Saturday, December 18, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Louise Hay's new book Experience Your Good Now will be out on Tuesday, May 18th, and with it a CD that lets Louise talk to readers with reinforcement of her philosophy and encouragement for maintaining a positive outlook every day. Hay House was kind enough to send me a copy of the book and CD to review.
I've been a fan of Louise Hay and her publications since I first listened to her book You Can Heal Your Life on tape about a decade ago. I have to admit that at first I was skeptical that just saying positive statements could change anything more than my mindset, and even that would take some doing--more than just saying something that I wanted to be true. I had been taking antidepressants and contemplating divorce for several years, and it seemed to me that it was the act of believing lot of fairy tale hype about love and the American dream that had set me up for the let down I was experiencing. So did I want to believe in this positive affirmation philosophy as the answer to my life's problems? This was before the success of The Secret and before I knew anything about the Law of Attraction or Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich.
It's not a new idea to believe in and focus on what we want. In fact Louise often quotes biblical texts that make reference to the fact that everything we need is provided for us--Matthew 21:22, "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive," and Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."This is the key, Louise says -- believing you already have what you want, what you are asking for, saying it with love in the present tense (e.g. "My income is constantly increasing" or "I always work in harmonious surroundings.").
To some people, this approach seems a bit too "woo-woo" to even take seriously. Why say things "with love"? But Louise's Hay House colleague, scientist Gregg Braden, supports the notion of emotional expression of what we want as a key to changing our circumstances, and at the very least, our health. He cites experiments that show that the heart produces much more electrical and magnetic energy than the brain does, and that if thoughts are energy capable of changing the web of energy around us, emotions are even more likely to do so. The human heart, he says, is designed to change the electrical and magnetic field far beyond the space around us, which can thereby change atomic makeup. What Gregg talks about provides the scientific basis for what Louise has been saying for decades--that our feelings can rearrange the essence of the world around us so that the world reflects the reality of those feelings.
What convinces me to take Louise seriously is her own story of being an incest survivor who carried a burden of low self-esteem for years, and a cancer survivor who, after having worked with AIDS patients in the 1980s to improve their health through positive affirmations, found herself faced with her own health problems and the opportunity to practice what she was preaching. Gregg Braden also experienced a similar serious health issue and healing which he credits with the use of positive emotional focus in addition to medical care. Louise's positive outlook, her beauty, self-confidence, and warm way of communicating with others is a testament to the fact that she has not succumbed to what could have been a negative outlook based on unpleasant experiences in her life.
While this book re-states much of what Louise Hay's New York Times best seller You Can Heal Your Life touches on, she brings in affirmations that address negative thoughts about aging and death, which is new to her repertoire and good to see addressed. Much of our culture ignores those two realities and many people suffer silently in denial, fear or uncertainty.
I really like the CD and the idea of hearing Louise's soothing voice and encouragement and her own personal experience. Even though I am cognizant of these principles and believe they have worked in my own life, I fall into the usual negative self-talk and thinking and forget to use these precepts. Experience Your Good Now was a good reminder to me in facing whatever challenges are in my life now to make those changes in my thoughts and feelings. It is a small, easy-to-read book and the CD lets me keep my mindset where I want it to be.
With the publication of this book, Hay House is also offering a chance to win a spot on an "I Can Do It! At Sea" Caribbean cruise in January 2011 to spend a week with some favorite Hay House authors. Click on the above link or go to www.experienceyourgoodnow.com to enter. Share it with your friends online and get more chances to win. People who enter the contest also receive several free downloads from Hay House and a coupon discounting the purchase of a Hay House publication.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Check out my article TLC's Paranormal Court is in Session on Technorati about the newest paranormal show featuring medium Robert Hansen, from Long Island.
Here is a preview from YouTube.
A number of years ago I had gone to a Borders book store where Hansen appeared in front of a group of believers hoping to get a message from beyond. A good friend of mine did get messages from her brother -- or at least answers that fit the personality of her brother. I thought some of those answers could have been from the person I was hoping to hear from -- my grandmother--but I didn't claim them and my friend did.
I subsequently went to see Hansen give audience readings (a la John Edward's gallery), which he did at the time in his karate school in Wantagh, Long Island. I did not get a reading that night, though I paid to be there. I noticed a few years ago that Hansen was doing regular Saturday night audience readings for a reasonable price on Long Island, and never had the chance to go. It just bothered me to keep paying to go, and not to get a reading.
At least the Spiritualist church in NYC where I went to a seance gave everyone a reading who paid to participate -- don't know if that is a good or a bad thing -- makes you wonder if they are really getting a message or just making sure you get your money's worth so that you'll keep coming back.
Unfortunately, I was out of town the night this aired and I was unable to DVR it. I asked a friend to tape it, which he did, and he accidentally taped over it. So I guess I wasn't meant to see the show. However, I understand that he gave readings similar to the way Lisa Williams did on her show "Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead" but that Hansen has a specific mission of solving disputes, and that when he gave the answer, everyone agreed to abide by the "ruling."
For a couple of reasons I hope Hansen's show succeeds -- one reason is the selfish fact that I am writing about paranormal television for my dissertation and the other medium shows have been cancelled, for the most part, except for Psychic Kids. The other reason is that I think Hansen is a good medium and a really nice person. I just don't know if the whole premise of the show will fly or at least be sustainable for the long haul. I think just doing a basic show about a medium's work is better than a medium with a gimmick, but this show is airing when the others are not (Cross Country with John Edward, and Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead).
Good luck, Robert. Hope to see more of your show, and more of your peers.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Humans at every level of society, from renowned philosophers to ordinary individuals, have sought meaning in life and in death. What does it all mean? What is the meaning of my life? Is there a purpose, and if so, am I fulfilling it? How can I know?
We live in a time when meaning is primarily associated with what we do, who we are, or what we have accomplished, yet all too often a sense of meaning eludes us despite our best efforts. Is a job or career really the basis of a meaningful life? Is the kind of car we drive or the brand of clothes we wear going to ultimately make us or break us?
Wayne Dyer’s new book, The Shift (Hay House, 2010), and its related DVD, explore the concept of meaning as it relates to our place in the world as well as the universe. The thread Dyer follows throughout the book relates a sense of nothingness to where we come from – “It appears that nothing exists at the moment of the transition to something….we originated from something that has no form, no boundaries, no beginning, and no substance” – to where we belong—“[T]he most efficient way to know and experience where we came from is to make every effort to reconnect to nothing by creating the experience of no attachments, no things, and no thoughts…”—and where we are going--“That which is formless cannot be destroyed,” he writes. “[O]ur essence is eternal, and it is only the physical body that appears to come and go in a cycle of birth and death.”
As a writer and speaker who touches frequently on Taoist philosophy, Dyer often quotes Lao-tzu and the Tao Te Ching, and the philosophy that “by doing nothing, everything is done.” While we undergo an earthly experience, he says, we struggle while attempting to let ambition and achievement dominate our day-to-day lives. Letting go of everything and all our attachments rather than pursuing a sense of entitlement through ambition, brings us back to where we came from, and thus provides us with a sense of meaning and connection with the source from whence we came. Instead of continuing to strive without arriving, it is only when we let go, that we finally do arrive.
The “shift” refers to what Dyer calls a “quantum moment” in which an individual experiences a fall of some kind. It is a quantum moment in that its extraordinariness produces an epiphany and a sudden transformation. Again quoting from the Tao, he writes, “Hidden in all misfortune is good fortune.” Once we decide to make the shift, we go through a series of U-turn processes that change our focus from the external to the internal, from the world to the Spirit.
Dyer has focused on the spiritual perspective before in his books – providing us with spiritual solutions, insights into the power of intention, perspectives from the masters of philosophy. What this book offers for us today in a time when unemployment is at a peak, our sense of security is fragile, when earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes and other natural disasters plague us in ways we have not seen before in recent times, is the guidance to make the shift to find our way to the inner sense of security that we arrived with. The second part of the title of The Shift is Taking Your Life from Ambition to Meaning. When you’ve been thrown overboard, going from a six-figure job to serving beverages in a coffee bar, or driving a Lexus to taking the bus, does that loss of status mean a loss of self? Dyer provides the life preserver that allows us to find our way back to the shore.
It is, in a sense, the opposite of The Secret, which focuses on manifesting worldly wealth by creating our own reality. Rather the "shift" is eschewing a reality of worldly wealth and finding contentment in a world of carefree acceptance of what is. Letting go of ambition, to go from the role of a human doing to becoming, once again, a human being. Is it possible? How often do we hear of people getting to their deathbed only to realize they missed what they come to believe is the point of life. They “gained the world and lost their soul.” The Shift implores readers to re-examine things sooner rather than later, and to find that meaning now instead of wasting a lifetime looking for peace in all the wrong places.
Note: The blogger for this post received this book for free from Hay House in order to write this review
Monday, January 18, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
On the other hand, Barry and Brad Klinge on Ghost Lab attribute those areas of traceable high EMF readings to being a cause of paranormal experiences.
So basically Ghost Hunters says areas that create high EMFs due to a high number of electrical connections cause a PERCEPTION of paranormal activity that is not valid, while Brad and Barry claim those areas that generate high EMFs are like a "nest" that draws out actual paranormal events.
ASSAP web site does talk about this on their website under "Ghosts, Baselines and EMF meters."
Here is an excerpt from their article about EMFs and hauntings:
Can EMF meters detect paranormal activity? Given the problems outlined above, it seems unlikely. In summary:
•EMF meters cannot show frequency data so that different readings cannot be compared
•there are many natural sources of variability and spikes in low field areas (including non electrical sources) which cannot be easily distinguished with EMF meters
•EMF meters cannot identify 3 phase interference
•EMF meters cannot identify fields capable of causing hallucinations (EIFs)
In addition, EMF meters are often not used in the best way they could be. Problems include:
•baselines at the start of vigils which are little better than random
•what constitutes 'paranormal activity' is often poorly defined making comparisons between different vigils and different sites problematic
•mediumistic information is sometimes included as 'activity' even when nothing is witnessed by non-mediums
•paranormal activity is not always investigated exhaustively to eliminate natural causes
Brad and Barry do an EMF "sweep" prior to the investigation -- getting an overall baseline reading of the entire area. Jason and Grant don't show that they do that (they might, but we don't know). ASSAP says that a proper baseline EMF reading should be taken over a 24-hour period prior to an investigation, and that there are other types of readings, called EIFs (varying magnetic fields), which may explain possible hallucinations that seem like a haunting.
ASSAP says the best way to do EMF readings is:
A single baseline measurement is therefore not very helpful. A much better solution is a 'positional baseline'. With this sort of setup you position a pair of EMF meters so that one is in a 'hot spot' (where lots of paranormal activity has been reported) and the other in a control area (somewhere nearby and as similar as possible but with no reports of activity). In this setup, instead of comparing readings to a more or less random baseline, you compare contemporary readings in different places. The 'control' instrument effectively provides a continuous baseline for the 'hot spot' one. It is then easy to spot if there are higher readings at the hot spot compared to the control.
I have not seen any of the paranormal investigation teams doing this or reporting this methodology being used in an investigation.
A new show called Paranormal Cops debuts this week on A&E, Tuesday night.
Keep up to date on paranormal reality shows being aired each week by following @dhdobry on Twitter.