Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Literary genius offers spiritual allegories, metaphors and symbolism in outstanding work

The Author or The Characters' Short Living Story
By Facundo Raganato
Published by Harvard Square Editions
Copyright © 2014
Pages: 255

It has been said that writing a book is like giving birth – to a story, to characters with personalities, to dialogue, to scenes, to action – all resulting in a climactic end – the birth of a new book lovingly presented to the world. And along this same line, the author is the creator, giving life to this new creation through the written word.

Never before have I read anything quite like Facundo Raganato's The Author or The Characters' Short Living Story. It is truly a work of literary genius.

The author captures the essence of his own role in the literary process, along with the roles of his characters and even the reader, who keep the characters alive as long as he or she is immersed in the story. It all begins much like Genesis – darkness, nothingness and infinite space – no boundaries open to interpretation by all three parties – author, characters and reader.

The stage is set as six characters huddle in this void, each wondering who they are, how they got there and what will happen next. Do they have a past; do they have a future? The author takes the reader along for the ride as they embark on their journey – each with differing personalities and perspectives that compel them to think, act and react in specific ways.

It is essentially a journey of discovery and self-discovery that tests their true worth through various challenges. In the process, the author determines their value to the overall story – killing off some; saving others. Although this could be viewed as a merciless act – and some characters actually view it as such – it is vital to the refinement of the overall story.

At the same time the author makes use of a multitude of allegories. An allegory is a literary device wherein there is more than one meaning. In this case, the author uses his character's words and actions to reveal deeper spiritual truths.

This truly one-of-a-kind work is also full of metaphors: author/creator/God; characters/humans; fiction/reality; characters' struggles/human struggles; overcoming challenges/life's challenges; faith in the author/faith in self/faith in a creator; the characters' search for truth/wisdom in the real world/eventual enlightenment; and on it goes.

And as a reader, I could not help relating all of these to both the physical and spiritual worlds in which we live out our lives. While I note “God,” this spiritual journey that the characters go on could easily relate to any spiritual belief and the truths they hold.

As you read this book, it is necessary to take your time – to fully understand the symbolism hidden within its pages. For instance, the over-riding importance of going with, instead of without in our search for understanding and expansion of consciousness. The value of meditation and the ability to create one's own story not just on paper but also in life.

This is one book that you will want to read more than once to ensure that its universal truths are instilled in your mind – which as this reader sees it, is more important than the actual mechanics of the story that the author has created. We all have much to learn from Raganato's work. If we could only put the lessons into practice, our world would be a much better place.

To pick up your copy of The Author or The Characters' Short Living Story, go HERE.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Science of Spirit Possession (2nd Edition)

Palmer offers scientific understanding of spirit possession & stresses need for further study

By Terence Palmer
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
2nd Edition, © December 1, 2014
ISBN-10: 1443868108
ISBN-13: 978-1443868105
Hardcover, 375 pages

In The Science of Spirit Possession: A 21st Century Approach to Mental Health, author Terence James Palmer proposed that Spirit Release Therapy (SRT) is the most effective way to treat people who are possessed by “earthbound spirits of the deceased.”

A firm believer in the survival of consciousness after one’s physical death, Palmer bases his theories on the work of Frederic Myers (1843-1901), the 19th century researcher and co-founder of the Society for Psychical Research in 1882, whom he said proved the existence of a spirit world capable of interacting with our physical world.

In a follow-up thesis at http://www.examiner.com/review/book-review-the-science-of-spirit-possession-part-1-of-2 which I wrote about in January 2013, Palmer reviewed the Catholic practice of exorcism during which a priest or other person of the cloth demands in the name of God or Jesus that the offending entity leave the person who appears to be possessed based on the Rituale Romanum of 1614. He noted that SRT - “a soul-centered therapy” - offers a “more gentle approach” which is also more effective without the need to impose a particular religious belief or other philosophy on the patient.

Now in The Science of Spirit Possession (2nd Edition), Palmer offers a more in depth look at the beliefs of various cultures around the world and how those beliefs affect the way in which those who are deemed to be possessed are dealt with. He still stresses the beliefs and methods of Myers but adds much more information from a variety of other sources.

When it comes to understanding spirit possession, Palmer stresses the importance of “personal subjective experience.” For instance, psychologist and medical anthropologist Alberto Villoldo personally experienced the healing practices of Amazon and Inca shamans for some 25 years. Through shamanic journeying, Villoldo realized that those who are possessed experience a “temporary absence of the victim’s soul,” which is known in anthropology as ‘soul-loss.’”

There are many aspects to be considered when attempting to come to some conclusions about the possibility of spirit possession beginning with the issue of discernment as to whether he or she is dealing with a true case of possession, schizophrenia or other such malady, or simply a case of an overactive imagination.

This includes taking into account the cultural influences, personal beliefs and even the expectations of the patient. It is also important to note the same things in relation to the practitioner. As well, there is the matter of eyewitness testimony, Palmer notes. Just like conflicting views of an accident scene, the same thing can occur during an exorcism.

He also addresses the topic of telepathy and the part it can play in possession cases. As well, he writes about a spirit’s role in channeling in automatic writing and psychography.  As well, he notes the importance of the pineal gland and the possible use of neuro-imagingto actually view the lit up impulses of the brain during such events.

Palmer addresses vital aspects of spirit possession; part 2

In The Science of Spirit Possession (2nd Edition), www.cambridgescholars.com/download/sample/62013 Terence Palmer cites a few true cases of possession that involved dramatic physical changes in the patient, which were indicative of a bona fide demonic possession.

One is the case of Anna Ecklund from Earling, Iowa (1928) with exorcist the Reverend Carl Vogel. Anna’s face became so “twisted and distorted that no one would recognize its features. Her whole body became so horribly disfigured that the appearance of her human shape vanished.” Her body contorted in various ways and she vomited often.

Another is the case of Karen Kingston (1974) a mentally challenged 13-year old from North Carolina, who appeared to suffer from multiple personality disorder. Her father was “an alcoholic and at the age of seven, she saw her mother murder her father with a butcher knife. After witnessing this violent act, the child went into shock and never recovered.”

During the exorcism, Kingston levitated about five feet off the floor. Father John Tyson and Baptist Minister Reverend Richard Sutter had been holding her down at the time to keep from anyone getting hurt so when she levitated, they went with her. According to Robert Pelton, who related the incident in his report of 1985, “Tyson just sat there gasping. He looked rather ridiculous with his long legs dangling. Sutter looked like a captive who had been shot and draped over a horse.”

“They made the demon in Karen write a paragraph, which he did to the staff’s astonishment, for they knew that Karen could not write.”

When Reverend Richard Rogers demanded that the demon say its name, it replied, “Williams.” Then as he was expelled from Karen he said, “Leave us alone. I’ll come but I will kill this b*tch first…” When the demon left, there was a “bluish green cloud” that “enveloped her completely…”

Palmer then reviews the “First Law of Thermodynamics” discovered by physicist James Prescott Joule (1818-1889). This law states that “energy cannot be created or destroyed; rather the amount of energy lost in a steady state process cannot be greater than the amount of energy gained.” In layman’s terms, he states that when applied to “living systems” (people), it means that the energy contained within them is “transformed” into another form of energy when their bodies die. It is energies such as these that can be instrumental in causing spirit possession, particularly if the spirit of the deceased has its own issues that need to be dealt with. Thus the need to treat the intruding spirit as well as the patient.

In his previous works, Palmer noted the need for a “revised epistemology” when dealing with cases of possession. This time around, he goes further into this concept. As in the past, he notes the conflict faced by mainstream scientific thinkers who do not want to accept the use of a treatment based on the belief that spirit (consciousness) survives physical death and is able to interact with the living – physically, mentally (via telepathy) and emotionally based on that spirit’s own beliefs.

“It has been my own experience that the greatest difficulty in researching answers to questions of a spiritual nature lies in the determination of modern science to treat the concept of Spirit as taboo.”

In Chapter 15, Palmer presents a “Draft Project Proposal: Auditory Hallucinations or Hearing Voices. “The first part of this proposal,” he writes, “is to test the hypothesis that Spiritual mediums are able to tell the difference between autogenic (self-created) hallucinations and voices that are veridical (emanating from an external source) in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.” The objective, he adds, is to test the “efficacy of Remote Spirit Release Therapy (RSRT), otherwise known as dis-obsession by Spiritist healers.” While some practitioners already do this with varying degrees of success, Palmer says there has never been “rigorous scientific testing.”

This book contains so much valuable information for anyone who wishes to delve deeper into all aspects of the possession phenomenon, how it has been and is now being treated and all that this entails in various parts of the world. This is not a book that can be read through quickly. One must take time to ensure that he or she understands all of the various aspects that Palmer presents.

There is just so much information between this book’s pages that it could not possibly be fully covered here. However, anyone who deals with the issue of possession and wishes to effectively treat his or her patients should definitely read it.

Terence Palmer has a degree in Psychology from Canterbury Christ Church University and a Master’s degree in the study of Mysticism and Religious Experience from Kent University. He has been a hypnotherapist for 20 years and a spirit release practitioner for 12. The University of Wales at Bangor awarded him a doctorate for his thesis on the scientific conceptual framework and research methods of 19th century researcher F.W.H. Myers. He is the first practitioner to be awarded a PhD on the topic of Spirit Release Therapy in the UK. He is also a member of The Society for Psychical Research and The Scientific and Medical Network. As well, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.

His newest book can now be pre-ordered at Amazon.com


The Exorcism of Anna Ecklund

Karen Kingston Exorcism

Exorcism by Lee E. Warren

Anna Ecklund

Terence Palmer’s Web Site: http://www.tjpalmer.org/

Terence Palmer on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-T-Palmer/336668526386740?fref=photo

Note: The Fifth British Congress on Medicine and Spirituality www.medspiritcongress.org/ will be held in London, England in October 2015

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Learn from the pros how to sell your art successfully

How to Sell Art to Interior Designers
By Barney Davey & Dick Harrison
Published by Bold Star Media
© Copyright  2014
ISBN: 13-978-1500788582
ISBN: 10-1500788589
Pages: 177 

Barney Davey and Dick Harrison, who are both dedicated the business of selling art, share their many years of experience and expertise to help both up-and-coming artists and seasoned veteran to venture into the field.

Many artists do not have the business acumen to know how to sell their art. In fact often their creative passions override the fact that they might actually make a living from it. However, doing so takes knowledge that only these art industry pros can provide.

“To make a living from your art… your plan must go well beyond passion and involve generating a profit as well,” the authors note.

This book provides “insider information” and advice on such topics as the various types of interior designers, how to sell your art to them, the importance of tailoring your own artistic ability to meet the needs of particular clients and how to keep them coming back.

“When you demonstrate that you and your art can regularly fill a need or solve a problem for an interior designer, you’re well on your way to developing a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.”

You will also learn how to present your work in the best possible light and the various alternative options for selling more of your artwork. Although the title of the book implies that interior designers are an artist’s only choice, the authors present other options as well.

Rather than putting your eggs all in one or even a few individual baskets, the authors show you how to diversify into other fields such as design centers. Find out how these centers operate, how to locate and connect with them, and how they could become another valuable source of income.

“Individual vendors in these design centers are in the business of selling art, primarily to interior designers, so the potential for multiple sales of primarily reproductions to one vendor is very promising.”

They also write about corporate art consultants and corporate art buyers. Find out what they do, how to locate them, how to determine their needs and how you could work with them.

You will also learn how to harness the power of networking both on and off the Internet including the importance of establishing relationships, good communication skills and why you should maintaining a blog or web site. Like many artists, you might panic at the thought of promoting your art. You will learn how to lose the fear of selling, and the seven ways you might sabotage your chances.

No matter what route you take to sell your art the authors warn, “There are companies that prey on artists…Due diligence is always required.”

This book is a highly valuable resource that every artist should read so they know the opportunities that exist for them to sell their work while avoiding the pitfalls along the way. To pick up your copy go HERE.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ancient Africa holds countless mysteries including UFOs

By Jim Davidson
Mystik Africa Publications
© Copyright 2012
ISBN: 978-0-9814170-1-1
Pages: 280

This book on ancient Africa relates the country's long history of civilizations stretching back over thousands of years.

The Atlanteans – a race of giants who according to legend were as technologically advanced as we are today - were once scattered in many places, including South Africa where they were drawn by stories of rich mining operations in iron, gold, silver, diamonds and other precious gems.

This history the author says, has been “hidden behind a veil of secrecy, misunderstanding and blatant contradictions ordained by a race of people within our midst that we refer to – ‘The Learned Ones.’”

Even before the Atlanteans there were the Lemurians, depictions of whom are displayed on many cave walls as ‘Birdmen’ – half animal, half human. When the human Atlanteans arose, some stayed in South Africa, interbred with the Lemurians and used many as slave labor in mining operations. Others moved to mainland Atlantis.

“The last remnants of the old Lemurian civilization finally went extinct during the reign of the Ancient Egyptians who revered them as Gods from a previous civilization.”

This book covers countless years of South Africa’s history – far too much to be included here. There are also hundreds of photos taken by the author of everything from cave drawings and paintings of human and non-human figures, huge standing stones, balancing rocks, circular buildings, great walls of stone bricks, remnants of a fortress (the Great Ruins of Zimbabwe), and out-of-place objects such as a huge jaw bones that must have belonged to someone three meters tall.

Most interesting and mysterious of all is the final chapter entitled Teachers from the Stars. In this chapter, the author notes the Drakensberg Mountain range where many Bushman paintings can be found. In the Game Pass Shelter there is a painting depicting not only humans and animals but also strange, cloaked figures with bulbous heads and what appears to be an antennae on top that move by floating just above the ground.

Now this could easily be dismissed as a figment of someone’s imagination. However, strikingly similar beings were seen on September 12, 1952 at Flatwoods, West Virginia. The beings were described as “between 10 and 15 feet tall and had a blood red face and glowing, greenish-orange eyes.” They also wore black cloaks, had bulbous heads, claws for hands and floated above the ground.

Another painting in the Chamavara Caves depicts a giant man, whom the author refers to as “a teacher from the stars.” There are many depictions of UFOs as well, which the ancient Africans called Shems. The author writes of the Anunnaki, first noted by Zecharia Sitchin as being from a planet called Nibiru. These aliens sought gold from the mines of Africa, which they needed to disperse in the air above their planet in order to survive.

Davidson writes: “The mere mention of ‘unidentified flying objects’ sounds a death knell to most ‘academics and learned ones,’ sending them scuttling uncontrollably for the safe havens of hallowed institutions and resolute theories of evolution.”

He certainly tells it like it is and with a dose of humor at that!

It is obvious that Davidson has traveled far and wide in South Africa, and conducted much research for the writing of his book. It does take some time to read, as one needs to digest each part in the extremely long history of this region. Once you reach the end, however, you will realize that it is still shrouded in countless great mysteries, many of which we might never know the truth.

To pick up your copy of Mysteries & Civilisations of Ancient Afrika, go HERE.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Author offers hilarious look at a new church in 2027

Book Review: The Future Church – Revelations Revised

By Dick Harrison
© Copyright February 2013
Kindle Edition

The new Conglomerate Church in the year 2027 takes the appeal of the Internet to a brand new level. This church captures believers of various stripes by offering them a ‘quick fix’ for their prayers, not to mention the easiest way possible to unload their confessions.

Since people already know how to pray, all they have to do is fill out their request, drop it into a prayer box at their local church,temple, synagogue, etc. and a speedy answer can come by email, Twitter message, Facebook post or even Linked-In message – whatever a person prefers!

“If they have a computer, they can go straight in – email boldly before the throne,” Harrison writes.

He shows the influence of Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian philosopher and writer that most everyone, including myself, became familiar with in high school. McLuhan wrote such books as The Global Village,in which he predicted that individual newspapers would eventually be replaced by an electronic media that would bring the world closer together, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964), about the influence of the communications media of the time and The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (1961), which took a serious look at ‘communications technology’ and what its effects might be in the future.

To further fill the coffers, The Conglomerate Church sells a variety of items to its happy parishioners around the world such as it’s popular Three Speed Electric Rosary (to cut penance time in half!) and Confessional Saunas where those health-minded folks can go to cleanse their bodies and their souls!

You will find yourself laughing at every turn of the page in this lighthearted look at what church life could be in the future. You will be in stitches reading about the church’s new appeal to young people with Spray-On-Condoms, their choices for sainthood and the hilarious Augmented Commandments.

Obviously, Harrison put a great deal of thought into developing this book. Add a huge doses of humor throughout and this book becomes an easy read that you’ll want to enjoy more than once!

Harrison is an award winning author, cartoonist and podcaster who has published a variety of works – always maintaining his witty and charming sense of humor.

For more information on The Future Church – Revelations Revised, go HERE and to pick up your own copy at just $2.99, go to HERE

Thursday, July 3, 2014

LIM-R-IDDLES Revisited offers hours of entertaining fun

By Richard Harrison
© Copyright March 2014
Published by BookBaby

Pages: 222

In LIM-R-IDDLES REVISITED, Richard Harrison offers readers an opportunity to solve entertaining limericks in riddles that provide hours of fun and stretch the mind at the same time.

In his opening Dedication, Harrison notes that he stems from “a generation that revered words – their power and their meaning.” It was a time when dictionaries became well-worn tools with teachers often saying, “Go look it up!” This is vastly in contrast to today where people around the world write “140-character Tweets” that contain “no grammar, punctuation or capitals.”

Being a student of old-school learning, Harrison learned to use words to their fullest, which has led him to creating word games such as those found in LIM-R-IDDLES. From humorous quips about marriage and children to the arts, animals, crime, pet peeves, imbibing, health, sports and more, his collection of 157 limericks will leave even the most intelligent folks scratching their heads as they attempt to solve the mixed up words that form them.

Add to this most amusing drawings that accompany each puzzle and LIM-R-IDDLES offers countless hours of enjoyment. Unlike crosswords, word finds and other such games, this one will keep you guessing with every page.

They say that as one gets older, it is more important than ever to keep one’s mind active to stave off the ills of old age. By the time you reach the end of this book, you will know that your mind has certainly had a good workout without you even realizing it. Also at the end, Harrison invites his readers to try their own hand at creating LIM-R-IDDLES, suggesting that if chosen, they just might appear in an upcoming issue.

So settle into your easy chair, put your thinking cap on and pick up a copy of this most entertaining and challenging work for just $2.99 by going HERE.

Also Available at Barnes & Noble HERE.

For more information on LIM-R-IDDLES REVISITED, go HERE.

For those who might wonder why this is a ‘revisited’ edition, Harrison and Albert Adler Harrison created an earlier version called Fun with Lim-R-Iddles published in 1968 so be sure to check that one out as well by going HERE.