes: Right, and among the many guests that Alex had was John Keel, someone I’ve never met personally but we did correspond quite a bit and talked on the phone some and I’ve read just about all of his articles and books. He’s someone I would like to have met and you got to meet him a number of times at Alex’s home. Now what was he like?
Lyn Halper: Alex liked to describe him as a very mysterious man, and I think that was true. I never went to his apartment. He lived just a few blocks from Alex. Alex had been there a number of times and told me that his apartment was filled with tanks holding reptiles, and with no explanation; he just liked them. But I found him to be a gentleman – had the manners and bearing of a fine “southern” gentleman, but a very private person. You had the feeling that there were parameters you would not want to cross. I don’t think I ever asked him a question, but I certainly read every book that he wrote and when I read those books I had the feeling that this, his world view, was the ultimate explanation of how our cosmos works. It seemed to me that he was the only person who had been able to take a step back, see the entire picture and synthesize the various parts. I think it’s a very disturbing picture that he gives of the world and I think that many people don’t understand and don’t like it. I’m not sure how his books became so popular but they certainly did. I don’t know if anybody believes that this is the way that the universe works, but for me I felt that, here at last, was an answer. Altogether I found it very shocking and depressing. However, I would certainly tell everyone to read John Keel’s books and form their own opinion.
Brent Raynes: Right. I know when I talked with him once on the phone we drifted into the subject of angels and such, Fatima, Portugal and the events there and I asked him, “You write a lot about the negative dark side of these things. Is there anything positive?” And he just simply said “No, I never have found that.” I thought how I agree with so many things that he found but I still want to find, to believe that there is this positive as well as the other that you come across.
Lyn Halper: Right (a pause, then a slight sigh). I know what you’re saying, Brent. And there is, and I think that anyone who practices yoga, or some form of deep meditation, and is able to get a glimpse of those higher states of consciousness will tell you that there is a positive side, that there is something positive. By some stroke of luck, I’ve had a few of those experiences, and of course I could not hold on to them, but while I was in those states there is that feeling that there is a state of being beyond the ordinary. For example, if you can think of your happiest day, the day that you felt most joyful, that’s a fraction of what it is to experience a state of bliss. That has to be the positive that’s missing from John Keel’s work.
Brent Raynes: I know that a number of people in UFO experiences have described having Kundalini type experiences that they felt were very positive, but I know that from John Keel’s mindset that this was simply a deceptive ploy to try and draw them in deeper. He never really would budge from that perspective.
Lyn Halper: Alex and I, at one point, were investigating this Jamacan born shaman I mentioned who actually lived in New York for many years. Alex wanted to see him perform and invited him to his apartment and invited John Keel too, who was always willing to come and see something, and I invited a few friends. And one of the things that Heshheru, did was psychometry, the holding of an object in your hand to pick up the vibrations of the owner of the object and tell them various things. He had become a good friend of mine. I remember that on that day John Keel had an object that he brought and it was a sterling silver woman’s penchant on a silver chain and Heshheru picked it up and held it in his hand and talked about a woman that John Keel had known and had been close to and a lot of details about that and John kept nodding his head saying, “Yes, that is correct.” And that was the only time I ever heard any personal information and it hadn’t come from John Keel himself but it had come through a psychic.
To me, it’s ironic. Everyone wants answers and they long for spiritual and psychic experiences. There’s an old saying that people desperately desire to have a spiritual and psychic experience – until they actually have one. The spiritual life is difficult, but for myself, I try to keep it simple: do as best I can, try to perform a small kindness here and there.
Brent Raynes: Yes, that sounds very positive and balanced. I like that. Now in the biographical introduction at the beginning of this interview, I mentioned two books that you had written a few years back. Are there any other writings out there that you might want to mention that you’ve contributed as well?
Lyn Halper: Well that was yet another aspect that we haven’t talked about. I had been in private practice as a psychotherapist and I had been teaching at Rockland for a long time and I suddenly decided, or suddenly had this idea that I should do creative writing. So I stopped everything I was doing and jumped into a Masters Program in Creative Writing. I enjoyed the experience and wrote a lot of fiction and creative non-fiction, plays, and poetry, and have been fortunate to have my work published in highly regarded literary journals. Now I teach creative writing in various locations around Westchester, and I suppose I’m experiencing yet another phase of my life.