Time, dreams, eons and ecology

fullsizeoutput_1ab6Here’s the deal: I’ve lived so many life times, and will live many more, that I have a vast imagination of times where humans had much better lives. And we live in a time of images. A visual culture that is constantly moving and flashing before our eyes. A planet with 7.5 billion souls that any one person is just a speck. Even if you are a president, celebrity, reality tv mogul you’re still just one person. And yet we have these tools where one person can reach every other person through social media. So we live in a time where one second is faster than seconds of previous times. Meaning that we end up having less time because the value of that time has now decreased. Children are especially afflicted with this condition where they aren’t allowed to go into timeless mode because they have to produce at such a young age. Kids are now taught to feel the pressure of taking tests and making good grades from preschool. Do you notice how kids are now talking like adults? I heard one ten year old I met say, “San Francisco is a culinary food hub,”sounding like a seasoned TED speaker.

What is it about us that we allow (some of) the least among us to lead? The amount of violence unleashed by the world’s governments of so called civilized countries is untenable. Our resources are both a blessing and a curse.

It really comes down to responsibility. What are you doing with the tools that you have? And can you make connections between your actions and the larger world? And what is your worldview?

I know a friend from high school is an artificial intelligence genius. I asked him what he does for a living a while back, and he said that he was working to make the Patriot Act stronger through artificial intelligence. I was stunned. Sometimes you think your good friends are on your side because why wouldn’t they be? But I guess he felt that what he was working on would help protect the country. Or maybe he just liked the work. I will never know.

The scientists who worked on the atomic bomb were fascinated with this technology worthy of the gods, but they don’t deserve any praise for what they did. We’ll have to deal with the consequences of nuclear radiation for eons to come. And the specter of a nuclear war is still a possibility. Like I said, it’s about responsibility. And a responsible ruling “elite” (let’s be honest we don’t have democracy) would not have created such weapons and continue to make more.

In the past 150 years, we’ve been borrowing time from the future to speed up the present. We’re now at a log jam. But as log as we can flash shiny images across our screens then we can’t feel the urgency of the present moment. This is why I imagine a better future for all of us. Trying to create a world where we restore ecology, community, and our connection to our true selves.

The future is about us. How do we change our values and the values of our neighbors to create a chain reaction where we are constantly evolving towards a vision of ecological and equitable minded people with practices that reflect our values. When we live outside of our own values it creates a type of cognitive dissonance where we have to lie to ourselves to stay sane. Visions of a technological future are now the predominant response to the crisis we find ourselves in. We need to change that view that values the machine over the power of collective action. If there’s any hope for us, it will be humans, plants and animals cooperating to restore ecosystems that will save us. Technology, while important will have to be molded to fit a new vision of an ecological human.

Why I stopped eating vegetable and seed oils.

This is my first post in a long time. I’ve been working on other projects like my website and company Tokyotecture that offers tours of architecture in Tokyo. I recommend checking out that page if you’re want to see what Tokyo looks like through my iPhone and Nikon camera lenses.

I wanted to share with you a diet tip that I think is very important in this day and age. That is the total elimination of vegetable and seed oils from your diet. Personally, I’m vegan. Don’t stop reading, all of you carnivores out there. This isn’t a vegan post. I want all of us to get healthier, because the world needs us all functioning at our best if we’re going to turn this thing around. Oh, if you’re a climate denier you can stop reading. All you probably don’t read anyway.

Here’s the thing about vegetable and seed oils… And I’ll stop saying seed oils from here on out because that’s annoying for me to type overtime. But just know that I’m referring to any edible, refined oil when I say vegetable oils. That includes olive oil and coconut oil. Yes, all oils will mess you up.

Here’s what it comes down to: inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s response to a harmful condition like an injury or a substance. Vegetable oils cause inflammation in the body. I don’t know how they do, and I don’t feel like looking it up. If you can read this, then you can do your own research, so just take my word for it.

I had a really bad skin condition in high school, that didn’t just affect my skin but also my confidence, and my mood. It seemed impossible to correct with any type of lotion, face wash, or hygiene regimen. The specific condition is called seborrheic dermatitis, which is caused by a bacteria on the skin that feeds off of oils on the surface of the skin. However, looking back, I know the main cause was inflammation due to diet primarily.

As an adult, I was able to manage my skin condition up to a point with finding the right soap or lotion, getting enough sun and not touching my face if I could. But I would have occasional flare ups where my skin would start to inflame.

I went to grad school at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, and shortly after I graduated I decided to pursue my dream of living in California. The low humidity on the West Coast is great for my skin since it doesn’t have to fight off loads of pathogens floating around. And the UV rays from the sun kills off lots of bacteria that likes to feast on skin oil. Still there were times when my skin would peel and flare up.

Now I’m living in Japan. If you really want to know how I got here you can probably find it somewhere on this blog. Japan is quite humid, and even my apartment that gets lots of sun, I live in a building named Sunlight Palace (sanraito parasu in Japanese), can attract mold in the darker, wetter portions of the apartment. Not good for my skin.

And that’s where my diet recommendation comes from. For all of those years, I was struggling not with a topical skin condition, but an internal state of inflammation caused by eating vegetable oils, refined sugar and processed foods. I’ll stick to vegetable oils for now, because I think many people are aware of the dangers of refined sugar, but vegetable oils fly under the radar. We think we can get by with choosing “healthy fats”. There are healthy fats, but not in a refined state without the fiber and nutrients present in seed form.

After removing oils from my diet for around 6 weeks now, I feel much better and my skin looks and feels smother that it has in a while. I typically have dry skin that flakes, because my skin cells die and reproduce at a rapid rate due to inflammation. But that’s changed since I eliminated oils from my diet.

It may not seem like a big deal, but vegetable oils and inflammation play a role in every major modern disease like heart disease, diabetes and even neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. I don’t want any of those diseases. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are especially terrifying. I can’t imagine what that slow decline is like.

We have a culture that facilitates disease through lifestyle. It’s only when most people get older that they start caring about their health, and then it’s too late. We need to change the culture, fast. Start cooking without oils, and reduce inflammation in your body and mind.

Check out photos of my vegan, oil free food below.

Live free.

-Mike Free

Not So Slim in Singapore: eating and talking with locals.

   
One of the best ways to travel is to have no expectations of the place you’re going and just go. It’s a good approach if you have time and flexibility. A creative and curious mind also helps you make the most of your trip. I had all of those qualities coming to Singapore. I just wanted to stay here as long as I could to feel what it’s like living in a South East Asian city. My travels usually take on this quality of joining the locals in their everyday lives as much as I can. I want to know what it’s like to live in a place. 

The other night a few Singaporean girls asked me what were my plans for the weekend. I replied that I was just going to walk around and make sure that I came home with great fruit at a good price. They said I sounded like a local. 

I wasn’t shooting for that response but I’ll take it as a compliment. And a guidepost towards a job well done. Tourism isn’t my thing. In fact, I don’t really know what it is. I think tourism is when you go to as many places as you can fit into your trip in order to say that you did all of the things that other tourists did. Tourism satisfies most people’s thirst to “see something different.” 

I want to feel something different. If there is a such thing as a boundary between a tourist and a local I don’t want to know about it. I’m okay seeing people for who they are and not expecting them to put on an act for me. I assume this is what tourism is about.     

Today, a guy working in one of the markets I visited eagerly asked me, “what country are you from? What country are you from?” I said that I’m from America and he responded by saying that I couldn’t be because I didn’t look American. He then asked me what part of Africa I’m from. I think many, not all, black Americans would have taken offense to that question or at least have been confused by his inquiry. Whenever I travel and even just walking around in the U.S. I get asked where I’m from. I’ve heard everything from Egypt, to South America, and even been confused for a Hindi speaker in Delhi. I enjoy joking around with folks. My latest is to tell them I’m aboriginal Australian. I kind of look like them with my hair growing longer than I’ve had it in the past. Don’t take it the wrong way, I really respect my brothers and sisters in Austrailia. 
I made it clear to him that I’m ‘Murican in my best Texas rancher imperialist voice that I could muster. And then he said, “we don’t get many blacks in Singapore.” Then he went on about the texture of our hair, “you never know where someone is from. Sometimes the hair is curly, sometime it’s straight, sometimes it’s so thick and other times thin.” 

I was impressed by his detailed knowledge of black hair textures. I’m pretty sure he covered all the bases. I then asked, knowing the general mixture of Singaporean people, what made up his DNA. Was he Malay, Chinese or something else? 
He said, “look at my skin!” Pointing to his arm and making it clear that he wasn’t mostly Chinese but instead came from Thai roots born by his mother. “I’m only a little Chinese and mostly Thai.” I could hear that he was proud of being Thai. I guess the skin thing is something that people pay attention to in Asia as well. Maybe moreso in the Southern regions where the sun turns people’s skin a variety of colors. 

I’m only beginning to scratch the surface of what it means to live in Singapore. One thing that you’re guaranteed if you live here is access to delicious and satiating food at mind boggling prices. Singapore is a global trading hub which makes it a global food hub. And it’s not just that they have any kind of Asian food you can imagine it’s that every thing tastes amazing. By the time the food get to your mouth it’s been vetted by the discerning tastes of Singaporean locals who know a good thing when they taste it. 

Today, I had Indonesian BBQ that was so good I had to try it twice. First, I ate fried chicken with a curry sauce, sautéed okra and rice. Next, I had a curry chicken set with spinach and rice. The guy who makes it is very demanding; he wants you to know exactly what you want before you go to him to order. Don’t waste his time with hesitation over getting this thing or that. You’ll understand why once you sit down and eat your food. Eating the first bite of fried chicken dipped in the Indonesian gravy will make you want to book your next flight out of Singapore to Jakarta. He’s made a dish so good that it has you pondering how he made it, why he made it and what keeps him going at his age. 

If you aren’t satisfied with your food here you know you’re doing something wrong. In three days I’ve enjoyed everything I ate. Maybe it’s that feeling of gratification that keeps the 5 million or so Singaporeans here in this tiny country year after year. 

Check out a few pictures below and subscribe for more stories from Singapore, Japan and wherever the wind takes me next.

  
 

  

Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On (feat. MØ)

I love this new video Lean On from Major Lazer and DJ Snake with vocals from MØ. What a great combination of cultures aesthetics and sound coming together in this video. Surrounded by beautiful Indian dancers, MØ makes a good focal point with her free spirited style attached to the choreographed dances. Diplo, DJ Snake Jillionaire and Walshy Fire round out the video in a true Indian spirit of coming together through music.

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Here’s a great quote from Diplo on making the video in India: “India is special and its beauty absolutely humbled me. When we toured there as Major Lazer, it was mind blowing to see our fan-base and we wanted to incorporate the attitude and positive vibes into our video and just do something that embodies the essence of Major Lazer. Major Lazer has always been a culture mashup and to us, India feels like some kind of special creature with one foot in history and one firmly in the future. The experience is something we’ll never forget.“

®☮ PEACE IS THE MISSION ®☮ PRE-ORDER MAJOR LAZER’S NEW ALBUM OUT JUNE 1: http://smarturl.it/PITMiTunes STREAM LEAN ON: SPOTIFY – http://smarturl.it/MajorLazerHits SOUNDCLOUD – http://smarturl.it/LeanOnStream DOWNLOAD LEAN ON: ITUNES – http://smarturl.it/LeanOniTunes AMAZON – http://smarturl.it/LeanOnAmazon BEATPORT – http://smarturl.it/LeanOnBP FOLLOW MAJOR LAZER: WEBSITE – http://www.majorlazer.com FACEBOOK – http://smarturl.it/MajorLazerFB TWITTER – http://smarturl.it/MajorLazerTwitter INSTAGRAM – http://smarturl.it/MajorLazerInstagram SOUNDCLOUD – http://smarturl.it/MajorLazerSoundcloud GET MAJOR LAZER GEAR WEBSTORE – http://www.LazersNeverDie.com Director – Tim Erem Producer – Per Welén Prod. Co – Diktator DoP – Jacob Möller Editor – Leila Sarraf (Trim Editing) Colorist – Matt Osborne (The Mill) Stylist – Violetta Kassapi India Crew: Producer – Mikhail Mehra Producer – Akshay Multani Associate Director – Mikhail Mehra Assistant DOP – Zaryan Patel Assistant Stylist – NorBlack NorWhite Line Producer – Durgesh Dadich Choreographer – Paresh Shirodkar Production company: Motion Eccentricá Special thanks to VH1 Supersonic and Oji

Song of the New Earth

Song of the New Earth:Tom Kenyon and the Power of Sound is a new documentary about one man’s quest to integrate modern science and ancient mysticism through sound. -SNE

Watching Tom Kenyon’s experience in Song of the New Earth will open your mind to new ways of experiencing life. Tom Kenyon undergoes a personal transformation through sound, and he shares his experience with audiences around the world. Now we are fortunate to have a full length documentary that is eye opening but also funny and heart warming.

Click the link to watch Song of the New Earth.

33 trips around the sun. Happy Birthday to Me!

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I’ve been on this beautiful blue planet since 1982. One of the best years to enter through the portal, I would say. That means I graduated high school and turned 18 at the turn of the millennium in 2000. It’s also the same year E.T. came out. If you know anything about me you’ll know I love E.T. You can check out my blog about it here.

Oh yeah 33 trips, let’s calculate that in miles if it’s possible.

Earth travels 584 million miles in one year. Good god that’s a lot. That’s pretty fast if you ask me. That’s 66,648 miles per hour. In 33 years I’ve been on this awesome ride for 19.3 billion miles!

I’ve traveled pretty far through the universe and I didn’t have to lift a finger.

I’m going to make this a quick post so I can get back to celebrating.

I’m making 3 wishes for my birthday this year. They’re really simple.

1. More love: love is the most powerful force in the universe. If I can harness as much loving energy as possible then I can experience a life without limitations, full of awe and wonder.

2. More creativity: Michael Jackson once said, “I’m happiest when I’m creating.” The same goes for me. Creativity is the greatest joy. Also, I realize now that I’m artist in habit and spirit. Can’t sleep at night. Sometimes I’ll just start imagining myself flying across the world (without an airplane) or jumping across a field of giant mushrooms. I’m not on drugs, I just have an imagination that will take me places. You have to be a little crazy to think that you’re going to move to Tokyo and start a food forest and then act on it.

3. More money ^ That’s why I wish for (and will receive) more money. To fund my crazy ideas that will not seem so crazy in 50 years when the world is completely different from what we see now. I also like Apple products, Tesla cars and international travel.

One last thing, watch these cool videos from Little Dragon.

Peace, love, freedom and Happy Birthday!

Mike Free

Klapp Klapp (part 1)

Pretty Girls (part 2)

Kriya Yoga: divine technology

I am a mystic. So naturally I am attracted to various spiritual practices. Recently, I’ve been studying the life of Steve Jobs who spent time in India in his early adult years. When he returned to Silicon Valley from India he was transformed in such a way that he disturbed the people around him. In his biography Walter Isaacson describes how Steve Jobs would not wear deodorant, went weeks without showering, and soaked his feet in the toilet at the office. He didn’t seem to be bothered by outside influences like the criticsm of his colleagues. He stuck to his ideals like eating a vegan diet.

Jobs wanted everyone who attended his funeral to receive a gift. He gave all attendees a copy of Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. A book that he said changed his life. Steve Jobs practiced Kriya Yoga the technique popularized by Paramahansa Yogananda. According to Paramahansa Yogananda, Kriya yoga is the best yoga to achieve union with the divine.

What better way to have supreme creative abilities than to unite one’s self with the divine? I’m pretty sure that’s what Steve Jobs did, quite often. Perhaps I should call him Steve Baba because he was much more of a guru than anything else. If you look at Apple now, you’ll see that he passed on his methods to his inner circle who now runs the company quite well. Even further afield in Silicon Valley, many CEOs and top talent practice some form of meditation because of Steve Baba.

What would be so compelling and powerful about Paramahansa Yogananda and Kriya Yoga to influence one of the greatest cultural (and technological) revolutions in human history? Here I present a video that I recently came across with words spoken by Paramahansa Yogananda.

This light that he speaks of, “how a million suns do not describe the light of my father,” is the light within that we all seek. The light within that heals us and illuminates our souls and ultimately returns us to the source of all being. We can try to get there lifetime after lifetime through our deeds, this is called karma yoga. Or we can use a powerful technique like Kriya yoga to realize our God-potential on earth.

Either way, I find it quite beautiful that ancient wisdom from India and beyond still has a role in our materialistic and technology driven society. A role that I suspect will only increase as our computing and technological power increases.

Love and Light

-Mike Free

Mantras for Manifestation

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Recently, I have been putting too much energy into my own self chatter as I try to make sense of my life, climate change and other crises that the world faces at this critical stage in the earth’s history. I have been able to understand different aspects of my life and my personality as I exist in this historical fragment. However, sometimes my thoughts become too much to handle, and I need to turn down the volume.

Thoughts are physical manifestations of the mind. Just as a guitar uses strings to produce sound waves, the brain uses nerves to produce thoughts. However, the mind and the brain (they are separate) can either play harmonious melodies if they are in tune or a raucous cacophony when out of tune.

One method that I use to condition my mind is to chant a mantra using vowel sounds. Vowel sounds are universal human sounds that are embedded in our space-time reality as harmonious constants. We can harmonize with these constants and condition our minds and bodies by chanting them out loud or even in our heads if necessary. When you chant vowel sounds the sound waves reverberate throughout your body. The cells in your body begin to adhere to the harmonious sounds individually and collectively in systems such as your central nervous system. Once your cells are vibrating harmoniously it sends a positive feedback loop to your brain that then sends more positive thoughts to your cells.

These are the objective effects of chanting. The subjective and unconscious effects of chanting mantras are noticeable in the conditions of your life and the quality of your perceptions. You may perceive more beauty in your daily life. Or have a better experience at work. Your personal relationships may experience more harmony. Or you may have more vivid dreams. The possibilities are infinite.

I titled this post “Mantras for Manifestation,” mostly to get your attention. However, I hope that I made it clear how a vibrational sound wave from your vocal cords actually manifests a new condition in your awareness. It is possible that harmonious mental and physical states will lead to greater prosperity, but there is a lot more to life than material goods. When we can focus on getting our emotional needs met without the use of material objects we feel more fulfilled and happy than we would if we attempt to satisfy those needs by buying something new.

I want to share with you one mantra that I use to harmonize myself on four levels. Before I chant, I remind myself to subdue my ego in order to stay connected to the universe. If it’s a sunny day and I’m outside I like to chant with the sun hitting my third-eye. This really amplifies the effects of chanting.

The mantra goes, Om Maat Ra Ma Om.

Ma'atMaat was an Ancient Egyptian principle that represented harmony between human society and natural laws. The Egyptians deified the principle through the goddess Maat. I believe that their devotion to Maat was a major reason that their civilization lasted thousands of years in prosperity. Maat held their society together by promoting moral behavior by villagers and pharaohs alike. I don’t have a source to show you now, but they must have extended this philosophy to nature. They could have suffered a calamitous event such as a famine, outbreak of disease, or enemy invasion on mere chance alone. Yet they persisted for 4,000 years or more. They must have known that they had to give more to nature than they took from her in order to continue to reap her rewards. Knowing this fact is why I use Maat in my mantra.

magnetosphereRa is the sound of the sun god in Ancient Egypt. It is the masculine creative force represented by the sun.

Ma is the sound of the earth, and it’s also why we call our mother “mama”. It represents the feminine creative force.

Both of these sounds contain a long Ah sound, which was the first sound of creation at the moment of the Big Bang according to several traditions such as the Yogis, Tibetans, and Egyptians.

Om is the sound nature (the universe) makes when it is in harmony with itself. Om actually consists of the sounds Ah-Ooh-Ma, which is why you will also see it written as AUM. The first sound being Ah.

As I chant, I consciously and subconsciously know that I am harmonizing my mind, body and soul with human wellbeing, the sun, the earth and the universe as a whole. The mantra reminds me that the best way to create is not from my ego’s desires but from the higher awareness that I am a small part of a larger whole that is continuously evolving.

The Power of Om, Carl Jung, Dalai Lama

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Do you know what Om means? It doesn’t have meaning as much as it has feeling. Maybe a better question is do you know how Om feels?

Over the past six months, after talking intensely with one of my friends about spirituality and the nature of reality, Carl Jung has had an increasingly significant influence on me. She was really into the psychology of Jung from a more let’s say academic perspective. My perspective on most things gets filtered through a spiritual lens: spirit creates matter after all. I never really paid psychology any attention in undergrad. Psychology as it’s taught today is pretty much dominated by Freudian analysis. Freud, I think didn’t get the whole picture because he was stuck on sex. Jung was different, not by choice but by unseen forces that changed the course of Western thought.

When I began to look at Jung’s life I became more and more interested in his spiritual life. His experiences include a Near Death Experience (NDE) during a heart attack where he found himself floating above the Earth and then approaching a temple that was guarded by a “black yogi”. During this NDE he saw his doctor in “primal form” as he put it, and correctly predicted that his doctor would die soon after. He also had dreams that predicted World War I, which led him to study the collective unconscious. His experiences were outside of the realm of acceptable phenomena at the time, and even now. Yet had he remained unaware of his own unconscious and other ways of perceiving the world, he would have remained in a state of psychological distress for his entire life. His work was healing as much as it was revealing.

I recently came across a youtube video describing a conversation between Jung and the author Joseph Campbell. Check the video out before I go further. I’m not sure what the deal is with the naked Egyptian god mock-ups but keep going.

Here, Jung in two places has a transformative experience with the sound Om, the sound nature makes when its in harmony with itself. The spontaneous Om of the scientists sounds as if they were captured by the overflowing love of the universe. As if they instantly became one with nature outside of the control of their ego, a type of instant samadhi. Om, and other sounds, are likely embedded in the fabric of the universe. A type of om field that we can all tune into either knowingly or unconsciously.

The Himalayas really are a special place. I traveled to Ladakh in northern India and stayed there for two weeks. I went to a monastery for children practicing to become the next monks and nuns in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The love and joy that emanated from these kids was really amazing. They told us that they do prayers and meditation for all of humanity to live in peace and harmony. It’s really special for them to live with that kind of meaning, and practice such discipline at a young age.

I still remember the face of one young nun standing across from me in the temple. The lead monk had us westerners stand up and face the children. They started singing “om mani padme hum” and encouraged us to sing along. I put my hands in a prayer position and after around the third om mani padme hum I hesitatingly started to join the singing. I made eye contact with the little girl and her face lit up as she saw me join in. It was kind of hard for me to look at her as I felt a little weird saying om mani padme hum yet she just radiated infinite love. After a few minutes of singing om mani padme hum, my mood was transformed into one of openness and togetherness as all of prayed for peace and harmony in the world.

I didn’t know what om mani padme hum meant at the time, but I knew how it felt, and that made an impression in my heart chakra that lasts to this day.

If you’d like to know what om mani padme hum means, and how it can be a way to transform your mind, then watch this cool video from His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

A letter to my sister: Out of Body Experience, Carl Jung and the African Unconscious

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When I was, let’s say seven years old, my standard response to “what do you want to be when you grow up?” was “a lawyer.” That’s until my little sister, Khayriyyah (pronounced Ka-ree-ah), also wanted to be a lawyer. This frustrated me, being her older, and only, brother in a family of six (at the time, we ended up being 7 strong). I wanted to be original, unique, I guess being the only boy in the family wasn’t enough.

I’m glad she pushed me away from pursuing that dream. I can’t imagine being a lawyer now. I’m already pretty discontent with “the system.”

My sister didn’t end up becoming a lawyer either. She chose an even better field; she’s a psychologist and school counselor. She’s also a mother, a great one in my opinion. She recently wrote a blog post detailing her experience giving birth to her son. She explains how she had an out of body experience (OBE) immediately after her son was born:

But all I could think was something was missing. I was looking for all of those emotions and they weren’t there. I got weak. People were screaming. Who were these people screaming at? I could see the girl in a hospital bed. Then I realized that girl was me. I thought about dying because that seemed so much easier. But these people said I had a baby who needed me. Somehow I opened my eyes. Then it happened again. And once more.

Is that called dying and coming back to life or almost dying. I’m really not sure. All I know is that I did not know my child for the first two hours of his life. The rest of the details don’t matter.

She saw herself from above. I think that’s pretty cool. Not the almost dying part, but the fact that she could see without eyes, and she’s flying over everyone. Khayriyyah can fly! Okay, I know you almost died, but you didn’t.

Another psychologist, the grand daddy of psychology if you don’t count Freud, Carl Jung also had an OBE. He was also in the hospital suffering from a heart attack when he suddenly found himself flying a thousand miles over the earth. He looked down and saw Ceylon, what is now called Sri Lanka.

The beginning of 1944 I broke my foot, and this misadventure was followed by a heart attack. In a state of unconsciousness, I experienced deliriums and visions which must have begun when I hung on the edge of death and was being given oxygen and camphor injections. The images were so tremendous that I myself concluded that I was close to death. My nurse afterward told me:

“It was as if you were surrounded by a bright glow.”

 That was a phenomenon she had sometimes observed in the dying, she added. I had reached the outermost limit, and do not know whether I was in a dream or an ecstasy. At any rate, extremely strange things began to happen to me.

It seemed to me that I was high up in space. Far below I saw the globe of the Earth, bathed in a gloriously blue light. I saw the deep blue sea and the continents.  Far below my feet lay Ceylon, and in the distance ahead of me the subcontinent of India. My field of vision did not include the whole Earth, but its global shape was plainly distinguishable and its outlines shone with a silvery gleam through that wonderful blue light. In many places the globe seemed colored, or spotted dark green like oxidized silver. Far away to the left lay a broad expanse – the reddish-yellow desert of Arabia; it was as though the silver of the Earth had there assumed a reddish-gold hue. Then came the Red Sea, and far, far back – as if in the upper left of a map – I could just make out a bit of the Mediterranean. My gaze was directed chiefly toward that. Everything else appeared indistinct. I could also see the snow-covered Himalayas, but in that direction it was foggy or cloudy. I did not look to the right at all. I knew that I was on the point of departing from the Earth. – Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

Carl Jung was pretty much alone in his worldview when it came to experiences like these. He went through long periods of social isolation because there was no one in his professional or personal circles that could relate his experiences to something valid. There was no one to tell him that he wasn’t crazy for having an OBE or having visions.

Khayriyyah, you’re not the only one who thought it would be easier to die in that space. Here’s how Jung puts it.

From below, from the direction of Europe, an image floated up. It was my doctor, or rather, his likeness – framed by a golden chain or a golden laurel wreath. I knew at once:

“Aha, this is my doctor, of course, the one who has been treating me. But now he is coming in his primal form, as a “basileus of Kos.” [1]  In life he was an avatar of this basileus, the temporal embodiment of the primal form, which has existed from the beginning. Now he is appearing in that primal form.

[1] Basileus was the king (i.e. “basileus”) of Kos – a small Greek island on the Aegean Sea. The island of Kos was famous in antiquity as the site of the temple of Asklepios, and was the birthplace of Hippocrates.

Presumably I too was in my primal form, though this was something I did not observe but simply took for granted. As he stood before me, a mute exchange of thought took place between us. The doctor had been delegated by the Earth to deliver a message to me, to tell me that there was a protest against my going away. I had no right to leave the Earth and must return. The moment I heard that, the vision ceased.

I was profoundly disappointed, for now it all seemed to have been for nothing. The painful process of defoliation had been in vain, and I was not to be allowed to enter the temple, to join the people in whose company I belonged. – Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

Just as you were woken up, Khayriyyah, because your son needed you, Jung was also woken up because he needed to finish his work on earth. Your story, and your profession, reminded me of Jung’s out of body experience. But it also makes me think of Kemet, or ancient Egypt and what Dr. Edward Bruce Bynum Calls The African Unconscious. 

Khayriyyah asks, “Is that called dying and coming back to life or almost dying. I’m really not sure.”

The Ancient Kemetans called it, “coming forth by day and going forth by night”. In Kemet, the pharaohs and priests practiced, among other things, willful out of body experience, or near death experience.  I think this process of exploring other realms of consciousness is one of the ways they developed a lasting civilization. They were the first psychologists. They studied the unconscious, what they called “the underworld” to make sense of reality. Just as Jung developed the concept of archetypes, universal human mind patterns, the Kemetans developed mythology that explained life, death and the cosmos.

Here’s how Dr. Bynum explains their practice.

This ancient approach to the Amenta, or unconscious, began in Kemet and spread down the Nile and then throughout the Mediterranean world of Greece, Rome, and the Near East. At one time there were over 400 such temples to the god Asclepius. They existed from 600 B.C.E . to 500 C.E . The medical caduceus, a staff with a serpent entwined around it seven times, was taken from this period. The whole point, beyond physical- medical healing, was to “awaken” the sleepers to the deeper spiritual life existing in the unconscious depths of their experience. It was to re- member , to put back together again the consciousness of the finite individual material life with the infinite collective and luminous life of the great spiritual being. When this was accomplished, the neophyte matured into one of the “sons of light” and was capable of “coming forth by day and going forth by night.” -Dr. Edward Bruce Bynum The African Unconscious 

Judging from your blog post, Khayriyyah, it seems that your experience and the experience of the pharaohs had the same illuminating effect.


For anyone interested in pursuing these topics more here are a few videos and links.