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The Mystical Minute:

The premier episode of The Mystical Minute. Join Ellis for brief videos on all things mystical or spiritual. The first up is a look at what we know about NDEs (near death experiences) from the book After by Bruce Greyson.

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AFTER

By Bruce Greyson

Greyson is a psychiatrist who has been studying near death experiences (NDEs) for decades. He brings his research and a plethora of stories together in this book as he walks the reader through his process of discovery. The stories are fascinating (especially the ones where someone learns about someone’s death during an NDE only to return to life and find out that person has died). If you are familiar with NDEs, he will plow well-known ground for much of the book. You must remember that Greyson took up his work when scientists didn’t even agree on what the term NDE even meant. How far we’ve come!

The book suffers (for me) because he refused to date any of his material apparently thinking that it would make the cases sound old and trivial, but it makes it difficult to get a sense of the whole timeline. There is also a grating repeat of his insistence of his scientific perspective throughout. I get it! You’re an MD and want to be accepted by peers. (You told me that! Move on.) It’s hard not to draw a sharp contrast to the mettle of an Ian Stevenson and the constant lack of confidence Greyson reveals. Enough of my personal pet peeves though. Does the book hold value? Of course, it does.

Greyson tackles some difficult and little covered areas. Most NDE stories are positive with positive outcomes. But there are people who have negative NDEs. There are also the lesser-known downsides to NDEs. These effects and stories are covered in the chapter aptly named, Hard Landings. Grayson would also like to shift the focus of the NDE discussion away from what happens after we die to how NDEs can help people live better, more fulfilling lives. Research suggests just learning about NDEs can help people make meaningful changes in how they live. All good points.

I think this is the kind of book where the take-away message is really going to depend on who YOU are. Are you questioning the reality of NDEs? Then the linear approach of Greyson’s scientific method will appeal and do much to answer your questions. Are you already convinced of the legitimacy of the NDEs? Then, maybe, the stories and the way people are forever changed by these events will speak to you. For me, it’s always been more about what NDEs say about our understanding of reality that makes the phenomena not only intriguing- but important. Lessons from NDE research supports the idea that consciousness does not spring from the brain, but rather that the brain acts as a receiver that filters information. Science has a lot of work to do to figure out how the mind and the brain function to explain all the intricacies experienced in NDEs. These understandings will have far reaching consequences on the whole way we structure our paradigm.

Some points to ponder:

*5% (approx..) of the population has experienced an NDE. (They are COMMON!) 1in 20 Americans have had one- means you probably know someone who has.   

*NDEs happen to all genders, ages, religions, ethnic groups.

*Most experiencers are convinced some part of us continues after death.

*Studies of the brain, reveal that memories of NDEs look like memories of real events (NOT like how the brain remembers fantasies or imagined events).   

* NDEs REDUCE the fear of death (overwhelmingly!!) regardless, if the NDE was positive or negative. It also reduces the fear of living allowing more risk taking and enjoyment of life.

*Experiencers who see those who have died when no one knew they had died, may suggest a form of continued consciousness after death. THE BIG QUESTION!!!

*NDEs point out flaws in the current brain-based model of consciousness.

Added Sep 3, 2021

UPDATE: Research published in 2017 on NDEs.

https://www.iands.org/news/news/front-page-news/1060-aware-study-initial-results-are-published.html

“The AWARE study (AWAreness during REsuscitation) is a multi-hospital clinical study of the brain and consciousness during cardiac arrest, including testing the validity of perceptions during the out-of-body part of near-death experiences (NDEs). Dr. Sam Parnia is the principal investigator. The initial results, from the first four years of the study, were published last December in the medical journal Resuscitation (PDF). 

Of the 2,060 cardiac arrests during the study, 140 patients survived and could be interviewed for the study. Of these, 101 patients had detailed interviews, which identified 9 patients who had an NDE. Of the 9 NDErs, two had detailed memories with awareness of the physical environment. One NDEr’s experience was verified as accurate;…”

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THE GHOST STORY

IN LITERATURE

This time of year as the days grow short and the air crisp, Halloween lurks just around the corner, my thoughts turn to those creepy tales told before the fire. Ghosts figure in many of them and the traditional ghost story has a long history. Every culture produced oral and/or written stories of ghosts.

Among the earliest written examples, Homer’s Odyssey depicts a journey into the underworld where the hero finds ghosts of the dead. A haunted house was portrayed by Plautus, the Roman playwright in his work entitled, Mostellaria. The ghost bound in chains was perhaps first described by Pliny the Younger in another haunted place tale. The Roman writer, Seneca was also fond of using ghosts in his tragedies. These classical examples would start to set the stage for the development of ghost stories in our own culture and day.

In celebration of the deep roots of this tradition, I remind everyone of my own ghost tale offering. The e-book has been discounted from $4.99 to $2.99 for all of October. The print copy is also available.  

Available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2WnlqZX

E- book available: https://amzn.to/2l7LhHP

TIMELESS TULIPS, DARK DIAMONDS- A GHOST STORY

When fourteen-year-old Lydia travels to Amsterdam with her parents, the last thing she expects is the weird incidents that plague her stay. Curtains flutter mysteriously, and unexplained shadows move through the kitchen unnerving her. But Lydia is more concerned with the potential move to upstate New York. She dismisses the odd occurrences blaming them on jet lag and the various symptoms of her migraine disease. When Lydia’s father lands a new job and the family moves to an area first settled by the Dutch, the bizarre happenings continue. Suffering from migraines has never been easy, but now Lydia must face what she may have inadvertently brought home with her. A vengeful ghost.

E-book: sale $2.99 https://amzn.to/2l7LhHP

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CONTEST TIME!

Sept. 14, 2020:

CONTEST WINNER: Cornelia Weber! She will receive a print copy of INTO THE LAND OF SNOWS. Congrats Cornelia!!

Enter to win a free print copy of INTO THE LAND OF SNOWS.

What’s it about?

Glad you asked!!

A troubled, sixteen-year-old Blake travels to Base Camp on Mt. Everest to spend time with his physician father. When a deadly avalanche occurs, Dad is forced to rethink things and sends Blake off the mountain. Now accompanied by a Sherpa guide, and in possession of a mysterious camera, Blake undertakes a journey which will challenge everything he believes. In the magical Himalayas, he will be forever changed by what he experiences.

Interested?

Leave a comment below to enter. Blake is traveling in the Himalayas, where would you travel if anything was possible right now? I’ll draw one winner from all those who comment and mail the book to a US address. (Sorry everyone out of country. I’ll try an e-book contest later, so check back.) Contest closes Sept. 14, 2020, noon MT.

Click below to find my books.

https://amzn.to/33TcrTh

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THETA HEALING (2010)

by Vianna Stibal

This is a book I’ve had sitting on my shelf for some years and only recently began reading. It offers insights into healing that seem to resonate with Reiki and with the work of Bruce Lipton (The Biology of Belief). It offers an intriguing underlying framework but while researching a few things, some alarm bells sounded as several lawsuits have surfaced involving the author and the practice. Since there are many books out on Stibal’s patented method of healing and many who offer these services in the US and abroad, I think it’s at least worth surveying the overall process to foster an understanding of what it is. All accounts of its efficacy are in the form of testimonials and one small study indicates practitioners couldn’t generate the theta state (*).

The Theta Healing technique involves a process by which the practitioner uses techniques to enter a deep, relaxed state of theta brain waves. Everyone passes through the theta state before we sleep so this shouldn’t be seen as exotic. People who practice meditation can achieve this but whether what the book describes is sufficient to eventually produce consistent results, again is open to question. But let’s assume with enough practice and understanding, it is. In this state, the practitioner is at a level Stibal calls the “Seventh Plane of Existence.” From here commands to the “Creator” can be made to change health and belief systems. Crucial to the healing is that the Practitioner witness the healing or the change in the belief system. Once this has been done, the healing is complete and energetic separation is made. This witnessing aspect is reminiscent of quantum mechanics where the wave function requires a witness.

Photo: Chris Hope

The Theta Healing technique can be used for physical or emotional healing and a large portion of the book is devoted to describing how beliefs can be changed or released. Beliefs can be held at four different levels and each needs to be addressed in order for the belief to be fully addressed.

     Core level- (held in the frontal lobe) beliefs instilled during childhood

     Genetic level- (stored around physical DNA) beliefs carried from ancestors or added in this life

     Historical level- (held in auric field) beliefs from past lives, deep genetic memory, or collective consciousness

     Soul level- (held at heart chakra and outward) beliefs encompassing all that the person is

Counseling as well as muscle testing methods are used to uncover beliefs that form negative programs and hold an individual back. Each belief needs the client’s permission for removal or change. All negative beliefs must be checked on all four levels. Practitioners can remove or change negative programs by accessing the theta state and using a command protocol similar to what was outlined above. Stibal repeatedly addresses ethical questions on respecting clients wishes and differences throughout the book.

Theta Healing is a complicated system where the practitioner takes on a lot of responsibility. Stibal has written many books that expand on the basic techniques. She teaches workshops around the country and abroad. There is probably a practitioner near you if you live near a major US city. The technique is available and it’s interesting. Whether or not it’s effective, is hard to say. To use the technique, I think a degree in counseling psychology would be minimum because it involves so much client interaction. Of course, more research on the method and into the theta state itself would be helpful.    

*https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/pseudoscience/thetahealingr-money-youll-spend-never-existed

REIKI DISTANCE HEALING TREATMENTS: I’d like to offer my services to readers of the blog. Anyone interested in receiving a Reiki distance treatment can contact me at: ellisnelson@gmx.com. I will provide additional information via email. To honor the exchange practice of Reiki, you will be asked to make a $25 donation to your favorite charity.      

To find my books, follow the link below.

https://amzn.to/33TcrTh

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Black Order- James Rollins

This is a novel of great action and thought-provoking questions. The story spans continents, history, and cultures.  

The story starts in Denmark when Charles Darwin’s Bible goes up for sale and someone tries to steal it. While an interesting historical artifact, no one really believes it can possibly be worth the kind of effort someone is using to obtain it. So why the interest? Gray Pierce, Commander of SIGMA Force, is soon on a trail leading to past horrendous Nazi experiments.

Meanwhile, in a Buddhist monastery in Nepal something awful has happened. SIGMA Force director, Painter Crowe has gone off the radar. Painter and an American doctor have come upon a scene of cannibalism and barbarity perpetrated by the monks. Now they are on the run from a group of killers with no idea what they have stumbled into.

At breakneck speed, Gray Pierce must solve these seemingly independent mysteries to save his colleagues and stop a plot that may alter mankind’s destiny.

This is a book reminiscent of Michael Crichton’s work (I miss him!!), combining facts and fiction in a highly compelling read. James Rollins is a veterinarian and he laces the book with plenty of science- evolution, intelligent design, quantum physics, and genetic manipulation.

From the book:

“…this new field of quantum evolution offer the strongest support for intelligent design,” Anna said, “but it also answers the fundamental question of who the designer is.”

“You’re kidding. Who? God?”

Nein.” Anna stared her in the eye. “Us.”

Sounds a lot like being a co-creator. Quantum evolution exists as a theory and the author credits a book with that title by Johnjoe McFadden for many of the ideas explored in Black Order. The book asks us to consider not only how we got here but where are we headed as a species.

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WHAT I’M WORKING ON

If you follow my blogs, Facebook, or Twitter feeds, I’m sure it looks like I’m not doing a whole lot. But since being back in country (since late Oct.) things have been very busy. Personal challenges continue— my mother died in April and the house hunt continues.

Timeless Tulips, Dark Diamonds, my new book was released this spring. Since the publisher does not have ebook rights, I’ll be releasing an ebook this fall. It will be an expanded version of the print book with additional material. My goal is to release this in time for Halloween since it’s a ghost story. Stay tuned for more on that.

The most coveted tulip during Tulipmania: Semper Augustus- could sell for as much as a grand canal house!

Additionally, I’m working on a new novel that’s about three quarters complete. No title yet. This has been a fun book to work on. It’s required some research into the history of Colorado’s start and the history of tuberculosis (the White Plague). The book is a visionary tale about girl who grows up in a 19th century, Colorado town known for its dry climate and healing waters. With a father in the mortuary business, Tallulah has always been around TB and death. Tally’s mother died when she was born, and she longs to know more about the woman who should have raised her. Two peculiar town residents, who Tally is warned to give wide berth, sisters Dottie and Lottie (rumor has it) can speak to the dead. Can Tally persuade them to help her? I’m hoping to finish this by the end of the year. Add your title ideas in the comments section. PLEASE!!

TB sufferers taking the open air cure.

Another manuscript I’ve been sitting on for a while, I think I’m going to self-publish soon. The Greening of the Laurel is a visionary, YA book in thriller mode.  Ryan’s junior year is turned upside down by a series of bizarre visions and freaky encounters with fire. Eventually, Ryan ends up in the ER. He finally comes face to face with the man who claims to have all the answers. But how can quantum physics and timeless spiritual mysteries be colliding with Ryan at the center of it all? Can he really believe he had a past as a medieval heretic where he hid what has become known as the lost Cathar treasure, a manuscript containing the hidden truth underlying the universe? Can he trust a secret society that claims to need his help if science is to move forward?

photo: Kaktus
(Montsegur- Cathar stronghold until the final battle of 1244)

Not at first, but as events threaten his family, Ryan returns to southern France to find the document he once allegedly hid. In 1244, he watched two hundred of his countrymen burn as he and two others slipped away in the night carrying a manuscript the world desperately needs. Surrounding Ryan are members of the Green Laurel, back to ensure his safety. Also, back are the dark forces of the Church who want nothing more than to exterminate the remnants of the Cathars and the truth the future requires. Without the manuscript, science cannot advance. A single unified theory will never be found and, all along, Ryan’s very existence remains in peril.      

And although I’ve never had any luck with picture books, I’m currently circulating a manuscript with agents starring Mona Lisa. A cute story, but no bites yet!  

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The Complete Dream Book

By Gillian Holloway

Dreams say what they mean, but they don’t say it in daytime language.

Gail Godwin

I think all of us have wondered about our dreams and their meanings Some dreams are easily deciphered but others leave us puzzled. Throughout my adult life, I’ve tried to journal my dreams but have never been able to keep up the practice for very long. I’m back at it now and went in search of a book that could help give insight into at least the psychological part of the conundrum. And although not everyone remembers their dreams, all healthy humans (who are not taking some drug that interferes in some way), dream every night.

photo:Julien Jolly

Author Gillian Holloway, Ph.D., has been working with dreams for decades. Having collected over 28,000 modern dreams and their analyses, she has produced a guide for the modern introspective person looking to learn and grow by observing their dreams.

As many of us recognize, dreams have their own language and becoming familiar with the language allows a deep, penetrating awareness of what’s going on in the submerged iceberg-sized layer of our subconscious. But so does having a basic understanding about how dreams operate in general.

There are life stage dreams- so that teenagers or elders are prone to certain kinds of dreams. Similarly, certain personality types also are more likely to experience certain sorts or categories of dreams. Men and women have different dream themes and settings for dreams. Your choice of profession will also influence your dreamscape. Dreams are largely symbolic and not to be taken literally. This is especially true of death. Death is usually about endings, not actual physical death. Dreams are often overly graphic and disturbing so that they get our attention. Giving them that attention tends to diffuse them. In the same way, recurring dreams shout out for further exploration. But beware-dreaming of a high-school lost love does not mean you should look him up on Facebook!

photo: Ronnie Macdonald

Some of the many areas explored in the book can be seen by quickly perusing the chapter headings.

     Ch 1: The Dream You Can’t Forget

     Ch 2: Recurring Elements in Your Dreams

     Ch 3: Sex, Romance, Relationships

     Ch4: Understanding the Characters in Dreams

     Ch5: Dream Symbols

     Ch6: Human Body

     Ch7: Home & Other Dwellings

     Ch 8: Cars

     Ch9: Travel: (Planes, Boats, Trains)

     Ch10: Water and Other Dream Settings

     Ch 11: Animals

     Ch12: Nightmares

     Ch13: Psychic Dreams

The book is well-written and easy to understand. Many sections are fascinating. For me, the book brought back memories of long forgotten dreams, as well as moments when I felt I’d never had a certain kind of “commonly” reported dream. I think everyone could benefit from reading the book. It could also spark some lively conversation if you start to ask others about their dream world.

photo: uSDAgov

Dreams are an experience we all have. We can choose to become conscious of them and use them as tools or we can ignore them. It’s a life choice we make. In counseling clients, the author has found that dream analysis is where she has seen the fastest and most effective results therapeutically.     

https://amzn.to/30oq1NL

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Focus on Everest

This is the time of year when catchy headlines about Everest start appearing. A few days ago, photos circulated showing the traffic jam of climbers going for the summit.

It’s a good time also to remind readers of my book, INTO THE LAND OF SNOWS. Aaron Yeagle (www.BookReviewUniverse.com) made this short introduction for the book.

This is a book of high altitude adventure and spiritual wisdom. Grab a copy at Amazon by following the link below.

https://amzn.to/2YRp6nw
https://amzn.to/30oq1NL

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TULIP FEVER

There was a time in seventeenth century Holland when the tulip was a hot commodity. The most sought-after tulips suffered from a virus that broke the colors into streaks. Eventually, a whole speculative trade came into existence in which people who bought the bulbs never saw and never possessed them. Traders sold bulbs from catalog drawings like those presented here. Tulip fever reached its height in the winter of 1636 when a single bulb traded as many as ten times in a day. One bulb might sell for as much as a grand house in Amsterdam. Then abruptly in February, there came a day when traders just stayed home. The bubble had burst. Fortunes had been made and lost. Today tulips are a common garden flower seen in spring everywhere. But once they were treasure!

My new book, Timeless Tulips, Dark Diamonds, has half of the story take place during this fascinating time. https://amzn.to/2WnlqZX

Buy historic bulbs for your garden: https://oldhousegardens.com/

https://amzn.to/30oq1NL

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