Rita’s legacy (1)

This entry, and the one to follow, were two parts of an introduction that Rita and I wrote to a book about the TGU material that has yet to appear. We wrote these explanations in 2002 but nothing needs changing. I can’t think of a better way of expressing Rita Warren’s legacy as experienced by me. This first entry is by me; Rita’s follows.

by Frank DeMarco

Probably you don’t need this book if the world makes sense to you, if your life makes sense to you. But perhaps you are puzzled, depressed, disheartened, by the life you see around you. Perhaps you ask yourself why you were born, why anybody was born. Perhaps you ask what’s the sense in it. Perhaps you find yourself unable to believe in any of the traditional faiths that have sustained humanity throughout the ages, the little you know of them. (To name them roughly in chronological order: Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and materialism, often called “science.”) Living without faith either in the west’s materialism or in any of the revealed religions, perhaps you suspect that life is by its nature not merely puzzling, but meaningless.

And perhaps-one final “perhaps”-perhaps you say to yourself, “If only I knew how to find the truth! I’m not in the mood for fairy tales. I want the truth, no matter how depressing the truth turns out to be. And I don’t want to be told, and then required to believe. I’m willing to listen to new ideas, but I want to be able to test them, to find out for myself.”

If that describes your situation, you’ve come to the right book.

A few years ago, I wrote a book called Muddy Tracks: Exploring an Unsuspected Reality, in which I set forth my tentative conclusions from first-hand experience as to what was real and what was not. Psychic powers? Spirit guides? Contact with other worlds? Was any of it real? Rather than taking anyone’s word for it, I had gone looking for myself. The results were conclusive for me, but, in the nature of evidence, for no one else. How else could it be? Until you experience for yourself, you cannot know, you can only believe. In the things that are most important to us, there is no substitute for experience.

Now, the critical experience that enabled me to begin to experience my true life, as opposed to the pitiful inauthentic life I led beforehand, was a six-day residential Seminar called The Gateway Voyage, held at The Monroe Institute (TMI), half an hour’s drive south of Charlottesville, Virginia. In that week, I learned to bring myself, at will, to mental states that were both unusual and useful. More to the point, I learned to approach life from the heart rather than from the head. This proved to be the key to access to the psychic abilities I had longed for and half believed in.
After Gateway, I did two other residential Monroe programs: Guidelines, designed to get us into touch with our own internal guidance, and Lifeline, designed to teach us how to contact and assist those who had died and not realized that they were dead. Had I only read about these things, probably they would have seemed little more than fairy tales. It was different, doing them myself, in the company of a score of others.

The group interaction and reinforcement was critically important for us all, for we were well aware that we were on our own. Yes, we had Bob Monroe’s books, giving us his views of what he had experienced. And until 1995 we had Bob himself, though we saw him rarely enough. We had trainers and fellow participants, and we had whatever we could get from what others had written. But mostly, we explorers had each other.

After the programs were over, we had each other primarily by way of an Internet group called the Voyagers Mailing List (VML), consisting of people who were interested in Monroe’s work. Those of us who shared Monroe’s language and shared the world-view found that we could share our deepest experiences with each other to a degree not even approached by any who hadn’t.

I myself was fortunate enough to have the friendship of Kelly Neff, the most talented psychic I had met. She had appeared in my life less than two months before I did my Gateway, and her example before and after were critically important in preparing and fortifying me for the massive changes taking place-with my delighted concurrence-in a short time. Without our close association, though she lived on the opposite end of our great continental nation, I doubt I could have thoroughly absorbed and assimilated those changes.

But more important than any of these was the influence of those who are by far the closest to me: the disembodied entities I somewhat whimsically call The Gentlemen Upstairs. (In this, I merely followed Kelly’s example. From the very night I met her, she has referred to those she is in contact with as The Guys Upstairs, and I rather liked it.) No point in trying too hard to define who or what they are. I think of them as roughly the parts of ourselves that extend beyond time and space

In the summer of 1989, when I was 43 years old, I began to do some automatic writing. With practice, I began to be able to relax and speak without premeditation, thus allowing TGU to speak to me and through me, even while I retained full consciousness. In 1993, a session in TMI’s isolation booth-what I call the black box, of which much more later-led to much clearer communication with the guys, and within a few years I was establishing contact with them in order that a few selected others might talk to them.

In the year 2000, two critically important events occurred. 1) In the spring I began to become acquainted with Rita Warren. 2) In the fall, I did a series of ten sessions in TMI’s black box. These two seemingly unrelated events led to this book, and others to follow.

1) Rita. In 1983, Rita and her husband Martin had been among the first to settle on “the New Land,” the farm Monroe bought and subdivided between his institute buildings, and residential lots. Rita had retired from a distinguished academic career that included an internationally acclaimed research program. This Ph.D. in psychology then found herself, with Martin, running Monroe’s laboratory as volunteers, conducting Explorer sessions in which people were put into unusual mental states and encouraged to do some mental roaming. They conducted hundreds of sessions, some of which might be called channeling-to the point that the sessions sometimes became boring, because the information repeated so much. After a period of four years, they retired again, and the conducting of the sessions was placed into other hands.

I met Rita and Martin because I was thinking of interviewing those who knew Bob Monroe best, to get their views of the man and his work before they passed from the scene. This scheme came to nothing, except that it did serve to put me into contact with them. In March, I went to London to do a trade show for my company, and then, the morning after the night I returned, I flew to Los Angeles to do another. When I got back I learned that while I was in England, Martin had had a serious auto accident, and had been lying near death ever since.

That-with Martin’s way of conscious dying-is a story in itself, but I can’t tell it here. The point for this book is that he died Friday, April 7th, and a few hours later, as I was writing in my journal thinking to interact with the guys, Martin contacted me. In a one-paragraph message, he said in part “take care of Rita. I know you will want to.”
Well, with such an introduction, who would not want to? She and I fell into the habit of having dinner together at a specific local restaurant each Saturday night. As weeks became months, it became ever more natural to share ideas, feelings, thoughts, memories-in short, to communicate emotionally and intellectually. We spoke the same language and had something of the same background. This was balanced by many differences that added interest, not least that she had been an academic, and I had a skeptical wariness about academics. All in all, it was entirely natural that I would include Rita in my distribution list when I came to post transcripts of my black-box sessions.

2) Ten sessions in the black box. In late summer, I had mentioned to my friend Skip Atwater, who runs the lab at TMI, that I was finding little that I could do to take advantage of my physical proximity to the Institute. He suggested that I purchase a series of ten booth sessions. This I did, and together-I in the box, he at the controls outside the box controlling the Hemi Sync signals and providing feedback-we met for ten Fridays out of the next eleven. The series proved to be enormously productive, and (not much to my surprise) appeared to have been orchestrated from the other side to introduce themes, develop them over time, and culminate dramatically in the last session. I transcribed the tapes of the sessions and posted the transcriptions to the VML and to selected others.

And there matters stood until July, when for my birthday Rita bought me another session in the black box, which was equally useful, and which led me to say to her that I wished I could do it more often. She suggested that we do the same thing in her home, as by this time I didn’t really need either the Hemi Sync or the sensory isolation of the booth (though both were helpful and supportive). So, on the night of Tuesday, August 8, 2002, I lay down on the bed in her guest room, playing a TMI tape to help get into an altered state, and she began to ask questions. This led to an extraordinary series of sessions that brought us far. A few words on what was extraordinary about the information we received, and then we’re finished with preliminaries.

To me, it seemed like nothing special on my end. Rita would ask questions and I would lie there, relaxed, in a mildly altered state, and say whatever came to mind. I was pleasantly aware of being a bit more fluent than usual, a bit more articulate, but as far as I was concerned, if something special was going on, it was in the nature and persistence of Rita’s questions. (For, as the guys often say, the better our questions, the better will be their answers.)

But when I told Rita that as far as I could tell I was just making it up as I went along, she told me-in the nicest possible way-that I wasn’t smart enough to make up what she was hearing. And in the second place, she told me that in her years of experience conducting Explorer sessions, in very few of them had she or Martin been able to get any answers at all to some of the questions she was asking; and in no case had they gotten answers equal in clarity and consistency to what the guys were providing. That was the first time that I began to realize that what we were getting might be of real importance to the world.

Rita and I did not come to this information naïve. Rita had worked with Bob Monroe for years as a volunteer, running his lab, and we each had read his books and worked with the tools he developed. We each had done many TMI residential programs, and we each had many valued friends we had met at those programs, fellow explorers. That’s a lot of exchanging of ideas, over the years. And besides, between us, we had spent years exploring various aspects of metaphysics, religion, science, psychology, history and literature in an endless line of books.

Coming into these sessions, we were familiar with (and of course TGU knew we were familiar with) certain assumptions about reality that are not yet widespread. Among them:

* Time is not a stream flowing from past through present to future. The past does not cease to exist after the present has moved on. The future does not wait to exist until the present creates it. Instead, all times exist, although we while we are in bodies are carried along with what seems to us the only “real” moment of time, the present.

* Matter is not the “real” part of the world, with anything else being only a hypothesis. Rather, matter is energy bound into form, and is not necessarily the most important part of the world, or even the “realest” part of the world.

* We individuals are not collections of matter confined to the present. Our animating force – our spirit -exists before the body is created and remains after the body is dropped. And while we are here, our minds roam through time and space, apparently free of many seemingly unavoidable material constraints. We in the physical (human beings) apparently extend into the non-physical as well.

* The reality that we experience in commonplace moments is incomplete. Certain physical and mental and spiritual practices will allow you to change your perceptions, which will lead to different experiences, equally real. And this will lead you to realize that the world is stranger than it often appears, and is stranger whether or not you are in a mental place capable of observing it.

* The reality that we experience is not only incomplete, it is also only one version of an infinite number of versions, equally real. At every choice (and billions of choices are being made, continually) the world “decided” by each choice exists – and so does the one “decided” by the opposite choice! (Oddly, this seemingly crazy statement finds support in modern quantum mechanics, of all places, described in mathematical equations.)

* Life is not a matter of meaningless chance, accident, and coincidence. None of these things exist. They seem to exist because our culture and our language blinds us to the connecting forces beneath the surface of life.

* Evidence for the existence of psychic abilities is overwhelming, and may be found spread throughout science, history, and scriptures. More importantly, first-hand evidence is available to anyone who is open to receiving it.

That’s quite a lot of non-conventional assumptions about reality. But anyone who does any serious exploring into the question of “what is real and what is not” is soon presented with difficulties. It is difficult to envision life on “the other side.” How do beings there spend their time? What is it they do, and why do they do it? What if anything is their relationship to us? For that matter, what is our life all about? Questions of purpose have always dogged thoughtful individuals. Can they be answered? What does it all mean? And how does any of this square with what “common sense” tells us about the world?
Rita had accumulated a lot of questions in her time on earth. She set out to ask the guys for a few answers, and they were glad to oblige. But the difficulties in communicating between their side and our side surprised us, sometimes, and maybe surprised them, too. We, and they, had a lot of translating to do. But it was worth it.
Change a few assumptions about space and time, and the nature of individuals, and the purpose of life, and the possibilities open to us, and it throws a new light on many things that were puzzles, or were annoying discrepancies. Change a few assumptions, and suddenly we see, in a new and dazzling light, the scriptures, and the wisdom of the philosophers, and the insights of the poets and artists of the ages, and we realize that in fact we’ve had our sources of wisdom available to us all along, but we had lost the key that opened the door. We see how it can be true, as religions have always insisted, that we humans are all part of one great thing-part of God, if you will-without elevating everyone on the other side to superhuman status. (More than once the guys have said to us, in roughly these words, “We are the same as you, on different turf.”) We are given here the basis of an understanding of the world that does not portray humans as unimportant, accidental, infantile or criminal, and does not depend upon blind faith.

Over the course of many sessions with the guys upstairs, Rita and I were given a new way (1) to see the world, (2) to change our lives and, as you will see, (3) to thereby change the world. In this I am not referring to everybody “doing their bit,” as they used to say in the war. I mean changing the world radically, individually, as if by magic. That’s why the subtitle: “changing your viewpoint, your life, and our world.”

We hope to show you that this promise is not overstated, but is, if anything, understatement. In this book, we make no attempt to prove anything that is said, either by them or by us. I doubt if we could in any case. But we do better than that. We give you the tools you need to test it in your life. It may be that you will come to agree that what has been given to us here is the key to your greater self-development, the key to a better world.

We have not felt it necessary to treat their words (or ours!) as scripture. For ease of reading, we put the narrative into Frank’s voice, and in cleaning up the transcriptions silently elided many a false start and “um.” Sometimes in the interest of clarity and brevity we have condensed question or answer, but in no case have we changed the meaning. We have chosen (after hesitation and false starts) to present the material more or less in the order that it came to us. After all, if there are no coincidences, presumably there’s a reason it came to us this way! Besides, the guys have proved themselves to be good teachers.

Rita and I went into these sessions thinking it was our own idea, as people do. It didn’t occur to us that any one step would lead to another, and another, and it certainly didn’t occur to us that we had embarked upon a course of action that was being planned out in detail Upstairs (with our on-going participation in the planning process, if TGU are to be believed). Only in retrospect is it obvious that Somebody planned out not only the individual sessions, but the series taken together.

Even a casual observer should be struck by the fact that the questions Rita chose to ask did as much to form the pattern – as it turned out – as did the answers. Either our own Upstairs components participated in the planning and execution of the sessions, or TGU are fast and accomplished at turning stray thoughts to their advantage. Or perhaps the fact that the contents of 22 sessions built one upon the other should be laid to coincidence?

A look at the sort of things that popped up, taken in the order in which they were introduced, shows how quickly certain themes were introduced, and how carefully they were built upon, session by session, until by the end of the series Rita and I were living in a very different world.

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