A Fitting End to a Perfect Day...
Today (Saturday March 2, 2013) was the Twin Cities Psychic Symposium, where I had an exhibitor booth. It was a great experience, where I met a lot of great people, did a lot of networking, and sold a lot of self-hypnosis CDs. But even more than that, I got to touch the minds and awareness of a lot of people who are doing the exact same thing I am - trying to reach beyond their own limits. In the words of an author whose name I can't remember at the moment, "to slip the bonds of Earth and touch the face of God."
a day at the 2013 Twin Cities Psychic Symposium
I spent the remainder of the evening, pleasantly tired, watching a re-run of the movie "Contact". It was the fitting end to a perfect day.
In one way it was ironic - one of the books on my shelf is "Contact," by Carl Sagan, the book which spawned the movie by the same name. The movie is a pretty faithful replication of the book, and I find it somehow touching that Carl Sagan passed away just before the movie was released.
Next to the book Contact is another of Carl Sagan's books, "The Demon Haunted World." It is one of the premiere works of skepticism of that time-frame, around 1996, or so. In it Sagan decries such "pseudoscientific" topics as psychic phenomena, UFOs and alien abduction. He claims that there is no evidence in support for the reality of any of these. Yet only a slight look behind the curtain shows an intriguing host of anomalies, a full spectrum of mystery.
While I admire Carl Sagan for many things, Demon Haunted World is not one of them. Instead, I prefer to reflect on the positive contributions of his work - reaching beyond the edge of planetary science, the speculative book he co-authored entitled "intelligent Life in the Universe," the book "Pale Blue Dot" and what is probably for me, the most inspiring influence in my life, the TV series, Cosmos. (Cosmos came out at just the right time to touch my own world and re-open it to the possibilities I had forgotten at that moment - in short, it restored my vision and in a way, saved my soul.)
That's why it is so ironic that at the end of a day in which my own mind touched so many others, where I talked with so many at a psychic symposium, my experience shoudl be echoed in a movie by Carl Sagan. In one way, his work was so visionary, yet in another, he represented the very box many of there, today are trying to reach beyond.
In "Contact," at the end of the movie, the plight of Dr. Eleanor Arroway seemed symbolic of the experiences so many healers, psychics and experiencers describe everyday. It is the relationship between the edge of the ordinary, and those who are thrust far beyond that edge. While we try to maintain scientific rigor in our study of the extraordinary, there is a dimension of the experience that simply goes beyond what we can objectively define.
Mainstream pushes the envelope using the scientific method, building on existing theories and technologies. Yet much of what we see in studies of the extraordinary transcend those boundaries, moving into the space beyond what science can handle. In some ways, it ventures into the spiritual - and thus, by some peoples' books, religion.
At the very end of the movie, we find that all of the data recorders recorded nothing, even as Arroway was experiencing an amazing ride through the cosmos. While she claims to have been gone 18 hours, all external observations showed she had never gone anywhere. Yet it turns out that the "nothing" the instruments recorded lasted exactly 18 hours. In short, we are left with tantalizing hints and visions of the extraordinary, yet at the same time, the reality defies (or at least stretches) our current abilities to study it. I think that Sagan was trying to convey the idea that even as many phenomena defy our efforts to objectively study it, they leave tantalizing clues that point to something far more than we currently understand.
For most of the day, I got to touch minds with a lot of like-minded people, forge new and renew old acquaintances - and sell quite a few self-hypnosis CDs. it was somehow synchronistic that the day should then be capped of with a counterpoint of this movie - touching the edge, reminding us of the sharpness of that edge and the reminding us of fragility of our knowledge. It was a fitting end to a perfect day