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Talking/listening to the dead

louise

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I would be interested to know peoples views on the practise of mediumship if thats the right word)ie people who say the dead can communicate with them and pass messages on. Not really much to do with the I Ching, though if anyone would like to consult on the issue I'd be interested.
People do use mediums as a kind of divination, as often the deceased will give them a message/advice on some future event.
It seems to me that though mediums often do tell one things they can know nothing about, ie they will say name, kind of death, interests etc of the deceased - the messages they pass on from 'spirit' are more or less always of a trivial or mundane nature. Much puzzles me about this practise - for example they never seem to speak of what its like being dead, dying or anything, but tend to talk about a job or house move or something.
I read that Yoko Ono hears from John Lennon everyday. He tells her his advice/opinion on things, but she said she does not always follow it. My assumption is that just because the person
is no longer in body, that does not necessarily make them any wiser than when they were alive - so obviously one need not follow any advice given.
I am quite puzzled about this practise, I tend to hold to the idea of reincarnation, but then why are all these deceased people hanging around out there sending messages ? I do not expect anyone to be able to answer this question of course, but would be interested to hear others views on the practise of mediumship.
 

lindsay

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Dear Louise,

I suppose our opinions on this matter depend a great deal on what we believe happens to people after death. In the West today, I think many people still believe in some sort of afterlife, a belief reinforced by most of our traditional religions. I also think many people believe in some sort of final judgment that rewards the good and punishes the bad, a settling of the score. So the heaven/hell paradigm is still pretty powerful.

Now, imagine you are a person who has lost someone very close to you. Like a mother losing a child, or husband losing a wife, especially in untimely death. (God forbid this is true, Louise!) Wouldn't you want to know whether your loved one is OK in that other world? How could you find out something like that? This alone would explain the need for mediums.

There is more. Not everything is about the future. Often there are crucial unresolved issues in the past. "Where did Uncle Freddy leave the latest copy of his will?" "Did my childhood sweetheart still love me when she died?" And so on. Here is more understandable business for a medium.

What is interesting is that the I Ching appears to have had its origins in the desire to query the dead. Whoever or whatever you think you are talking to when you address the Yi, there is little doubt that the ancient Chinese thought (and continued to think until recent times) they were addressing their ancestors. Ancestors who had one's welfare, and especially the welfare of the family, close to their hearts. This is why frivolous questions were discouraged, because consulting the Yi was trafficking with the dead.

Lindsay
 

hilary

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Very interesting thoughts and comparisons... I wonder - were they talking to the ancestors or through them?

As I understand it (thanks to Stephen Karcher) the idea was that a deceased relative wasn't automatically a fully-fledged ancestor. You performed ceremonies to ensure that the parts of their spirit were comfortable dwelling in the right places, and then you kept them nourished through sacrifices. (Unless you were the Shang, of course: it was said that their ancestral spirits hadn't eaten for 60 years, so it was hardly surprising their dynasty fell!)

The ancestors remained part of the family and involved in its affairs, present at the ceremonies and getting drunk along with the participants. In return they acted as channels for power and good fortune from some higher or more potent spiritual place. (Maybe a little like the Roman Catholic saints??)

I agree with your description of why people nowadays feel a need for mediums - I think it's largely because we're (by and large) not confident about the afterlife. I think they first arose in the 19th century, is that right? The ancient Chinese simply lived with their ancestors and knew they were there, and needed to be kept sweet...

As for frivolous questions - maybe frivolity is in the mind of the querent. Isn't there an oracle bone somewhere with a series of questions about which ancestor the king has offended to cause his toothache?
 

lindsay

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Dear Louise and Hilary,

Sorry, I didn't have time to finish my posting. Here is the rest. For many years my wife worked as a massage therapist, and one of her regular clients was a working medium. This woman was very ordinary and unassuming in person, but enjoyed a substantial reputation for her gift. Her services were much sought after -- she had a waiting list over a year long for appointments, and she charged a great deal of money (by local standards) for her services. Nevertheless, the woman worked irregularly, and her body showed symptoms usually associated with enormous physical effort and stress. I do not know all the details of her practice, but I know she went into a trance and contacted specific dead people. In the process, she exhibited bizarre behavior and physical contortions. At the time she was in her late thirties, and felt increasingly exhausted and burnt out. Yet she could not stop. It seemed as though something was driving her forward, even though she did not want to practice any more.

This woman was utterly sincere about her mediumship. It is impossible to doubt the stress under which she worked. Clients watched her perform, and she gave every client a taped recording of her trance sayings for later reference. Yet clearly she was doing grave harm, physical and mental, to herself by continuing to give sessions. I say all this because I wish to make the point that there is no question of flim-flam or calculated deceit in this woman. She was real, and her physical symptoms were real.

But was her gift real? Did she really contact the dead? Many people thought so, and were happy to pay large amounts of money for her gift. It wasn't that she was greedy, but taking in chunks of money allowed her to work less and rest. She lived very modestly. Anyway, beyond what I heard and saw, I do not know the answer to what was really going on with the woman.

I know this, however: mediums like her are commonplace in the Caribbean, Africa and parts of Asia. This sort of behavior is typical of Voudoun priests and shamans. No big deal. Everywhere, this one or that one has the gift. Like the local electrician or plumber. Natural mediums are probably less apparent in the West because they are rarely recognized and developed.

As usual, more questions than answers.

Sorry, Hilary, ran out of time again and cannot respond adequately to your very interesting posting. Later, I hope.

Lindsay
 
C

candid

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Hello all,

While communion with those who have passed over isn?t something I could prove, its something I?ve had personal experience with. Whether I was connecting with the actual departed or the memory-energy within their living relative, isn?t something I could say for sure. What I can say for certain is that the images and details shown to me were too numerous and specific to have been mere coincidence. In each case the inquirer had unresolved issues with the departed and the connection experience proved to settle the heart and mind of the living relative, and for the departed as well.

Many of us tend to view the departed as possessing some sort of ?supreme wisdom? or Devine nature because they are allegedly in a state of heaven, but this has not been my experience. They have exhibited moods of elation and excitement, agitation and most interestingly to me, a marked playfulness and humor. Their personality has been pretty much the same as when they were here among ?the living.? Another interesting reoccurring theme has been the confusion and frustration of the departed toward the living loved one because the living hadn?t acknowledged their presence, especially in dreams when the departed would often come to them.

For the reader, it can be an exhausting experience and its extremely important to know when and how to shut the doors and send the departed on their way, lest they become a familiar spirit to the reader. Equally important is to discern when and when not to avail oneself to requests of living friends or relatives. Personally, I do not seek out these experiences and generally keep the matter hidden until actually called to function in the service of mediumship. It is much more a source of humility than pride. Its with no small degree of reluctance that I venture to share these things, even among friends here at Clarity.

~Candid
 

lindsay

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Dear Candid,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us. I respect your gift, but I can't help feeling a little sad for you. On an operational level, this whole subject gives me the creeps. It is dangerous. You are a brave man.

Perhaps a little Confucius is appropriate:

"Zilu asked about serving ghosts and spirits. The Master said: 'If one is not yet capable of serving men, how can one serve ghosts?' He ventured to ask about the dead, and the Master said: 'If one does not yet understand life, how does one understand death?" [Analects 11.12, Raymond Dawson tr.]

Lindsay
 
C

candid

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Hi Lindsay,

I appreciate your compliment and sentiment. Perhaps a little carry over saying from my old Christian days may be appropriate: I don?t major in minors. Meaning, it isn?t an encompassing part of my path but rather, incidental in nature. That?s not to say that I don?t take it seriously because I do. I?m also aware of the potential side-tracking from The Way, to say nothing of possible misguided angst with ether realms. It certainly wasn?t anything I had asked for, but neither did I turn away from it because a genuine need for resolution presented itself. Strangely, I found nothing ?spooky? about the experiences except when it involved my own dearly departed Grandmother, and that was just plain ?crazy?, but then, so was she! heehee! Maybe some day if we get another campfire going and the mood is right, I?ll share it if anyone is interested.

Like yourself, I find the whole ghost thing creepy and I generally avoid dabbling in it. But the experiences I?ve mentioned in the first post were not ghostly in nature, and in fact, seemed completely natural and quite comforting. Its given me a view that the Universe is really quite playful and not nearly of the serious outlook which we on this plain seem to have adopted. It has also cast a perspective on the ancient traditions which included reverence for the ancestors in their everyday lives - something I once had viewed as ridiculous superstition. In a real sense, its now more a vision of unity and peace.

Tai,
Candid
 

louise

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Hi Lindsay, Candid, Hilary - thanks for your responses.
Lindsay i did lose my partner last year (you said God forbid this is true Louise in 1st post)and yes I think your'e right - mediums are sought out because basically we want to know if our loved ones are 'alright' - so to speak.
I have some ambivalence around the issue - ultimately, they, the deceased have their existence in other realms and we have ours and I guess it would not be too healthy to be preoccupied with seeking contact with them. Having said that, we can't help but wish for contact very much.
Lindsay, why do you say to Candid that 'it is dangerous, you are a brave man' - do you mean you think its dangerous because we might get caught up in all sorts of energies that we can't really handle ?
Recently I saw a clairvoyant/counsellor - not specifically a medium, who I felt was very genuine
and gifted in her work. I asked her about my use of the I Ching (as I have been getting into one of those overkill states with Yi - I think that happened to Candid a while ago - ie you think you just better stop consulting it for a bit). She said she believed the I Ching was an energy - said how great it was, then said it was a bit heavy for me at the moment, and I should maybe just use it occasionally. It then seemed very clear to me - yes the I Ching is an energy (despite what Chris Lofting says)therefore that is why an attitude of frivolity is not good, because if you are engaging with an energy, you interact with it - it affects you. This does not mean that it all has to be heavy and sombre - just maybe its important to remember you are engaging with an energy. The nature of this energy is something we are all still discovering new things about everyday, and I guess thats what alot of the discussions here are about.
I have thought - well yes I do believe Yi is a living, discarnate entity. My question is then if it is dangerous to communicate with spirits are we not doing the same thing when we consult with Yi ? Unless I suppose we do not think of Yi as an 'entity' as such, but an avenue of expression for God/Universal energy ?
I think I've asked this here before ? Do you feel Yi is entity or pathway for God ?
Talking of feeling 'creepy' I get to feel creepy - often pleased but creepy when I throw 2 or 3 identical hexagrams in a row with exactly the same changing lines ! I often have to go and get a cup of tea to calm myself, as its like someone saying "yes I'm definately here".
 

hilary

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Louise, you ask terrific questions. And yes, I know exactly what you mean about the 'yes, I'm here' sensation.

Question for you: how are you going to distinguish between an entity (discarnate or not) who speaks the truth and a pathway for God?
happy.gif
 

louise

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Oh God, I'm going to have to go away and think about an articulate answer for that one...if all entities are God in disguise anyway, then I guess all entities are possible paths to God as they can never be anything but God - as God is the source of all...or is all...Well if I were to pray
it would be to God not my friend down the road, even though my friend down the road is only God...no hopelessly confused and out of my depth, I'll have to sleep on it...Does anyone else know how to distinguish between an answer from a clever and helpful entity and an answer from God ?
I would also love to know if any of you do pray to God how it is you feel who you are addressing.
Sometimes I can feel prescences around me and sometimes Yi feels like a prescence, and I sometimes wonder in the light of the earlier discussion, how do I know which prescences I can safely interact with. I have never felt anything at all negative with these prescences, I just don't know who they are. As I am unsure about allowing myself to fully engage with them I try to hold to some notion of God within myself as protection incase I were misled. So in that case I am seeming to distinguish entities from God by appealing to God as that which is supremely good and pure. Make sense ?
 
C

candid

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Hi Louise,

The property which hosts me has a very small fruit tree orchard on it. Each tree requires nourishment from both the earth and sky. Each tree is unique in its shape and inherent design, yet they all share their dependency upon this nourishment. Likewise, each of us is unique, including our peculiar human nature which thinks, perceives and believes in the source of our nourishment. Like the trees which look neither to the left nor the right at its neighboring tree to see how they grow, so, we need not concern ourselves with how each other perceives the source of our nourishment. One may see God as external and so prays to an external God/god/goddess. Another is scientifically minded and so sees God as impersonal and purely science. Yet another sees God within their self. What matters is that each tree is true to its own nature, and the same is true for thinking-feeling humans.

When personal perceptions and beliefs conform to one another, it forms a religion, which then becomes fixed and crystallized. This may be what some of us think we need ? but to a follower of the Way, it only turns into the exact opposite of our true nature.

Just my view of it.

Candid
 

louise

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I do see your point Candid, but I think we can help each other on the way sometimes can't we ? I have learnt kinds of meditation from others - those who have gone before us can help us in our quest for transcendence. Besides which, your analogy of trees is fine, but we are a species who thrive and survive on communication. This very forum is to share to learn from others experience isn't it ? You seem to be saying to me "don't look sideways at others ways". This is not possible for me. It is my human nature to wish to share and learn from other humans. I don't think this is an invalid request, I don't wish it to be brushed aside. Besides which if we did not look to one another, no one would be posting here - but standing alone and silent like the trees.
 

louise

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Also Candid, to say "we need not concern ourselves with how each other perceives the source of our nourishment" would seem to quash any kind of philosophical debate altogether and to quash our desire for sharing of insights and experience. I am a little irritated Candid, but I know you answer with the best of motives, and always with much thought, so please take no offence - I am quite easily irritated.
 
C

candid

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My apologies, Louise. No, I certainly didn?t mean to imply that we are to stand alone or that we?re not here to share our life and love with one another. My response was only to your question about how each of us pray and relate to the Deity, and I was only expressing my own view of it. Your view may be entirely different and at least as valid, which really was my only point.
 

heylise

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Hi Louise,
Together with your mail and Candid?s another mail came in my mailbox, also about God. So I have been pondering the whole afternoon, while doing all kinds of things, about the way I see God.
I think Candid is very right about one thing: as soon as one gives an image to God, or a name, the roots of a religion are born, with all the dangers of disagreement.

But all the same, I think it is interesting how others see God, because it can help to shape one?s own ideas. I went to a religious school as a kid, with the result that I disliked thoroughly everything which had to do with religion. But later I heard, and especially read, many different ways to see him, so I could find out for myself what I really thought. Through all those other views, my irritation disappeared, because I saw that it was just one single view, one which I personally happened to dislike. In the first place because it excluded all other religions.

In my eyes the base of life, and even of all matter, is rhythm, or maybe the energy of rhythm. Something like ?in the beginning was the word, and the word was God?. So for me he/she is omnipresent, in every creature, every cell of your body, every wisp of wind, every stone. Maybe what they call animism, a (or the) god in every thing.
Karcher says ?the spirit of the time? gives the answer when you ask the Yi. The vibration of that moment, or rhythm, or energy. I never ask myself if it is god or something else. For me it is all one great presence, and God or gods is a name for it.
It makes life very beautiful. All around you is always a source of wonder and joy, and you always feels connected to everything.

I decided to ask the Yi if my idea was OK. As a hexagram, it makes me think of 60, which is about rhythm. Jie also means the marks in time, like festivities or holidays (holy days), the measure for things like sound, capacity and weight. To regulate, ranks, season, interval in music.
So I threw the coins ? 60!! Changing to 5, the lavishing water from heaven.
I wondered about no limits being a cause for regret, but maybe in this case it is the limitless which everybody sees different, a cause for many wars indeed.

After writing this, I saw the other mails, but I don?t think it changes anything to this one, so I send it anyway.

LiSe
 

lindsay

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Candid wrote: "The experiences I've mentioned in the first post were not ghostly in nature, and in fact, seemed completely natural and quite comforting. Its given me a view that the Universe is really quite playful and not nearly of the serious outlook which we on this plain seem to have adopted."

Louise wrote: "I am seeming to distinguish entities from God by appealing to God as that which is supremely good and pure."

Candid wrote: "Each of us is unique, including our peculiar human nature which thinks, perceives and believes in the source of our nourishment."

LiSe wrote: "For me it is all one great presence, and God or gods is a name for it. It makes life very beautiful. All around you is always a source of wonder and joy, and you always feels connected to everything."

So where does all the bad stuff in ourselves and the world come from? If the Universe is so playful, if God is so good and nourishing and all-pervasive, if life is so beautiful and wondrous and joyous, then why is existence such a horrible nightmare for so many people? Sometimes it seems that if God truly hated the human race, he could not have devised more exquisite evil and suffering in the world than is already here. Isn't it possible the Universe is hostile, or even worse, utterly indifferent to our fates? Where does all the bad stuff come from? And is the good God too weak or self-absorbed or remote to do anything about it? Not his job? Then isn't prayer like trying to light matches in a hurricane?

Lindsay
 
C

candid

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Hi Lindsay,

Umm.. wow! I hope you?re not looking for a very definitive answer to your question. If you are, I sure don?t have one. I think the only ones who do have an easy answer are those who see things as strictly black or white, yes or no. I can only offer my view and I certainly don?t pontificate it as an absolute.

I view myself as a subject of my vision of God. If I wake up in a dark mood, God appears to me as dark. Then if something happens which inspires me, I see God as inspirational. And if I want to light a match, its up to me to calm the hurricane.

I personally believe its we who cause suffering, not God. Is God indifferent? I think so - in a way. But I also perceive ?a still small voice? which contains the potential to move forward in a creative way. I view this from within and without, and in fact, can make no real differential between them. To quote a line from Jurassic Park, life finds a way. This life force is God?s marked and most profound characteristic. What we ?subjects? do with life is really up to us. That?s the beauty of God as I see it.

Prayer is a way for me, not to influence God or to change his viewpoint, but to adjust my own according to my highest ideal of God?s will for me and my life. Does God have a will at all, or is it just my own? God provides life ? I provide the rest. Its a big responsibility.

Candid
 

louise

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I am glad Lindsay made that point. The universe may be playful, we also have some deadly serious suffering here. We can't always rock ourselves to sleep here. Just as there are people who do cruel and wicked things, so there must be spirits and entities on other dimensions whose motives are bad. My initial question really was saying how do we know what to trust when we divine, use oracles, or communicate with those on other dimensions. That line of thinking led to me to think of prayer also. I don't know where 'badness' comes from ? Maybe as in the song 'theres not enough love to go round'...
The theme of most of our stories, plays, films etc is the fight between good and evil - that conflict seems a central part of our human experience, in ourselves and in the world around us. However 'good' one is one can't be immune to hurt from the world. We all take steps to protect ourselves, we lock our doors and try to avoid dangerous situations - cos we all know there are people out there who are intent on doing harm to others. On a psychic and spiritual level then I feel to some extent we must protect ourselves also. I certainly wouldn't play with a ouija board, yet I happily consult the I Ching. My original question stemmed from wondering sometimes what guides me to trust some divinatory or spiritual practises and not others.
 
C

candid

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Words have power, so why speak of fear -
these morose things you feel?
Why make them the center of your wheel?
Its a choice we make
and we receive the hand we deal.
My father?s dying and my mom?s going blind,
winter?s coming and my rent?s a week behind.
I?ve got reasons just like you
to angst and worry and in fact, sometimes I do!
But I try here to bring a little light,
to be a little playful, maybe add some insight.
Don?t shoot the messenger,
he?s not looking for a fight.
 

lindsay

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Dear Candid and Louise,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful replies to my questions. In my mind, you both have advanced this whole discussion forward a notch or two. One thing is clear: it is far easier to ask questions about spiritual matters than to come up with answers.

Candid, I agree with you that part of the problem is a question of emphasis. Is the glass half empty or half full? But before we settle this question for ourselves, I think it is important to acknowledge the fact that the 16 oz. cup of life contains 8 oz. of fluid. Not 2 oz., not 15 oz. ? but 8 oz. (Apologies to you metric folk.) Sometimes we drink our fill, sometimes we go thirsty.

So both the fullness and the emptiness exist, both good and evil are present in the world. We have to account for both. And, as Louise (who usually explains what I mean better than I can) points out, we have to account for both in the spiritual realm as well. Of course, we can say that God is pure and good, and blame ourselves for all the bad stuff in the world. Are we humans not somewhat flawed, twisted, off-center in some way? But this does not explain the floods, earthquakes, fires, droughts, famines, diseases, accidental deaths and injuries, and so on. Or, on a more basic level, it does not explain the ultimate disaster for all of us: old age and death itself. These things are not really within our control, certainly not of our choosing ? yet they cause real human suffering. Why do insurance companies call many of them ?acts of God??

So if life is a mix of good and evil, then shouldn?t that mix be reflected in our gods and spirits? If God is the symbol of all the best we can imagine and aspire to, all the rich goodness and redolent wonder in the world ? well, that explains why the glass is half full. But there must be something else. Where did the empty half of the glass come from? We need not dwell on this, but how can we ignore it? Especially at those times when we are thirsty?

My favorite one-word description of life is ?bittersweet.? How typical of the Chinese that so much of their cuisine is a play between sweet and sour. We are what we eat, but also we eat what we are.

Like everything else, the Yi fits into the context of this untidy, mixed world. I have read the Yi ought not be used to plan evil deeds, even that it cannot be (will not allow itself to be) used to propagate evil. I wonder what people think of that?

Also, as must be obvious, I?ve been unchurched for some time. What Candid said about prayer made me wonder if I was missing the point. I thought prayer was always a petition, a plea for help or blessing or protection. We always pray ?for? something, don?t we? Just like we always ask the Oracle to give us an answer. Maybe I?m off the mark. I would be interested in hearing what anybody has to say about the nature of prayer and how it differs from divination.

And, Candid, if these exchanges sometimes seem like picking a fight to you, I assure you it is a pillow-fight. Absolutely no harm intended. Those are feathers in your hair, aren't they?
 

willow

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I was just looking at LiSe's #29 and thought it has something to say about the question of evil. I've got other thoughts I'll post later, but I just thought this touched both on the attitude/perspective question and also maybe what really is more/most fundamental.

#29 The teachings of danger

Repeated pit
If one has truth and a considerate heart, moving brings reward


To get out of dangers or misery is not by solving problems. It is by leaving the fear. In the arts of fighting one learns to get used to danger, so it does not call up fear anymore, and defense can come entirely out of one's skill. No fear interfering.
Then one can be like water, adapting, fitting into any form. Water in a cup acquires the form of the cup, in a lake the form of the lake. It is smooth and flowing - and can be terribly crushing.
Deep inside one has a stable, quiet and safe core, but in the course of life, most people forget about it. Just remember and no danger can afflict you. Visit the dark secret depths of your heart and bring the wisdom of your soul back to life.
Water is the primeval chaos, the great mother of everything, without form or limit, eternal. It is a gift of the gods, and to go to its source is to return to holiness.
 

kts

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Can I share an experience I had over 10 years ago, when I had not been using I Ching very long - whether this is relevant, I don't know.
One evening I and my father watched an edition of the TV programme called Crimewatch UK. It covered the search by the police for a French girl tourist who had gone missing in the Lake District. In the course of this search they found a woman's body in one of the lakes, which turned out to be, not the French girl, but the wife of an airline pilot who had gone missing earlier. In fact, the pilot and his wife had had a fight (she had been carrying on with someone else); the husband had ended up killing her, and then dumped the body in the lake. (Some of you may remember the case).
This family had some years previously lived near us. Our next door neighbour used to look after their two boys, who were also in our church choir. So my father and I were quite interested in the programme.
The presenter of the programme always says at the end "Don't have nightmares". That night I did do just that. I dreamt I was being pursued in panic from room to room; then the scene changed and I was outside in the dark, with a lighted bulding in the far distance.
Now comes the spooky bit. I actually heard in my head a female voice saying insistently "Ou est-ce que je suis? Ou est-ce que je suis?", before a sort of gasp and perhaps a falling sensation. (It wasn't just a dream character talking; I actually heard it). I then woke up. What had I just experienced? This was no ordinary dream. Had I really 'heard' the voice of the French girl they were looking for? (Her body was some time later found on the hillside).
I have never before nor since had such an experience. I didn't tell anyone at all about it until a long time after. But I thought it might be relevant to report here.
I did ask I Ching what to make of the dream. As far as I recall, I received H 53 with moving line 5, leading to H 52. H52 I suppose means I was at rest at the time - I'm still puzzled about the moving line in H53 - there is reference to a wild goose approaching a crag or hill - I can't make up my mind who it refers to.
 

Frankelmick

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Kts,

What a creepy story! You must have been terrified.

Even more creepy if the presenter was Jill Dando by any chance? (She herself was murdered a couple of years ago).

I wonder if the I Ching is saying that the police were on a wild goose chase and that the French girl was actually on a hill?

Best wishes,

Mick
 

kts

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No, this was before Jill Dando was on the programme. It's usually Nick Ross who says "Don't have nightmares".

I wondered at the time whether I should tell anyone about it,( but who would take notice of a mere dream someone has had?) In the end I suppose I just prayed that the girl would be found.


I've been reading the rest of people's correspondence in this section especially about the difference between divination and prayer. I'm still trying to marshall my thoughts on this - it's something that I've often thought about. There is an important difference which springs to mind. In consulting I Ching, you immediately get an answer, which you understand, digest and apply to life with varying degrees of success. You have to recognise in real life what I Ching has been talking about. When you pray, you have to recognise the answer from wherever it comes and in whatever form. This is one of the things that drew me to I Ching - how do people get answers when they pray?
 
C

candid

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Hi Kts,

For the unschooled in language, what does ?Ou est-ce que je suis?? mean?

Regarding your prayer vs oracle question, let me share my personal experience with it. During the years of dedication to the Christian doctrine, I viewed God as ?someone? external from me. My prayers were typically directed outwardly to a Father image of deity. During times of duress (usually manifested as physical pain or emotional disruption) I?d call out to God, sometimes crying out to him for release or relief from the pressure and pain I was experiencing. Rarely was the prayer answered immediately or as I had hoped it would, but the answer would come later in a synchronistic way. Since I already had a fair amount of experience with I Ching and understood synchronicity, this came as no great surprise.

After I left that faith system and have returned fully to a freer form of Taoist ideology, I rarely pray outwardly as though calling out to God or gods. Its more of a speaking into my greater being not separate from what I perceive as my self. These prayers are also formed not so much as asking for an answer to specific issues but rather for the greater good of humanity. If I?m to experience pain, let it be for the greater good and a deeper understanding. Its like the difference between treating the symptom and treating the cause. Yet even in this, the answer returns in a synchronistic manner.

This isn?t all that different from inquiring of Yi. If I?m flippant in my prayers or flippant in divination, or if I?m just asking for a spiritual aspirin to relieve my selfish need, the answers tend to be weak and superficial. Or perhaps the answers are just not fully grasped. If I prepare my mind and heart through formal or informal meditation and focus on the greater good before praying or inquiring of Yi, the answers tend to have much greater significance, breadth and weight. But in each case, whether praying or inquiring of Yi, the answer returns to me by observing my thoughts, actions and the source of difficulty rather than just the symptom or manifestation.

Candid
 

kts

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Dear Candid,
Sorry, I should have translated the French. "Ou est-ce que je suis?" means "Where am I?". The feeling was one of being lost in the dark.


On the prayer vs. divination question - prayer is much more than asking for things, or asking for guidance. You're not always wanting an answer in words and images. It includes asking for forgiveness, for instance, and just taking in who or what God is (yes, I think in those terms - I'm actually a church member). Also, in praying for someone who is sick, for instance, you have to go on doing it - part of bringing your own self 'in tune with heaven', as some describe it. This is different from asking for an answer to a particular question at a particular time. In other words, prayer can be more of an ongoing process than divination can. I'm 'thinking aloud' here, so I hope this makes sense.
 

kts

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Ps.
you probably don't disagree with the principles of the above - apart from the personal God bit- I've probably just said things in different words.
 

heylise

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When I pray, I pray to ?outside?. Not especially to somebody, maybe to universe. Sometimes I call it God, or Mary, or Great Dragon. Depends on how I feel. I know it is just as well inside, but that does not feel the right way. It is difficult then to leave your own only-human thinking.
I think the most important part of a prayer is ?Thy will be done?. Without that it is asking for something. Nothing wrong with that, but it is not making connection with the divine. Not surpassing human being and getting in tough with the deepest of your/universal soul. In that depth there is no difference between you and All.
Thy will is God?s will but it is just as well your own deepest wisdom.
Just some thoughts about how I feel about praying.
LiSe
 
C

candid

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"Its more of a speaking into my greater being" ~ Candid

"part of bringing your own self in tune with heaven" ~ Kts

"getting in touch with the deepest of your/universal soul." ~ LiSe

Sounds quite similar to me.

I guess my response did fall short, for I too pray healing and wellness for others and for myself, and while prayers do seem to go "outward" to the universe or universal entity that I pray to, I don't see it as being separate from my self - just the whole and the head or ruler rather than the individual.
 

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