We want to thank several of you for the thoughts on spirituality that you have shared with us, especially Dr. Dark and Harp Raven.
On Sunday March 14 2010, Gavin gave a talk on Spirituality. The talk lasted a little over an hour, in a semi-workshop format where attendees responded to specific questions. We have decided to give you the gist of that talk and to ask those same questions of the facebook audience. Thus the next three or four blogs will not be about the cat’s hangnail or the weather in West Virginia; they will address a topic which we think is of more importance.
After due consideration, Gavin started “I don’t know what spirituality means in a modern context. Specifically I don’t know how to gauge whether or not (in public opinion) a specific individual is deemed spiritual. We all know people whom we think of as spiritual. I should probably be the most likely to have a gauge in my head; but I don’t.
“This next bit is kind of a ‘This I Believe’, and here is my resume on the subject. I lived for a couple of weeks in a monastery in Thailand, going out with the monks in the mornings with begging bowls and spending approximately six hours a day in meditation. We ate only the food that came back in our bowls. Since it is considered an honor to feed the monks, there was always plenty of food. By the way, the bowls were sections of human skulls lined with silver. As most of you know, I also spent a couple of weeks in a Tantric house in the Punjab.
“I have been a manager of International Operations for a major electronics firm.
“Also, after founding the Church of Wicca, Yvonne and I have worked and spoken with people of every nationality and every religious persuasion. We have worked on radio shows with fundamentalists such as Bob Larson, and had conversations with more conservative Christians such as the Bishop of Durham (North Carolina). Among a tour group I met and talked with Pope John Paul when he was trying to figure a way of getting pagans ‘back’ into the Roman Catholic Church. I know Jake Swamp, the Peace Chief of the Mohawk Nation. And I was initiated into the Seminole Nation as Red-Tailed Hawk : One Who Sees at a Distance.
“Of course through the School of Wicca and its international student body of over 60,000 students, I have learned from the students as much as I have taught them.
“Lastly, I have seen spirits and entities and actually photographed them. In St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the film showed a ghostly lady looking at the Pieta. And once after some of us had cast an extraordinarily beautiful circle for a full-moon observance at the Whaler Inn Beach Club in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, two of us took photographs of the circle with two cameras from two different locations in the room. A seated spirit form turned up in the negatives.
“Yvonne and I attended a large conference of ghost hunters outside Pittsburgh. They showed us hundreds of photos of ghostly emanations, ranging from vague clouds to fully dressed people and even the occasional nude person. Interestingly, we found that ghost-hunting groups are now using magnetometers to detect these presences. (You need a sensitive magnetometer, more sensitive than those available through Edmund Scientific.) More thoughts on this point later.
“In ghost hunting through meditation we hvae communicated with resident entities. In one case, a little girl in Boulder, Colorado, had been told at some time in the 19th century that she could not go to heaven until she learned her 12-times tables. She had died of cholera before she had mastered the multiplication tables. We told her in a loving manner just to hold still, that someone would come and help her with her learning. By the time we meditated the next day, no spirit was perceptible in the house. By the way, the homeowner was angry with us for taking away the cachet he had enjoyed from boasting about his haunted house.
“In an entirely different instance we investigated strange events happening in a cellar in East St. Louis, a cellar with access to the Mississippi River. We received communication from a long-dead smuggler. He said he had buried money in the side wall of the brick-lined tunnel leading down to the river. We found loose bricks where he indicated; but no money behind them. When the cavity was exposed, an iron-base table with a glass top was picked up and thrown across the cellar with such force that the cast-iron base shattered. Then again the haunting stopped. It seems as though the lingering spirits have some important message to impart, and that once the message is imparted they can go on. Yvonne sums it all up under the heading ‘unfinished business’.
“As many of you know, we have tested circles of various sizes, and circles made of an assortment of materials, against a very sensitive magnetometer. We have found that circles of a certain size, as long as they are electrically conducting, stopped the flow of energy to the magnetometer, but that without the circles, power-raising groups could send the magnetometer off the scale. That is, a circle cast to very precise measurements in very precise materials stops and contains the energy. When workers scrupulously follow known information, things go well.
“We know that certain people can read the impressed emotions in rooms and in objects. This leads us, then, to the question as to whether the ghosts or spirits that we are sensing are real or are heavily impressed emotions. Since the spirits are detectable, and power output from a group is detectable on mundane (real-world) equipment, are spirits real?
“In Wicca we think of a three-legged stool in balance. The three legs are
(a) body, (2) mind, (3) spirit. In my own reality, the spirit tends toward altruism and the body tends toward materialism, with the mind serving as the mediator between the two.”
For the skeptics among you, all this may be rubbish. So the question for this little section is :
In your reality, are spirits real?
Another blog on the subject will be forthcoming.
Blessed be those who dare to think outside the box. Gavin and Yvonne