January 21, 2018

Luck

Another film that I recommend was made in 1964 and is called ‘The Luck of Ginger Coffey’ and it stars Robert Shaw as an Irish immigrant trying to make his way in Montreal, Canada with his wife (Mary Ure) and his young daughter…much is made of luck…some people are lucky it is said and some are not…this does seem to be the case often, but it is true that we often make our own luck…a decision here and a decision there can often have great implications down the road…it is said that the harder you work, the luckier you get…true in some cases…but not always…in the movie, Ginger seems to have nothing but bad luck as in tries to get work…in his marriage…and in his relationship with his daughter…and in some of these cases, he had made bad decisions which influenced his ‘luck’…looking at it from a supernatural aspect, if you look in the dictionary, definitions of luck consider it to be an attribute of a person…someone for example, that if they fell into a vat of manure, they would come out smelling like a rose…or sometimes a person is considered to be born lucky if they born into an affluent family or if they have good genetics, such as being musically inclined like their parents or something like that…on the other hand, some people seem to have misfortune follow them around like a dark cloud, and it might be said that they were born under an unlucky star…luck can be good or bad, and it might be a product of chance, rather than any other condition…i.e. to be in the right place at the right time…or the wrong place at the wrong time…luck can be just a matter of happenstance and nothing we have done has had any influence on what happened…those who are high-minded often scoff at the idea of ‘luck’, but I know in a couple of cases where they carried around a little horseshoe or some other kind of ‘lucky trinket’…just in case.

January 19, 2018

Svengali

Sometimes you hear the word ‘svengali’ and it is always used in a negative sense…but what is a Svengali?...it has come to refer to a manipulative person who, with sinister or selfish intent, dominates, manipulates, and controls a person…they may tell a person how to act, how to dress, what to do, what not to do, and so forth…this person often falls under the spell of their ‘svengali’ and does exactly what they are told…they may be aware that they are being controlled, but can do nothing about it…or they may be unaware that they have fallen into the clutches of the manipulator…the Svengali will be a master of persuasion and powerful charisma that mesmerizes the victim…in a court of law, a Svengali defense is a legal tactic that claims that a defendant was merely a pawn in the scheme of a greater, and more influential, criminal mastermind…they may have been influenced to commit a crime or sinister act without knowing any better…this has been argued and has been successful in some cases…you may also know the term from a series of movies which have been produced over the years…the earliest and most well-known Svengali movie came out in 1931 and starred John Barrymore and Miriam Marsh…the film was nominated for two Academy Awards…I recommend viewing this film and you will get a feel for what Svengalis can do…I can’t speak for the remakes having not seen them…

January 17, 2018

Chasing The Unknown

On January 7, 1948, a pilot named Captain Thomas F. Mantell who was a member of the Kentucky Air National Guard was piloting an F-51 airplane from Standiford Air Force Base in Kentucky…he was accompanied by three other planes…at around 1:30 PM, the Kentucky State Police began receiving reports from concerned citizens regarding a large circular object that was flying over the city of Mansville, KY... in just minutes, the area of the sightings expanded to cover other nearby cities...it was described as a large, metallic flying craft…and it was seen clearly from the tower of Godman Air Force Base…the object was described as being large, round, whitish in color, with a red light toward its bottom side…and seemed to be moving slowly toward the south…a little over an hour after the first reports came in, Mantell's group was asked to investigate the suspicious object…Mantell and two other planes headed to the coordinates where the visual sightings had been made...Mantell climbed to 15,000 feet, and upon reaching that position, he radioed the following statement back to the control tower..."The object is directly ahead of and above me now, moving at about half my speed... It appears to be a metallic object or possibly reflection of Sun from a metallic object, and it is of tremendous size... I'm still climbing... I'm trying to close in for a better look”…he kept soaring higher and higher, but the other two planes broke off the chase…they later said that the object was small and indistinct that they could not identify it...by all accounts, Mantell must have passed out from hypoxia, that is lack of oxygen, at about 30,000 feet or so…his plane then leveled off at that height…then the plane began to plunge back towards earth…it eventually crashed on a farm…Mantell's watch had stopped at exactly 3:18 PM, and his body was still securely strapped in his plane…he had spent about 45 minutes in a desperate flight, chasing the unknown...by 3:50 PM, the giant craft was no longer visible from the Godman Air Force Base, but reports continued to flood in as the UFO continued southward into regions of Tennessee…later investigations by the US Air force indicated that Mantell may have died while chasing what was called a Skyhook balloon, which in 1948 was a top-secret project that Mantell would have had no knowledge about…there have been some wild stories regarding the incident…such as Mantell’s body was riddled with bullets…the crash was radioactive, and other tales…no one knows for sure what happened out there…it is perhaps a mystery that will never be solved.

January 15, 2018

Siddhis

Siddhis are spiritual or paranormal, supernatural, or otherwise magical powers…these powers and abilities that are the products of spiritual advancement through sādhanās such as meditation and yoga…some of these powers include being able to hear from long distances away…the ability to withstand temperature extremes…being undisturbed by hunger, thirst, or other bodily wants…the power to know what others are thinking…even the power to die when one wishes to… the classic yoga texts of long ago such as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, say that if you sit quietly, pay close attention to your mind, and practice this ever so diligently, then you will gain these supernormal powers…they are not considered to be supernormal or magical by the texts…they’re just ordinary capacities that everyone possesses within themselves...we’re just too busy and preoccupied to be able to access them...for most people, psychic abilities tend to appear spontaneously and are rarely under any type of conscious control…by contrast, the siddhis are said to be highly reliable… and under complete conscious control of the individual…and as such they could be interpreted as exceedingly refined, well-cultivated forms of psychic phenomena…some of the powers described do seem attainable, others seem extremely far-fetched, such as hovering and flying, at least for the average person.

January 13, 2018

Psychic Surgery

Psychic surgery is considered a pseudoscientific medical fraud by practically all…yet it still goes on today...it is one in which the practitioner creates illusions of performing surgery with his or her bare hands…and then uses trickery, fake blood, and animal parts that are hidden at first, then revealed, to convince the patient that the diseased lesions or some other kind of diseased internal body part have been removed and that the incision has miraculously healed already…magically leaving no scar or incision behind...any positive effects that come from this hoax are considered merely placebo in nature…the practitioner in supposed earnestness will pretend to make an incision and after ‘working’ a bit, he or she claims that they reached into the body and then show some kind of organic matter or foreign objects that were seemingly removed from the patient's body and tell them that they are cured…then the area is cleaned and the patient's skin will show no wounds or marks whatsoever…in 1975 the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) stated: it has been found that "psychic surgery" is pure fakery. The body is not opened, no "surgery" is performed with the bare hands or with anything else, and nothing is removed from the body...the entire "operation" is an egregious fraud perpetrated by sleight-of-hand and similar tricks and devices…wow, who could have guessed…if you saw the movie about Andy Kaufman, called ‘Man In The Moon’, there was a portrayal of one of these type ‘surgeries’…yet these types of surgeries still take place on desperate people who ‘so want to believe’ in this type of ‘treatment’ and that it is effective…sometimes patients will resort to this when they are told by regular doctors that there is no hope for them with standard medical treatment…out of desperation, they will turn to this ‘procedure’...perhaps there are a few of these people who perform these ‘surgeries’ in the belief that it may help a person from a mental aspect, if not a physical one...but my guess is that the vast majority do it simply as a money grab from desperate, dying people and nothing more...this kind of sham is what gives more legitimate forms of psychic power a bad name.


January 11, 2018

Thoughtogrophy

Thoughtogrophy which is sometimes called psychic photography is the claimed ability to send one’s thoughts and have them show up on regular photographs…the whole idea seems crazy, but it first emerged in the late 19th century as a response to the influence of spirit photography…spirit photography is a type of photography whose primary purpose is to capture images of ghosts and other spiritual entities…especially in ghost hunting…more about that in a moment…some have left the lens cap on their camera and taken pictures of their forehead or not exactly their forehead, but those photographs would then be shown to demonstrate what was going through the psychic’s mind…this idea of course was widely panned as being fake…that would be wild, taking pictures of your mind, but it could lead to some trouble I would guess...most of these supposed ‘psychics’ needed to have control over the film to produce their ‘results’...I wonder why…when it comes to capturing ghosts on film...well, I tend to be a little more open minded about it...but skeptics, among them many professional photographers, consider psychic photographs to be faked or the result of flaws in the camera or the film, manipulated exposures, film-processing errors accidentally or intentionally, flash reflections that produced an image, or chemical reactions that impacted the film…it is the opinion of most if not all, that spirit photography is a hoax…no matter how many ‘ghosts’ show up in pictures…or no matter how ‘real’ the photographs appear to be...but what if some of them are real?...what if occasionally a ghost decides to show up and get his picture taken?...if such a thing could be proven, you can only imagine the delirium it would cause...and really, who can say for sure that all those photos are fake?




January 9, 2018

Hot and Cold Readings



There are many different ways of fortune telling…fortune telling has been around for as long as civilization…obviously there are different methods of doing so…here are a couple of long-time practices and most common methods…there is the ‘cold reading’…that is a reading given with no prior knowledge of the sitter…often the fortune teller will make some very general statements which could practically apply to anyone…for example, “you have a scar on your knee”…now how many people DIDN'T fall down when they were a child and get a scar on their knee...the teller will then pair that up with inferences made from a variety of cues presented by the sitter…for example, their physical appearance, the type of clothes they are wearing, the tone of voice that the sitter uses or various statements they make…there is also what is called a ‘hot reading’… that is a reading given in which prior knowledge of the sitter has been obtained…often using fraudulent means or devious tactics…sometimes information will be heard during conversations that will be passed along to the fortune teller…or there are various research methods that can be utilized to make it seem like the fortune teller has ‘inside’ information…the teller will often combine these two to tell the receiver about their past and perhaps make a prediction on their future.