This business of psychic readings


Some thoughts from my book The Sphere and the Hologram, just published. The following is the conclusion of that book of transcripts.


When I was young I didn’t understand why Edgar Cayce had so many perplexities, hesitations, and fears about what he did. It seemed clear to me that he had been given a special gift: Why not just use it and rejoice in it? Why second-guess it all the time? Why wonder about its accuracy? Cayce used to say, apparently in a sort of teeth-clenched way, that if one child was ever hurt by the things that came through when he was in trance, that was the end of the whole business for him. I used to wonder, why? So it has been interesting to participate in this process from the inside; to exchange ideas and analysis with Rita, a trained psychologist who also knows from her own experience what I’m talking about. And it has been interesting to see how little of the reasons for my own perplexities, hesitations, and fears I have been able to communicate clearly, even to her. It gives me a whole different perspective on Edgar Cayce as a man.

I see more clearly now why Cayce did not see himself as a gifted seer, a favored communicant with the other side. Cayce was saved by his own humility. He knew the reasons for his own perplexities, hesitations, and fears. He was well aware how little he knew about what he was doing. He knew that every time he went into a trance, the information that came would come from somewhere beyond his control, which meant he had no way to filter it. The information came from someone (but he didn’t know who) and it would be stated with great confidence (but he didn’t know if the confidence was warranted) and it would supposedly be given with benevolent intent (but, as he didn’t know who was providing it, he was forced to hope that was true). What’s more, the information came to him while he was in trance, so he didn’t even get to hear it as it came through. Talk about taking things on faith! No wonder he was worried! Plus, of course, his journey was so long. By the end of his life in 1945 he had come to integrate a lot of what his voice had said from trance, but in the early days it must have seemed to him a mixture of blasphemy and nonsense.

When I was young, reading about Edgar Cayce, I thought of him as one of a group of special men and women, set apart from ordinary men and women, who somehow had abilities most of us didn’t have and didn’t expect to have. Therefore I couldn’t see him as a man, not really. Oh, I read that he had a wife and children and an external career as a photographer, and I read that he had his struggles on many levels. But the reality didn’t really sink in. His struggles seemed almost irrelevant to his real story, which was “of course” that he could go into a trance and bring in medical and other information. And because I could not see Cayce as an ordinary man (with an unusual gift) I misunderstood everything I read. Certainly I misunderstood its importance for my own life. I would make a small bet that nearly everyone who reads about him or others like him misunderstands in a similar way.

Anyone who comes away from this book thinking, “wow, Frank is really special” is wrong except in the sense that we are each special. I will say it as clearly as I can. As far as I can tell, the information is available and can be retrieved by anyone who wants to try. We don’t have to live as disconnected individuals on the long, hard, solitary Downstairs path. There’s no reason you can’t do what I learned to do, and there’s no reason to think you won’t be as good at it as anybody else. Only, don’t think that acquiring access is going to solve your problems. It’s more likely to give you a new set of problems to work on. Nothing wrong with that, just be prepared.

The one danger I see in this kind of work is that of psychic inflation. If you think that this work makes you something special, you risk turning it into a curse. It should be obvious that the whole point of the process is to bring information not from the part of us that is in time and space, but from the part that is beyond time and space. How can we do that if our ego needs are driving us to try to assure success?

I consider myself fortunate that the gift of being able to talk to the other side did not manifest when I was younger, particularly when I was still trapped in a succession of menial jobs. Had the gift come before I had made a place to stand in the world, the temptation to identify myself with the gift (that is, to take credit for it) would have been great. If I had allowed myself to measure my worth as a person with the ability to produce acceptable results, would I not have been tempted to cheat? In any case, the need for results would have put the cart disastrously before the horse. I might have done quite a bit of damage to others and to myself. This work has to come from the heart, not from the ego, and for most of us that will be a struggle. To the degree that the work comes from ego, the quality of the material is compromised.

As has been said more than once, our essential oneness is more evident outside of time and space than it is here. Therefore, it is true, though it has been expressed as a joke, that “you’re special, just like everybody else.” It’s important to remember both halves of the statement. You, yourself, were specifically created to conduct the experiment of being you. No one else is you. Your choices do matter to the larger being on the other side, call it what we may. But by the same token, this is true of everyone else. This seems to me very close to the old Christian way of seeing each of us as God’s children, as precious to him and as interesting, regardless of external circumstances. (It is also a damn sight more attractive to me than the idea that people are economic or political digits, to be used rather than valued.)

So, remember that you are unique and therefore special; remember that so is everyone else you will ever know. You are not insignificant. Neither is any of them, regardless the color of their skin, the sound of their accent, the content of their bank account or the clarity of their thought. This is not empty, high-sounding, meaningless sloganeering. If the guys may be trusted, it’s a straight description of fact.

The Meaning of the Material

Not so easy to sum up the results of this exploration. Not so easy, particularly, to make it clear in advance to each of you who reads this book the importance of this information for you. After all, each comes to it with different assumptions, abilities, prejudices, emotional makeup, and educational background – to say nothing of life-plan and affiliations. Still, the attempt must be made.

The central problem with all this material is simply that the picture it presents is at such variance with the picture painted by “common sense.”

Common sense says that the past is dead, the future not yet created, and the present moment is all there is. This material says the past is still alive, the future is already alive, and the present is as alive as either – no more, no less.

Common sense says that the present is the one and only present. What you see is what you get. This material says that this time, and all times, exist in multiple versions, with a version corresponding to the results of every possible choice made by every agent.

Common sense says that reincarnation must be true or untrue. This material says it’s more a matter of definition than of an either-or choice. In any case, it suggests that our ideas on the subject are confused.

Common sense says that in this life we must be either individuals (as to all appearances we are) or in some mystical way all part of one thing. This material says, again, it’s a matter of definition, and could be seen either way.

Common sense says that they on their side (assuming that common sense would concede that “they” exist) must be either individuals or in some mystical way all part of one thing. This material says that here, too, it’s a matter of definition.

Common sense says “we” in time-space and “they” outside of time-space are different beings. This material says the difference between us could be considered more a difference in emphasis than a difference in kind, with the major difference between us being the difference between their turf (non-material reality) and ours (time-space, or what I call 3D Theater).

Common sense says that life consists of good things and bad, or problems and opportunities, stemming from the conflict of forces. This material says that we – and they, working with us – plan our lifetimes both beforehand and during the lifetimes. All our problems are opportunities, because they are all chosen by us in the planning of our life.

Common sense says that conscience (if it exists) is something like a scorekeeper or a nag. This material says conscience is a homing mechanism.

Common sense says that our health, like other aspects of our lives, depends on many things over which we have little or no control. This material says we have far more control over our health than we commonly suspect, and that how much control we have depends on our state of being.

Common sense, for many people (not all) argues that improving the world is done primarily by interaction with others. This material says internal work is as effective as external work, and often more effective.

Common sense for many says that to overcome disaster or even to lead a successful life, we must do many external things (although few agree on what specific things). This material says the most effective thing we can do, in the face of disaster or in ordinary life, is to hold our center.

Common sense says that the meaning of the manner of our death is confined to this side. This material says that how we die here is the equivalent to how we are reborn into the other side.

And so it goes. Everything common sense says that is based on our assumptions about time and space falls down if those assumptions are incorrect. That includes questions about good and evil and about our emotions (gradients between what is and what we prefer, they say) and the meaning and nature of our lives. They see our lives as lived in different versions, equally real, with us choosing versions as if wandering in a maze of freedom. It even affects their view of extraterrestrials, for they are as close to them – as much a part of them – as to us. In short, our lives appear quite different to them than they do to us.

Now the question is, what are we going to do with this information? How can we check it, expand upon it, use it? That, dear reader, is at least partly up to you. Fortunately you are not alone, however much you may sometimes think so.

The new Star Trek movie….

leads me to reprint this conversation with Gene Roddenberry that I made into a column for The Meta Arts online magazine last December.

Star Trek, the individual and the community

by Frank DeMarco

Gene Roddenberry was a visionary. The man who created Star Trek set out to influence American culture in certain very specific constructive ways, and succeeded to an extent that he can hardly have imagined. Star Trek influenced America – and far beyond. What part of the world doesn’t know of Kirk, Spock, Bones, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov?

Not the least fascinating aspect of this ability to talk to others on the other side is that we can ask them questions. Here’s an edited transcript of Gene Roddenberry talking about society and the individual and the process of inspiring society with new ways of seeing things.

On May 14, 2007, having been watching Star Trek videos and re-reading Upton Sinclair’s Lanny Budd novels, I had several altered-state sessions with the guys upstairs. They started off, as the often do, with very abstract statements, hard to absorb:

There are several points to be considered together:

– quality in the external life of the individuals in the community
– individual interest as actually community interest seen out of context
– dissatisfaction – unnecessary dissatisfaction – in what is possible within community
– all this as a parallel to what we have been saying of your internal lives.

We do not apologize for the fact that this is not clear to you. If it were clear at first sight, how new could it be? We want to show you individualism and collectivism in the light of newly seen context.

That was a little awkward. Am I losing the beam or are you in need of some coffee over there?

You will find, if you look back (or forward!) that when you are prospectively grasping very abstract statements, the process takes so much of your attention that grammar itself suffers, let alone metaphor.

Interesting. Okay, I get the idea: New context for our social ideas will produce a new point of view in the way that doing a Copernican shift will rearrange our ideas of ourselves and past lives, etc.

It might be better to put it this way: As you learn that you are not so much an individual but a transient collection of threads – or rather, that such a collection is what it means to be an individual – your view of your life changes. Your possibilities expand, and certain mysteries resolve. You can communicate with what you had thought of as “past” lives; you can access infinite knowledge; you can change your past, present and future. The “superhuman” abilities promised you by scriptures are right there in front of you, or rather, the ignition key is now in your hands. Similarly, society seen as if it were an individual.

This is very difficult work for you.

Yes – so many threads you are wanting to weave and I can scarcely stay up with you, let alone weave them.

You need other tools to make the handling of abstractions easier and more skilled.

It’s true and I have often felt it. The only thing I know to do is to keep it as simple as I can, sentence by sentence, and hope that you won’t forget where we are going, for if I try to hold it, I get lost. I get overwhelmed. Which thing to say first? How to make so complex a sentence that it will hold the various elements in relationship – and yet still be readable?

This is why so much “channeled” material comes out in the pompous, inflated language of the subconscious: it is beyond the ability of the interpreter to both render faithfully and translate into more normal language. It is one of your qualifications, that you are good with language, somewhat picky about it as a conveyor of meaning, free enough concerning structure to allow yourself to do what is needed, and above all determined to say it so that it may be understood. Getting these qualities in a medium means forfeiting other valuable but contradictory qualities. Hence, specialization.

I can see that. Oh! That’s why earlier you planted the seed in my mind about talking to Gene Roddenberry! It will come best via an individual, and hence one who had thought about it. And I have been watching Star Trek movies including the “making of” stuff they include in the DVDs. I’ll give you this. You guys are pretty clever. All right, I will be very pleased to talk to Gene Roddenberry about all this.

You understand,

Yes, you don’t need to say it. What he will say here, from his present perspective, isn’t necessarily what he would say if he were still here in a single-life perspective. Since I don’t know anything about him except that he had the original Star Trek ideas (or got them from Wesley Bateman, if that is what happened) – I won’t even worry about conforming story to perception. Hopefully it will be easier, but in any case – we’ll see.

Gene Roddenberry, are you there? Or here, however we should look at it?

Like-vibrational souls seem to be a group when viewed from a certain focus. When viewed from a different focus, the like-vibrational teams will be partly or entirely different. No one is only one thing. To make that clearer, a baseball team is seen from a baseball-oriented focus. The members of that same team will not necessarily sort out in any predictable way when considered from ownership of one brand of car, or coverage by one kind of life insurance, or they might be sorted by political belief or ideology, or taste in art, or in wine, or in women. A very simple concept here: everybody has different handles, different vibrational signatures, that respond to different focuses. So, you experience me as part of a “team” that includes Franklin Roosevelt and Claude Bowers. Is this because we are a natural team, a sort of soul-family? Only in a given context. Claude Bowers is not necessarily interested in science fiction or television, or Abraham Lincoln. So, yes, I am here – for you, in this context. And I am “here” for others in different contexts. And this is true for all.

What the lesson of the day is, can be explained easier by reference to my own goals as a producer of television shows than abstractly (as you have found).

I wanted to show real people facing real problems; specifically I wanted to create a mirror in which we in the 20th century could see ourselves by contrast. Well, by contrast to what? To mankind as it could be if shaped by a different society. It could have been done by reference to a real or imagined past, but to do it against an imagined (received?) future offered greater leeway. Everything was possible.

The seven deadly sins still existed; they exist because people exist. The infinite potential range of emotion, skill, values, creativity, existed, because they exist in people, manifested more or manifested less, and in differing directions, according to circumstance. I am saying this: Creating a future matrix in which to place the future man, we created possibilities.

Start with a man (a person, yes, but say a man). He has our same innate range of possibilities – plus the things his society makes possible and ours does not, and minus the possibilities that ours makes possible and his does not. So – he is us as we would be in those circumstances. And the viewer, feeling that identity, infers the effect of the society by seeing the motives the man has – or does not have – in any given set of circumstances (also known as, “the plot”!).

How many times did viewers see and hear that the 23rd century does not use money? Whenever they heard the statement, it left a blank spot, for it is impossible to imagine a society without money. But it is not impossible to witness people whose actions are never motivated by fear of scarcity or the desire to amass a surplus. In short, it made no impression on the conscious mind, but a relatively great impression, cumulatively, on the subconscious pattern-imaging facility.

The means of transportation might be advanced – transporters, gravity-defying cars, spaceships – and this was accepted as a commonplace. The all-powerful all-connecting computers were accepted as magic, like any other marvel. The surroundings – strange worlds, spaceships, hostile or curious or indifferent races – were accepted with a shrug, so to speak, like horses in a horse opera. What was different, what was significant, what was meaningful, was the mental and emotional world of the captain and crew. That and nothing else is what turned a three-season show into a phenomenon that the fans kept alive. They weren’t attached to fist fights and transporters and dilithium crystals. They were relating to the possibilities in themselves that they could see only mirrored in the crew. Of course this doesn’t mean they knew this, at any level. They knew only that Star Trek had become important to them and they wanted to get as close to it as they could, emotionally.

So, as I said, start with the man. Then work your way logically – where is Spok when you need him? – to the society that will produce and nurture such abilities and such a view of the world.

It sounds like I have gone a long way away from our topic, but I have not. It is just that we are approaching from an unexpected direction.

You are saying, roughly, first get an accurate idea of who you are, then work to build a society that will support what you can become and want to become.

Well – not quite that. You as an individual are not what your society thinks you are. It is difficult to generalize because different subsets of society have different beliefs, but most would agree that you are one unit, proceeding moment by moment along the present that still somehow keeps being the past moving into the future. (A close look would reveal the absurdity of this view of things, but there it is.) If your subset is religious or is in some way psychically connected and intellectually congruent with the connection, it will say that you extend before birth and after death, though each will differ in specifics. Meanwhile – during your life on Earth – you are seen as having a physical heredity and perhaps a spiritual heredity; and a family, and certain interests and surroundings, and a given set of gifts and liabilities.

All well and good, and as epicycles, very serviceable. As descriptions of who and what you are – pathetic. This is a cartoon view of humanity. Because it is so, societies shaped around this view become cartoons as well. But they aren’t very funny.

No one in the Star Trek crew is an individual in the sense of existing in isolation, an end and a means to himself. The idea is an absurdity, easily seen in so small a mirror of earth life. Yet societies are set up either as one great beehive (Mao’s ideal for China) or as a series of megalithic organizational units (Hitler’s or Stalin’s ideals) or as tribes or families (multiple examples around Earth past and present) or as individuals. And it is the cult of the individual that is so dangerous in your time, as the cult of the beehive or the megalith was in mine.

Who can live without trees on the earth?

The quality of life is in the perfect interplay of millions of details. A good meal of nutritious and well prepared food doesn’t just happen. And if individualism is allowed to run far out of control, there can be a situation where it becomes impossible to have such a meal because too many necessary links have been snapped.

If the worlds here were to become unbreatheable, the ability to purchase canned air wouldn’t be lifesaving; it would only buy a postponement of the inevitable.

A society full of illiterates does not make possible [even] for those who can read the depth of services and knowledge offered by societies of widespread literacy – and this despite how much money one may offer for special services.

Star Trek kept the assumptions that past, present, future was the basic orientation. Travel into “the” past or “the” future still held on to these assumptions, but proposed exceptions to it. In the same way, travel to other dimensions, alternate probable worlds – you name it – still by implication assumes the same reality, “ordinary” reality.

What if we had made other assumptions and had been able to keep our audience with us? Suppose we had said, there is only the present (doing things one way) and it is 1/30th of a second ahead of whatever your senses report, and it is where the true magic of the world resides.

If Captain Kirk had been actively aware of all his other lives, active within his everyday consciousness, alive as he was, interacting continuously with him and with each other – and if he had realized that every one of them (and he himself, of course) was vitally tied to multitudes of others whose vibrations they had matched, would he have been the same man?

To look at it backwards, if he hadn’t been aware of himself as just one member of the crew, had thought of himself as the only important person, would he have been the same?

What if Kirk had been able to keep his sense of being one member of a team and had extended it internally as well? You are the captain of your extended self (from your point of view) because you are at the present, the point of application. Others in your group are too, from their point of view and in their present-point. So you have complete cooperation and complete individual free will and it all depends upon awareness of interconnection.

There it is, in a nutshell. And yes, this wasn’t so easy to bring across. We are not supermen here unless we were supermen there.

Thanks for making that effort, and I look forward to see what tomorrow brings. Thanks, too, for Star Trek. That was a good thing you did.

A way of connecting without sleeping

August 3, 2001. I was in the Monroe Institute’s black box, in a mildly altered state talking to the unembodied beings that I call the Guys Upstairs, Skip Atwater in the control booth conducting the session (keeping me from drifting too far, for one thing). Note that when he tries to get me to ask guidance to describe the experience directly, what we get is a dictated passage very unlike my normal cadence.

I have posted this session in its entirety, in several parts, under Black Box session 08-03-01, but as things tend to get lost when the entire transcript is given, I thought I’d pull this segment out.

All right my friends, it’s your show, it’s – we’ll go where you want to go. [pause]

Immediate sense of a vast night sky, and I immediately want to say, in the tropics. [long pause]  

A sense of lying in the sand, how one would scoop out places for shoulders and hips and stuff, and just lying on my back in the sand that’s been shaped to fit me. [pause]

With a – I want to say a blanket, but I don’t think it’s a blanket. It’s some kind of covering, because I guess in the desert the night must be cool. [pause] It’s more like a reed kind of a thing; that doesn’t make sense. It’s almost like somebody spread a hammock out on top of me, rather than under me. [pause] Continue reading A way of connecting without sleeping