SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Unities of All Things

My Contact Emancipation
Introduction | A Eulogy to Ḥaḍrat Sulṭān Bāhū | Guidance | Dharma | Conclusion
A. Introduction
Say it. Say it.
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
From “The Speed of Darkness” (poem) in Muriel Rukeyser, The Speed of Darkness: Poems by Muriel Rukeyser. New York: Random House. 1968. Page 111.

O Glory of the All-Glorious!

With humility, I need to begin with a qualification. Personal experiences, or miracles, carry no authority in the Baháʿí Faith. I suspect that many stories of angelic, including extraterrestrial, contact are largely imaginary. Others could be legitimate. Whether my own experiences fall under one category or the other, or perhaps even a combination of the two, I cannot say. They are, however, my experiences. For better or for worse, no one can take them from me. Whatever these phenomena may be, I have been spiritually transformed and unified through them. I remain eternally grateful to Baháʾuʾlláh, to the other Prophets, and to their ranks of subordinate angels for giving me my heart.

... there are two sorts of spiritual discoveries. One is the revelations of the Prophets, and the spiritual discoveries of the elect. The visions of the Prophets are not dreams; no, they are spiritual discoveries and have reality. They say, for example, “I saw a person in a certain form, and I said such a thing, and he gave such an answer.” This vision is in the world of wakefulness, and not in that of sleep. Nay, it is a spiritual discovery which is expressed as if it were the appearance of a vision.
The other kind of spiritual discoveries is made up of pure imaginations, but these imaginations become embodied in such a way that many simple-hearted people believe that they have a reality. That which proves it clearly is that from this controlling of spirits no result or fruit has ever been produced. No, they are but narratives and stories....
What we mean is that this state, which we call the converse and communications of spirits, is of two kinds: one is simply imaginary, and the other is like the visions which are mentioned in the Holy Book, such as the revelations of St. John and Isaiah and the meeting of Christ with Moses and Elias. These are real, and produce wonderful effects in the minds and thoughts of men, and cause their hearts to be attracted.
ʿAbduʾl-Bahá, Some Answered Questions. Pages 251-253.
How often it happens that it [the spirit] sees a dream in the world of sleep, and its signification becomes apparent two years afterward in corresponding events. In the same way, how many times it happens that a question which one cannot solve in the world of wakefulness is solved in the world of dreams. In wakefulness the eye sees only for a short distance, but in dreams he who is in the East sees the West. Awake he sees the present; in sleep he sees the future. In wakefulness, by means of rapid transit, at the most he can travel only twenty farsakhs [20 fardsih, about 80 miles or 129 kilometers] an hour; in sleep, in the twinkling of an eye, he traverses the East and West.
ʿAbduʾl-Bahá, Some Answered Questions. Page 227.
That truth is often imparted through dreams no one who is familiar with history, especially religious history, can doubt. At the same time dreams and vision are always coloured and influenced more or less by the mind of the dreamer and we must beware of attaching too much importance to them. The purer and more free from prejudice and desire our hearts and minds become, the more likely is it that our dreams will convey reliable truth, but if we have strong prejudices, personal likings and aversions, bad feelings or evil motives, these will warp and distort any inspirational impression that comes to us.... In many cases dreams have been the means of bringing people to the truth or of confirming them in the Faith. We must strive to become pure in heart and “free from all save God.” Then our dreams as well as our waking thoughts will become pure and true. We should test impressions we get through dreams, visions or inspirations, by comparing them with the revealed Word and seeing whether they are in full harmony therewith.
From a letter, dated May 16, 1925, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual Baháʾí, Lights of Guidance: A Baháʾí Reference File. Number 1739.

Receiving visions, as a dimension of spiritual communion, is not the same as intentionally using one’s psychic field:

... it is absolutely essential that the [Baháʾí] teachings should not be confused with the obscure ideas related to numerology and astrology and the like. Individuals interested in them are free to believe in and credit such ideas and to make any inferences and deductions they desire from them, but under no circumstances are they expected to identify them with the principles and teachings of the Cause. We must at this stage preserve the purity and sanctity of the Baháʾí teachings. I will pray that you may be guided in your efforts, and may succeed in safeguarding and promoting the interests of our beloved Faith.
From a letter, dated December 26, 1928, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual Baháʾí, Lights of Guidance: A Baháʾí Reference File. Number 1751.

Our perceptions of reality are indirect. The multiple, enfolded dimensions or worlds of reality are mediated, for each one of us, by their actual events or attributes which have been outwardly manifested. Even empirical perception itself can be colored by biases, expectations, and suggestibility. Therefore, humility concerning our own experiences is always, in my opinion, justified. Although, as a sociologist of religion and as a human being, I honor the observations, without judgment, of other souls, I do not necessarily accept or endorse their interpretations and conclusions.

... [There is a] distinction between the domains of the real [underlying mechanisms], the actual [events] and the empirical [observations].
Roy Bhaskar (with Mervyn Hartwig), The Formation of Critical Realism: A Personal Perspective. New York: Routledge. 2010. Page 67.

My contacts might, I began to recognize, have started in my childhood. To clarify, I am not, God forbid, an alien “abductee.” I do not, indeed, think that anyone is, or has ever been, literally abducted by these dear archangels (preternatural or extraterrestrial human beings). The terms, contactee and experiencer, are, for what it’s worth, acceptable to me. I use both words, or combine them as contact experiencer, from time to time. Personally, however, I prefer, emancipee. As I think will become clear in this book, I can strongly relate to the following dialogue between Dr. Meg Blackburn Losey and Victoria Liljenquist:

Dr. Meg Blackburn Losey: They [the beings] can be so multidimensional....
Victoria Liljenquist: But, you know, it’s not a scary thing.... In my case, this is a delightful and beautiful journey that I have; and there is no fear. And my contact has not been scary or abductive ....
Dr. Meg Blackburn Losey: Well, let’s talk about that for just a second.... Let’s talk about the difference between being a contactee and an abductee – because there’s a major difference there, and I would just like to bring a clarification. You know, a lot of people hear nothing but – if they hear anything at all – it’s all about alien abduction, and this, and that, and the other; and while I truly know that that does exist, that’s not what we’re talking about in this now.
Victoria Liljenquist: No, no. And we honor those people that have had to go through those experiences – and we are not saying that those are not real – but there are so many people that are having positive contact. I mean, I’ve awakened in the night – when I’ve been very, very ill – and there have been gold beings standing around my bed, doing healing work on me....
Dr. Meg Blackburn Losey: ... So what do the messages that you receive have to say about that [the shift in consciousness]?
Victoria Liljenquist: Well, the most profound one first came in 1997. And I had three different visions. And two of them were one night after the other – March 30th and March 31st, 1997 .... And they showed me a long-distance view – like if you were an astronaut and you were looking at the Earth – I saw two earths. One was at a higher altitude or degree above the other. And I saw this kind of implosion going from one Earth to the other. And, when I awakened, I say, “I know that I was on the ship last night, and you showed me this vision. What does this mean? I need more information.” And, gratefully, the next night, they gave me the sequel to that vision.... I was standing on a balcony in a courtyard, like in an apartment area, and people were running around just in a frenzy of confusion – kind of like we see the world today – just kind of losing it. And I look up, and I see this ominious planet that’s moving toward us. And it fills up the entire sky. I see no atmosphere. All I see is this planet. And the people start screaming at the planet and saying, “Who are you, and what do you want?” And I turn to them and say, “How can you say this to something so incredibly beautiful?” And, at that moment, I hear a voice. And it was a male’s voice. And it says, “Victoria, this is your new home.” And then that planet started moving away from Earth.... I knew that was the second Earth. I had not heard anyone speak of the second Earth before that. And then later on, I found the Hopi prophecies talk about the second Earth. And more and more people would write me as say, “Oh, I’ve seen that, too.” So that was a great confirmation. And the third vision came the night that Princess Diana passed away [August 31, 1997]. And I was laying in my bed, and I wasn’t completely asleep. But, all of a sudden, I had a panorama vision appear.... And they [the beings] showed me, looking out the doors of the house, and the world had made the shift. It looked the same, but there was no evil.
Dr. Meg Blackburn Losey and Victoria Liljenquist, “Victoria Liljenquist.” The Dr. Meg Show. On the One World Puja Network. October 11, 2006. Retrieved (transcribed) on May 3, 2013.

In my opinion, servitude has various dimensions, but there is no ingroup (emancipees) and outgroup (everyone else). Since we all have departed souls looking after us, we are all, potentially, emancipees. Similarly, archangels are not the watchers of the few but the precious custodians of each one of us. These blessed beings have been operating for ages upon ages as angels to our distracted species. Yet, the form which the experience takes differs according to one’s needs. Since some people might require a “work out,” many emancipees report the difficult tasks given to them during contact session after contact session. Others, with implants, might benefit from a genetic readjustment.

As I have discovered, still others, like myself as an Autistic, required an infusion of empathy. Sympathy, an attribute which I obtained at an early age, and empathy are not the same. Whereas sympathy is rational concern, altruism, or the common Autistic sense of justice, empathy is feeling what others feel. In this regard, I posed a question on the Unknown Country message board, “I would be interested in some feedback on whether my experiences would fall under some ‘category’ of alien ‘abductions,’ contacts, or experiences.” Well-known author and emancipee Whitley Strieber, who owns the website with his wife Anne, wrote to me:

One of the things that has gone wrong with our perception of this phenomenon is that there is, in the general media, an assumption that it must either be alien contact or nonsense. In fact, it’s the most complex and ambiguous experience that human society has ever faced.
We don’t have the faintest idea what’s going on. Not the faintest. Not only that, I don’t think we have the language to describe what we know.
The transformative nature of what happened to you is so typical of the experience. Those of us, autistic or not, who have turned toward it in some way, have generally experienced profound transformation.
I might also add that the spirits of the dead play an enormous role in the experience. The UFO investigators don’t like to talk about it, but the dead and the seeming aliens are very often seen together.
As a person who has also had a direct experience with my guardian angel, I can empathize with the experience you describe at the end of your talk.
I would discipline myself to remaining with the question, but that’s just my secular approach. It works equally well to approach this through most religious traditions, the UFO lore, or whatever happens to fit a particular individual’s belief system.
Whitley Strieber, “Not Sure if this Qualifies as an Alien Abduction.” Unknown Country. March 8, 2013. Retrieved on March 8, 2013.

Asperger’s syndrome (AS) is, in the United States, an outdated category of Autism spectrum disorder. Nevertheless, Dr. Rosalind A. Hoffman’s The Asperger’s Syndrome Institute lists extraterrestrials, and several of my other past or present passions (reading, history, social “studies,” meteorology, astronomy, weather, music, dinosaurs, and space travel), as Autistic special interests:

AS: Clinical Features
One of the primary features of Asperger’s syndrome is their passion for favorite topics or special interests
Some of these areas include:
– math
– science
– reading
– history
– geography
– social studies
– metereology
– astronomy
– extraterrestrials
– weather
– music
– machines or machinery
– trains
– dinosaurs
– maps
– space travel
Rosalind A. Hoffman, D.Ed., “Asperger’s Syndrome Characteristics.” Asperger’s Syndrome Institute®. Dillsburg, PA. 2012. Retrieved on July 3, 2013.

Previously, I completely dismissed the idea of having ever been the emancipee or contactee of archangels in my own life. The possibility of such encounters never even occurred to me. Beginning in January, 2013, I reasoned that I was either not taken aboard a preternatural spacecraft, or I do not, according to God’s Will, recollect the more difficult aspects of those transformational experiences. Indeed, I have rarely, as an adult, remembered my dreams, while most of those I did recall, especially as a child, were nightmares. That fact alone, which might be a blessing, could provide a plausible accounting for my situation. I do know that I have been transformed.

Since rediscovering contact experiences as cosmic emancipation, I now feel that some form of spiritual and even physical intervention, through the intercessions of the chalice-bearers of pure light and transdimensional humanoids in the angelic hierarchy, are a universal form of divine assistance. Angels visit all of us. We are lovingly embraced by angelic protection from throughout the worlds of God. Abductions, ghosts, orbs, fairies, pictographs, visionary dreams, and so forth could be expressions, often interpreted subjectively, of the dynamics of servitude. Regardless, my story in this chapter was written long before I ever focused on this subject or had any particular interest in it.

In a sense, my family of orientation or origin could have invented Jewish Renewal (secular yet open). I was born and raised in a secular, mostly nonpracticing Jewish family in New York City. Our family never joined a temple, not even a liberal one. Yet, I attribute my strong ethical monotheism to my Jewish background. My parents did not want me to be born as “Mark Feigenbaum.” As I recall, they originally considered truncating it to “Feigen.” The choice came, ultimately, from my paternal uncle Stanley. Shortly before I was born, my parents, following Stanley’s lead, changed the family name from “Feigenbaum” (German/Yiddish, fig tree) to “Foster” (Old English, fostre, to nourish).

However, I became a bar mitzvah (Hebrew, bar miṣwâ, son of commandment), through Joel Bernstein’s Hebrew School in Bayside, Queens, shortly before turning fourteen-years old. We got the electronic gadgets by earning gold stars:

In our neighborhood, there was a man named Joel Bernstein who said he was a rabbi and he had a plan. His niece lived in a two-family house and they converted the basement of the house into a school by putting a divider in the middle of the room to create two classrooms. He charged minimal, affordable tuition for kids to come for Hebrew school training. We learned to read in Hebrew—just enough to qualify for our bar mitzvah—but we didn’t learn much else.
Rabbi Bernstein also had a connection on Manhattan’s lower east side, where he would buy tape recorders, walkie-talkies, and transistor radios, and make Hebrew school into a competition. He broke the class up into quadrants, four students to a quadrant, and we went around the room reading from the Hebrew book. Whichever team made the fewest mistakes during the reading would get so many points, and whatever team had the most points after a set period won tape recorders, walkie-talkies, or transistor radios. We were being bribed into learning Hebrew.
Howie Rose with Phil Pepe, Put It In the Book!: A Half-Century of Mets Mania. Chicago, IL: Triumph Books. 2013. Kindle edition.

Only one year later, or two months prior to my fifteenth birthday, I embraced the Baháʾí Faith. Initially, my parents were concerned, but they rapidly became friends of the Baháʾí Faith. I recall asking my father and fellow Autistic, while he was mourning my mother’s death, to “just trust me” that they would be reunited in the world to come. He claimed to have visitations from her until his own passing. Shortly after he died, I discovered, perhaps through his loving intercession, Heartfulness Inquiry. That meditation led to my spiritual emancipation from Autism.

In this world, my most powerful and important angel was my spiritual mother (al-ummī al-nafsānīyah) Elizabeth M. Thomas (December 10, 1906 - January 18, 1991). Since her passing, she has appeared in my dreams many times. Each time, I woke up thinking she was still in this world. Elizabeth was the first Baháʾí I ever spoke with. She ran the Baháʾí information phone number on Long Island, New York, and I called her in late 1970. She later went on to serve on two national spiritual assemblies. For years, she put up with my phone calls once, twice, or more times per day. Through her guidance, I gradually developed an approach to studying the Baháʾí Faith which, with modifications, I continue to this day.

Click to enlarge this photograph which was taken three years before I first contacted her in 1970:

Elizabeth M. Thomas

Click to enlarge this photograph of her gravestone:

Grave of Elizabeth M. Thomas

In 2011, with my eyes wide open, I had multiple visions of a light being – a chalice-bearer of pure light – as flashing lights or lightning bolts. I was almost instantly transformed and developed new insights. Clearly, I am nothing but a heap of dust. Even entertaining the possibility that I crossed all Seven Valleys – fully acquired the seven attributes of Search, Love, Knowledge, Unity, Contentment, Wonderment, and True Poverty and Absolute Nothingness or self-annihilation – would be ludicrous. Be that as it may, I subjectively felt as if, through the grace of His Sacred Presence Baháʾuʾlláh, certain sleeping parts of my brain suddenly awakened.

These journeys [through the Seven Valleys] have no visible ending in the world of time, but the severed wayfarer—if invisible confirmation descend upon him and the Guardian of the Cause assist him—may cross these seven stages in seven steps, nay rather in seven breaths, nay rather in a single breath, if God will and desire it. And this is of “His grace on such of His servants as He pleaseth.”
Baháʾuʾlláh, “The Seven Valleys.” The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys. Pages 40-41.

In a word, many of the outstanding struggles of my life, as a diagnosed Autist, were literally overcome in a few moments. Strangely, also around 2011, I received inner guidance to glance to the left before crossing an intersection. As a huge truck went through the red light, another truck driver, who had paused at the light, looked at me and wiped his forehead. At around the same time, I stopped using my hearing aids. Yet, the fact that I was no longer asking my students to repeat themselves only occurred to me on April 27, 2013, at about 4:30 PM. Perhaps the attributes in my portion of the rational faculty, or human spirit, were somehow increased:

Say: Spirit, mind, soul, and the powers of sight and hearing are but one single reality which hath manifold expressions owing to the diversity of its instruments. As thou dost observe, man’s power to comprehend, move, speak, hear, and see all derive from this sign of his Lord within him. It is single in its essence, yet manifold through the diversity of its instruments. This, verily, is a certain truth. For example, if it directeth its attention to the means of hearing, then hearing and its attributes become manifest. Likewise, if it directeth itself to the means of vision, a different effect and attribute appear. Reflect upon this subject that thou mayest comprehend the true meaning of what hath been intended, find thyself independent of the sayings of the people, and be of them that are well assured. In like manner, when this sign of God turneth towards the brain, the head, and such means, the powers of the mind and the soul are manifested. Thy Lord, verily, is potent to do whatsoever He pleaseth.
Baháʾuʾlláh, “Súriy-i-Raʾís.” Summons of the Lord of Hosts. Pages 154-155.
I do not wish to mention the miracles of Baháʾuʾlláh, for it may perhaps be said that these are traditions, liable both to truth and to error, like the accounts of the miracles of Christ in the Gospel, which come to us from the apostles, and not from anyone else, and are denied by the Jews. Though if I wish to mention the supernatural acts of Baháʾuʾlláh, they are numerous; they are acknowledged in the Orient, and even by some non-Baháʾís. But these narratives are not decisive proofs and evidences to all; the hearer might perhaps say that this account may not be in accordance with what occurred, for it is known that other sects recount miracles performed by their founders. For instance, the followers of Brahmanism relate miracles. From what evidence may we know that those are false and that these are true? If these are fables, the others also are fables; if these are generally accepted, so also the others are generally accepted. Consequently, these accounts are not satisfactory proofs. Yes, miracles are proofs for the eyewitness only, and even he may regard them not as a miracle but as an enchantment. Extraordinary feats have also been related of some conjurors.
ʿAbduʾl-Bahá, Some Answered Questions. Page 37.

In social situations, I now have common sense. I no longer, I am told, seem aloof. In common parlance, I get it. People do not react in the same confused and alienated way to me as in the past, nor do I respond in the same manner to them. Generally speaking, I functioned quite well in the virtual universe. I suspect that is why I became, so rapidly, an online geek. On the Internet, and in previous versions of cyberspace, reading social cues has never been especially important. The Autist and non-Autist are, more or less, on an equal footing. Since my contact emancipation, that distinction, for me, is now largely gone.

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are superior in processing local features. [Uta] Frith and [Francesca] Happe conceptualize this cognitive bias as “weak central coherence,” implying that a local enhancement derives from a weakness in integrating local elements into a coherent whole.... The results indicate that individuals with ASD have a clear deficit in integrating local visual information over time into a global whole, providing direct evidence for the weak central coherence hypothesis.
Tamami Nakano, Haruhisa Ota, Nobumasa Kato, and Shigeru Kitazawa, Deficit in visual temporal integration in autism spectrum disorders. December 2, 2009.

In the realms of angels, as I have discovered, there is no emancipation, from Autism or anything else, with us versus them. I initially made that mistake with Autism and identity politics, but I now see the problematic nature of that approach:

I might be wrong, but I cannot conceive, at this moment, of a liberation apart from unity.... As a result, I have been referring to myself as an emancipated Autist.
As I have reflected on the past, my personal emancipation from Autism began, I feel, in January of 1971. Through my spiritual mother, Elizabeth M. Thomas, I began studying the work of two dear souls, Marian Crist Lippitt and Henry A. Weil. An immersion in the ideas of these three wonderful Baháʾís gradually led to the development of The Unicentric Paradigm. Then, in 2010, my spiritual heart was opened by the intercession of my beloved guardian angel, Ḥaḍrat Sulṭān Bāhū, a seventeenth-century Punjabī Ṣūfī. My inward, spiritual encounters with Bāhū, which have been ongoing, resulted in Heartfulness Inquiry™.
Mark A. Foster, The Unific Model of Disability: An Autobiography of an Emancipated Autist. Retrieved on May 10, 2012.
Identity politics refers to political activism of various social movements including, but not limited to, the civil rights movement, feminist movements, gay and lesbian movements, ethnic separatist movements for political recognition, self-determination, and elimination of discrimination. The term suggests that people who have suffered from actual or perceived social injustice can share a collective consciousness that stimulates them to take further action to advance their particular group’s interests. In the social sciences, identity politics refers to any social mobilization related to politics, identity, and culture. Depending on the school of thought, the term sometimes means cultural activism, other times political activism, and sometimes both. In any case, however, identity politics focuses on the contrast between the assumed social, political, and occupational privileges of the dominant group as compared with perceived discrimination against the oppressed group.
Mustafa E. Gurbuz, “Identity Politics.” Encyclopedia of Social Problems. Vincent N. Parrillo, editor. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. Pages 467-470.

I have tentatively concluded that my wonderful angelic inteventions have had two angelic dimensions: departed and archangels. Spiritually, I feel as though many departed souls interceded for me. They include my entire “spiritual family,” (MP3 audio file) such as my beloved parents (especially my father), my blessed guardian angel Ḥaḍrat Sulṭān Bāhū, my spiritual mother, and other friends now in the world beyond. Noted Baháʾí author Henry A. Weil, whose face I can see regularly, and my late sociological colleague Elizabeth “Betty” Bullock, Ph.D., who was a UFO enthusiast, especially stand out in my thoughts. Betty, I feel, reignited my interest in archangels.

I have dedicated this book to my spiritual family, and I have written it, primarily, for them:

When the material world and the divine world are well correlated, when the hearts become heavenly and the aspirations pure, perfect connection shall take place. Then shall this power produce a perfect manifestation. Physical and spiritual diseases will then receive absolute healing.
ʿAbduʾl-Bahá quoted in J.E. Esslemont, Baháʾuʾlláh and the New Era. Page 114.

Beginning in 2011, virtually every aspect of my life has been redefined and clarified. For instance, on January 8, 2013, as I was listening to a guided “hypnotic regression” meditation, I had the sudden realization that certain illuminating and spiritually transformative events, which I will shortly discuss in greater detail, might have been acts of servitude through my personal guardian angel’s chalice of pure light. For what it’s worth, I do not hear a voice or words. Instead, thoughts occur to me, either during or following the meditation, in my mind.

Hypnotism hath a weak influence over bodies, but hath no result. But the power of the Kingdom of God is great. If thou canst, endeavor to obtain a share of that power.
ʿAbduʾl-Bahá, Tablets of ʿAbduʾl-Bahá Abbás. Volume I. Page 169.
What comes under the healing of psychic practices ʿAbduʾl-Bahá has warned us against; but any form of auto-suggestion or hypnotism which is used by medical science and by properly qualified physicians we are free to take advantage of, if we feel that the doctor using such practices is qualified and will not abuse his rights.
From a letter dated February 15, 1957, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual Baháʾí, Lights of Guidance: A Baháʾí Reference File. Number 977.

As I have become more aware of, and drawn spiritually closer to, the chalice-bearers of pure light, I may have seen my guardian angel. While seated at the desk in my college office, during my 11:00 AM office hour on January 14, 2013, a white light moved horizontally near the computer screen. Again, at the start of the three-day Martin Luther King, Jr., weekend on January 19, 2013, at 4:08 AM, I was sitting at my computer and observing the name of this chapter. I believe my angel then shined, momentarily, near the top left of my bedroom wall. Inspirationally, I feel, the very next day, Baháʾuʾlláh’s reference to chalices of pure light, the signs of the Supreme Concourse, occurred to me.

Subsequently, in the late evening of April 2, 2013, I was laying on my back. I saw, with my eyes open, what I feel was another confirmatory, and rare, flash of white light from my guardian angel or another member of my spiritual family. I was reflecting on the idea that, in the wake of planetary catastrophes or even while they occur, certain nations, concerned for their survival, might attempt to plunder the spoils of a chaotic global environment. At this time, various military agencies and governments, aware of imminent Earth changes, might be prepositioning their assets, especially in the Middle East. Cyberwarfare, or cyberterrorism, and espionage could also be factors in the equasion.

Even poorly supplied countries, groups, and individuals might obtain some resources through asymmetrical warfare. Guerrilla fighters, bands of weakly armed individuals who, nonetheless, are more familiar with the geographic terrain might be successful militarily. On the other hand, terrorists, acting in groups or as lone-wolves, could, through confidential planning, exploit weaknesses in an opponent:

Asymmetries in warfare refer to imbalances between opposing forces. There may be differences in the number of soldiers, equipment, firepower, morale, tactics, values, or other factors. While there has likely never been a conflict between two perfectly symmetrical forces, the term asymmetrical warfare is typically used to mean warfare between two forces that are not simply unequal, but that are so significantly different that they cannot make the same sorts of attacks on each other.
Guerrilla warfare, occurring between lightly armed partisans and a conventional army, is an example of asymmetrical warfare. Terrorist tactics, such as hijackings and suicide bombings, are also considered to be asymmetrical, both because they tend to involve a smaller, weaker group attacking a stronger one, and also because attacks on civilians are by definition one-way warfare. War between a country that is both able and willing to use nuclear weapons and a country that is not would be another example of asymmetrical warfare.
Victory in war does not always go to the militarily superior force ....
Ellen Sexton, “Asymmetrical Warfare.” The SAGE Encyclopedia of Terrorism. Second edition. Gus Martin, editor. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 2011.

I originally I called the chalice-bearers of pure light or orbs, “Plasmians.” Yet, that designation soon felt much too limited. There was no way for me to know, with any degree of confidence or conviction, whether plasma is their substance, merely one of their forms of expression or manifestation, or, possibly, something entirely different. I then substituted the designation, “Transdimensionals.” Later, after further prayer and meditation, the term, “Shifters” (for dimensional shifters and shapeshifters), occurred to me. Nevertheless, I was never entirely comfortable with that title and concept. I suppose the name sometimes reminded me of shiftiness or trickiness.

Transterrestrially, I prayed deeply for inner, loving contact. Perhaps I had that relationship all along, but I was simply unaware. However, my sense is that it came as an answer to my prayers. During the January 8, 2013, guided “hypnotic regression” meditative session, the image of an apparent female preternatural or interdimensional being appeared in my mind’s eye. My perception of her gender was intuitive, not based upon physical appearance.

The being’s limbs were short and quite thin, and she was abruptly wrenching her arms about. Although she was facing me, I believe that she was maneuvering, while I was her onboard passenger, a spaceship or interdimensional craft. She was, outwardly, very mechanical in appearance but, inwardly, very loving and supportive. Obviously, no one would nominate me for an artistic award, but through mixing and matching, with a bit of sketching, I pieced together a likeness of the face I observed, including its oblong shape and light-brownish color:

My Guardian Angel

On May 5, 2013, the name, Erintin, came to me during an extensive regression by professional hypnotist and author Jean Finch. I recognized that Erintin’s emotions or feelings, despite appearances, were deep and heartfelt. Although she did not appear, in an earthly sense, to be kind and loving, I was able to see her love for me behind the veil of our tremendous cultural differences. I also noticed that my voice seemed to progressively regress to my older Autistic style, including extensive stuttering or stammering. Under hypnosis, I often become extremely analytical. MP3 audio file one includes four back-to-back explanations or introductions. File two is the regression itself.

Immediately following the session, I recalled some of the basics of the regression. However, I forgot much of what I said, too. When I received the DVD with the recording in the mail, from Jean, some aspects of the experience surprised me. For instance, I said that Erintin was both an orb and a physical being. Generally speaking, when conscious, I reserve the term “orbs” for the psychic fields of departed chalice-bearers of pure light (members of the Supreme Concourse). In other cases, I refer simply to psychic fields. Yet, ultimately, I think that these fields, whether in this world or in the hereaster, include the same sets of faculties.

Jean Finch was trained directly under Dolores Cannon, who developed the system of Quantum Healing Hypnosis, and by other hypnotherapists. After the session, Jean said that I responded to the induction much more rapidly than most people, that an apparent seamlessness was exhibited between my various states of consciousness, and that, unless my situation changes, I would most likely not require additional hypnotic regressions. I am only guessing, but I would imagine that my receptivity to the suggestions is largely due to my own meditative practice, which incorporates aspects of hypnosis, and that I begin using self-hypnosis in my early teens.

Here are a few side notes: The hat on the Romanian woman was a bonnet. For some reason, I would not come up with that word duing the session. Jean also confirmed that is Ḥaḍrat Sulṭān Bāhū is my guardian angel, and she surmised that Erintin is my twin flame. Although I am admittedly skeptical of the “twin flame” concept, here is a definition:

The term Twin Flame is fairly new but the concept is ancient. It refers to the soul’s separation of itself into male and female. Each part gains experiences until they are ready to reunite, merge and become One once again.
One Twin Flame Sanctuary. Retrieved on May 3, 2013.

The following image is a rough approximation of my guardian angel’s appearance during a meditation in June, 2013:

My Guardian Angel

After listening to my entire regression by Jean, Tina, an intuitive, wrote:

I thought the woman asked many leading questions ....I also thought that it interfered with where you may have gone in your experience. ...and that the interference brought you out of that state where it could be forthcoming. Much of what you stated, sounded like “Mark” in the now....especially towards the end.
Mark, I decided when I first turned your session on, that I would let myself go before you and see what I could see. I saw the white structure...the being inside which seemes more etherial to me than physical...movement sort of like breathing all around, subtle, light, mystic. Arrington..Errington sp? [Erintin] profound.
The wooden home in Romania I also saw. A wood table..rectangular with you sitting on the shorter end...father. mother? I got the impression that she was actually your aunt..mother died during childbirth. Saw the “pilgrim attire.”...I thought “pilgrim.” I could see from the table into the area where food would be prepared and a window that showed trees outside. ( did they even have windows back then?) I don't know...just saying what I saw. Is this a similar picture?
I think this life was very important and maybe on your own, go back and see what relationship it has to this one.
Good luck! It’s all so interesting, isn’t it?!...
No [different than your drawing]. What I saw was white, flowing, swaying, breathing type of movement.. all around....the whole place was an extension of her being. Long limbs, long torso, not touching the ground..more hovering. Movement in all directions. I can see where you have the shape of the face...but what I saw was easy to look upon...graceful. She reminded me of a time when I was meditating, and all of a sudden in vivid techno-color..( more vivied them usual..) I saw this little...praying mantis...grasshopper? and human in a way, too....something like that coming out from a horn of plenty. She was intelligent, wise...a helper. The feeling I got from her was sooooo absolutely sweet and kind, and surprising...I was knocked back to my reality.
What I saw of Erintin, was much more...involved than your picture.
I don’t know Mark...maybe I went “under” with out realizing it. Got off the cloud and went to a white house...didn’t seem like a castle. It was very big tho....had a big wide door. The being I saw didn’t seem mechanical. The whole feel was of movement in all directions.
The cabin I saw was tucked around forest. The younger man sitting at the table that I thought must be you, was faced toward the older man who had his back to you. The woman was sort of in the middle between them. She had a cap on her head and her cloths on the top part had some kind of material that hung from her shoulders. It all seemed rather grey. The window showed trees on the outside.
Did you see anything like that? I seriously do not know what to make of this.
Tina, “Notes from the Edge” (message board). Unknown Country. May 17-18, 2013. Retrieved on May 17-18, 2013.

Similarly, on May 30 and June 11, 2013, I reflected upon the first of the only two dreams I can remember from my childhood. (The second one I will discuss later in the book.) I was told by my escort that other children, in a strange and confusing world apart from me, were “crawling” or perhaps “swimming” in the linings of a school bus. The bus, as I came to understood through the meditation on July 11, was a spacecraft. The children were small archangels working on the craft. Erintin was my escort. Perhaps my distorted recollection, after waking up, was the only way in which my mind could make sense out of the contact experience.

The dream could, speculatively, have been a screen memory:

... screen memories ... [are] memories of early life experiences that presumably are a cover for even earlier psychologically significant memories that are censored from awareness because they are more painful ....
Bertram J. Cohler, “Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939).” Encyclopedia of Counseling. Frederick T. L. Leong, editor. Volume 2. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. 2008. Pages 609-613.
We know, for instance, that “screen memories” are often used to mask an alien abduction. Such accounts abound, in which a person sees a familiar yet out-of-place animal, like a deer or owl, a monkey or a rabbit, and then experiences a period of missing time. The person often awakens later to find a new, unexplained scar on his body. Uneasiness about the encounter will persist, however, and far different memories may start to surface in dreams or flashbacks, and then the person seeks help to explain the uneasiness. Quite often, hypnotic regression is used to uncover the events behind the “screen memory,” and that is when a typical alien abduction surfaces. The most recent research in which I’ve been involved has turned up yet a second sort of screening process....
[John] Mack ... offered a comment on the theory that images of large-eyed animals seen during abduction experiences might be “screen memories” of large-eyed aliens, pointing out that some of the animals most often seen (racoons, owls, etc.) are traditional “power animals” among indigenous peoples such as Native Americans. He said that the Shamans among indigenous peoples have known all about the beings we sometimes call the Greys, and have experiences themselves....
... I began to learn Brigitte’s story, which involved a lifetime of encounters with UFOs and non-human entities. These included a lot of the usual stuff that comes with such encounters: scoop marks ... [and] possible screen memories ....
People can suffer from trauma as a result of their UFO sighting or other close contact and they usually have many fears they need to deal with.
Some people have fragments of memories that are frightening to them mainly because they do not remember the whole event. Not all of their memories are from the real events, some are screen memories. Human minds can distort memories of traumatic events and sometimes we replace a traumatic image with a more comfortable one.
Different sources, Screen Memories and Contact Experiences. Retrieved on June 30, 2013.

On January 14, 2014, I had the weirdest experience of my life. I never used my home security system, and I had recently started leaving the front door unlocked. Someone, whom I initially thought was a robber, bumped my bed, woke me up, and repeated something like, “uh oh,” and left. His voice, male and gentle, approximated a Southern U.S. accent. I did not immediately recall seeing the individual. Since I sleep with the light on, and the bed is not near the bedroom door, the “bumping” would seemingly have been intentional.

Immediately following the incident, I appear to have gone into a fugue-like or dissociative state. An indeterminate amount of time passed and, I suspect, I had common experience of lost time. Perhaps I was take away. In any event, to my recollection, I never heard the front door close. Since I thought, at first, that I might have been dreaming, I did not even get out of bed for several minutes or perhaps much longer. I believe that I may have been removed, perhaps physically, from my bed during that time. In any event, as I recall, I never checked the clock until getting out of bed.

I then suspected that my apartment was burglarized. However, only my interlocking key chains, with 15 keys, were missing. I searched for the chains, which had been hanging from a pushpin on the wall, over the next 24 hours. My wallet, immediately below the keys, was not stolen! Fortunately, I had duplicates for many of the keys. My main concern was the hassle of replacing a few keys and having the lock changed on the front door. Intriguingly, I did not panic. I was not even particularly upset. (The dear soul, I feel, prepared me.) By way of comparison, about a dozen years earlier, a VCR and a jar of coins were stolen from my apartment, while I was on vacation. I felt angry and violated.

Given the oddness of the situation, I was hesitant to file a police report, but the assistant residence manager convinced me to do so. The police officer was a very nice fellow. At first, he was being very serious, but I started joking with him, and we became friendly. Anyway, he took a few photos of the place and gave me his business card with case number 294-0000725 on it. That night, I locked the door and armed the security system. The following morning (January 16), I woke up, and the keys were hanging on the wall. No one could have entered my apartment without setting off my security system. The police would have been automatically dispatched.

My initial speculation was that an intermediate angel took the keys from the “robber” and returned them to me. Then, on January 17, 2014, it occurred to me that the first event might have also been a contact emancipation. Perhaps the caution, disguised as a robbery, might have been to keep my door locked and my home security system turned on. Either way, the entire incident occurred within a week after I began once again communing inwardly with or praying to the archangels. I was asking to consciously recall an encounter with them. As the same time, I was drawing close in my heart to this wonderful and adoring being (MP4 video). Click on the picture for an enlargement:

Erin Potter

Following the event, I practiced a post-contact meditative regimen I developed. As a result, I developed additional insights, as recorded in MP3 audio file 1 and MP3 audio file 2. The information came to me promptly did not require any “digging” (or deep thought) for information. The events just came to me as I inwardly asked myself questions. Later, I filed identical, word-for-word report (PDF and Word formats) with MUFON (the Mutual UFO Network) and with David M. Jacob’s International Center for Abduction Research.

I was just interviewed over the telephone (February 15, 2014) by a MUFON field investigator from the Kansas City area. He was a nice fellow, and he was very supportive. His questions were excellent. Immediately following the interview, he told me that, prior to speaking with me, he consulted Betty Hill’s niece, Kathleen Marden, about my key chain. Marden is the director of abduction research for MUFON. She told him that missing-then-returned objects are quite common in the “abduction” phenomena.

My initial impression was that Brennan looked like an ordinary earthly homo sapien. However, following my meditation, another image flashed through my mind. Here are two approximations of Brennan’s multi-colored, bumpy face:

Brennon Brennon

Shortly before midnight, on February 23, 2014, I conducted another meditation on my contact emancipation from Brennan. The danger, as I recall this dear soul telling me, will be coming from the sky. Some devastating new weapon, one not expected or anticipated by most people, will be used. Almost everything will, as a result, be almost instantly pulverized. Yes, that is the word which occurred to me, “pulverized.” In certain regions througout the world, material objects will, in seconds, be reduced to fine particles. The specific date of this event, while soon, was not clear to me.

In the early morning hours of June 16, 2014, ʾal-Diyān ʾal-Malāk, the Judge the Angel (a name which came to me during a meditation on the same day), appeared to me during one or more contact emancipations (MP3 audio file). Although I very rarely recall my dreams, on this particular morning, I remembered several of them. My conscious memory is that I woke up and went back to sleep. Then, I had at least one more dream. Now I suspect that I had some “missing time” between waking up and going back to sleep. Whether I ever left my home, I do not know. However, I suspect that I may, instead, have been experiencing the emancipation, or the dream state, the entire time.

Here is an approximation of ʾal-Diyān’s appearance. Yes, the being did remind me of Robin Williams. These entities may sometimes shapeshift into familiar forms:

ʾal-Diyān ʾal-Malāk

I have reflected on the fact that, in dreams and other contact experiences, many people report seeing individuals with whom they are familiar. These apparitions may resemble friends, relatives, or celebrities. I can think of a couple of different explanations. One is that our perceptions of the Angels are colored by our own preconceptions. Another is that these Angels may assume easily recognized semblances for the sake of our own comfort. In this case, perhaps the “wormhole aliens” (referred to as “the prophets” by the Bajorans) provide a good analogy. In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a television series, these fictional beings took on the forms of friends or relatives.

Intriguingly, I did not know that ʾal-Diyān (or “el-diyon” as the name initially sounded to me) translates as “the judge.” I went into one of my Arabic-language dictionaries and looked the word up. The Arabic term is a cognate with ʾal-dīn (or ʾad-dīn) which, although commonly translated as “religion,” actually refers to judgment. In any event, as I have reflected on the experience, I think that the juxtaposition between His name, the Judge, and the dream, which focused on crisis, may be significant. Through the Great Unraveling of the present-day world order, we will be divinely judged both individually and collectively.

In one of the dreams on June 16, 2014, I noticed that a very serious-looking woman (someone I did not recognize), perhaps in her late thirties or early forties, was in my apartment without my permission. When I pointed this fact out to her, she told me that she had the authority to be here. I then phoned the main office, and a recording said that they were in the middle of a crisis. In one of my meditations on June 18, 2015, her name, Lucy, came to me. Shortly after I wrote about her, an apparent light Being, or Orb, appeared near my bathtub. I suspect that she was an archangel, too.

On June 22, 2014, I had a similar experience. I appeared to briefly wake up and go immediately back to sleep. Then, I had a dream-like experience of watching the television game show, Jeopardy. However, the program’s host was an unrecognized individual, not Alex Trebek. Waking up, I had a stiff neck, which indicated I had moved (or been moved) around. In my meditation the same day, I asked for the name of the “host.” James occurred to me. After opening my eyes, an apparent Orb, James I believe, briefly appeared before me in a flash of light. Our planet is clearly in “jeopardy.” Once we love and honor the Angels, as Bahá’u’lláh treasured the Maiden, perhaps They may choose to reveal Themselves more openly.

After waking up, on the morning of May 4, 2014, I had the personal realization that near-death experiences (like dreams, visions, and fugue states) were portals to the Inner World of Archangels. Indeed, all souls, including the Prophets, may commune with Archangels. Moses interacted with the Angel of the Burning Bush, Jesus with Anchangel Dove, Zoroaster with Archangels in seven visions, Muḥammad with the Angel Gabriel, and Bahá’u’lláh with an Archangel He called the Maiden. The Inner World of these Archangels is “between them” (between the Heavens and the Earth).

On July 5, 2014, I had another dream or contact emancipation involving keys. I was staying in a hotel or motel. However, I was unable to lock the door. Upon further inspection, I noticed that the interior of the door was made of cloth. On the outside, the door appeared wooden. Someone suddenly breaks into my room. Feeling lost and confused, I complain to someone else. “Why,” I asked, “ was this individual not being properly supervised?” “You are wrong,” the person responded. I then noticed that my regular key chain had fallen through a large hole in my right pants’ pocket. I panic and wake up.

I have meditated several times upon this dream. These are my personal impressions: The person who entered the room was Angel Susan. My discussant was Angel Emily. The room, with the softness of the door, was the spiritual heart, the emotional center. We all need to exercise caution on who we allow to enter into our hearts. If we lose the keys to our hearts, as the keys fell through my pocket in the contact emancipation, then spiritual imperfections or impurities may become dominant. Angel Emily was correct. We must all be constantly vigilant. The condition of one’s own heart cannot be blamed upon others.

On July 8, 2014, I remember waking up, using some generic Afrin (oxymetholone hydrochloride) nasal spray, and going back to bed. I then had a contact experience. Initially, in my dream, a number of people, from the 1960s, arrived in the present. They were, I as recall, astonished by high-tech devices, especially cellphones and their apps (applications). I begin explaining to one fellow, in particular, how the Internet work. He looked like famed broadcaster John Charles Daly (1914-1991), God bless his soul, including the warm smile. The Internet, I explained to him, operates a bit like the telephone or, perhaps, more like cable television. One computer must interface with remote computers.

John Charles Daly

Suddenly, in the same dream, I am “beamed” into the future. Now, I find myself standing on an old stage. No one else is anywhere in sight. In the background, however, I can hear loud proclamations being made, over a public address system, about imminent nuclear attacks. An odd comparison occurred to me: Just as the John Daly character was amazed at cellphones, apps, and the Internet, I am now staggered by this announcement on atomic warfare. At that point, I woke up. Immediately, I began meditating on the possible implications of the dream.

These were the results of my reflections: John Daly was the form taken by Patrick the Angel. For what’s it worth, the Latin Pātricius and the Greek Patríkios (Πατρίκιος) translate as “patrician.” As with an earlier experience, I question whether I actually woke up and, in this case, used the nasal spray. The entire memory may simply reflect my interpretation of the contact experience. As with my previous dream of Robin Williams, the Angel may have taken a friendly and comfortable form. More stunning was the nuclear holocaust. No matter how the present world order will come to an end, I suspect that we are quite close.

I took a late afternoon nap on September 10, 2014, and had a remarkable dream. I knew my name, my profession (a sociologist), and the approximate number of books I had written. In the dream, I lived next door to a cast of characters, including a woman, who appeared to flow as she walked, and a tiny (only a foot tall or less), arrogant male robot who happened to be a medical doctor. I observed these two individuals, and others on the property, for a considerable period of time. When I looked directly at the robot, he approached me and asked for my name. Reacting to the robotʼs arrogance, “Dr. Foster,” I said. “You are a doctor?,” he replied quizzically. “Ph.D. in sociology,” I responded.

Apparently, the robot had never heard of sociology, and he quietly asked for a clarification from the woman I mentioned previously. He then asked me, “How do I know if you are any good?” She corrected the robot, “He never claimed to be good.” Defensively, I said to the robot, “I can produce a list of my 21 books and my other publications.” Yet, he seems to have already left. I do not think he heard me. “Who are you?,” I yelled to the robot. At that point, he once again came outside. Immediately, a large cockroach emerged from beneath the robotʼs shell and slithered away into the brush. The robot had, in reality, been a roach. Finally, just before awakening, I heard the words, “They will come from Isis, which means, ‘We will rise again.’”

Here is my meditative interpretation of the dream: When I woke up, I connected “Isis” (Ancient Egyptian for “throne”) with the Ancient Egyptian Goddess. It was not until the evening that I made an association with the West Asian militant group named ISIS (the ꞌIslāmic State of ʿIrāq and Syria). The organization now refers to itself as the ꞌIslāmic State (Arabic, الدَوْلَة الإِسْلَامِيَّة, ʾal-Dawlaẗ ʾal-ꞌIslāmiyyaẗ). The reference to Isis or ISIS, in the dream, may have been a double entendre. Isis, which is Ancient Egyptian for “throne,” may rise to imperial heights, as ISIS, with disastrous consequences.

On the evening of my dream, President Barack Obama detailed, in a televised address to the American public, extensive combat operations against ISIS. The new American war, call it what you will, is, I feel, fraught with unforeseen dangers. The robotic physician, portrayed by the Angel Alexander, represented the self-serving arrogance of the various contenders in the war, including ISIS. Their diverse prescriptions for peace and social order are, without a system of global collective security, as ugly as a cockroach. However, the calming spirit of peace, the beautiful and elegant woman in the dream, was, I believe, the Angel Emily.

I had never, to my knowledge, seen a starship or craft in the sky. That changed on October 14, 2014, as I observed possible ships in the air whiles driving home from work. The sky was clear. There are only a few clouds. After pulling into my home apartment lot, I remained outside for about half an hour gazing into the air. I saw one or more ships moving in and between clouds. The crafts appeared to be huge and highly detailed. Meanwhile, smaller ships, or orbs, seemed to be exiting from the larger crafts or moving between them. As I inwardly communed with these holy souls, they crafts would appear, fade, and then appear again. To me, this Angelic experience was another blessing from my Lord.

More analytically, my assumptions, as a Critical Realist, are almost entirely incompatible with objective idealism (such as Platonism and Jungianism) and the so-called New Age Movement, including the concept of “starseeds” (earthly humans who are partially transterrestrial). I recently met a patronizing individual who claimed that, as an Autist, I was a starseed or a star person. She appeared offended when I told her that I would not wish Autism on anyone. Further, I also have no empirical knowledge of whether the beloved chalice-bearers of pure light, working through the dear archangels, have implanted me, or anyone else for that matter, with physical objects.

Each of these five online tests (all contained in this PDF file) was taken for entertainment purposes only:

  1. The minimum rating on Dr. Richard Boylan’s Star Seed Identification Questionaire for being a Star Seed Adult (or Child) is 12. On December 25, 2012, I scored 14. Supposedly, this means that, although I have two earthly parents, my origins are partially extraterrestrial through: gene splicing, advanced biomedical technology (of extraterrestrials), from a “walk-in” (in which my soul was replaced with the soul of an extraterrestrial visitor), through sharing my consciousness with an extraterrestrial, or (most commonly) as a chosen earth missionary (emissary). These individuals do not necessarily know that they are Star Seed People. One of the questions, to which I responded affirmatively, asked me about being an Asperger’s Autist.
  2. On January 8, 2013, I qualified as a “walk-in” and starperson, based on Doreen Virtue’s quiz.
  3. Based on another test, taken on January 9, 2013, there is a 53% chance that I was “abducted” by aliens.
  4. From another test, also taken on January 9, 2013, “Your score indicates a suspicious number of events in your background commonly experienced by other abductees. You may want to explore the abduction possibility further.”
  5. After taking an “alien implant” test, on January 9, 2013, there is a 65% chance that one was placed, presumably, in my middle right back. The elevated blemish, which has never gone away, first appeared at approximately the same time as my experiences started.

In any event, using common terms from the Vedas (Sanskrit, Vedāḥ, body of knowledge) in Hindūism or Sanātana Dharma (Sanskrit for Eternal Support or Sustenance), I have moved from a very jṅāna (Sanskrit for knowledge) approach to life to a much more bhaktī (Sanskrit for engagement, allocation, apportionment, or devotion) one. I am extraordinarily blessed. The following account from September, 2011, describes, so to speak, my personal resurrection:

Fortunately, by enjoying a disciplined life of prayer and meditation, we can work on ourselves and develop our hearts. If we fail to engage in these practices, any personality defects will, over time, be exaggerated. I can sense Great Unravelings deep within human hearts. People I have known over the years are either better or worse, in certain respects, than they were in the past. Cultural meltdowns will, hopefully, move us forwards, but we can also move backwards. With all the social decay around us, souls unprepared, both for this life and for the everlasting one to come, appear to be falling to pieces, or unraveling, inwardly.

Beset on every side by the cumulative evidences of disintegration, of turmoil and of bankruptcy, serious-minded men and women, in almost every walk of life, are beginning to doubt whether society, as it is now organized, can, through its unaided efforts, extricate itself from the slough into which it is steadily sinking. Every system, short of the unification of the human race, has been tried, repeatedly tried, and been found wanting. Wars again and again have been fought, and conferences without number have met and deliberated. Treaties, pacts and covenants have been painstakingly negotiated, concluded and revised. Systems of government have been patiently tested, have been continually recast and superseded. Economic plans of reconstruction have been carefully devised, and meticulously executed. And yet crisis has succeeded crisis, and the rapidity with which a perilously unstable world is declining has been correspondingly accelerated. A yawning gulf threatens to involve in one common disaster both the satisfied and dissatisfied nations, democracies and dictatorships, capitalists and wage-earners, Europeans and Asiatics, Jew and Gentile, white and colored. An angry Providence, the cynic might well observe, has abandoned a hapless planet to its fate, and fixed irrevocably its doom. Sore-tried and disillusioned, humanity has no doubt lost its orientation, and would seem to have lost as well its faith and hope. It is hovering, unshepherded and visionless, on the brink of disaster. A sense of fatality seems to pervade it. An ever-deepening gloom is settling on its fortunes as she recedes further and further from the outer fringes of the darkest zone of its agitated life and penetrates its very heart.
Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baháʾuʾlláh. Page 190.

Even though the Great Unraveling of the old world order is universal, it is not necessarily a bad thing. Beginning in 2010, after starting my meditations, I began to unravel. I have witnessed my inner being as lower than the sands. Piece by piece, my self and my ways of looking at the world have continued to be torn apart. Most of my points of view, including on the Baháʾí Faith, which I had professed and discussed openly for years were somehow lifted from my awareness. These humbling experiences intensified during a period of reflection over the three-day 2011 Labor Day weekend here in the United States.

The changes began with my Marxist sociology. That perspective is not at all uncommon among sociology professors. On the first days of classes, I introduced myself as a Marxist or neo-Marxist. The two textbooks for my Social Problems course, I told my students, are also Marxist. Academically, I remain on the non-political, neo-Marxian far left. However, in no more than a second, on the afternoon of September 4, 2011, there was a flash. As my eyes remained wide open, the limitations of Marxist materialism were suddenly clear to me. This experience would be, as I later discovered, only the first in a series of visionary lightning bolts or angelic white lights during that weekend.

Clearly, materialism’s error has lain not in the laudable effort to improve the conditions of life, but in the narrowness of mind and unjustified self-confidence that have defined its mission. The importance both of material prosperity and of the scientific and technological advances necessary to its achievement is a theme that runs through the writings of the Baháʾí Faith. As was inevitable from the outset, however, arbitrary efforts to disengage such physical and material well-being from humanity’s spiritual and moral development have ended by forfeiting the allegiance of the very populations whose interests a materialistic culture purports to serve. “Witness how the world is being afflicted with a fresh calamity every day,” Baháʾuʾlláh warns. “Its sickness is approaching the stage of utter hopelessness, inasmuch as the true Physician is debarred from administering the remedy, whilst unskilled practitioners are regarded with favour, and are accorded full freedom to act.”
Baháʾí International Community, One Common Faith. September 2006. Pages 10-11.

Instantly, I somehow recognized, within the depths of my heart, that, by accepting Autistic identity politics – like the cultural corrosion resulting from disability, national, racial, or religious identity politics – I had made an awful mistake. The Marxian dialectic, or contradiction, of oppression was immediately resolved, perhaps surpassed as a trans-Marxism, through an inner connectedness with higher unities. There has been no mourning for the loss, and I never looked back. Indeed, it is just one example, in my own life, of what some legends of demonic exorcism might have described.

By leaving idealist critical theory and embracing critical realism, as an emancipatory spirituality, I moved even further toward the intellectual left. As a critical theorist, I naïvely believed that, by developing social solidarity (class consciousness), oppressed or marginalized peoples could, to some degree, be politically emancipated. However, the leaders of the world order, supported by many average individuals, have, I feel, taken us too far down the highway of destruction. By and large, humanity has failed to accept the Promised One of all ages. Without His Prophetic guidance, the path to liberation, it seems to me, includes an accelerated global disintegration.

Critical theory has two goals: to bring to consciousness the awareness of capitalist exploitation and bureaucratic domination; and to create a popular demand for liberation—a demand, desire, and need for a better world. Critical theory is critical in two senses: it brings to our consciousness oppression of which we may or may not have been aware, and it calls for “criticism of life” to resist and change the existing system of domination and exploitation. Some versions of Marxism are critical theory and some are not: other theories are used critically from time to time such as phenomenology, psychoanalysis and existentialism.
R. George Kirkpatrick, George N. Katsiaficas, and Mary Lou Emery, Critical Theory and the Limits of Sociological Positivism. 1978.

Furthermore, I have now recognized that identity politics is, in its methodology, Machiavellian, not unifying and consultative:

A prince ought to have no other aim or thought, nor select anything else for his study, than war and its rules and discipline; for this is the sole art that belongs to him who rules, and it is of such force that it not only upholds those who are born princes, but it often enables men to rise from a private station to that rank. And, on the contrary, it is seen that when princes have thought more of ease than of arms they have lost their states....
... it is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince (written around 1513 A.D.). William K. Marriott, translator.

Saul Alinsky, the founder of the community organizing movement, reconfigured Machiavellianism into a new non-Marxist left. In effect, he turned Machiavelli upside down on his head. The word “Realistic,” from his book’s subtitle, refers to political realism (or pragmatism). It is a theory in political philosophy which focuses upon the strategic pursuit of power. With Alinksy, any power acquired by oppressed peoples is used to advance their emancipation and human rights struggles:

The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.
Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. New York: Vintage Books (a division of Random House). 1971. Page 3.
Go home, organize, build power and at the next convention, you be the delegates....
It is not enough just to elect your candidates. You must keep the pressure on.... Action comes from keeping the heat on.
Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. New York: Vintage Books (a division of Random House). 1971. Page xxiv.

Although issues of power should not, in my view, be disregarded, community building is, overall, a better foundation for development than community organizing:

In the field of healthy communities, there exists a conflict between those who focus on power-based social change (community organizing) and relationship-based social change (community building). Where those who use the power-based approach believe that, in order to affect change, citizens must form organizations that aim to transform and redistribute power, the relationship-based approach works for change by building strong, caring and respectful relationships among all members of a community....
I suggest that we look at our work in a new way, create new theories and a new collection of anecdotes that match the needs of social change at this period in history. We cannot ignore power issues in a country where the separation between rich and poor has become extreme, for-profit hospitals are becoming more prevalent, dollars dominate elections, the media is controlled by a handful of individuals, and black and Hispanic young men are being incarcerated at alarming rates. As we have seen a decline in civic engagement and volunteerism, and a decreased sense of neighborhood and community, we cannot ignore relationship building. We need both, and we need models that will allow us to have both.
Tom Wolff, Power-Based vs. Relationship-Based Social Change. Retrieved on October 8, 2012.
CBI [Community Building Initiative] Mission: Intensifying the commitment and increasing the capacity of individuals and organizations to build a more inclusive and equitable community....
Community Building Initiative (CBI) is a nonprofit organization established in 1997 by government and civic leaders to achieve racial and ethnic inclusion and equity in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community [North Carolina]. In Fall 2011, after two years of thoughtful deliberations, CBI leadership approved a broadened and deepened mission. While race and ethnicity remain a core programmatic focus, CBI is expanding its work to include other aspects of diversity such as gender, religion, sexual orientation and socio-economic class/economic status. In addition, because of the urgency of the growing economic divide which disproportionally impacts communities of color, CBI will also strengthen its commitment and capacity to address the fundamental matter of equity.
Community Building Initiative. Charlotte, NC. Retrieved on October 9, 2012.
... in meta-Reality ... there are layers of duality within the cosmic envelope or within non-duality and then layers of demi-reality within duality. But they are all distinct concepts.
Roy Bhaskar (with Mervyn Hartwig), The Formation of Critical Realism: A Personal Perspective. New York: Routledge. 2010. Page 99.

Significantly, to my understanding, the dear Universal House of Justice, in the following letter, referred to community building, not to community organizing:

Since Baháʾís everywhere are at the very beginning of the process of community building, enormous effort must be devoted to the tasks at hand.
... the flourishing of the community, especially at the local level, demands a significant enhancement in patterns of behaviour: those patterns by which the collective expression of the virtues of the individual members and the functioning of the Spiritual Assembly are manifest in the unity and fellowship of the community and the dynamism of its activity and growth. This calls for the integration of the component elements—adults, youth and children—in spiritual, social, educational and administrative activities; and their engagement in local plans of teaching and development. It implies a collective will and sense of purpose to perpetuate the Spiritual Assembly through annual elections. It involves the practice of collective worship of God. Hence, it is essential to the spiritual life of the community that the friends hold regular devotional meetings in local Baháʾí centres, where available, or elsewhere, including the homes of believers.
The Universal House of Justice, Riḍván 1996 Letter to the Baháʾís of the World.

On the afternoon of the next day, five minutes after a telephone call with a good friend, which I took as a sign, I decided to change this website from an informal, non-Muslim Ṣūfī path (Arabic, ṭarīqa), the mysticism of the heart, to Unities of All Things. I started practicing a Ṣūfī-type meditation, more than a year earlier, while working on the resource, Ṣūfī Information Central. Being very grateful for my personal encounters with Ṣūfism, I began an informal, online Ṣūfī contemplative activity, The Asma Path (al-Ṭarīqa al-Asmāʾ, the Path of Names). Now, however, I am thankful only to the Divine Physician, Baháʾuʾlláh.

Late in the morning of the following day, I rejected nominalism, a view of human knowledge and its limitations. To nominalists, universals, such as “people,” are nothing more than convenient names or categories. There is no underlying essence connecting individual beings or things. Then, in the afternoon, I rejected much of social constructionism, a sociological approach which considers social realities, such as groups, to be completely willful and situational phenomena. Nominalism and constructionism, had, I now recognized, been an eight-year detour from Critical Realism. Similar to my earlier experience concerning Marxism, each of these intuitions was clear and immediate.

We [the authors] do not believe in abstract entities. No one supposes that abstract entities – classes, relations, properties, etc. – exist in space-time; but we mean more than this. We renounce them altogether....
By renouncing abstract entities, we of course exclude all predicates that are not predicates of concrete individuals or explained in terms of predicates of concrete individuals. Moreover, we reject any statement or definition – even one that explains some predicates of concrete individuals in terms of others – if it commits us to abstract entities.
Nelson Goodman and W. V. Quine, Steps Toward a Constructive Nominalism. 1972.
Social Constructionism is the theoretical idea that views knowledge as a product of social interactions. The realities that people perceive the world to be draw from from the interactions and relationships that are socially created. Through social construction, the emphasis of shared meanings held by people is what creates the accepted understanding.
Stages of a Socially Constructed Reality
• Stage 1: The Physical World
Conditions, events, and properties
• Stage 2: Competing social constructions
Descriptions of social conditions that have been identified as a social problem
• Stage 3: Media as social construction competition arena
Process where media helps filter out other competing constructions
• Stage 4: Winning social construction
Emergence of dominant social[ly] constructed reality
Emily Fritz et al., Social Constructionism and Dexter.

In retrospect, I rejected my own self-contradictions. For several years, I was comfortable identifying myself as a Marxist materialist, with respect to sociology, but, simulaneously, as a non-materialist, as a Baháʾí. Without an deep, heartfelt understanding of the unifying attributes of humanity, the rational faculty or human spirit, and the unifying attributes of the universal higher nature, the spirit of faith, I was trapped in the world of nominalism, dualism, disunity, or demireality:

In general there is an axiological asymmetry between properties of the spiritual or metaReal infrastructure and the levels it sustains in that you cannot have those levels without it, but you can have it without them or the present form they take. I arrived at this sense of spirituality by reflecting on unity and identity. Unity and identity are very closely related ... to the idea of transcendence as overcoming dualism (e.g. contradiction) and to love as the chief transcending, or unifying, binding force in society. The three big realms then are the realm of identity or non-duality (absolute reality), the realm of difference or duality (relative reality) and the realm of dualism, split, antagonism and contradiction (demi-reality), which is duality grounded on falsity, on illusions. What we have to do is recognize and empower the realm of non-duality so as to get rid of the demi-real level. When we have done that we will still be living in a world of duality but not of dualism and split.
The unity or identity of metaReality, which may be seen as the seventh level of development of critical realist ontology, is essential for social life in three ways. First as a basis for it, and here the key concept is that of the ground-state. Second, as its mode of constitution or more particularly reproduction or transformation .... For instance, there has to be a level at which you just act without thinking, without doing anything dualistic. In the same way, when I am listening to you or perceiving anything, there has to be a level that involves, or just consists in, a transcendental identification in consciousness. Third, as its deep interior or fine structure. This is very interesting; there is a sense in which, if you go into anything deeply enough, you will find a deep interior that you can become one with and, in so doing, experience bliss ....
... the relative reality of duality ... [is] the battleground of dualism and unity.
Roy Bhaskar with Marvyn Hartwig, Theism, Atheism, and Meta-Reality. Mervyn Harwig and Jamie Morgan, editors. New York: Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group). 2012. Pages 205-206 and 226.

On the day that I recognized the inadequances of nominalism and social constructionism, two related perspectives, I returned to my previous framework, Critical Realism. Enriched through experience, my Critical Realism has been modified by aspects of the other two approaches. Fortunately, I no longer need to tactically maneuver around the ever-present essentialism which I would constantly observe within many Baháʾí Sacred Texts. Since the heart matters most, however, I am not, God forbid, trivilalizing or, worse, condemning the sincerely held viewpoints of others, but for me, personally, each of these experiences felt like inspired acts of repentance.

... the early work of [Roy] Bhaskar conceived the existence of three realms of reality: the actual, the real, and the empirical. The actual domain refers to events and outcomes that occur in the world. The real domain refers to underlying relations, structures, and tendencies that have the power to cause changes in the actual realm. Most often these causal influences remain latent; however, under the right circumstances, factors in the real domain can act together to generate causal changes in the actual domain. These causal changes are neither uniform nor chaotic but are somewhat patterned. The empirical dimension refers to human perspectives on the world (i.e., of the actual and real domains). This could be perspectives of an individual or, in a wider sense, of scientific inquiry. The real and actual domains can be perceived only fallibly. Hence, this ontology advocates the existence of an objective reality formed of both events and underlying causes, and although these dimensions of reality have objective existence, they are not knowable with certainty.
Alexander M. Clark, Critical Realism. 2011.

Somehow, I have also found, I am now able to see into the hearts of people. Much as one might distinguish a pen from a crayon, I can, often rather quickly, discern attributes in souls. Although others might consider this proficiency to be unremarkable, my entire universe, as an Autistic man, has been transformed. With my new perceptiveness, I am more assertive and socially adept. When people attempt to push me around, I will not allow it, or I go away. When they push others around, I calmly push back. There was, however, some resistance to these quiet revolutions. Long-term friendships evaporated. As throughout my childhood, I became the target of intense bullying.

In Charles Dickens’ 1843 novel, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge dreamed of three ghosts: the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. He then abandoned his cynical and miserly ways and, as if he were resurrected, became a new altruistic man. In effect, he repudiated capitalism. Similarly, I realized, following my visionary experiences, that I had rejected many of the fundamental elements of Western civilization. All of a sudden, the concept of resurrection had significant personal relevance.

... if haply thou dost live in the Day of Resurrection, the mirror of thy heart will be set towards Him Who is the Day-Star of Truth; and no sooner will His light shine forth than the splendour thereof shall forthwith be reflected in thy heart. For He is the Source of all goodness, and unto Him revert all things. But if He appeareth while thou hast turned unto thyself in meditation, this shall not profit thee, unless thou shalt mention His Name by words He hath revealed. For in the forthcoming Revelation it is He Who is the Remembrance of God, whereas the devotions which thou art offering at present have been prescribed by the Point of the Bayán, while He Who will shine resplendent in the Day of Resurrection is the Revelation of the inner reality enshrined in the Point of the Bayán—a Revelation more potent, immeasurably more potent, than the one which hath preceded it.
The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb. Page 94.
The candour with which you have expressed your views is much appreciated, as is the earnestness of your desire to see the Baháʾí community overcome a situation which is unhealthy in itself and risks creating misunderstanding in segments of the academic community. The House of Justice is, of course, aware that problems have arisen in this area, and it welcomes the opportunity to acquaint you with its thinking and perspectives. Having considered these, you should feel encouraged to respond with any related suggestions you think might assist in relieving the stresses you perceive.
The House of Justice believes that it will be helpful to set the problem in the context of the current intellectual and spiritual crisis afflicting society at large. Scholarly training and professional experience will have sensitized you to the implications for the study of religion of certain assumptions about human nature and the processes of civilization that a purely materialistic interpretation of reality has imposed on scholarly activity of every kind, at least in the Western world. A related paradigm for the study of religion has gradually consolidated itself in the prevailing academic culture during the course of the present century. It insists that all spiritual and moral phenomena must be understood through the application of a scholarly apparatus devised to explore existence in a way that ignores the issues of God’s continuous relationship with His creation and His intervention in human life and history. Yet, from a Baháʾí point of view, it is precisely this intervention that is the central theme of the Teachings of the Founders of the revealed religions ostensibly being studied.
From a letter, dated July 20, 1997, written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual Baháʾí, Issues Related to the Study of the Baháʾí Faith.

My view, as a critical realist, is that there is a great cosmic envelope (Roy Bhaskar’s term) incorporates all beings and things at the ground state of their existences. It is a station which many Hindus call advaita (nonduality) and which many Ṣūfīs refer to as ʾal-waḥdat ʾal-wuǧūd (the unity of existence). On the level of the cosmic envelope, of copresence, and of nonduality there is no separation or division between anyone or anything. Existence is, in its totality, an expression of the same spiritual “stuff.” I think that the phenomenon of contact emancipation can be understood as a demonstration of the pervasiveness of the cosmic envelope.

Return to the table of contents.

II. A Eulogy to Ḥaḍrat Sulṭān Bāhū

My personal prototype, or ideal type, for devotion is the Bhakṭī or Bhakṭī-Ṣūfī movement of South Asia, including the Indus Valley. I briefly discuss that historical movement’s spiritual impact in two Internet radio broadcasts (MP3 audio file 1 and MP3 audio file 2). The movement’ influence upon South Asia, and even in the Western world, has endured to the present time. Moreover, this stirring deep within the copresence of the heart (al-qalb) was formalized in the Sikhism of Gurū Nānak (1469-1539) and in other lumpenproletarian (from German and Latin, ragged “baby-factories”), or underclass, communities from South Asia.

India saw a remarkable fusion of Islamic and indigenous Hindu traditions, giving rise to a rich composite culture.... One of the best representatives of this confluence of traditions is the Bhakṭī-Sufi movement, a form of personal piety that challenged the hegemony of the religious orthodoxy and crusaded against caste and community divisions and meaningless ritualism.
A wealth of literature abounds with the teachings and writings of these Hindu and Sufi mystics ....
Laxmi G. Tewari, “Common Grounds between Bhajan and Qawwali.” Conference on Music in the World of Islam. Assilah. August 8-13, 2007. Retrieved on August 17, 2013.
Caste distinctions ... had been deeply entrenched in the Indian psyche. One could perhaps argue that without the Bhakṭi/Sufi movement things would have been far worse.
“General Introduction.” Medieval Indian Literature: An Anthology. Volume one. Surveys & Selections. K. Ayyappa Paniker, chief editor. New Delhi, India: Sahitya Akademi. 1997. Page xxxiii.

al-ʾAndalus (الأندلس‎), a word with a disputed etymology, was a medieval Muslim state (roughly, 711-1492 A.D.) which included modern Portugal, Andorra, Spain, and a portion of South France. The Muslim inhabitants of that region have been popularly called the “Moors.” Moreover, according to Shoghi Effendi, the Golden Age of Islām began, partially, in the “outlying territories” of Europe:

... in some of whose [Europe’s] outlying territories have been won some of the most resplendent victories which ushered in the Golden Age of Islám ...
Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith. Page 27.

In my humble opinion, the devotional center, or flowering, of that Golden Age can be found in the heart-centered Bhakṭī-Ṣūfī movement. Heartfulness Inquiry, The Unicentric Paradigm, and Unities of All Things in general are devotionally anchored in that South Asian confluence of two spiritual streams. Adopting a critical and postcolonial academic perspective to the movement, both Bhakṭī and Ṣūfī reverential associations in India arose largely from within subaltern (subordinate, oppressed, dominated, or hegemonized) peasant populations, including women, lower-caste Hindūs, and Muslims:

The philosophy of praxis ... does not aim at the peaceful resolution of existing contradictions in history and society but is rather the very theory of these contradictions. It is not the instrument of government of the dominant groups in order to gain the consent of and exercise hegemony [domination] over the subaltern classes; it is the expression of these subaltern classes who want to educate themselves in the art of government and who have an interest in knowing all truths, even the unpleasant ones, and in avoiding the (impossible) deceptions of the upper class and – even more – their own.
Antonio Gramsci, Further Selections from the Prison Notebooks. Translated and edited by David Boothman. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. 1995. Pages 395-396.
The subaltern as a concept within political theory gained momentum through the work of the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci.... Subalternity refers to diminished political voice, organization, and representation on the part of nonelite social groups, their relative invisibility in historical documentation, and their non- or extrahegemonic [powerless] subjection to the power of elites.
Nalini Persram, “Subaltern.” Encyclopedia of Political Theory. Mark Bevir, editor. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. 2010. Pages 1340-1341.

Some insight into the spiritual stature of Gurū Nānak was provided in a letter by the National Spiritual Assembly (NSA) of the Baháʾís of India, dated July 7, 1986, to the State Baháʾí Council of Punjab. That NSA received a letter from the Universal House of Justice, dated October 27, 1985. According to the House of Justice, Gurū Nānak was endowed with a “saintly character.” Moreover, he “was inspired to reconcile the religions of Hinduism and Islam, the followers of which religions had been in violent conflict.” Therefore, the House of Justice blessed Gurū Nānak as a “saint of the highest order”, or, perhaps, a walī Allāh (friend of God).

Additionally, in Hindūism, the Acintyabhedaābheda (Sanskrit for inconceivable oneness and difference) bhaktī tradition originated in Gauḍīyā Vaiṣṇava (Sanskrit for Viṣṇu or Vishnu worship in the Gauḍa territory of modern-day Bangladesh and Bengal, India). It was founded by Caitanya Mahāprabhu (1486–1534 A.D.) and more recently popularized, in the West, by A.C. Bhakṭivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Abhaya Caraṇāravinda Bhakṭīvedānta Svāmī Prabhupāda, 1896-1977 A.D.). Caitanya’s teaching, in the Bhakṭī-Ṣūfī movement, was uncomplicated. Many later leaders complicated it.

The following is a complete translation of the only known text authored by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrī Śikṣāṣṭakam (Sanskrit for an instruction in eight stanzas):

Glory to the Śrī-Kṛṣṇā-saṅkīrtana [Sanskrit for Śrī Kṛṣṇā chanting], which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This saṅkīrtana [Sanskrit for chanting] movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.
O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names, like Kṛṣṇā and Govinda [Sanskrit for protector of cows]. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.
One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.
O almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor do I desire beautiful women, nor do I want any number of followers. I only want Your causeless devotional service, birth after birth.
O son of Mahārāja Nanda [Sanskrit for Great or Exalted King of Joy, namely, Kṛṣṇā’s custodial or “foster” father], I am Your eternal servitor, yet somehow or other I have fallen into the ocean of birth and death. Please pick me up from this ocean of death and place me as one of the atoms at Your lotus feet.
O my Lord, when will my eyes be decorated with tears of love flowing constantly when I chant Your holy name? When will my voice choke up, and when will the hairs of my body stand on end at the recitation of Your name?
O Govinda! Feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your absence.
I know no one but Kṛṣṇā as my Lord, and He shall remain so even if He handles me roughly by His embrace or makes me brokenhearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, for He is always my worshipful Lord, unconditionally.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrī Śikṣāṣṭakam.

Čištī (Hindūstānī and Persian) was, and continues to be, one of the largest Ṣūfī branches, now divided into numerous orders (al-ṭuruq), in South Asia. Widely known for their openness and tolerance, this branch was an important part of the Bhakṭī-Ṣūfī movement. The founder of Universal Ṣūfism (1914), the Indian-born Hazrat Inayat Khan (Ḥaḍrat ʿInāyat H̱‎an), 1882-1927, identified most closely with the Čištī branch, but his lineage, or chains (al-salāsil) of descent, also passed through the al-Qādirīyah, al-Suḥrawardīyah, and al-Naqšbandīyah branches. He and some of his successors have promoted a generic, as contrasted with a “brand-name,” Islām.

In a sense, Universal Ṣūfism has been a modern revival of the Bhakṭī-Ṣūfī movement:

Although Sufism is the essence of all religions and its influence is upon all, yet it can more justly be called the esoteric side of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Hazrat Inayat Khan, Inayat Khan: On Sufism.
Islām itself can be distinguished between name-brand Islām and generic Islām. The Qurʾān Šarīf [Noble Qurʾān] itself refers to a multiplicity of prophets. It says, “We have sent a prophet to every community.” And in the hadith [al-ḥadīṯ] literature — that is to say, in the transmission of the sayings of the Prophet Muḥammad, peace be upon him — there is reference to 124,000 messengers. These were all messengers of a single divine message, and that divine message is Islām in the generic sense, the essential religion within all existing religious forms, including the form that we call “Islām,” which is really the Muhammadan version of Islām. That is name-brand Islām.
Ṣūfism has a deep, essential connection with both generic Islām, with universal religiosity, which is the common dimension of the depth of human experience, which can be found in the depths of all world religions, and which can be traced back to the earliest prophets. And Sufism as a historical phenomenon also has a special connection with the dispensation of the Islāmic religion, which is one form out of many of the “risāla,” of the message.
Pir Zia Inayat Khan (grandson of Hazrat Inayat Khan), “Pir Zia Inayat Khan on Sufism.” Centrum Universel. November, 2002. Retrieved on September 2, 2013.
Since much of the historical development of Sufism has been in parts of the world where Islam is the predominant form of religious practice, many Sufis worldwide are Muslims. However, the Sufi Order International inherits a stream of “universal” Sufism which began in India nearly 800 years ago, affirming the common ideals of all faiths.
FAQ.” Sufi Order International—Seattle. 2013. Retrieved on September 10, 2013.

Ḥaḍrat Sulṭān Bāhū, as a Ṣūfī from the South Asian subcontinent, was another beautiful exemplar of that traditionally commingled, or interfaith, devotional experience. Like Gurū Nānak and Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Bāhū became a brilliant luminary of the Bhakṭī-Ṣūfī movement (approximately 800-1700 A.D.):

The Bhakṭi-Sufi movement was ... [a] major pan-Indian articulation ... of subaltern dissent.
The spokesmen/women of the movement mostly came from the subaltern or marginalised sections of society and were workers, women or Muslims.... Sultan Bahu ... and other Sufi poets were Muslims by birth.
K. Satchidanandan, “Between Saints and Secularists.” Belonging. Volume II. Issue 3. Retrieved on August 17, 2013.
An important landmark in the cultural history of medieval India was the silent revolution in society brought about by a galaxy of socio-religious reformers, a revolution known as the Bhakṭi Movement. This movement was responsible for many rites and rituals associated with the worship of God by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs of Indian subcontinent. For example, Kirtan at a Hindu Temple, Qawaali at a Dargah (by Muslims), and singing of Gurbani at a Gurdwara are all derived from the Bhakṭi movement of medieval India (800-1700)....
Sufism represents the inward or esoteric side of Islam or the mystical dimension of Muslim religion. However, the Sufi saints [al-awliyāʾ Allāh, friends of God] transcending all religious and communal distinctions, worked for promoting the interest of humanity at large. The Sufis were a class of philosophers remarkable for their religious catholicity..... It [Ṣūfism] rebelled against all forms of religious formalism, orthodoxy, falsehood and hypocrisy and endeavoured to create a new world order in which spiritual bliss was the only and the ultimate goal....
... Sultan Bahu (ca 1628 – 1691) was a Muslim Sufi and saint [al-walī Allāh, friend of God] who founded the Sarwari Qadiri Sufi order [Sārvarī Qādirīyah Ṣūfī Ṭarīqa]. Sultan Bahu was born in Anga, Soon Valley, in the Punjab Province of Pakistan. Like many other Sufi saints of South Asia Sultan Bahu was a prolific writer. More than forty books on Sufism are attributed to him, mostly in Persian.
Arun Joshi, Bhakṭi Movement in India and Punjab. November 26, 2012. Retrieved on August 18, 2013.

I have been a Baháʾí since 1970. I am not a Muslim. Nevertheless, I have been inspired by the deep Ṣūfism (Arabic, Taṣawwuf) of the heart in the poetry and prose of Sulṭān Bāhū. While a mystic by temperament, Bāhū also emphasized the importance of faithfulness to al-Šarʿī’a (Arabic for the Prescription or legal code) within the beautiful religion of Islām. In my view, al-walī Allāh (the friend of God or saint), Sulṭān Bāhū, is among the finest fruits of the religion of Islām. He has been accurately designated, al-Sulṭān al-ʿArifīn (the king or chief of mystic knowers or gnōstics). I have lovingly and sincerely cherished his blessed soul during my inner communions with him.

Acting from the world beyond, beloved Bāhū, peace and blessings be upon him, believe he was among the spiritual sources of the visionary flashing white lights, lightning bolts, or chalices of pure light. Through Bāhū, the discovery of Ṣūfī meditation, and Ṣūfism (Taṣawwuf) more broadly, became, to my understanding, the Blessed Beauty’s chosen instrument of healing from my heart-based deficits as an Autist. Indeed, although I only recognized the eminent Bāhū’s influence upon me in 2011, he may have been with me, guiding me, for my entire life.

The Blessed Perfection led me to Himself, I believe, through a Ṣūfī-type meditation. When I began practicing it in 2010, dear Bāhū, a Muslim during the Islāmic Dispensation, entered my heart and, I strongly feel, showed me the way to my Lord, Bahāʾ. For some inexplicable reason of the heart, I was drawn, above all else, to beloved Bāhū while studying Ṣūfism. My first sensations of empathy, as an Autist, revolved around, first, the pure soul of Bāhū and, second, my adoration for the Blessed Seal Muḥammad as the Source of Ṣūfism. He has been the Object of such misunderstanding. By turning to this man of the heart, I got my own. As Bāhū wrote in one of his inspiring treatises:

O seeker! Thou hast requested permission [Arabic, iǧāza] for mystical knowledge [Arabic, maʿrifat] from me ....
I will show thee Allāh as nearer to thee than thy jugular (or life) vein [Persian, šāh-rag, king vein].
Ḥaḍrat Sulṭān Bāhū, Nūr al-Hudā: Light of Guidance. Translation significantly modified by Mark A. Foster. Page 2.
Whoso shalt study this book, by day and by night, with sincerity, certitude, and conviction will become cognizant of the divine [Arabic, ilāhī] secrets. He hath no need of instruction [Arabic, talqin] and teaching [Arabic, taʿlīm] from a living guide [Arabic, muršid].
Ḥaḍrat Sulṭān Bāhū, Nūr al-Hudā: Light of Guidance. Translation significantly modified by Mark A. Foster. Page 3.

Once Bāhū rejected disunity or dualism for unity or nonduality, he was emancipated:

Neither Sunnī nor Šīʿah am I.
Heartburn doth afflict me with one as with the other.
The moment I cast them aside, my pathway was arid no longer. I found myself immersed in the ocean of divine Unity.
Many souls, poorly prepared for that which awaited them, dived into the ocean and drowned. Few swam successfully to the journey’s end.
Only those who held steadfastly to the Master’s hand reached the heavenly shore in safety.
Ḥaḍrat Sulṭān Bāhū, Kalām-i Bāhū (discourse of Bāhū). Translation significantly modified by Mark A. Foster.

Since I was a child, I have been passionate about both Islāmicate, or Islāmically contextualized, thought and Indian traditions, including Hindūism or Sanātana Dharma (Sanskrit for eternal support), Sikhism, and Sūrat Śābda Yoga. Following a meditation on August 17, 2013, I realized that my lifelong inner connection with dear Bāhū might have kindled these twofold interests. Current illustrations include Ṣūfī Information Central and Heartfulness Inquiry, my love for British phliosopher Roy Bhaskar’s philosophy of metaReality. This latest version of his Critical Realism was significantly influenced by a journey toward rediscovering his own Hindū heritage, including bhaktī yoga.

“Islamdom” is ... the society in which the Muslims and their faith are recognized as prevalent and socially dominant .... Sometimes the phrase “the Islamic world” is used much in this sense....
... The adjective “Islamic” ... must be restricted to “of or pertaining to Islam” .... Unfortunately, there seems to be no adjective in use for ... the society or culture of Islamdom [the Islāmic world].... I have been driven to invent a term, “Islamicate”.... [It] would refer ... to the social and cultural complex historically associated with Islam and the Muslims, both among Muslims themselves and even when found among non-Muslims.
Michael G.S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam. Volume 1. The Classical Age of Islam. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press. 1977. Pages 58-59.
The first part of Śābda Yoga meditation begins with sitting still, quiet, eyes closed down, mentally repeating the 5 [initiatory] Names and lovingly gazing into the middle of the darkness lying in front of us, which will develop into concentration on the inner light. Repetition ... is continuous during this. Breathing is natural and free flowing without paying any attention to it. Breath is not interfered with. It goes on by itself....
The second part of Śābda Yoga meditation involves listening to the Sound Current.... [O]ne listens to the inner Sound Current coming at first from the right side and ultimately from the top of the head ....
Sūrat Śābda Yoga: The Yoga of the Sound Current.
... all of the four traditional yogas are necessary:
Jnana Yoga—the path of wisdom;
Bhakṭi Yoga—the path of love or devotion;
Hatha Yoga—the path of physical strength or grace; and
Karma Yoga—the path of action or service.
Roy Bhaskar, The Philosophy of metaReality: Creativity, Love and Freedom Classical Texts in Critical Realism. New York: Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group). 2012. Page 182.

Specifically, I have been attracted to the Bhakṭī-Ṣūfī movement throughout my life. Before I became a Baháʾí, I seriously considered becoming a Sikh. I was deeply disappointed after discovering, through mail correspondence with the Sikh Temple in Stockton, CA, that baptized Sikhs needed to carry a sword and to wear both a turban and long underwear draped around the knees. Since I was already being bullied as an Autist, such unusual accoutrements, especially in the gym locker room, would have only made matters worse. I was not told that not all Sikhs follow those conventions. Perhaps dear Bāhū was protecting me for Baháʾuʾlláh.

Although I was unsuccessful at astral projection or out-of-body experiences, I did come close to joining the neo-Sikh Eckankar organization. It incorporates a similar practice to astral projection. This Americanized branch of the highly schismatic Sūrat Śābda Yoga (Arabized Sanskrit for union through attention to the word) was founded by John “Paul” Twitchell (1909-1971) in 1965. As I recall, only a minor postal miscommunication between me, at around thirteen-years old, and the headquarters (then in Las Vegas, NV), possibly through Bāhū’s intercession, prevented me from becoming a member. Their return letter may have dampened my enthusiasm, but I had already lost interest.

Yet, in my continuing search for angelic contact, I was initiated, after becoming a Baháʾí, into three other Sūrat Śābda Yoga “divisions” or groups: Sri Sri Thakur Anukulchandra Satsang (Śrī Śrī Ṭhakura Anukulācandra Satsaṅga, named for the founder of the organization, 1888-1969), Sant Mat (Sanskrit, Saṅt Mata, the realized one’s doctrine or path), and Spiritual Freedom Satsang (an offshoot of Twitchell’s Eckankar). Any movement, like Sūrat Śābda Yoga, which promotes a primary reliance upon subjective knowledge, or gnōsis, of alleged beings, locations, lights, and sounds in supposedly higher dimensions of existence can rapidly factionalize.

As a matter of record, his angelic presence Sulṭān Bāhū, a Punjābī, was born in Angāh (in the present-day Pākistānī Punjāb), around 1628 A.D., and he died about 1691. His mausoleum is located in Gaṛh Mahārāja (Hindūstānī or “Hindī-Urdū” for Fort of the Great King, which is now in Pākistān). Etymologically, bā is the Fārsī/Persian preposition for “with,” while hū is the Arabic pronoun for “he” (referring here to God). Therefore, Bāhū, which was Sulṭān Bāhū’s given name (from his mother, Bībī Rāstī, Persian for madam truth), can be translated as “with God.” His name came to define his noble character. As Bāhū wrote, in one of his poems, referring to the modest spelling differences between two letters:

With one dot, Bā Hū becomes Yā Hū [O He]....
And Bāhū is always steeped in the remembrance of Yā Hū.

Bāhū is regarded as al-imām (Arabic for the pathfinder or founder) of the Sārvarī Qādirīyah Ṣūfī Ṭarīqat (Persianized Arabic for order). Although he would not designate an heir, much as Rebbe Naḥman (1772-1810) of Bratslav Ḥasidic Judaism refused to establish a dynasty (Hebrew, hā-ṣadiqîm, the righteous ones), each has had one or more claimants to succession. Qādirīyah is named after the traditional founder of the original order, ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Gīlānī. Al-Qādir (the capable or competent one) is one of the ninety-nine names of Allāh. Sārvarī (Persian, Hindī, and Urdū for chiefship) refers here to the ʿUwaysī transmission, under the sovereignty of the Blessed Muḥammad, to Bāhū.

Briefly, the word, “ʿUwaysī,” was adopted from the reported case of His Blessed Presence Muḥammad’s contemporary, ʿUways al-Qaranī. According to traditional accounts, he swore or, literally, “sold” (bayʿah), with a metaphorical handshake (more precisely, a handclasp), his allegiance to the Prophet of Islām wholly in the world of spirits (al-ʿālam al-arwāḥ). The two men never met physically. Although the circumstances surrounding the life of ʿUways al-Qaranī may be legendary, or partially so, he has inspired individuals to claim inner spiritual direction, and sometimes even authority over Ṣūfī orders, as a result of similar experiences.

In an ʿUwaysī transmission, authorization (al-iǧāza) is allegedly conveyed, entirely within the heavenly realms, by an outwardly unrelated entity (living, deceased, or even mythological). They have included the dear Prophet Muḥammad, the legendary al-Hiḍr (the Green One), and departed Ṣūfī shaykhs (al-šuyuh, elders), such as the founders of orders (al-ayimma or “imāms,” pathfinders). Soul to soul, sometimes within the otherworldly states of inspired dreams (al-manāmāt) and visions (al-ruʾan), vows of Ṣūfī loyalty, like the oaths of fealty owed to a European feudal lord in the Middle Ages, will be pledged one to another.

Ḥaḍrat Sulṭān Bāhū, God bless his soul, formulated taṣavvur-i ism-i ḏāt (Persianized Arabic for conceptualizing the personal name of God) or, in Arabic, al-taṣawwur al-ism al-ḏāt. The discipline involves visualizing the word, (Allāh), being inscribed upon one’s own heart (Arabic, al-qalb). When, through the intercession of the exalted Bāhū, I was inspired, resurrected, and lovingly emancipated as an Autist, I incorporated my own revised version of the exercise into the methodology of Heartfulness Inquiry. That spiritual application remains the devotional center of Unities of All Things™.

Intriguingly, before I was even consciously aware of beloved Bāhū, I sought out and received personal instruction from an authorized disciple of Gohar Shahi (Persian and Urdū, Guhar Šāhī, Jewel Imperial). He represented the U.S.-based organization, the American Ṣūfī Institute (Devil’s Lake, ND). It has since been renamed as al-Markāz-i Rūḥānī Qādrī, the Spiritual Center of Qādrī (al-Qādirīyah Ṣūfism). This group, presently located in the Jamshoro District (Urdū, Ḏilā-i Ǧāmšūrū) of Sindh, Pākistān, regards Gohar Shahi as a Sunnī Muslim, not as a mahdī or messiah, who welcomed people from all religions.

Gohar Shahi taught various meditative practices, including a type of taṣavvur-i ism-i ḏāt. As I discovered much later, Shahi, after claiming to have an inward, mystical experience with Bāhū, founded a similarly ʿUwaysī branch of Sārvarī Qādirīyah Ṣūfī Ṭarīqa, al-Qādirīyah al-Muntahī (the Qādirīyah order of the Adept), and he developed a set of teachings and meditative practice called the Religion of God (in Urdūized, as well as Persianized, Arabic, Dīn-i Ilāhī). He was, I feel, my personal gate to Ḥaḍrat Sulṭān Bāhū. Born in 1941, and now arguably deceased (2001 or 2003), Shahi is, I believe, my fellow traveller under Bāhū’s watchful eye:

When Hazrat Gohar Shahi was at about the age of thirty four, at one night Hazrat Bari Imam (tomb is in Islamabad) appeared before him and said: “My son your time has come, you must go to the shrine of Sultan Bahu to receive the Spiritual Knowledge.” Hazrat Gohar Shahi then left every thing and went to shrine of Hazrat Sultan Bahu. Sultan Bahu appeared before him and advised to read and act upon his book Nurul Huda (Light of Guidance) and go to Sehwan Sharif, Distt. Dadu, Pakistan. Hazrat Gohar Shahi read the book Nurul Huda and went to Sehwan Sharif for self-purification and peace of heart....
Shah Sahib then left his work, family and parents and went to Shorkot, where under the blessful supervision of Sakhi Sultan Bahu sahib [Gohar Shahi] made the book Noor-Al-Huda (a book written by Sultan Bahu Sahib), his journey’s companion. He then went to Sehwan Sharif for self-mortification and peace of heart and spent a period of three years in the mountains of Sehwan Sharif and the forest of Laal Baagh in self-Purification. Thereafter pursuant to a revelation Shah Sahib [Gohar Shahi] went to Jaam Shorow where he spent six months in a hut behind the Textbook Board Building, henceforth, with Almighty Allah’s will, His Holiness Shah Sahib started to shower Almighty Allah’s creation with his benevolence.
Gohar Shahi. 2009. Retrieved on September 8, 2013.
I have never claimed to be Mehdi. The false claimant is misled and ill-fated. However, I have elaborated the signs of True Mehdi. As Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has a seal of prophet at his back. Likewise on the back of Mehdi there will be a seal of Mehdi which will be embossed by veins and who so ever will posses this sign we will accept him has Imam Mehdi.
Gohar Shahi, A Great Spiritual Personality. October, 1999. Retrieved on September 8, 2013.

On September 8, 2013, during a reflection, I realized that Bāhū reached out, though Gohar Shahi, and connected more deeply with me. Shahi was, at the time, still in this world:

Furthermore, as a child, I referred to a ventriloquial team, with myself and my younger sibling, as The Karachis. At the time, I was unaware of the origin of the term, but I must have heard it mentioned somewhere. In retrospect, I do not know why I did not call us, simply, The Fosters. Karāčī or Karachi (Urdū, کراچی), a bustling metropolis, is the most populous city in Pākistān and the third largest in the world. Then, on October 6, 2013, it occurred to me, during another reflection, that Ḥaḍrat Sulṭān Bāhū, who lived in modern-day Pākistān, was drawing me close to him.

Modern India has changed. Beloved Shoghi Effendi quoted from His divine Presence Baháʾuʾlláh and described secularism as a menace:

“The vitality of men’s belief in God,” Baháʾuʾlláh has testified, “is dying out in every land; nothing short of His wholesome medicine can ever restore it. The corrosion of ungodliness is eating into the vitals of human society; what else but the Elixir of His potent Revelation can cleanse and revive it?”...
This menace of secularism that has attacked Islám and is undermining its remaining institutions, that has invaded Persia, has penetrated into India, and raised its triumphant head in Turkey, has already manifested itself in both Europe and America, and is, in varying degrees, and under various forms and designations, challenging the basis of every established religion, and in particular the institutions and communities identified with the Faith of Jesus Christ.
Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baháʾuʾlláh. Page 181.

Return to the table of contents.

III. Guidance
... I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of Jehovah cometh. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those that escape, as Jehovah hath said, and among the remnant those whom Jehovah doth call.
Joel 2:28-32. American Standard Version (1901).

Each of us, I suspect, has multiple guardian angel. During a meditation on August 17, 2013, I had the intuition that one’s guardian angels stay with the individual and guides her to the other members of her spiritual family, souls who share an affinity, in both this world and the world to come. According to the divine Manifestations Baháʾuʾlláh and Muḥammad, peace be upon Them:

“O guardian angels! Return them to their abode in the world below,
Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious!
“Inasmuch as they have purposed to rise to that sphere which the wings of the celestial dove have never attained;
Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious!
Baháʾuʾlláh, “Tablet of the Holy Mariner.” Baháʾí Prayers. Page 87.
... [there is] no soul but that it has a guardian over it.
Muḥammad, Qurʾān 86:4. Nooruddeen Durkee, translator.

Please bear in mind that I do not approach the subjects considered in this book as a social scientist. I keep my empirical work, as an academic sociologist, at arm’s length from my speculations and personal impressions. Basically, these discoveries represent, to me, my spiritual unfolding since becoming “emancipated” from much of my Autism. According to my understanding, as we turn to particular sources of information, regardless of their sources, divine guidance might, God willing, be provided to us. In other words, I do not think that one can legitimately place limitations on God’s loving counsel.

In such an afflicted time, when mankind is bewildered and the wisest of men are perplexed as to the remedy, the people of Bahá, who have confidence in His unfailing grace and divine guidance, are assured that each of ... [the] tormenting trials has a cause, a purpose, and a definite result, and all are essential instruments for the establishment of the immutable Will of God on earth. In other words, on the one hand humanity is struck by the scourge of His chastisement which will inevitably bring together the scattered and vanquished tribes of the earth; and on the other, the weak few whom He has nurtured under the protection of His loving guidance are, in this formative age and period of transition, continuing to build amidst these tumultuous waves an impregnable stronghold which will be the sole remaining refuge for those lost multitudes. Therefore, the dear friends of God who have such a broad and clear vision before them are not perturbed by such events, nor are they panic-stricken by such thundering sounds, nor will they face such convulsions with fear and trepidation, nor will they be deterred, even for a moment, from fulfilling their sacred responsibilities.
From a letter, dated February 10, 1980, written on behalf of Universal House of Justice to the Īrānian Baháʾís resident in various countries throughout the world, Lights of Guidance: A Baháʾí Reference File. Number 424.
... [One] signpost pointing to contact (which is a little less tangible) is a sudden and profound insight. For instance, you may be walking down the street or driving, and in an instant there is a body of information downloaded into your conscious mind. This is often information that you've gotten during a contact experience, which, when your conscious mind is relaxed (such as in alpha when you are driving), is able to seep through the barriers and become part of your conscious repertoire of knowledge.
Lyssa Royal-Holt and Keith Priest, Preparing for Contact: A Metamorphosis of Consciousness. Phoenix, AZ: Royal Priest Research Press. 1993. Page 98.

When seeking guidance, through reflection, on my contact experiences, or any other subject, I practice Heartfulness Inquity. That is to say, as it occurred to me during a meditation on June 5, 2013, I often place myself, self-hypnotically, into a heartful or spiritually receptive state. After directing questions to my heart, I pause to listen for any possible answers. Frequently, thoughts will occur to me at that point in time or in the future. Sometimes I also reflect on the words or concepts in my reflections and dreams. I then repeatedly reflect on the reflections. Layer upon layer, or over and over again, I go deeper and deeper.

It is an axiomatic fact that while you meditate you are speaking with your own spirit. In that state of mind you put certain questions to your spirit and the spirit answers: the light breaks forth and the reality is revealed....
Through the faculty of meditation man attains to eternal life; through it he receives the breath of the Holy Spirit—the bestowal of the Spirit is given in reflection and meditation....
The spirit of man is itself informed and strengthened during meditation; through it affairs of which man knew nothing are unfolded before his view. Through it he receives Divine inspiration, through it he receives heavenly food.
Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries. In that state man abstracts himself: in that state man withdraws himself from all outside objects; in that subjective mood he is immersed in the ocean of spiritual life and can unfold the secrets of things-in-themselves. To illustrate this, think of man as endowed with two kinds of sight; when the power of insight is being used the outward power of vision does not see.
This faculty of meditation frees man from the animal nature, discerns the reality of things, puts man in touch with God.
This faculty brings forth from the invisible plane the sciences and arts. Through the meditative faculty inventions are made possible, colossal undertakings are carried out; through it governments can run smoothly. Through this faculty man enters into the very Kingdom of God.
Reported words of ʿAbduʾl-Bahá, Paris Talks. Pages 174-175.

The words of the angel to the Prophet Elijah, counseling Him to listen to the “still small voice,” may be similar:

... he [the angel of Jehovah] said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before Jehovah. And, behold, Jehovah passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before Jehovah; but Jehovah was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but Jehovah was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but Jehovah was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for Jehovah, the God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
1 Kings 19:11-14, American Standard Version (1901).

Likewise, according to the founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) George Fox (1624-1692):

But as I had forsaken the priests, so I left the separate preachers also, and those esteemed the most experienced people; for I saw there was none among them all that could speak to my condition. And when all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so that I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could tell what to do, then, oh, then, I heard a voice which said, “There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition”; and when I heard it my heart did leap for joy. Then the Lord let me see why there was none upon the earth that could speak to my condition, namely, that I might give Him all the glory; for all are concluded under sin, and shut up in unbelief as I had been, that Jesus Christ might have the pre-eminence who enlightens, and gives grace, and faith, and power. Thus when God doth work, who shall let it? And this I knew experimentally.
George Fox, A Journal or Historical Account of the Life, Travels, Sufferings, Christian Experiences, and Labour of Love, in the Work of the Ministry, of that Ancient, Eminent, and Faithful Servant of Jesus Christ, George Fox. Page 60.

Similarly, two other Quakers, William Penn (1644-1718) and Parker Palmer (born, 1939), wrote:

The world talks of God; but what do they do? They pray for power, but reject the principle in which it is. If you would know God and worship and serve God, as you should do, you must come to the means he has ordained and given for that purpose. Some seek it in books, some in learned men, but what they look for, is in themselves, but they overlook it. The voice is too still, the seed too small, and the light shineth in darkness.
William Penn (preface) in A Journal or Historical Account of the Life, Travels, Sufferings, Christian Experiences, and Labour of Love, in the Work of the Ministry, of that Ancient, Eminent, and Faithful Servant of Jesus Christ, George Fox. Page xxxviii.
By preparing before reflecting, you leave more time for genuine “inner journeying,” for listening openly to what your inner teacher has to say.
Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (John Wiley & Sons). 2007. Page 9.
I want to describe a method invented by the Quakers, a method that protects individual identity and integrity while drawing on the wisdom of other people. It is called a “Clearness Committee.”
Behind the Clearness Committee is a simple but crucial conviction: each of us has an inner teacher, a voice of truth, that offers the guidance and power we need to deal with our problems. But that inner voice is often garbled by various kinds of inward and outward interference. The function of the Clearness Committee is not to give advice or “fix” people from the outside in but rather to help people remove the interference so that they can discover their own wisdom from the inside out. If we do not believe in the reality of inner wisdom, the Clearness Committee can become an opportunity for manipulation. But if we respect the power of the inner teacher, the Clearness Committee can be a remarkable way to help someone name and claim his or her deepest truth.
Parker J. Palmer, The Clearness Committee: A Communal Approach To Discernment.

Many people, coming from various perspectives, had premonitions about various Earth-changing events beginning in 2012. My personal intuition is that 2012, or perhaps even its December solstice, marked the end of a respite – an era with mere foreshadowings of unravelling. 2013 through 2021, the nine-year period following the 2012 centenary of the Master’s journeys in the West, will climax on the centenary of the Ascension of ʿAbduʾl-Bahá with the inception of the Formative Age of the Baháʾí Dispensation, and, possibly, the termination of Western global hegemony and the establishment of a world commonwealth.

During the years immediately following 2012, the masses of humanity may actually wish, in retrospect, that popularized interpretations of Mayan astrology, whether catastrophes or elevations of consciousness, were correct. At least in the short term, 2012 might, paradoxically, become a year of nostalgia. However, in the midst of Earth-shaking tribulations or oppressions, the receptiveness to discussions of 2012, no matter the superstitious source, appears to have indicated that many folks are, by future shock, experiencing a planetary neighborhood which, through continuously shifting global relationships, is rapidly changing:

[Sociologist] William Ogburn, with his celebrated theory of cultural lag, pointed out how social stresses arise out of the uneven rates of change in different sectors of society. The concept of future shock—and the theory of adaptation that derives from it—strongly suggests that there must be balance, not merely between rates of change in different sectors, but between the pace of environmental change and the limited pace of human response. For future shock grows out of the increasing lag between the two.
Alvin Toffler, Future Shock. New York: Bantam Books (Random House). 1970. Pages 3-4.
The fulcrum and most likely the climax of the biosphere-noosphere transition and the epochal shift into a new dimension of reality, the consciously activated Noosphere, has been linked to a specific date, December 21, 2012 (12/21/12).
Since I introduced the date with the publication of the book, The Mayan Factor, in 1987, fascination with its meaning—the end of the 5,125 year “Great Cycle,” a measure of one of the calendars of the Classic Maya civilization of Central America—has grown exponentially.
José Argüelles, Manifesto for the Noosphere: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Consciousness. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books. 2011. Page 38.

I will now go way out on a limb to detail certain speculations on possible scenarios of events which, if my hunches are corrrect, may play out, globally, over the time period ending in 2021. Needless to say, any or all of the details I shall provide might be wrong. The time frame could also be inaccurate. I am clearly not a seer, and I have no training in the widely disputed discipline of futurism. On the other hand, both seers and futurists have made many mistakes. The sources of my conjectures on the Great Unraveling include the predictions of others, my own intuitions, and dreams I had in 2012 and 2013. Truthfully, I hope and pray that I am wrong.

In my humble opinion, it is impossible for ordinary individuals, though certainly not for the Prophets and God’s chosen ones, to reliably predict the future. People try and try again. New apocalyptic proclamations are being made from day to day. None have panned out. Indeed, many prognosticators have been embarrassed by repeated failures. Good luck or fortune can only take an individual so far. The reasons can, I think, largely be attributed to the well-known gambler’s fallacy. Namely, winning streaks and losing streaks are, statistically, nothing more than chance. Predictions, moreover, can be made for populations, not for individuals.

... he [Shoghi Effendi] feels that the methods you are pursuing in regard to receiving inspired written messages, and your way of approaching your painting are really psychic, and that you should give them up for your own good. Some of Baháʾuʾlláh’s and ʿAbduʾl-Bahá’s Tablets are so poorly translated that it is almost impossible to grasp the true meaning, and one is misled into thinking that by getting into a practically psychic state the Holy Spirit will guide one. This is not what is meant: the world’s greatest writers and painters have not been under psychic influence, but through innate ability, practice and study, have given us their masterpieces; this is the normal way for inspiration to reach us, through the channels of our own abilities, and not through control by forces which the Master [ʿAbduʾl-Bahá] warned us against and which we do not understand, and which – as you yourself know – are neither consistent nor reliable.
From a letter, dated February 24, 1947, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual Baháʾí, Lights of Guidance: A Baháʾí Reference File. Number 1754.

Perhaps the law of probability will be irrelevant in the great realms to come. In this world, however, all that exists in the future, from a linear human perspective, is a sea of probabilities (and possibilities). We are confronted, throughout our earthly journeys, with tides of options and events. The waves issuing from a single decision can alter everything. Indeed, any change in flow, no matter how slight, might result in an entirely different outcome. Even if foretelling the future is sometimes plausible, the accuracy of the prediction will, I would suggest, generally decrease as the lead time increases.

In addition, many emancipees, individuals who have had contact experiences, have allegedly received, collectively, a twofold message containing dire warnings (MP3 audio file) about coming Earth changes, including treasuring the environment and possible nuclear annihilation. Perhaps, however, perhaps the devastation is simply being subjectively interpreted differently. If these global catastrophes are impending, and at least partially unavoidable, then high-ranking politicians and bureaucrats might legitimately fear the social, political, and economic consequences of provoking widespread panic and chaos.

Therefore, the major reason for secrecy concerning archangels may be one which is rarely mentioned: Why are they here? Dramatic Earth changes could be right around the corner, and we have been notified. In addition to disabling atomic missiles, warnings have been given, through contactees and crop circles, concerning Earth changes and the runaway nuclear proliferation of a world trapped in fear. Meanwhile, governments have been digging themselves underground. In the U.S., this activity is known by the euphemism, continuity of government. As I see it, the question of extraterrestrial visitation is inseparable from the issue of catastrophic planetary events.

Primarily in the mass abductions that I’ve seen, they primarily involve what are commonly referred to as Grays. They’re getting environmental lessons. That’s over a 19 year period....
... I would suspect very strongly that since the emphasis on almost every ET non-human intelligent race and species, is on our environment, I suspect something bad’s gonna happen there. However, the push from the future to now is to have all six billion of us, at that point close to eight billion of us, survive and evolve into the future and into the galactic neighborhood. It can be changed....
... a handful relative to the population on the planet now, survive all the upcoming environmental garbage. Only about a handful, relatively speaking. And then past that, we evolve and repopulate.
Jim Sparks, “Earth Changes, Alien Abductions and a Peak at Our Future?Project Camelot. June, 2007. Retrieved on March 5, 2013.
Scenes of the earth devastated by a nuclear holocaust, vast panoramas of lifeless polluted landscapes and waters, and apocalyptic images of giant earthquakes, firestorms, floods, and even fractures of the planet itself are shown by the aliens. These are powerfully disturbing to the abductees, who tend to experience them as literally predictive of the future of the planet. Some abductees are given assignments in this future holocaust as it is displayed, such as to feed the survivors, or are told, as in the prophetic books of the Bible, that some will perish while others will be taken to another place to participate in the evolution of life in the universe.
John E. Mack, Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 2009. Kindle edition.
Under hypnosis, I saw one of these alien figures standing in my bedroom. It touched my head with a wand that had an electric fizzle to it – and it flashed terrifying visions. There was ... an apocalyptic vision – the end of the world and of everything being destroyed either in a nuclear war or a natural catastrophe of some kind. It looked like a war. I remember the sense of despair – helplessness – that it brought me.... I have remembered more and more – not only the vision of the apocalypse but other warnings. And consistent warnings, not only to me but across the whole community of people who have had this experience. A lot of them get the same warnings: that we’re in trouble – that our environment is in trouble. So I’m not alone in that. And that has become really a central feature of my current life... I think it happens to far more people than remember it at all. I see it as a part of the human experience that we cannot acknowledge.
Whitley Strieber in “Alien Encounters.” From Bio Digital. Mark Cronin, executive producer. 2013. Retrieved (transcribed) on April 10, 2013.


Around the world, men, women, and children of sound mind are reporting an extraordinary experience. One type of experience has been repeatedly related – an experience with a consistent narrative structure that has come to be called and alien abduction. It may be day or night. People may be in bed or driving in their car when their environment fills with a strange light. They report being taken from their surroundings by beings of unknown origin – often passing through the very walls around them – moving through the air into what is sometimes described as a ship. In this new environment, they describe the presence of beings of generally humanoid appearance with transfixing almond shaped eyes and thin narrow faces – some of whom may seem almost familiar. They describe being subjected to a series of physical examinations and medical-like procedures apparently involving the taking of sperm and ovum samples.
Telepathic contact has been reported with these beings who may attempt to soothe the individuals panic with a stare or an instrument or with a simple touch. Often, a visionary element is conveyed – visually or telepathically depicting images of life on earth being threatened with extinction by metro or man-made forces. Subsequently, men and women alike may describe being presented with a child – whom they understand to be their own and who seems to be a hybrid offspring of the person and these beings. Upon their return, they may report discovering strange markings on their bodies and unexplained burn marks on the ground. These experiences challenge people’s beliefs about the nature of the world.
Exploring the Alien Abduction Experience – Budd Hopkins and John Mack, M.D. UFOTV®. YouTube. October 12, 2011. Retrieved (transcribed) on December 31, 2012.
This [alien abduction] is not a purely cognitive process, but one that reaches deeply into the emotional and spiritual lives of the experiencers, profoundly changing their perceptions of themselves, the world, and their place in it. This information concerns the fate of the earth and human responsibility for the destructive activities that are taking place on it. It is conveyed by the direct mind-to-mind telepathic communication referred to above and through powerful images shown on television monitor-like screens on the ships themselves. The information may begin to be conveyed when the abductees are children or adolescents but its implications are not fully understood until much later.
Scenes of the earth devastated by a nuclear holocaust, vast panoramas of lifeless polluted landscapes and waters, and apocalyptic images of giant earthquakes, firestorms, floods, and even fractures of the planet itself are shown by the aliens. These are powerfully disturbing to the abductees, who tend to experience them as literally predictive of the future of the planet. Some abductees are given assignments in this future holocaust as it is displayed, such as to feed the survivors, or are told, as in the prophetic books of the Bible, that some will perish while others will be taken to another place to participate in the evolution of life in the universe....
... most importantly, the aliens say, their methods are different. They do not wish to bring about change through coercion but rather through a change of consciousness that would lead to our choosing a different course....
... it is common for abductees to experience, for example, both light beings and little grays ... or reptilian and other sorts of beings ..., during the same abduction....
Sara, like all abductees perhaps, is participating in some sort of project of species merger and evolution. The purpose of this project may be to create new life-forms that are more spiritually evolved and less aggressive, while retaining the acute sensory possibilities that accompany the dense embodiment of human physical existence. One part of our long hypnosis session involved Sara’s memories of an encounter with an alien being that she experienced as occurring partly in our physical reality and partly in another, nonphysical, dimension, The most difficult aspect of the various kinds of interdimensional, interspecies connection that Sara described is the different vibrational frequencies by which beings from the other dimensions live and the radical adjustments that must occur for us to connect.
John E. Mack, Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 2009. Kindle edition.

As I already noted, dreams and visions may be simple imagination. However, I might have been given a visionary warning concerning catastrophic Earth changes. Although I have rarely recalled my dreams, in the early morning hours of September 5, 2012, I saw, while asleep, a rapid series of meteors, asteroids, or comets descending all around me. As I stood in a parking lot, a few yards or meters from an automobile, I observed these celestial entities as rocky, fiery meteorites or other objects on the ground. My emotional state in the dream (al-manām), perhaps as a memorable lesson for the future, was, as I recall, bewilderment, not fear.

They [that are within the ark of the Cause of God] have desired to ascend unto that state which the Lord hath ordained to be above their stations.
Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious!
Whereupon the burning meteor cast them out from them that abide in the Kingdom of His Presence,
Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious!
Baháʾuʾlláh, “Tablet of the Holy Mariner.” Baháʾí Prayers. Page 87.

Parenthetically, on May 7, 2013, a videographer, named Manny, photographed (MP4 video) what may be an asteroid, or another celestial body, approaching the earth:

On March 6, 2013, Slate V, a digital product from Washington Post Newsweek Interactive, dubbed 2013 as the “year of the asteroid”:

2013 is fast becoming the year of the asteroid. Earth is about to experience a close encounter with an asteroid just days after being buzzed by another space rock. Asteroid 2013ET will zip passed us Saturday [corrected] March 9th at a distance of 600,000 miles [965,606 km.] – just five days after the March 5th pass-by of Asteroid 2013EC – 230,000 [370,149 km.] miles away – passing us at two-and-a-half times the distance to our moon. ET poses no imminent threat to Earth. However, asteroid armageddon officianado, take note. Both of these extraterrestrial vaganonds were discovered only days ago. And, considering that the 55-foot [17 m.] asteroid was never detected before exploding over Russian last month [February, 2013], you may feel a bit unsettled. But astronomers say, worry not. 95% of all near-earth asteroids, large enough to cause another mass extinction, are already mapped, and none poses any immediate peril to our earthly existence.
Another Asteroid to Pass Close to Earth.” Slate News Channel from Slate. March 6, 2013. Retrieved on March 6, 2013.

Meanwhile, on March 7, 2013, called 2013 the “year of the comet”:

This year could be the “year of the comet,” according to some astronomers keeping an eye on icy balls of gas and dust roaming through the solar system. Two comets will brighten the Northern Hemisphere in a potentially history-making fashion, with the first one coming into view this week.
Miriam Kramer, “Year of the Comets: 2013 May See Brightest Celestial Show in Years.” March 7, 2013. Retrieved on March 11, 2013.
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
From NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

DA14 and the Russian asteroid appear to have merely been the spearhead for celestial objects or Earth changes to come. Furthermore, journalist Ben Leach discussed the asteroids and the comet from the week of February 10, 2013, while WSVN-TV (Miami and Fort Lauderdale) reported a fireball sighting in Miami on February 17, 2013, and KNBC-TV (Los Angeles) wrote about yet another fireball on February 21, 2013:

In Cuba on Tuesday [February 12, 2013], residents reported seeing a bright light in the sky and a loud explosion that shook windows and walls, although there were no reports of any injuries or damage....
There were also numerous unconfirmed reports of a bright streak of light over the San Francisco Bay area on Friday [February 15, 2013] night.
Scientists at the Chabot Space and Science Center, in Oakland, said it had received calls describing what appeared to be a fireball flying west ....
... a meteor exploded over Russia [on February 15, 2013] and injured more than 1,000 people and an asteroid passed relatively close to Earth....
NASA estimated that the energy released as the meteor’s disintigrated in the atmosphere was 500 kilotons, around 30 times the size of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945....
The drama in Russia developed just hours before an asteroid – a space object similar to a tiny planet orbiting the sun – whizzed safely past Earth at the unprecedented distance of 17,200 miles.
That put it closer to the ground then some distant satellites ....
Ben Leach, “Fireballs Reported in Skies above Cuba and California: Fireballs have been Reported above Cuba and California in the Same Week that a Meteor Streaked Across the Skies over Russia.” The Telegraph (newspaper). London, UK. February 16, 2013. Retrieved on February 16, 2013.
Several people witnessed a strange sight across South Florida which appeared to be a meteor in Miami.
Bright Light Spotted in the Skies Over South Florida.” WSVN-TV 7 News. Miami and Fort Lauderdale, FL. February 17, 2013. Retrieved on February 18, 2013.
Several Southland [Southern California] residents late Thursday reported witnessing a bright light zoom across the sky.
Dozens of sky watchers told the American Meteor Society that they saw the fire ball.
Samantha Tata, “Angelenos Report Seeing Meteor Light Up the Sky.” KNBC-TV 4 News. Los Angeles, CA. February 21, 2013. Retrieved on February 22, 2013.

As reported by Bloomberg Businessweek:

“Unfortunately, the number of undetected potential ‘city killers’ is very large,” John Holdren, assistant to President Barack Obama for science and technology, said today at a hearing of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. “It‘s in the range of 10,000 or more.”...
Congress asked NASA to find and track 90 percent of the asteroids that are 140 meters or greater in size by 2020. Under current funding, the goal won’t be met until 2030, Charles Bolden, the NASA administrator, said today.
Mark Drajem, “NASA Program to Find Asteroids Is Decade Behind Schedule. Bloomberg Businessweek. March 19, 2013. Retrieved on March 19, 2013.

Then, at approximately 7:00 AM on April 14, 2013, I awoke suddenly after another possibly precognitive contact dream (MP4 file). As explained in two intelligence briefings, with the second spokesperson confirming the first, the U.S. was making emergency preparations for a limited nuclear attack. Unfortunately, the expectation that the source of these operations was North Korea could be a diversion or misdirection. Instead, that country’s military and political ally Īrān, acting through domestic terrorist cells, might, successfully or not, be the actual protagonist. Although I saw, in the vision, a brown, spherical bomb, the term, suitcase nuke, occurred to me.

On the next day, April 15, 2013, the first major domestic terrorist attack, since September 11, 2001, occurred in the United States (MP4 file). I learned about it by visiting the CNN website. This sad event devastated the Boston Marathon:

The suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, told authorities that his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, only recently recruited him to be part of the attack, two U.S. officials said. The CIA, however, named Tamerlan to a terrorist database 18 months ago, officials said Wednesday, an acknowledgment that will undoubtedly prompt congressional inquiry about whether investigators took warnings from Russian intelligence officials seriously enough.
Tod Robberson, “Official: Boston Bombing Suspect Admitted Role in Attacks Before He was Read His Miranda Rights .” The Dallas Morning News. April 24, 2013. Retrieved on April 24, 2013.
[Tamerlan] Tsarnaev [the older brother] became an ardent reader of jihadist websites and extremist propaganda, two U.S. officials said. He read Inspire magazine, an English-language online publication produced by al-Qaida’s Yemen affiliate....
[Tamerlan] Tamerlan took an interest in [Alex Jones’] Infowars, a conspiracy theory website.... Tamerlan was interested in finding a copy of the book “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the classic anti-Semitic hoax, first published in Russia in 1903, that claims a Jewish plot to take over the world.
Adam Goldman, Eric Tucker, and Matt Apuzzo, “Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Influenced By Mysterious Muslim Radical, Turned Towards Fundamentalism.” The Huffington Post. April 23, 2013. Retrieved on April 24, 2013.

I was questioning whether, in fact, I was having contact experiences. Since this subject matter is so speculative, doubt is healthy. Nevertheless, on August 3, 2013, I may have received a confirmation. I suddenly woke up, after about ten hours, following yet another conceivable contact dream. I have not slept that long in years. Among my first thoughts, later in the day, was, “Where was I? Did I have ‘missing time’?” According to David Jacobs, Lyssa Royal-Holt, and Keith Priest:

With the problems of memory retrieval and memory interpretation, is it possible that the [alien] abduction phenomenon is a psychologically generated fantasy? The answer is no, due, in part, to the fact that the evidence for the abduction phenomenon is not based solely on memory and hypnotic recounting. There is also physical evidence. When abducted, people are physically missing from their normal environments—police are called, people search for the abductees, parents are distraught.
David M. Jacobs, The Threat. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1998. Kindle edition.
I could not ignore the convergence of minute detail, the lack of personal content, the physical evidence of unusual scars and other marks on their bodies immediately following an abduction, the missing time lapses during the supposed abduction, the multiple abductions, and other witnesses.
David M. Jacobs, Secret Life. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1992. Kindle edition.
... often, these missing-time experiences are in fact what they appear to be—missing time. Missing time is a very good signpost indicating contact experiences. In some of these experiences, you are not removed from the time stream physically, but your brain waves shift into another frequency while your body exists in this physical realm. After the shift, the contact experience occurs, then your brain-wave frequency shifts back into that of the physical realm and your body continues to experience chronological time.
Lyssa Royal-Holt and Keith Priest, Preparing for Contact: A Metamorphosis of Consciousness. Phoenix, AZ: Royal Priest Research Press. 1993. Page 98.

Cognitively, after becoming somewhat conscious of my surroundings, I was confused, startled, and disoriented. Struggling against physical and mental inertia, I convinced myself, reluctantly, to get out of bed and write down the hypothetical contact experience. I knew, based on past occurrences of this nature, that if I did not immediately record the event, I would forgot all or most of the seeming encounter within just a minute or two. After rapidly scribbling a few handwritten notes, I layed down once again, and, amazingly, I went back to sleep for another ninety minutes.

Here is what I remember, including the possible shapeshifting. A Mideast war, involving Īrān and perhaps other countries, was imminent. I observed two military planners. (One of them reminded me of a personal acquaintance from my college employer). Although these individuals were deeply concerned over the anticipated event, they also appeared to be naïve, ignorant, and even incompetent. Their sense of urgency made no sense to me. I began interrupting and challenging them. “Tensions have been worse in the past. Why now?,” I questioned. “You do not understand what is going on. The situation is very grave,” one replied.

The issue of shapeshifting is addressed in the following three quotations:

Aliens wearing disguises, aliens having shape-shifted to a human form, or screen memories that somehow alter the perception of the witness, causing them to see a human? Whatever is going on, the fact that these entities are noticed at all suggests that any masking technique being employed is not entirely effective.
Nick Pope, The Uninvited: An Exposé of the Alien Abduction Phenomenon. New York: Dell Publishing (Randon House, Inc.). 1997. Page 183.
I can’t say if those I considered friends were greys. For some reason, I always see them, all of them I encounter, as humans. Except for astral wildlife, which I always perceive as cats, dogs, birds, and such....
There were 2 or 3 more people there [during the contact experience], and none of them emmited any emotion whatsoever. I couldn’t feel them in any way. I knew they were not friends, but I couldn't classify them as enemies either. One of them looked like my father.
I ran to another room and back, and I focused my attention on my “father.” He changed just for a moment, and I felt him as a tall grey. His head was looking differently, non-human.
Elendal, “My Alien Abduction.” Above Top Secret. February 29, 2008. Retrieved on August 5, 2013.
When he [the hypnotherapist] regressed Simon, it was discovered that the “dream” which Simon had had was probably an [alien] abduction, and that both the real surroundings and the beings were disguised to look like something familiar to him .... This has been reported many times before in contact cases. He could still not recall any details about his true surroundings, this information appeared to still be blocked from his memory....
... They’re [The Grey extraterrestrials are] masters of disguise .... If you lift their signal away, they’ve filtered it a bit, you’ll be able to see what’s really there. There’s nothing scary now, you get used to it and they won’t need to use it anymore either, and you’ll be able to see it as it really is. They were just doing it to help you at the time.
Dave Hodrien, “Bletchley, Milton Keynes Contactee Case – Abduction, Greys, Nordics, UFO Sightings, Orbs, Body Markings, Healing, Paranormal Activity, Regression.” Birmingham UFO Group Report. Website designed by Craig Lowe. March 24, 2010. Retrieved on August 5, 2013.

More than most presidents in recent memory, U.S. President Barack Obama appears to have aged considerably in his first term (2009-2013). Given the current state of political and, perhaps especially, geological and astronomical affairs, the stresses of his job must be unimaginable. Presuming that the president’s 2012 Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, was fully briefed on current emergency preparedness, the following statement might make sense:

He [my father, Mitt Romney] wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life. He had no desire to run. If he could have found someone else to take his place, he would have been ecstatic to step aside. He is a very private person who loves his family deeply and wants to be with them. He loves his country, but he doesn’t love the attention.
Tagg Romney quoted in Edward Bastil, Tagg Romney Says His Dad Didn’t Actually Want to be President which Explains, well, Everything Really. December 24, 2012. Retrieved on January 28, 2012.

If my impressions are correct, the tightening, in numerous countries, of national security, government surveillance, and penalties against whistleblowers is a rational response to impending natural disasters and the related threats of inconceivable social disorganization, political and economic collapse, and anarchy. Any rational political actor, no matter her party affiliation, would be adopting similar measures. Two major factors appear to be involved: First, the collapse of global capitalism has emboldened many developing societies, such as North Korea. Second, the earth has been disequilibriated through lack of governmental action and profit-driven environmental degradation.

Intensive military planning might also now be taking place. Nations are already competing over dwindling natural resources. However, in the wake of earth changes, or while they occur, certain nations, concerned for their survival, might attempt to plunder the spoils of a chaotic global environment. Many individuals, hungry and thirsty, could behave in much the same way:

As global and local carrying capacities are reduced, tensions could mount around the world, leading to two fundamental strategies: defensive and offensive. Nations with the resources to do so may build virtual fortresses around their countries, preserving resources for themselves. Less fortunate nations especially those with ancient enmities with their neighbors, may initiate in struggles for access to food, clean water, or energy. Unlikely alliances could be formed as defense priorities shift and the goal is resources for survival rather than religion, ideology, or national honor....
... Diplomatic action will be needed to minimize the likelihood of conflict in the most impacted areas, especially in the Caribbean and Asia. However, large population movements in this scenario are inevitable. Learning how to manage those populations, border tensions that arise and the resulting refugees will be critical.
Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall, An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security. October 2003. Retrieved on March 5, 2013. Pages 2 and 22.

Drawing upon information from two different sources, 2013 has been predicted to contain the most significant rate of seismic activity during the peak 2013-2015 period. That hypothesis appears, so far, to have been supported. Eventually, unparalleled devastation was anticipated:

We regret to inform you that, according to the International Committee GEOCHANGE, an extremely high level of seismic and volcanic activity and an increase in the number of tsunamis, hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters has been predicted planet-wide for between 2011 and 2015, which may lead to huge numbers of victims. We are already witnessing the beginning of this process in the form of various natural cataclysms in many regions of the world.
All countries must join their efforts to counter the global intensification of natural disasters and mitigate its negative effect on humanity. Improving the international and national laws on emergency management, rescue operations, coordination of international humanitarian aid, social security for natural disaster victims and their recovery ought to play a key role in this process....
Drawing the sine curve ... along the straight-line trend from May 2010 to 2016 allows us to forecast the general dynamics of changes in monthly numbers of earthquakes. Thus, according to the sine curve’s projected segment, a rise in the seismic activity level is expected for 2010 to 2016....
... peak numbers of large earthquakes are expected for 2011 with a subsequent relative decrease in activity in 2012, and the second, higher peak of seismic activity is forecast for 2013-2015 to be followed by an expected decline....
... 2011 and 2013 indicate the highest levels of Earth’s global seismic activity, with a relative minimum in 2012. 2016 is expected to see a substantial decline in seismic activity....
All long-term forecasts for natural disasters have been made for the period between 2010 and 2016. Two cycles of increased activity with peaks in 2011 and 2013 and a local minimum in 2012 have been identified in long-term forecasts for large earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. By 2016, a decline in activity of all geodynamic cataclysms is expected.
The expected activity of natural disasters may have very serious negative consequences for the stable progress of civilization, leading to death and destruction unprecedented in human history. Economic implications for countries prone to natural disasters may be catastrophic. It is necessary to unite scientists, international organizations and governments of various states under UN auspices in order to take effective measures to counter natural disasters and minimize casualties and damage they cause to humanity.
Collected documents from and the International Committee on Issues of Global Changes of the Geological Environment. Retrieved on March 18, 2013.

Even relatively poor or weak countries, including North Korea and Syria, might obtain some resources through asymmetrical warfare:

Asymmetries in warfare refer to imbalances between opposing forces. There may be differences in the number of soldiers, equipment, firepower, morale, tactics, values, or other factors. While there has likely never been a conflict between two perfectly symmetrical forces, the term asymmetrical warfare is typically used to mean warfare between two forces that are not simply unequal, but that are so significantly different that they cannot make the same sorts of attacks on each other.
Guerrilla warfare, occurring between lightly armed partisans and a conventional army, is an example of asymmetrical warfare. Terrorist tactics, such as hijackings and suicide bombings, are also considered to be asymmetrical, both because they tend to involve a smaller, weaker group attacking a stronger one, and also because attacks on civilians are by definition one-way warfare. War between a country that is both able and willing to use nuclear weapons and a country that is not would be another example of asymmetrical warfare.
Victory in war does not always go to the militarily superior force ....
Ellen Sexton, “Asymmetrical Warfare.” The SAGE Encyclopedia of Terrorism. Second edition. Gus Martin, editor. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 2011.

North Korea and other nations, empowered by social disorganization, are flexing their muscles. Throughout the world, military and governmental prepositioning, including cyberwarfare, espionage, and counterespionage, might be occurring right now:

North Korea has threatened to target US airbases in Okinawa and Guam as it issued an air raid alert on Thursday and ordered its military to stand ready, the country’s state media reported.
North Korea Threatens to Attack US Bases in Okinawa, Guam.” Russia Today (news website). March 21, 2013. Retrieved on March 25, 2013.
... a recent surge in Russian strategic bomber flights ... included a recent circling of the US Pacific island of Guam by two Tu-95 Bear bombers and simulated bombing runs by Tu-95s against Alaska and California in June and July. According to US reports, the Pentagon was alarmed at both the scale of the exercises and the types of weapons being deployed.
Ben Aris, Rekindling the Cold War as Russia Rearms.” Business News Europe (news website). March 14, 2013. Retrieved on March 25, 2013.
The government of China is dedicating its military and intelligence apparatus to stealing intellectual property from American companies and using that know-how to sell products, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee told an Automation Alley event Monday.
America Already At Cyberwar: Rep. Rogers.” CBS Detroit (television and radio). Detroit, MI. March 18, 2013. Retrieved on March 25, 2013.

Strange sounds, possibly indicating a rapid intensification of worldwide geomagnetic instability and Earth changes, have been reportedly associated with military monitoring:

The sounds being heard are coming from the Earth itself. Changes deep inside the core are vibrating the crust near thin areas and causing the crust to act like a speaker most often times projecting deep waves up to the ionosphere where they are (bounced back) at audible frequencies.... These inner ground vibrations are also what is causing the sink hole issue around the world ... and underground watersources are being vibrated to the point of dispersion.
Anonymous, retired electronics engineer (2005), Hill Air Force Base (south of Ogden, UT), “Updated: Woodland Hills, CA ‘Sound of Glass Breaking’; Loud Booms in Louisville and Fort Knox, KY.” Earthfiles. Linda Moulton Howe, reporter and editor. 2013. Retrieved on March 29, 2013.
It was Sunday, March 17th [2013] ....
... the news did a little story about people were calling in with the report of a loud boom....
... We’ve had a lot of military helicopters that we’ve seen flying around.
Eddie Lashley (Louisvile, KY), “Updated: Woodland Hills, CA ‘Sound of Glass Breaking’; Loud Booms in Louisville and Fort Knox, KY.” Earthfiles. Linda Moulton Howe, reporter and editor. 2013. Retrieved on March 29, 2013.

In the forty-eight contiguous states of the United States, 2012 became the warmest year on record, but the spring of 2013 brought record-breaking cold and snow:

According to the latest statistics from NOAA’s [the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s] National Climatic Data Center, the average temperature for the contiguous United States for 2012 was 55.3° Fahrenheit, which was 3.2° Fahrenheit above the twentieth-century average and 1.0° Fahrenheit above the previous record from 1998.
By a Wide Margin, 2012 was the United States’ Warmest Year on Record.” ClimateWatch Magazine. January 8, 2013. Retrieved on May 3, 2013.
The list of locations that have received record May snowfall from a storm that brought up to 2 feet of over the central Rockies continues to grow over portions of the Plains and Upper Midwest....
Omaha, Neb., Mason City, Iowa, and Rochester, Minn., are but only several cities that have been clobbered by their biggest May snowfall on record. In many cases in the major cities in the Plains, those records date back to the 1800s.
Alex Sosnowski, “Historic Snowstorm Hits Plains to Upper Midwest. AccuWeather. May 2, 2013. Retrieved on May 3, 2013.

When making contingency preparations, one of the potentially destabilizing concerns relates to the consequences of climate change:

The changing global climate will pose profound strategic challenges to the United States in coming decades, raising the prospect of military intervention to deal with the effects of violent storms, drought, mass migration and pandemics, military and intelligence analysts say.
Such climate-induced crises could topple governments, feed terrorist movements or destabilize entire regions, say the analysts, experts at the Pentagon and intelligence agencies who for the first time are taking a serious look at the national security implications of climate change.
John M. Broder, “Climate Change Seen as Threat to U.S. Security.” The New York Times (newspaper). August 8, 2009.
The Sierra Club Board of Directors has approved the one-time use of civil disobedience for the first time in the organization’s 120-year history.
Recognizing the imminent danger posed by climate disruption, including record heat waves, drought, wildfires and the devastation of superstorm Sandy, the Sierra Club board of directors has suspended a long-standing Club policy to allow, for one time, the organization to lead a group of environmental activists, civil rights leaders, visionaries, scientists, and other high-profile individuals in a peaceful protest to dirty and dangerous tar sands.
Michael Tobis, Civil Disobedience and Climate Disruption. March 22, 2013. Retrieved on May 4, 2013.

Getting Americans, across the political spectrum, all stirred up over the gun-control issue, as a cause of imminent civil unrest or even revolution, might simply be a meme of applied stage magic or misdirection, through psychological operations (psyops), from the drastic earth changes, or planetary remodelling, and the resulting warfare possibly anticipated in the imminent future:

Psychological Operations [psyops]: Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups and individuals.
Richard K. Smith, “Information Warfare: Psychological Operations Implications for 21st Century Organizational Leadership.” Federal Information Systems Security Educator’s Association. University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland). March, 2004. Retrieved on August 21, 2012.
“... despite all those pairs of eyes trained to keep track of us, it was our job to overwhelm the senses of the human members of the surveillance teams .... Done right, it would be a classic demonstration of hiding the smaller motion within the larger motion – the very mantra of magic, illusion, and misdirection.” [Henry Louis “H.L.” Mencken, 1880-1956]
Expert practice of denial, deception, and illusion, and expert countering of denial, deception, and illusion are of the highest priority in the evolving work of intelligence. They are rooted in the human experience.
A. Denis Clift (President, Joint Military Intelligence College), “Where the Rabbit is Likely to Pass.” Defense Intelligence Agency. Official U.S. government document. January 15, 2002. Retrieved on August 20, 2012.
I am a veteran “global private intelligence professional” who specializes in “psychological operations” including the use of “conversational hypnosis” (I am certified as a Master Trainer in NLP [neuro-linguistic programming] and can perform hypnotherapy for vocational needs.) ....
Dark Lords – The Power Within. March 23, 2010. Retrieved on January 4, 2013.

As demanded by deteriorating world affairs, the official contingency plan could be to declare martial law in the U.S., out of necessity, in ecologically devastated areas. Speculatively, I doubt whether most military and other government personnel were informed of the sober reasoning behind their orders. Although some transparency, in my view, is generally beneficial, too much of it can be counterproductive and even dangerous. According to radio and YouTube talk-show personality John “J.R.” Moore:

[We may see] ... mild irritation, to killing most inhabitants of Earth with: Major earthquakes, volcanoes, flooding, 200 mph winds and meteor strikes.
John “J.R.” Moore, John Moore Message. July 18, 2012. Retrieved on March 5, 2013.
This information is coming from people in the [U.S.] Department of Homeland Security, FEMA [the Federal Emergency Management Agency], and the [U.S.] military – that there will be martial law in this country [the U.S.] between now [December 28, 2012] and Memorial Day [May 27, 2013]. Two of the three sources are pointing specifically toward March as being the most likely month. In addition, one of these people, a military officer, was at a briefing. They were told, in very general terms, about what they’d be told to do – sin. And they further told them that, if they did not follow orders, that their immediate families would be murdered. The military officer himself is considering committing suicide as a result. One last thing I have, 150,000 Palestinians have been cleared to be brought to this country [the U.S.]. These are military-aged men, 18-to-40 years old, which we believe have had at least some rudimentary military training and will probably get more once they get here. And that’s what I got.
John “J.R.” Moore on The Dr. Bill Deagle Show. MP3 audio file. December 28, 2012. Retrieved (transcribed) on January 28, 2013.

If, by chance, foreign troops are in the U.S., I suspect that their purpose is to reinforce crisis management, not, as some fear, to deprive Americans of certain alleged personal liberties. In the aftermath of extraordinary natural disasters, I would be grateful for anyone’s assistance. Anarchy is over-rated. Additionally, Moore contends, in the next quotation, that the government hopes for a violent response from members of the “gun culture.” That response, he argues, would provide officials with a convenient excuse to disarm the public. Here is Moore’s apparent interpretation of some of the information he was given:

I got information last night from a source. I guess you could say he’s mid-level management with FEMA – possibly a little higher than that. I really don’t want to say anything that could give away his identity. Um, on the [American] East Coast. According to him, in the next few months, with no specific timetable, there’s going to be 150,000 Palestinian fighters coming from Palestine to the United States. These will be young men between 18- and 40-years old, physically fit, who grew up hating America, who are true warriors. They start their warrior training before they’re being potty trained, basically.... [They are being] brought here from the Middle East to be used against Americans. Pretty serious stuff. Pretty serious stuff. It fits with everything else we’re hearing about Russian troups being here, East European troups being here, and so forth....
So we’re off to the races. This year coming up [2013], which begins next week, will be a fascinating year with things happening that you would never have guessed would happen. They do want our guns. That’s a real thing, on one hand. On the other, what they’re really looking for is violent push back, which they don’t get spontaneously. They will create it. They’re looking for violent push back from the gun culture. They’re looking for widespread noncompliance, which they will get. I know that for a fact. I know that for a very good fact. But the violent push back will give them the justification they need to do everything else they really want to do.
John “J.R.” Moore, The John Moore Show. MP3 audio file. December 28, 2012. Retrieved (transcribed) on January 28, 2013.

Similarly, according to Dave Hodges:

Jim Marrs discussed how approximately 400-500 top level bankers have left their positions and have gone into seclusion. Marrs reminded my listening audience of how the elite have developed seed vaults which only they have access to. Marrs was clearly alluding to the fact that some very bad events are coming and the global elite are aware of it and are moving to meet the threat. My insider sources inform me that the same thing is happening in various federal organizations who have recently retired from the CIA, DHS, NSA and FEMA. This fact is indisputable. I have firsthand knowledge of three ex-fed officials and their families who have relocated to safety enclaves when doing so was very disruptive to their respective family’s lives. Increasingly, it is looking like some major event(s) is/are coming and persons with insider information are attempting to remove themselves from harm’s way....
When government officials, from the various alphabet soup agencies, retire en masse, it is not necessarily a noteworthy event. However, when the same officials retire en masse and then relocate to form their own survivalist enclaves, then this is something that we should all sit up and take notice of, especially when we are seeing the same behavior on the part of Wall Street executives.
In my dealings with purported alphabet soup agency informants, I have been receiving some very dire warnings in terms of what lies ahead for America. Given the above facts, it should be understandable why I found the recent Hagmann interview with Rosebud to be a little bit more than interesting. I have had conversations with two insiders and a relative of another insider who tell similar stories of a coming series of apocalyptic events. Much of the Hagmann information, to a large extent, corresponds to the information I’ve received except for the fact that many ex-feds are forming self-sustaining communities....
It is a matter of official agency policy that some current DHS and CIA officials and their families will be provided safe sanctuary in various strategic locations in Colorado in times of trouble. Most people in the know are aware of the underground facilities which lies below the Denver International Airport which has an underground connected railway to the Cheyenne Mountain NORAD/Fort Carson/Peterson Air Force Base underground facilities. The structures are part of the Continuity of Government program developed by the United States government in the early days of the Cold War. However these facilities are increasingly becoming the planned refuge for many of the global elite residing within the United States when all hell breaks loose. In September 2011, the evacuation of the elite to this safe hideaway was rehearsed in the DHS exercise known as Operation Mountain Guardian in which the Denver airport was shut down to commercial air travel except for specific, undesignated planes which were allowed to land in preparation for some staged catastrophe....
Parallel to Colorado being prepared to become the new capital, it is highly relevant to note that retired officials from the DHS and the CIA, who are not part of the privileged elite but who know what is coming, have developed their own enclaves in the Rocky Mountains outside of Denver and Colorado Springs. As it has been described to me that these facilities are a poor man’s imitation of the Denver International Airport facilities. The structures are largely natural, but are very well equipped and the resources include a self-contained air supply. My source for this information is a former DHS insider....
Recently, retired officials from the NSA have relocated to an area in the Ozarks where they have access to underground safety zone which have/are being transformed into mini-villages of self-sustainable protection.... My source is an individual who retired from the NSA almost two years ago....
Recently retired officials from FEMA are relocating to mountainous areas, in North Carolina, approximately one hour from the coast. Their enclave contains the same resources involving air, water, food and guns. These enclaves also include underground structures which are sensibly self-contained and can serve to isolate the inhabitants from the outside. I have two sources on this information which includes a family member and a retired FEMA official who has chosen not to participate in this relocation.
Dave Hodges, Ex-Feds & Wall Street Execs Are Going Into Hiding—Why? December 25, 2012. Retrieved on February 15, 2013.
This is what I am hearing. Life for the average American is going to change significantly, and not the change people expect. First, DHS is preparing to work with police departments and the TSA to respond to civil uprisings that will happen when there is a financial panic.
“Rosebud,” “The latest from ‘DHS Insider’.” The Hagmann and Hagmann Report. December 23, 2012. Retrieved on March 10, 2013.

Who are the visitors? We are, I think, among the new arrivals on the cosmic block. No one owns a planet. The term “visitors” would, in my opinion, be more accurately applied to earthly homo sapien sapiens than to the Archangels of the Inner World. I think that the best approaches to these contact experiences with these preternatural archangels are phenomenological (the subjective understandings of phenomena), not empirical. In other words, I think that the best we can usually do is to rely upon personal reports, including the effect of the experiences on the experiencers.

Return to the table of contents.

IV. Dharma

A more recent emancipation by angels involves a personal, subjective discovery of reincarnation or return (Sanskrit, punar janma, rebirth or, literally, again born). Before discussing the experiences themselves, I will begin with my own understandings of the processes of return and connection. Indeed, all human beings, throughout the univese and in all the worlds of God, are connected to one another. None are truly separate. Collectively, they form the great chain of being, including chains of lifetimes in this world or the unifying essences of human existence:

... all beings are connected together like a chain; and reciprocal help, assistance and interaction belonging to the properties of things are the causes of the existence, development and growth of created beings.
ʿAbduʾl-Bahá, Some Answered Questions. Pages 178-179.
Man is in the highest degree of materiality, and at the beginning of spirituality—that is to say, he is the end of imperfection and the beginning of perfection. He is at the last degree of darkness, and at the beginning of light; that is why it has been said that the condition of man is the end of the night and the beginning of day, meaning that he is the sum of all the degrees of imperfection, and that he possesses the degrees of perfection. He has the animal side as well as the angelic side, and the aim of an educator is to so train human souls that their angelic aspect may overcome their animal side. Then if the divine power in man, which is his essential perfection, overcomes the satanic power, which is absolute imperfection, he becomes the most excellent among the creatures; but if the satanic power overcomes the divine power, he becomes the lowest of the creatures. That is why he is the end of imperfection and the beginning of perfection. Not in any other of the species in the world of existence is there such a difference, contrast, contradiction and opposition as in the species of man. Thus the reflection of the Divine Light was in man, as in Christ, and see how loved and honored He is! At the same time we see man worshiping a stone, a clod of earth or a tree. How vile he is, in that his object of worship should be the lowest existence—that is, a stone or clay, without spirit; a mountain, a forest or a tree. What shame is greater for man than to worship the lowest existences? In the same way, knowledge is a quality of man, and so is ignorance; truthfulness is a quality of man; so is falsehood; trustworthiness and treachery, justice and injustice, are qualities of man, and so forth. Briefly, all the perfections and virtues, and all the vices, are qualities of man.
ʿAbduʾl-Bahá, Some Answered Questions. Pages 235-236.
The question of why extraterrestrials are here is in our opinion simple – they have never not been here, they are here because the creation of cosmos is an interconnected and interdependent process, and so is life. Life is spread throughout cosmos, interconnected and interdependent. We are only now nearing a state of mind that can comprehend.
Ulla Sandersen and Erik Sandersen, “UFO’s as Archetypes.” Starbridge Centre. Victoria, Australia. 2010. Retrieved on March 16, 2013.

Certain affinites between beings and things may be divinely ordained. To my understanding, these relationships conform to an order or return not unlike the progressive Revelation of God’s Prophets. For instance, the Prophets, while particular Entities, universally manifest the Holy Spirit or divine Attributes through progressive Revelation They occupy the Stations of both Unity and Distinction. Similarly, rational attributes return to this world, time and time again, as different human beings. Perhaps their shared mission or spiritual connections with one another, sometimes as guardian angels, appear in the thoughts of certain individuals as reincarnation.

Inquisitively, the doctrine of reincarnation might have been a misinterpretation of certain Indic (Hindū, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain) concepts of dharma (Sanskrit, foundational principle, support, or, more precisely, upholding). From this perspective, some souls may share a common dharma with others both past and future:

As I understand and use it, the concept of dharma refers to what could be called the unique genius of every person. If you look for synonyms you might think of “vocation” or “calling.” ... It is basically what a person is good at, what comes easily to them.... And everyone has a dharma, everyone has a set of things that they are best at doing. Of course, what your dharma is you might not know, it might take a long quest to actually discover what it is.... And since a  person’s dharma is socially nurtured and developed, it will also be changing in the course of their life....
... For me everyone had a right to pursue their dharma. So I came to see my own struggle to be in my dharma as part of a wider struggle for everyone to be in their dharma. I supported and identified with the civil rights movement in America, nations such as Egypt which were being bullied by the West, and so on.... ... In a way, you see, coming into your dharma is an ongoing process. To be fully in your dharma you would need to live in a society that accepted the principle of everyone being in their dharma everywhere....
... If you are not in your dharma you will be split, and in the case of the great majority of people the world itself splits them because it removes them from the possibility of their dharma.
Roy Bhaskar with Mervyn Hartwig, The Formation of Critical Realism: A Personal Perspective. New York: Routledge. 2010. Pages 1-2, 15, 20, and 164.
Adherence to dharma secures for oneself a more agreeable position in the next life one is to lead. The concepts of reincarnation and karma, the inexorable law of retribution for evil deeds and reward for unselfish behavior, dominate the lives of the people and semi-divine creatures that roam the earth.
B.A. van Nooten (introduction) in William Buck, Ramayana: Retold by William Buck. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1976. Page xx.

According to my speculative view of guardian angelhood, once a true servant of humanity crosses over into the realms beyond, that heavenly being serves a great chain of souls in this world. They become the return or reincarnation of the guardian angel’s spirit, attributes, or life mission. The memories of predecessors have, reportedly, sometimes surfaced during the dream state, through meditation, under hypnosis (MP4 file), or sometimes even automatically. The individuality, however, does not reincarnate. It moves on to other worlds of God and, ultimately, reaches the divine Presence or Will.

Strive ... to comprehend the meaning of “return” which hath been so explicitly revealed in the Qurʾán itself, and which none hath as yet understood. What sayest thou? If thou sayest that Muḥammad was the “return” of the Prophets of old, as is witnessed by this verse, His Companions must likewise be the “return” of the bygone Companions, even as the “return” of the former people is clearly attested by the text of the above-mentioned verses.
Baháʾuʾlláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán. Page 47.
Whatever high proofs and wondrous allusions are recounted herein, concern but a single Letter, a single Point.
Baháʾuʾlláh, “The Seven Valleys,” The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys. Page 63.

For particular individuals, there is no personal saṃsāra (Sanskrit for cycle of births and deaths or, literally, running altogether). Instead, saṃsāra may involve multiple souls, with deep affinities for one another, which manifest the same returning dharmic unifying essence or unity:

... the outward is the expression of the inward; the earth is the mirror of the Kingdom; the material world corresponds to the spiritual world. Now observe that in the sensible world appearances are not repeated, for no being in any respect is identical with, nor the same as, another being. The sign of singleness is visible and apparent in all things. If all the granaries of the world were full of grain, you would not find two grains absolutely alike, the same and identical without any distinction. It is certain that there will be differences and distinctions between them.... As the repetition of the same appearance is impossible and interdicted for each of the material beings, so for spiritual beings also, a return to the same condition, whether in the arc of descent or in the arc of ascent, is interdicted and impossible, for the material corresponds to the spiritual.
Nevertheless, the return of material beings with regard to species is evident; so the trees which during former years brought forth leaves, blossoms and fruits in the coming years will bring forth exactly the same leaves, blossoms and fruits. This is called the repetition of species....
In the Divine Scriptures and Holy Books “return” is spoken of, but the ignorant have not understood the meaning, and those who believed in reincarnation have made conjectures on the subject. For what the divine Prophets meant by “return” is not the return of the essence, but that of the qualities; it is not the return of the Manifestation, but that of the perfections. In the Gospel it says that John, the son of Zacharias, is Elias. These words do not mean the return of the rational soul and personality of Elias in the body of John, but rather that the perfections and qualities of Elias were manifested and appeared in John.
... The “return” which is mentioned in the Divine Scriptures is this: it is fully explained by the Supreme Pen [Baháʾuʾlláh] in the Kitáb-i-Íqán. Refer to it, so that you may be informed of the truth of the divine mysteries.
ʿAbduʾl-Bahá, Some Answered Questions. Pages 123-124 and 126.
The Sanskrit word dharma which is usually translated into English as religion has a deeper meaning in our language. Dharma is the innermost nature, the essence, the implict truth, of all things. Dharma is the ultimate purpose that is working in our self.
Rabindranath Tagore, Sādhanā. New York: Macmillan. 1914. Page 74.
sam•sa•ra (səmˈsɑr ə)
1. (in Buddhism) the process of coming into existence as a differentiated, mortal creature.
2. (in Hinduism) the endless series of births, deaths, and rebirths to which all beings are subject.
[1885-90; < Skt samsāra literally, running together]
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary. Tel Aviv, Israel: K Dictionaries Ltd. 2010.

Peter Novak discussed an apparently similar idea as the binary soul doctrine:

The binary soul doctrine, which emerges directly from modern scientific discoveries about the human mind, simply says that the psyche is divisible. It is a composite, comprised of two distinct elements, which can and often do divide from each other at death, each element then going off to have its own unique afterlife experience.
This simple twist elegantly explains why half the world has believed in an eternal heaven and hell awaiting them after death, while the other half of the world has believed just as fervently in reincarnation....
For example, many past-life regression subjects insist that reincarnation is true; but near-death experiencers often insist that reincarnation is false....
Simultaneously present in numerous cultures at the dawn of recorded history, the binary soul doctrine may predate all currently known civilizations....
Greece called these two souls the psuche and the thumos; Egypt called them ba and ka; Israel called them ruwach and nephesh; Christianity called them soul and spirit; Persia called them urvan and daena; Islam called them ruh and nafs; India the atman and jiva; China the hun and po; Haiti the gros bon ange and ti bon ange; Hawaii the uhane and unihipili; and the Dakota Indians called them the nagi and niya. The list goes on.
Peter Novak, The Lost Secret of Death: Our Divided Souls and the Afterlife. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc. 2003. Kindle edition.

The first experience occurred while undergoing the professional hypnotic regression on May 5, 2013. A realization came to me that the spirit, attributes, or mission in my own spiritual lineage, the souls with a similar mission or set of attributes who both preceded and will follow me in this world, is a dialectic of unity through isolation. During the session, I related that mission to being, at least in this earthly life, an Autist. Fortunately, diversity is a God-ordained result of the individualization of the human spirit, rational faculty, rational soul, or intellect.

The unity is apparent. It is the divine Message of Baháʾuʾlláh, may peace and blessings be upon Him, and the spirit of the age. I frequently find myself alone in speaking out, in righteous indignation, against the demireality of disunity and conspiratorial, populist bigotry. Yet, I often intentionally put myself into these challenging situations. So be it. Silence on domination is never golden. Although human beings do not approach the Unities of All Things from the same direction, we are, like the flowers of a garden, united in our beautiful differences.

Apparently incomprehensible to some people, I genuinely enjoy being alone. I usually keep the sound off on my cellphone. My isolation and strong sense of social justice has been experienced by my own soul, throughout my life, as Autism:

... both male and female autistic individuals have a very strong sense of justice and would passionately fight for the rights of those who have been harmed. Many may be upset for days when they witness injustice.
Olga Bogdashina, Theory of Mind and the Triad of Perspectives on Autism and Asperger Syndrome: A View from the Bridge. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 2006. Page 137.
Autistic people have a passion for order (and indeed are often quite inflexible about rules and routines). My guess is that ideals of order and consistency and something like the golden rule play a prominent role in their moral lives; in this respect they differ very strikingly from the psychopath. ... [T]he autistic man ..., who felt aggrieved over being sacked, reveals a concern for justice that seems perfectly universalizable. This man was not, as the psychopath would be, making a special exception for himself. He thought his sacking was most unjust, since it was the cloakroom attendant who was not doing his job properly. He simply could not conceive of someone failing to pay the same attention to detail as he himself did, and making a mistake which he could never have made. His judgement was clearly deficient in that it completely failed to assign appropriate weights to the respective offences, but it is highly likely that he would make the same judgement regardless of the identities of the parties involved. Similarly an autistic teenager with a passion for the piano and perfect pitch suggested a constitutional amendment “to require that every home have a piano with 88 keys, and to require that the piano be kept in tune.” His mother explains that ”when Jack realized that many homes did not have pianos, and many pianos were painfully out of tune, he assumed that other people would feel as bad about this situation as he did. Though he outgrew the notion that this could be corrected by a constitutional amendment, he still takes his work [as a piano tuner] as seriously as a doctor who is dedicated to making sick people healthy.”...
... [Here is] the heart of the difference between autistic individuals, like Sinclair or Grandin, and psychopathic individuals. Where there is otherwise normal intellectual functioning, autism can leave intact the receptiveness to reason’s constraints just described. The stories of able autistic individuals suggest that Velleman and Kant are right, and that a concern for reason is as basic to us as a concern for connection. Autistic people, though lacking empathy, do seem capable of deep moral concerns.
Jeanette Kennett (Macquarie University Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science), “Autism, Empathy and Moral Agency.” The Philosophical Quarterly. Volume 52. Number 208. July, 2002. Pages 340-357.
She [Jeanette Kennett] locates several anecdotal examples of autistic individuals who do possess a moral sense, and in some cases, a strong sense of justice and fairness.
Deborah R. Barnbaum, The Ethics of Autism: Among Them, but Not of Them. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. 2008. Page 123.

The second experience might explain the love for dogs which comforted me as an Autistic child. During a March 31, 2013, meditation on my affection for a neighbor’s dog, I had the vivid recollection of living, as a man in my forties, in a prehistoric, or early modern, tribe. My face was fairly rugged. My hair was blonde and moderately long. I had a slight, natural grin and a warm expression. Wild dogs were, in this village among others, being domesticated for the first time. Initially, the hungry canines gathered around the tribal settlement, barking and growling, as if they were on the verge of attacking the community. Blessedly, a wise member of the tribe pacified them by tossing out some animal meat.

As the dogs consumed the food, they panted, wagged their tails, and gradually warmed up to the tribe. Over time, following several similar feedings, they began to live amongst the inhabitants of the settlement. What’s more, the dogs protected the people from the warriors of other tribes, bands of foragers, and wild animals. The dogs also helped the tribal hunters in locating and killing game. As a reward, the dogs were always provided with a portion of the animal. Meanwhile, the youngsters of the tribe treated the dogs, especially the puppies, as well-loved pets. While watching the children gently stroke these creatures on their heads, I smiled.

In the third experience, on May 30 and June 11, 2013, I reflected upon the second of two dreams, perhaps also a screen memory, which I remember from my childhood. I found myself alone in an alien-looking world. A desert stretched out, in all directions, over my apparent horizon. I was lost, abandoned, frightened, and confused. Suddenly, a man, wearing a reddish striped or checkered suit and brandishing a cane, approached me. He looked like an old-fashioned, perhaps stereotypical, carnival barker. These four edited images approximate the costume he wore:

When I asked the unusually attired man, ”Who are you?,” he replied, “Well, I’ve been around for a while.” He told me not to worry. My parents, he assured me, would soon return. The dream ended, or I awakened, without my parents having arrived. Based upon my meditations, I had a loving encounter or contact, with, for lack of a better term, the Archangel Barker. For me, that realm, at the center of my heart, was once literally alien or alienated from me. I became aware of it, and the existence of various Archangels, through dear Bāhū.

In other words, my wonderful contact experience with the Archangel Barker’s inner-dimensional home world, could have been an early communication, or more precisely communion, regarding my possible dharmic mission, unity in isolation. After having remained with me, stored in my distant memories, over these many years, I now find the the dream so comforting. In my oddities, angels have always been with me. For me, these angels include the dear chalice-bearing members of my spiritual family in the heavenly world beyond, some saintly souls on the Earth, and Erintin in the preternatural realms between Heaven and Earth.

O Lord! Assist those who have renounced all else but Thee, and grant them a mighty victory. Send down upon them, O Lord, the concourse of the angels in heaven and earth and all that is between, to aid Thy servants, to succour and strengthen them, to enable them to achieve success, to sustain them, to invest them with glory, to confer upon them honour and exaltation, to enrich them and to make them triumphant with a wondrous triumph.
The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb. Page 192.
Our grace assuredly pervadeth all that dwell in the kingdoms of earth and heaven and in whatever lieth between them, and beyond them all mankind. However, souls that have shut themselves out as by a veil can never partake of the outpourings of the grace of God.
The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb. Page 37.

As a child, I understandably regarded that dream as a terrifying nightmare. Yet, whether to consider a narrative of the heart as a night terror is, ultimately, a dreamer’s bias. Many of the powerful visions witnessed by St. John, in the Apocalypse or Book of Revelation, might, even now, appear as nightmares to some:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John; who bare witness of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, even of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written therein: for the time is at hand.
St. John, Revelation 1:1-3, American Standard Version (1901).

Angels watch over everyone. Others have also connected the angelic light orbs or chalices of pure light, perhaps belonging to souls in this world and the world to come, with preternatural contact experiences:

Of the abduction experiencers, 88 percent reported [in the Marden-Stoner study] the presence of psi [psychic or parapsychological] phenomena such as glowing light orbs that rapidly expand or pop like a bubble into Grey extraterrestrials. Poltergeist activity, such as household items flying through the air, pictures flying off walls, lights turning off and on, windows and doors opening and closing, and electrical appliances operating on their own, even when unplugged, was also prevalent. Whereas, the members of the control group that reported paranormal activities in their homes, mentioned ghosts, shadow people, spirits, mist clouds, strange sounds, strange odors, and cold spots. This needs additional investigation to ascertain that the two groups are observing distinctly different phenomena. Until then, the jury is still out.
Jennie [a contact experiencer] has the sense that the ETs are capable of producing many of the effects that we associate with the spirit world, but are related to ET science rather than disembodied spirits. She can’t explain how she “knows” this, but she seems to possess knowledge that ETs can insert their consciousness into a ball of light in order not to frighten humans. This is a preventive measure, says Jennie, because human fear leads to hostility and the ETs find human emotions difficult to deal with. It permits them to monitor their human subjects with the least amount of apparent intervention possible. She also suspects that the process of transforming the physical human body into another dimensional state by increasing its vibrational frequency, then back to the physical for processing on the ET craft, and back to a higher vibrational frequency to be returned to a natural human environment at a lower vibrational frequency creates an electromagnetic energy discharge that causes poltergeist activity.
Kathleen Marden and Denise Stoner, The Alien Abduction Files: The Most Startling Cases of Human-Alien Contact Ever Reported. Pompton Plains, NJ: New Page Books (a division of The Career Press, Inc.). 2013. Pages 169-170.
With the orbs, by the way, ... I’m finding that this seems to be relevant to the whole experience encounter ... A young fifteen-year-old boy – actually someone I worked with here in Britain when he was exploring an experience where some beings were visiting him – he was actually mentioning what the beings looked like. And then he said, “Oh, there’s two orbs of light here.” And I said, you know, what are they? And he said, “Oh, they’re Granddad and Uncle Ted.” And he said, “They’re here, too.” And I said, “So that’s what the orbs of light are?” And he said, “Oh, yes.” He said, “They’re here so I won’t be frightened.” And, interestingly, when the beings went back on the craft, so did the orbs of light go with them....
Mary Rodwell, “The New Humans.” Exopolitics Great Britain: Lectures (University of Leeds, August, 2010). YouTube. December 17, 2012. Retrieved (transcribed) on December 27, 2012.
When I layed down on the table [on the spacecraft], ... I saw the orb of light come right at me [my] forehead.... The orb was protecting me.... It morphed and changed shape into a human.... When it was morphing and changing its shape into a human, it would sort of change color a bit – like red, purple, but it was really tall.... There was no skin. It was just weird – ... like a light being.
Chantelle Sabrina Pyper, “AMMACH Conference, September, 2012.” From The AMMACH Project. YouTube. May 11, 2013. Retrieved (transcribed) on May 11, 2013.

Return to the table of contents.

V. Conclusion

My Autism has resulted in numerous dialectical contradictions. For instance, Autistic special interests, including my devotion to supernatural and arcane subjects, are a bit like hobbies, but they are really all-consuming passions. I have spent a lifetime searching for celestial contact, but reading books and attending workshops only filled my brain with titillating trivia. Paradoxically for me, many spiritual and religious experiences are governed by feeling and empathy. Relating to God is a social skill. Although I am obviously not an atheist, I can understand the attraction of religiously skeptical positions for many Autists. I thank my Lord and my entire spiritual family for my heart.

We found new evidence for an inverse link between the autism spectrum and belief in God that was explained by mentalizing, as predicted by cognitive theories of religion ....
... the effect of autism on belief in God remained significant after controlling for religious attendance ..., and disappeared only after controlling for mentalizing. This demonstrates that the effect of autism on belief exists even after removing the considerable overlap between belief in God and religious attendance. Relatedly, the relationship between the autism spectrum and belief cannot be solely a by-product of the more challenging social circumstances of autistic individuals, as identical patterns emerged when autism was measured as a continuous variable in a non-clinical sample of university students sharing similar social circumstances ....
Ara Norenzayan, Will M. Gervais, and Kali H. Trzesniewski, Mentalizing Deficits Constrain Belief in a Personal God. May 30, 2012. Retrieved on August 12, 2012.
The cognitive science of religion is a new field which explains religious belief as emerging from normal cognitive processes such as inferring others’ mental states, agency detection and imposing patterns on noise. This paper investigates the proposal that individual differences in belief will reflect cognitive processing styles, with high functioning autism being an extreme style that will predispose towards nonbelief (atheism and agnosticism). This view waw supported by content analysis of discussion forums about religion on an autism website (covering 192 unique posters), and by a survey that included 61 persons with HFA [high-functioning Autism]. Persons with autistic spectrum disorder were much more likely than those in our neurotypical comparison group to identify as atheist or agnostic, and, if religious, were more likely to construct their own religious belief system. Nonbelief was also higher in those who were attracted to systemizing activities, as measured by the Systemizing Quotient.
Catherine Caldwell-Harris, Caitlin Fox Murphy, and Tessa Velazquez, “Religious Belief Systems of Persons with High Functioning Autism. Abstract. Cognitive Science Journal Archives. 2011. Retrieved on August 12, 2012.
The strongest connection between atheism and autism before now was a paper presented at a conference last year by Catherine Caldwell-Harris and collaborators at Boston University. Survey respondents with high-functioning autism were more likely than control subjects to be atheists and less likely to belong to an organized religion. (They were also more likely to have religious ideas of their own construction ....) And atheists were higher on the autistic spectrum than Christians and Jews....
That’s where the new paper comes in. Ara Norenzayan and Will Gervais of the University of British Columbia and Kali Trzesniewski of UC Davis report on four studies....
First, people with higher scores on the Autism Spectrum Quotient ... [a Autism test developed by Simon Baron-Cohen] had weaker belief in a personal God. Second, reduced ability to mentalize mediated this correlation.
Matthew Hutson, “Does Autism Lead to Atheism?: Belief in God Depends on Theory of Mind. Psychology Today (magazine). Psyched: The Science of Psych (section). May 30, 2012. Retrieved on July 31, 2012.

Similar to many contact emancipees, I developed, beginning at eleven years old, a strong interest in the paranormal, including palmistry, astrology, numerology, and ufology. As I recall, I also considered myself to be quite good at telepathy, psychometry (connecting with individuals through material objects), and pendulum dowsing. After being attracted to spiritualism or mediumship, I perusaded my family to conduct regular séances using a homemade ouija board or planchette (an upside-down champagne glass). The entity we supposedly channeled called herself “Elizabeth.” Sometimes the glass did appear to move on its own, but suggestibility and wishful thinking can be very persuasive.

Way back in 1968, when I was twelve years old, I developed a framework, using my imaginative intuition, which I hoped, at the time, would, when I reached adulthood, become the new religion of Soulology. I remember writing down my thoughts, while sitting in my seventh-grade classes at Wisdom Lane Junior High School (now, Wisdom Lane Middle School), on scraps of paper. (I have actually continued that practice in my office and while dining in restaurants.) Some of those reflections eventually made their way into the book, Introduction to Soulology. In retrospect, many of my interdimensional proposals were unintentionally hilarious.

That said, my explorations of the issue of parallel dimensions, in Soulology, may indicate an early awareness, perhaps through contact emancipation, of the subject, extradimensionality, which I have one again returned to. Here is one example:

All phenomena can be given an explanation in terms of Soulology – ESP, dreams, and the like....
... To go to dream transportation, I will say that it is caused by thought transportation from the soul in the other dimension. In other words, telepathy between dimensions....
... I will now explain how this [ESP] works simply: The soul leaks from one body to another. When one wants to let ESP work, he wills it to happen; and, therefore, part of the soul leaks telling you his thoughts – drawn like a magnet. The soul just extends, not causing the one who is being mind-read any difficulty whatsoever.
Mark A. Foster, Introduction to Soulology. 1968.

In addition to my extensive library on parapsychology (about 150 books), as a child, three of the ufology books I purchased with my weekly allowance, and loved, were Flying Saucers: Serious Business by Frank Edwards, Chariots of the Gods by Erich von Daniken (the father of the ancient astonauts movement), and The Interupted Journey by John G. Fuller. The last volume dealt with the alleged alien abductions of Betty and Barney Hill. In other words, angelic communication, through all the methods I have described, absorbed my life. Contact, for me, was commonplace yet hidden.

In the early 1970s, I also used to bicycle regularly to the late Anthony J. Fisichella’s The New Age Center in Hicksville, NY. He later moved to Florida and, in 2004, started The Higher Ground Foundation. The Website is now operated by his son Douglas Fisichella. As an Autist, I have often expressed my views rather bluntly. Tony and I rarely agreed on anything. Since I was quite outspoken, he eventually asked me, politely, to stop attending. At the time, I was disappointed and angry. However, I now recognize, in retrospect, that source of the the difficulties was my directness and tactlessnes. Well, I was still a kid.

The New Age Center became an umbrella that embraced many schools of thought, Dream Workshops, Personal Growth Workshops, Course of Miracles, Transcendental Meditation, Jose Silva Mind Control, Rosicrucian teachings, Theosophists, and Association for Research and Enlightenment [Edgar Cayce], and much more. Tony, as he preferred to be called, believed that no one route is the only true route, and sought to fill the needs of the many....
In 2004 Tony created The Higher Ground Foundation.
Douglas Fisichella, “The Well of Wisdom.” Higher Ground Foundation. Denver, CO. 2010. Retrieved on June 9, 2013.

My mother developed her own paranormal interests, especially creative visualization and, in general, the new age movement. As I recall, her personal conversations with me along with the séances which I initiated were her original influences. (My interests also led another member of my family into two different trance channeling movements). After moving into a gated retirement community, with my father, she developed an interest in Reiki (Japanese energetic healing). In addition, my mother studied Kriyā Yoga (Sanskrit for union through action or effort), which resembles Sūrat Śābda Yoga, under a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda (Parāmʾhaṃsa Yogaānanda). In 1920, Yogananda founded the Self-Realization Fellowship. It continues to this day.

According to my sister, my mother uttered the following words while relating a dream about her own mother:

I can’t wait to see her again.

Regrettably, I know next to nothing about my father’s spiritual life. After I was diagnosed as an Autist, I arranged for a psychiatrist to visit my father. He was displaying some disturbing behaviors, and he was on the verge of being expelled from an assisted living facility. The psychiatrist confirmed to me that my father had the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease coupled with Autism. Although in my father’s later years, we became quite close, we did not, Autist to Autist, have a long-term history of high-quality communication. I deeply love my father. Neither he nor I was to blame, in my view, but our relationship, living in New York City and later on Long Island, was quite dysfunctional.

Prior to developing Alzheimer’s disease, I do know, through my sister, that my father claimed to be in contact with my departed mother, In context, after my mother’s death, my father was having a difficult time managing his activities, including paying the bills. Truth be told, he had never lived on his own before. My sister recalled his words:

She talks to me every night. She’s driving me crazy. She told me to behave myself.

Finally, I have compared my experiences with those of others. For instance, according to hypnotherapist Craig Lang:

... in my work with close encounter experiencers, what seems to have emerged is that the multigenerational characteristics of the phenomenon seem to propagate down the maternal family line....
Another thing that I have noticed is that many experiencers ... seem to have a very gifted, and highly metaphysical nature—what I describe as “Awakened.”...
... many of the signs of spiritual awakening ... [are] related ... to the UFO/CE4 [close encounters of the fourth kind or contact experiences] phenomenon.
Craig R. Lang MS, CHt (certified hypnotherapist), “The Indigo Hypothesis: Is this a Goal of the Visitors Agenda(s)?” UFO Journal. Morrison, CO: MUFON (Mutual UFO Network). February, 2004. Number 430. Retrieved on June 9, 2013.

I also apparently satisfy these criteria for contact experiences, including an interest in science fiction and humming or buzzing:

Ask yourself if you ....
... Have seen balls of light or flashes of light in your home or other locations....
... Have an interest in the subject of UFO sightings or aliens, perhaps compelled to read about it a lot, or an extreme aversion towards the subject....
... Have heard strange humming or pulsing sounds, and you could not identify the source....
... Have had chronic sinusitis or nasal problems....
... Have had dreams of destruction or catastrophe.
Melinda Leslie, 52 Indicators Of Encounters Or Abductions By Aliens. Mark Williams, editor. Retrieved on June 9, 2013.
A lot of what is going on [with contact experiences] is like super science fiction. The only way a lot of humans can deal with it is through science fiction, because if they have to continually confront that it is real, or what they may have to think or do about it, knowing that it is a fact, it would evoke too much stress.
Cynthia Crowell, From “the Government Factor.” Retrieved on June 9, 2013.

On June 1, 2013, I reflected on a possible connection between my contacts and my interests in science fiction. I, like my father, was passionate about the subject. Although he preferred reading novels, I enjoyed movies and television series. In my childhood, I was drawn to Lost in Space, Time Tunnel, The Outer Limits, and especially The Adventures of Superman. As an adult, my interests shifted to the Star Trek franchise (particularly, Deep Space Nine), Babylon Five, and Stargate SG1. Perhaps I now understand the major reason I have, at different stages of my life, been so intensely drawn to spiritual, mystical, and esoteric subjects and to science fiction. They were more than curiosities.

Return to the table of contents.

I am not fluent in Arabic, but I can work with it. Unless otherwise stated, all English translations are from the Arabic or Persian languages (or, in some cases, a “Persianized” Arabic). There are differences, which will be evident, between the system of transliteration, or romanization, of Arabic and Persian words contained in official Baháʾí texts and the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) system (or the Tiberian system for some Hebrew words) adopted in other parts of this work. (See this page on verb conjugation.) Diacritics (the signs used in transliteration) for various languages have sometimes been modified in quotations. Focusing on both translation and transliteration has, from my perspective, been a way to draw close, in my heart, to the individuals and ideas being discussed. Perhaps your experiences will be similar. Learning any “tongue” comes through love:
Speak in the Persian tongue, though the Arab please thee more;
A lover hath many a tongue at his command.
From Mawlānā (Our Master) Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī’s Maṯnawī (Persian, Maṯnavī), quoted by Baháʾuʾlláh, “The Seven Valleys.” The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys. Page 58.

Return to the original text.

Copyright 2013 Mark A. Foster, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

MarkFoster.NETwork Publications™


Visitors Online