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  1. A HAUNTING IN ROSEMONT
    By Paul Dale Roberts, HPI's Esoteric Detective
    Halo Paranormal Investigations
    www.cryptic916.com/


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    INITIAL REPORT
    OPEN INVESTIGATION
    Date to be there: January 19, 2019 Saturday / Time to be there: 2pm.  Occupant: Shirley Romo. Mother passed away in the house, the occupant is trying to determine if the mother is haunting the home. Address to be at: Rosemont (Sacramento) CA

    1/19/2019:  On this investigation it was me, my wife / psychic medium Deanna Jaxine Stinson and ghosthunter-in-training Willie Dengler.  Willie says he has done some ghost hunting on his own, but now he must learn the HPI way.  The home we went to in Rosemont is owned by Shirley Romo.  She tells us that her mother passed away on May 12, 2018.  Her mother enjoyed being in the kitchen.  Shirley started suspecting that her mother is in the house, because at times the house smelled like her mother.  Shirley's daughter Jordan Lopez says that birds are strangely hanging around in the backyard and have even flew into the window.  My theory on this is that the birds are attracted to an energy source and that energy source is the mother's aura that lingers at this home.  One of the daughters has actually seen the mother in this home.   Shirley believes there may be 5 entities in the home.  The entities are her mother, her father, her mother's brother, grandma's dog and some strange guy that looks through the window.  In fact the deceased mother when she was alive saw the man looking through the window.  The father may be around, because of his 1981 Silverado truck in the garage.  

    THE INVESTIGATION:
    Deanna and Willie did a walk-through.  Willie says he is a medium.  Zak Bagans of Ghost Adventures deemed Deanna as a psychic medium.  Willie didn't pick up on anything.  Deanna picked up on energy throughout the house.  Deanna determined that there was a person that was killed on the other side of the fence and that he may be the peeking man in the window.  The temperature indicator started blinking red and when I asked if the mother was in the kitchen, a female voice was on the recorder that said "I'm here".  The family validates that the female voice is their mother.  Deanna picked up energy in the garage and took a picture inside the truck and captured a ghostly face that is surrounded by orbs.  The face was wearing a red shirt and a necklace.  The family verified that the father was a SF 49ers fan and would wear a red shirt and the necklace is something he would wear.  They looked at the face and determined that the photo was indeed their father.  I asked him if I could drive his truck and captured a "no" EVP.  Then he said he was "here".  The EVPs were clear as day.  We validated that the father and mother are still in this house.  We captured a "ya" evp, "hi" evp, "unintelligible whisper" evp.  On the night vision goggles, I saw various orbs flying around in this one bedroom.  I was not able to validate if the orbs were paranormal.

    Great catch for Deanna, I was absolutely amazed at the photo and with the family saying that it was their father, that was validation enough!  Afterwards, Deanna conducted tarot card readings for Shirley and her daughter Jordan.  Thank you to this amazing family for the homemade cookies, bottled water and delicious vegetable dish.

    VIDEOS FROM INVESTIGATION:
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaPa3InpfuQ&feature=youtu.be
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wQrMJcnkjA&feature=youtu.be
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVt4cUkb7fo&feature=youtu.be
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLSD3r50rbQ&feature=youtu.be  
    Deanna takes a picture of a GHOSTLY FACE - direct link above!
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qGeiW2FlTg&feature=youtu.be
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=djm_0Niav24&feature=youtu.be
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6imBy6ULvc&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1pRTccHMb9VILxcqdvGGgiK1t-w27MEtRTPVRq-kC_Anh3X4_PrnxUgDQ

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    Anxiety and Morning Coffee

    I love coffee.  I enjoy the ritual of preparing it.  Three scoops for a full pot, allowing the water to run, then getting that first taste of the bitter brew.  Yes, I love the bitter taste of coffee.  I guess I simply taught myself to enjoy dark, and bitter.  It is a familiar place, a comfortable one, a good start for any day. 

    As I age, I begin to notice that in the morning, even though I wake up rather quickly, there has always been a form of ‘suffering’ associated with it.   Yes a dramatic word, but I do not have another word for it.  It is low key, deep, and it is apparent when I wake up.  Coffee, the making of it, the aroma, and the bitterness seems to get me out of that space.  When young it was not so strong this underlying anxiety, so I could ignore it, but now it is something that I face every morning, though it is really not all that much of a bother.  Just a part of my life.

    Like when I take an evening walk, I find it very soothing, comforting, and it makes it easier for me to awaken my mind a bit since in the evening I like most people, become very tired.  Even then, there are evenings when I am tired, but find that I do not want to go to sleep, sort of like the feeling right after I wake up.  I guess this is a common human experience, sort of like the commonness of grass, except this is my blade of grass. 

    I am happy that I can now say that I do have some anxiety, it helps me to put my anger issues into perspective as well.  It is about learning that I can’t control much, but I can deal with how I interact with a world that can be a bit chaotic and very unpredictable. 

    I have come to believe that these experiences have a common thread associated with it.  In some sense, both have to do with sleep.  I am a very light sleeper, and I seem to dream right after I close my eyes.  For instances, I can be reading in my room, say around 3 PM, then fall asleep for a few minutes, no more than five, yet when I wake up, it is in the middle of a dream.  This is not uncommon in the population, but the majority of people seem to start dreaming further into their sleep cycle.  I wonder if this has a little something to do with my morning’s feeling somewhat dark, empty, and the underlying anxiety. 

    I do know that when I get my coffee after I wake up, and walk out the front door of the retreat house, it always brings up a feeling of hope and even joy.  On some mornings it is hot, and there is life all around me.  Snails on the walkway, and the wall that keeps me from plunging over into the parking lot covered with many of these little, humble, creatures.  Which by the way, are beautiful and elegant.  Sometimes, I hear a lone bird calling out, or crickets seeking a mate, a lot of crickets.  Cicada’s once in a while with their ear-piercing call will also greet me.  Palmetto bugs as well.  As long as stay outside they are good, but one step inside, well it does not end well.

     Rain, and wind, I find it all soothing and delightful.  I love to breathe in the cold air.  I get a great deal of pleasure from listening to rain, both the gentle music of the falling raindrops as they hit the pavement or the leaves on the bushes and trees, that surround me. As well as the hard pounding heavy metal kind of storm, with high winds, and lightning and thunder.  One morning as I was sipping my coffee, a very loud thunderclap boomed just above the Monastery.  I jumped and spilled my coffee…..I laughed, a good way to start any day, with a laugh.

    As long as I center myself on what is important at that time of the day, the anxiety soon dissipates, if I do not, it can linger, and become ‘The Noon-Day-Devil’, an experience of inner wandering, discontent, and a feeling that I am slowly dissipating into the wind.  There are days when I seem to prefer that, being a hungry ghost, instead of being rooted in what is loving and eternal, beckoning me to respond. 

    To respond, to give time, to let go of what is really not that important, can for me, be difficult.  I am not always sure why, but at bottom, one thing I do fear is love, as well as desire it.  Yet love that is real, demands everything.  Sometimes I put in my heels and act like a child holding it’s breathe…..fruitless I know, yet still something I do. 

    Perhaps I need to experience the ‘hell’ of my own inner emptiness if left to myself over and over again until I learn what I am made for.  It is my own fear that keeps me from letting go and holding on to what is not only harmful but in the end useless.—Br.MD


     

     

  3. Alan Copeland

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    Hello everyone

    My name is Alan, I am 71 years old and I live in Tiverton Devon with my partner Jenny. I have worked all my life since the age of 15 as a carpenter. In my life ai have had a number of experiences which although not mind boggling in themselves seem to defy any logical explanation, they are also different from each other in that they do not share a common thread or theme. The first one occurred  at age 15 and the last at about age 57. Only I can vouch for my own honesty  sincerity and integrity                                                                                          I have an excellent long term memory and have often thought of these events as years went by, I would like to share them with you now, my reasons for doing so are to initiate in people the belief that we as human beings are not alone in our lives and existence and that when our lives and existence on this earth ends that that does not mean the end of our spiritual existance. My experiences have instilled in me an unshakeable and absolute knowledge that these lives that we live and share are just a small part of a much longer journey to who knows what or where. I welcome all comments both positive or critical.

    When I was 14 my grandfather  died, this was my dad's  dad. My grandparents lived about a half hours bus journey from my own home where I lived with my parents and five younger siblings,

  4. I have always wanted to visit the Carlsberg Brewery not long ago me and some mates took the train to Copenhagen and walked all the way out to the Brewery and had some beers before the tour started
    of course I got somewhat shop drunk and thought the tour would start on the horse and carriage since they pointed in that direction when we asked where it start. we jumped up and sat down in the back 
    when it then suddenly was packed with kids and we could not get off the carriage and had to finsh the whole tour we then of course missed the real tour around the brewery in English and had to take it in Danish.

    I can read Danish and understand about  90% though i find it very hard to understand spoken Danish. When we joined the tour I felt sort of scorned by the tour guide who said  "you Swedes wont understand anything" and that was exactly what I was afraid of however in some strange way I could understand most of it and the tour guides mood changed to friendly and cozy which Danes are known for :-) He also said it was nice to meet some friendly Swedes i know we can be nasty but i though we had a better reputation, which we normally have. The tour was really good got to learn much about the old Brewery and that there is actually another Brewery on the same estate which was own by Jackobsen the son of the founder of Carlsberg. Carlsberg was founded near a cemetery  in the old days it was said that the water they brewed their beer on had some extra spice.... If you get a chance to go to Copenhagen I recommend you visiting Carlsberg.

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  5. Every day, I see new members posting here about experiences they claim to have had and asking for help, or explanations or validation. It is as if our educational system and the internet is evolving us to an expectation of answers always being available if you just ask. But, the truth is that if you do not learn to think for yourself and communicate well, you will easily be washed away by the first few challenges to your ideas you run into, or else will find others giving you all the details of what to believe. At the very least you will either get your feelings hurt or else end up not knowing what to think.

    The answer is discernment and it is a critical skill for anyone, be they Occultic adventurers or sceptics. This blog is for those who are not sceptics primarily, so I will focus on those, but the principles are good for anyone, the way I see it and I have used this to flush more diverse happy crap down the commode of stupid ideas than many sceptics will ever take on.

    The Oxford dictionary has two meanings for the word, though in practice you can find many usages out there. The first meaning is To judge well. The second meaning is Perception in the absence of judgment with a view of obtaining spiritual guidance and understanding. Merriam-Webster likens it to Discrimination and says "discrimination stresses the power to distinguish and select what is true or appropriate or excellent."

    I have been seeing spirits and things since as far back as I can remember. I was five years old when we finally moved away from the first house I remember living in dealing with a mean man named Robert who looked like a shadow person who tormented me mercilessly in dreams and awake until I was shown how to stop him from doing it by little bright children my size who were friends and did not like him. So, I was maybe four then? This was in the 1960s, so no internet, we were too poor for a TV, those were rare still anyway, and I was an only child and alone most of the time. There was no other help and no one to ask and when I did try, my parents could not see Robert and thought it was funny. This was traumatic for me, to find out so young that my parents were not as all powerful as I supposed as such a young and isolated child. I knew he was there. I never thought they were lying. This is hard for a child to deal with and the fear was that much worse. But, my little bright friends helped and he was made to leave me alone. 

    When I was older and more knowledgeable, I had to look back and decide what it really was. Nobody else anywhere can tell me that. No one else was there. My sceptic friends, if I asked, would only be able to say it was bad dreams, a child imagining fears. Sceptic trolls would say this is proof that even that young I was schizophrenic and need mental health intervention immediately. My most beyond the fringes believing friends would say Robert was a demon and my friends were angels. I never have asked, though, and their opinions, all of them, are useless as final verdicts go.  What I had to do was decide for myself what happened, and I KNOW it was real, and I knew then as a child he was a man who had died in that ratty trailer we were renting who taunted me because I could see him and he did not like kids much on top of it.. I do not know today how I knew that, perhaps I was told by Robert or by the bright children. I certainly had never heard a ghost story, and did not read it online nor did I see it on television. It was a very different world then. 

    The first criteria I started using by the time I hit my teens was "does it work". What I did with the bright kids' help worked. Minor as it was, I understand now why it did and how. It was lesson one in the skill of Intent. I believed my bright friends, I did what they said, and it worked because of that faith and action of intention. All at the level of a five year old, using a penny of all things. 

    In my teens I had books about everything from palmistry to the Face on Mars to read at the library. Most of them were hyped up trash, to be honest. Most today on occultic or paranormal topics still are. But, I read them and mulled them over and learned to go by what I came to call my inner truth sense. I dumped a lot of it, kept the rest and kept living and as I came to challenges in life and used what I had learned I fell back on my first criteria. Does it work? If it did then it was maybe true. If it did not, I dumped it. 

    I had no one to talk to about these things, so there was not an ego factor or any desire to fit in to a group and go along with them and how they thought. I also was high IQ and busy studying at school and not patient with useless things that were not even pretty. There was every pressure in my life to NOT see things or pursue the Occult, unlike today when every other kid wants to be known as an empath or fuzzy or witch. I sought answers, whatever they would prove out to be, and if they worked I kept them and if they did not, I dropped them. I was very callous about it and those pretty things I kept anyway I filed in the "pretty" file, not the "this works" file. 

    To the young person of today looking for answers, I ask you to learn for your own sake to close your mouth, write your experiences down in a diary, and keep your own counsel until and unless you meet someone whose experiences you really trust to talk with. We are all on a personal journey we call life, and we experience it alone. When it comes to that, nobody but you knows how your journey feels and is as a reality. This is all the more true about anything paranormal. The journey itself is the point, and if you see a ghost, or have a weird experience, relax. It is normal. Even my sceptic friends can tell at least one tale about something odd they never got a good explanation for. If your experience is only this, then talking about it is probably fine. But, if it becomes chronic, be it seeing things not there to others, or what seem like psychic abilities, start that diary and go into it knowing this is part of the teaching in itself, what I wrote about above, "Perception in the absence of judgment with a view of obtaining spiritual guidance and understanding". 

    This means, you don't know for sure what it is yet, so you analyze it critically for meaning, does it offer guidance or seem to? What does it teach you if you accept it? Is that good? If it is true, then what does that do to what else you know already? You need to decide for yourself how to then judge it after answering questions like that.

    You have to be your own best friend and very honest with yourself. If what you are experiencing is scaring you, if it frightens or is bad or tells you bad things, talk to your parents or an adult you trust about it. There is a saying "Even a stopped clock is right twice a day." So also I have to say that the sceptic, mean talking trolls also can be and you may be having a mental health issue and talking with a doctor or counsellor may be what you need, so speak up early and get that help. Needing it does not make you bad or weak somehow, it is simply part of your own journey and once you get through it gives you a wonderful experience you can help others with who are upset or feel badly for needing help. It can be a wonderful thing for you and may even guide you in a super way to help others and perhaps you will be a counselor someday too. The worst things in life can be turned around and made to work for your own happiness and to help others if you learn how to beat it.

    If it is not scaring you and is not advising you to do bad things or encouraging you to change in ways you do not choose on your own, it might be a gift you have. It might be very common or rare. But, just like my advice for those who are scared, you still have to be smart and learn to use discernment and weed out viciously what you find to be less than true. In part 2 of this topic, I will share with you what I use when I find something new in information or run into a new "guide", and some good ways to find information to consider about your experiences, so read onward, please. I will post it in a couple days :) 

  6. Tales from the Mist

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    Goddess of the Mist
    Latest Entry

    Rose, Black, Blood, Gothic

    Misplaced and misunderstood

    and again, only judged by the cover

    This has nothing to do with it

    it’s not even me!

    There’s so much more to discover…

     

    Tramped and traipsed all over the place

    lonely and anxious, you’re just like me

    demons from the past have come

    and I can’t see wrong from right

    in this time of foggy uncertainty

     

    Synchronicities running high

    and what I feel for you is the remedy

    for the loves that have lost

    and the ones never been

    forgotten in your irresistible, kissable legacy

     

    Waiting to be explored

    in this circle of light that some call doom

    from the shadow realm you appear to me

    you hardly know me yet

    as you wait in the light of the moon

     

    Some said you were evil, some good

    I said you were neither

    and we stayed up late to be next to each other

    two hearts on fire with the heat of each other

    from vengeance grows

    a need to honor the soul

     

     

     

     

    ©2019 by Goddess of the Mist

     

     

     

     

     

  7. So. I've been haunting Discord and Mastodon. https://chatrooms.talkwithstranger.com seems to be 'where it's at' in terms of sheer entertainment and human zoology -- and yet, https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com (in my opinion) remains home of all the most spiritual and thoughtful folk. 

    And I've been thinking. One of the main narratives of Brexit, as told in a thousand broadsheet fluff pieces and opined by a thousand talk radio hosts –is that the main horror that’s befallen us is not the referendum result _per se_ but the fact that we’ve all turned against each other, and there’s so much angst, and ill-feeling.

    But what if the future of civilisation really _does_ need a diametric turn, a complete reversal of polarity, even if it upsets a significant part of the population? And it’s not as if we’ve got any precedents, is it? Like the plot of Game of Thrones, enemies have become allies and allies have become enemies –but unlike Game of Thrones, there’s no end in sight, or even the concept of an end. For instance, left-wing Remainers are increasingly suggesting a bypass of democracy in the form of ignoring the referendum result. Call me old fashioned, but when I think of anti-democracy, I just think of the Nazis.

    And yes, “As soon as you compare things with World War Two, you’ve automatically lost the argument” is another recent trope. Fine. I hereby declare that Nazism bears no relation to the modern world whatsoever. Is that any better?

    It all comes down, in my opinion, to our blinkered view about quite how fragile our economy is. You can’t admit it to yourself or you’ll go insane. Better to fight and row,  or whine and cower, or make stupid enemies of people who were previously your stupid friends.

    Everything is fragile. When Sting sang ‘How fragile we are’, he hadn’t seen nuthin yet. It’s all fragile like that stuff the Fraggles built in their little cave in Fraggle Rock. It’s fragile like the bus on the edge of the cliff at the end of the Italian Job, and when Michael Caine says ‘Hold up lads, I’ve got an idea…’, the idea is to just fall to his death. It’s fragile like the spider’s web that flies in your face when you leave your front door in the morning, the distraction leading you to get killed by a lorry, and the spider feels guilty but he has to put on a brave face for his spider family. It’s as fragile ...as this blog is rambling.

     

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  8. So here we go again. Am I crazy or do I really get missions from beyond like some silly sit com. It didn’t take long for this to start up again after I opened back up.

    In fact, this is related to an unfinished “mission”. Somewhere back in my blogs I wrote about how the moms of our local Catholic Church wanted me to get involved in the youth group as a leader. The current guy doing it is sexist and far to fundamentalist for the more moderate families involved with the church. They know me as a leader in the community and on paper I am catholic because it’s part of my wife’s culture and I walk that journey with her. I walked away from the request and the recognition of the danger this guy poses because I was drawing boundaries, and I also don’t believe in the religion the way they do. I would have to lie a lot furthering catholic spiritual agendas, and It wouldn’t be right if I were faking it just to protect the teens.

    So the other night I had one of my movie dreams. I was involved in exposing an extremist cult inside of the church to the parishioners. I won’t go into detail, but I stoped them from tainting the eukarist with some sort of mind controlling drug, and I exposed them. 

    Fast forward to Thursday night. I went out to a local pub with some friends for a small celebration. I don’t drink anymore, but a friend picked me up with an Uber. It was fun. They danced and had fun. It was very late maybe one am, and we all said our goodbyes. Since they were all drinking, I made sure they all got in an Uber and were safely on their way home. 

    That’s when I go to call my own Uber, and what do you know. I’m out of battery. No big deal. I only live about four miles away. It’s an easy walk and I don’t mind the solitude. 

    So here is the thing. Along the way is the church. At the church they have a room called the adoration room that is supposed to be open 24/7 where people can go meditate in front of the ukarist. I don’t believe god exists in the ukarist they way they do, but the sanctity of the room does have a quality to it that is good for meditation and prayer. I have used it for these purposes before. I figured I’d stop by and meditate a bit then finish the walk home.

    Keep in mind, by the time I get there it’s like 2am in the morning. I go to open the door, but it is locked. Hmmmmm. I look through some of the art on the window and I can see a bunch of young people in there. Really young. Teenagers. Odd I thought. Maybe it’s some sort of retreat. 

    An older guy that I recognize opens the door and looks at me. I say, I’m here for the ukarist. He just nods, and shuts the door. The door is still locked. I wait outside the door under the assumption that maybe they are just finishing up something and he will let me in when they are done. I was wrong.

    After some time, two police officers show up on either side of me.

    They called the police on me! WTF. 

    I explain to them what the room is meant for, and that I am a parishioner here. I even helped fund their gym and teach safety courses there from time to time. I was expecting to be let in.

    He simply said that they don’t want me there. I’m not going to argue. I gave the police my info, told him why I was out late, and apologized for upsetting anyone. He offered to give me a ride home, and off we went. 

    What is going on? Why do they have those young people there so late at night? Why did he call the police? Why does this **** happen to me? I want answers. My kids not that involved with the church, so I doubt they will be apart of any of the bigger activities, but I know lots of those kids. I know their moms that nearly begged me to take over those groups. 

    I need more information. I’m going to confront the man that opened the door. Why was I not allowed in? Why did he simply not tell me to go before calling the police? I get that it was 2am in the morning, but the room is supposed to be open. 

    Is the dream related? That is an uncanny circumstance which is usually the case with these things. All the themes are there. 

    Sigh... I gotta be crazy to take this one on. It did not take any time after letting White Crane Feather ( my alter ego) back in for this to kick up again. 

    Thanks for listening.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  9. A Career of Me

    Whatching my boys today, I can’t help but start thinking about parenting as I start this process of optimization. Out of everything that I want to get right in this world, It’s being a father. They really are my world, yet at the same time, I know I have to make my own world to be true to me too if I’m going to be my best for them. 

    I never put them in day care. My wife works full time, and owning the school, I didn’t work until the evening. When my first was born, I was the ripe old age of 27. I strapped the kid to my back, learned how to change diapers on the go, blend baby food, manage blow outs, and sleep when he slept.

    My wife has a busy corporate career, so he even came with me to the dojo. People all around town, that didn’t already know me, started to identify me as the young guy that took his baby everywhere. I was fine with this. I was young, strong, and I had such a clear focus. I knew kids that were close with their parents grew up more emotionally stable and intelligent, so I did what it took not to have someone else nurturing him. 

    It worked. Now he is a bright, intelligent, and compassionate beautiful 13 year old. Sorry ladies no sexism intended, but sometimes behind  his back, I call him my girl because he is so sweet and compassionate. We really are very close, and he is a big time dady’s boy. 

    Then came another, and a few years latter another. This is where I mark the beginnings of a few of my own personal struggles. I had to drop out of being on the US sport jiujitsu team. The training, the school, two babies at that time were just too much.  I compensated by my long solo trips into the wilderness and meditation, but really my pace was taking to much out of me. I just couldn’t see it. I really felt that I was the master of my universe and nothing could stop me. 

    Anyway... I didn’t want this entry to be a history lesson, but I did it with all three of my boys. I kept them with me. Learning from me, training in martial arts, and we were obsorbing each other. I’m very close to all three of them, and sometimes it breaks my heart just because they are growing and each phase is impermenant. 

    Of course, at the same time  all of that was happening, I was going through deep psycho spiritual episodes. I have another blog here that I was writing during some of that. Looking back, I wonder if it were to much. Maybe I should have asked for help. 

    Anyway, going forward now, I’m wondering how to maintain this role I have taken on in their lives. They are starting to do more and more on their own, but when I choose a new careeer, am I going to have to be like normal dads? Like my wife? She dosnt get home till 7pm. When I was teaching I wasn’t home myself in the evening, but they were actually with me a lot of the time. Leaving the dojo behind has disrupted how we all live. We will still be training twice a week, but I can’t help but worry where this is headed. 

    I don’t just want our short time on this earth in this capacity to be “normal.” I have been fortunate enough to give them an amazing and adventurous child hood so far. How do I continue? How do I make it better? 

    Now that they are older, they bicker more, I snap at them more, and things are not as pure as when they were little. Me and my middle child butt heads all the time. He is a great kid, but along with the freedom I give them, there are some very strict rules about respect and behavior. He wants to challenge me on those, and I don’t always respond in the way I think my higher self wants me to. How do I reel in my reactions? How do I keep the vision I have for them remembering not just a childhood, but a grand experience growing up? How do I work on myself during all this? 

    My mind mills and churns over it so much, I have actually had to start listening to audio books and podcasts with my blue tooth headset simply to drown out my own inner voice. My inner voice simply won’t shut up. I can quiet it during meditation, but the only thing that helps when I’m going about my day is to drown it in information and learning. 

    Optimizing parenthood may be one of the most challenging things I have ever attempted. I have faced down cage fighters, large wild animals, a few abusive psychos, and even stood my ground against what people would call demons and devils, but screwing this up scares the hell out me.

    Thanks for reading. 

     

     

     

  10. This is a part of a post of mine that I posted yesterday in the forum, but I think this should be posted as a blog also!

     

    In the times we live in, with the term political correctness - it is implied that it would somehow be possible to create a world where no-one would ever be offended by anything. This is a utopian dream. What it leads to is policing of language, and many people are afraid to speak their minds freely, in fear that they may offend someone.

    Some other people take it upon themselves - the task of policing what everyone else says. In the end - you have communication where nobody is really saying what they mean and nobody knows what is said is what is meant. 

    One important thing to remember is that - people often offend themselves. Someone else may say this or that - but it is you that will interpret this as offensive, neutral or benevolent.

    This political correctness movement also seems to have given rise to a counter-reaction - where people purposefully verbally abuse other people. This is not worth talking about too much - as it is clear, through the entire human history - how every movement always has a counter-movement.

    The fact is - there will be people who are discriminative (sexist, racist etc.) whether they express it in their language or not. There will also be people who are abusive. That is just the reality of life.
     
    However, there will also be people who perceive everything as a threat, people who overreact and are never satisfied. 99% of the time - these are people who have unresolved issues of their own that they project on other people. 

    The unfortunate problem at hand is that the political correctness movement provides an umbrella for both people who are actually victims of actual abuse (verbal, physical or otherwise) and people mentioned above who use the hype and momentum of this movement to leverage their own personal issues that have nothing to do with actual abuse.

     

  11. In 1985, a man named Douglas Simmons brought a bag of antiquities to the British Museum for evaluation.  Among the varied objects was one cuneiform tablet.  The duty officer at that moment was Irving Finkel, one of the museum’s Assyriologists and now Curator in charge of Cuneiform Inscriptions in the British Museum’s Middle Eastern department. 

    Finkel picked up the cuneiform tablet and began to translate it.  It quickly became clear that it was a 3700 year old Babylonian artifact which exhorted emergency construction of a huge, round reed boat that was meant to hold, and save, many animals.

    Here is an entertaining and illuminating lecture from 2016 at the UofC Oriental Institute given by the affable Dr. Finkel, telling the story of the tablet and the building of a (somewhat smaller) replica of the designated vessel.  @ 1 hr. and well worth the listening/viewing.

    Here’s the 2014 Guardian article coinciding with the release of Finkel’s book “The Ark Before Noah”  -- 

    https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/jan/24/babylonian-tablet-noah-ark-constructed-british-museum

    Incidentally, after my dad was forced to retire, he grew a long beard and looked very much like Dr. Finkel, though dad was somewhat older.  We used to joke about it.

     

    And….

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Cheers for the Winter Season everybody!

     

  12. newbloodmoon
    Latest Entry

    So I recently joined a writing site that wasn’t associated in any way with some of the things I’ve had published. I thought that I would post stories on there that I would consider to be my seconds. They’re not quite polished or are stories that didn’t quite fit what I wanted to submit.

     I have two stories in to set up kind of what I would like to do. Put stuf out there that isn’t quite my best but was still fun too write.  I will soon post the url so people can go scope them out. Stay tuned for those who wanna check it out.

  13. I have been gone since may 11 of either this year or last, I do not remember. I still have no ways of making normal posts and on top of that most of my old activity posts have disappeared. I feel like they don't want me talking even after accepting that I agreed to not make long like update or activity posts. But even after that I am unable to make posts and interact with everyone. I still do not understand what was so wrong about me making long activity posts so I did not have to mess with blog stuff, but it will never make since why it has become a petty party of making me unable to post plus not being allowed to share the link to another account seems a little idiotic as well. Everyone does not just sit here on this site 24/7 we have to be able to share where else we are for people to network and connect. But it is fine, I am not a moderator, I did not decide these stupid rules. Just here wanting to reconnect, but not allowed too.

     

  14. Mary

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    marymiller106
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    Hi, to anyone that may read this. My mom passed away in June. There have been strange things happening since just before her bday on Nov 3. I thought I've been crazy and not thinking right. But tonight something happened that I can not explain. Please help me.

  15. Who'd win in a fight: a werewolf, or a kid in a wheelchair?

    The answer may seem tragically obvious, however things get complicated when that kid's wheelchair has a motorcycle engine and he's armed with a box of fireworks.

    Dan Attias' Silver Bullet tells the story of a paraplegic boy named Marty who finds out the dark reason behind a series of town murders. Believing (and knowing) it to be an unlikely resident who's actually a werewolf, he does his best to warn the town, and wages war against the beast behind the brutality.

    Having watched the movie about a year ago, my memory of the movie may be a little fuzzy. However, what I remember most from this movie was its use of practical effects and overall campy atmosphere.

    I loved the use of practical effects in this film. While the werewolf itself looks kind of like a teddy bear, it's surprising to know its not even the best use of practical effects in the film. The werewolf transformation scene, along with the Reverend's nightmare showcase the most gruesome effects in the film. As a matter of fact, I'd say his dream is the most detailed sequence! The film compensates for the monster's lackluster detail by putting both the characters and audience in vulnerable situations where the werewolf has the advantage.

    As for the characters, I like both Marty and his Uncle Red. While Red's eccentric behavior is brought out by the infamous Gary Busey, Marty's character is transcedental. He begins as a brat in the beginning of the film, however as the werewolf takes the lives of people he knows he begins to value his family more and more. My personal favorite Marty scene is when he sends a letter to the werewolf telling him to kill himself :lol:

    Overall, Silver Bullet has all the elements of a classic werewolf story. A small town setting, a murder mystery, and a lone protagonist are what help make The Silver Bullet an iconic werewolf movie. If you're looking for a lycan-themed movie that isn't too scary but still chills to the bone, Silver Bullet is a perfect choice.

    Author's Note: Having been busy as well as enduring a rather disappointing Halloween, it's speculative as to whether or not I'll actually complete this series. However I'll do my best to. Thank you for reading!

    Image result for stephen king silver bullet

  16. Carnoferox's Blog

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    Here is a selection of the cryptozoology papers that I've come across in scientific or semi-scientific publications.

    Caddy (Cadborosaurus willsi)

    California Giant Salamanders

    Cryptic Big Cats

    Enfield Monster

    General Classification

    Loch Ness Monster

    Mapinguari

    Megalodon (Otodus megalodon)

    Minnesota Iceman (Homo pongoides)

    North American Biofortean Review

    Northwest Anthropological Research Notes

    Sasquatch

    Sea Monsters

    Yeti

  17. StarMountainKid
    Latest Entry

    This subject has come up in some thread, so I thought I'd re-post this little commentary.

    Corporationism

    I must admit at first I was against Corporationism. In the old days when we had a sort of democracy I was pretty happy with it. Then, of course, came The Big Crash. In its aftermath I could understand the single party rule. We needed strong leadership if ever we were to revive our economy. The many (temporary it was said) changes to our Constitution at that time seemed reasonable, a requirement to gain stability of our society.

    Now that prosperity has returned, our form of government has changed again. It has been a dizzying time for all of us. Corporationism seemed the logical answer to our past problems. The management of our economy by those who create and maintain our economy was seen by most to be the answer.

    But, some of the new laws seem to me to be an over compensation to our previous problems. In the beginning of this new regime we were mostly untouched by Corporate Rule. Now, however, recent regulations have been unsettling. Although we are still free to choose products as we will, competition among the great Corporations has taken a new and I think dangerous turn.

    The newly imposed obligation of requiring citizens to advertise the products we buy seems to me to be going too far. The transition has already begun. Most of the clothes we purchase now have corporate advertising already sewed onto them.

    Also, requiring we consumers to pay for the right to purchase products just doesn’t sit well with me. It used to be, we just paid for the product, and that was it it. Now, we must pay an entry fee to enter the store of our choice. Not only that, but the purchase fee is added on to the price of the product, as well, along with the various required corporate taxes.

    I think this is going too far, as I said. Furthermore we all know there is legislation being considered that would oblige us to buy a workers card before we would be eligible to apply for a job. The detail now being discussed is whether this privilege will be applied retroactively. We will also be required to purchase products manufactured by our employer. Purchasing similar products from another company would be cause for dismissal.

    There are even plans to oblige us to advertise the products we buy ourselves. Small billboards placed in our yards, for instance. Advertisements stuck to our vehicles is another idea making the rounds.

    Then there is Corporate music, which is the popular music of today’s culture, which is nothing but musical commercials. I can remember the time when music was independent of commercialism. That time has passed, I’m afraid. Now, the pop stars are nothing but human commercials, the biggest celebrities funded by the largest corporations.

    Movies, always a popular entertainment, now are full of commercial messages. There are even movies being made that are nothing but long advertisements with the slimmest plot added to them. Television programming, as well, has fallen to a very low level. The enhancement of consumerism is its only objective.

    Our Corporate politicians say the next faze will be the requirement to spend all of our yearly income on consumer goods. There will be no more saving of money, as banks will no longer offer savings accounts. The use of credit cards will be mandatory, the required amount of debt depending on one’s income. It is said all this will lead to a secure and stable economy.

    In the future, most of our free time must be spent buying. We will all be wealthy, they say. We will own more and more products, and that is to our own benefit and to the benefit of our financial system. Zero unemployment is the goal. Everyone working and everyone enjoying the fruits of their labor, with no one left out.  

    Before the Big Crash, consumerism was not well organized, and was therefore an inefficient and fragmented economic system. Corporationism is the answer to all our previous difficulties in organizing a prosperous society for all. Is this not what we have desired in the past, a stable economy with its consumer goods available equally to everyone?

    This ultimate goal will be achieved, our politicians tell us, and we will finally live in a utopian society of plenty. Nonetheless, I sometimes yearn for a previous era when idleness was not against some law, when we had time to enjoy some useless and contrary activity without the watchful eye of some Corporate Authority encouraging us to ever more activity as busy consumers, and when we could just relax for a while, pursuing some personal pleasure that was not related to materialism.

    Ah well, those tranquil times will forever remain in the dim past of recollection. Sadly, I must stop here. The newest city mall has just opened, and I must continue my task to accumulate as many of the latest products available, as is required according to my meager earnings as a social commentator.

    This may be my last commentary, however.  My profession as an independent journalist has been abolished. From now on, I must become an advertising consultant to one of the great corporations. Next time you read a billboard or watch a television commercial, please think of me as I once was. Though you will probably have forgotten me by then.

  18. Hello everyone. Its been a long time since I've written a blog. Mostly because I really haven't had much to say. Today though I realize it's actually because of much more then that. I have basically been in a stand still funk. So much so that it has begun to effect everything around me. Including my marriage. It isn't comfortable opening my soul for all to see, but I need an outlet. Yesterday morning my wife had given me a very hard pill to swallow. She doesn't even know if this relationship is worth saving anymore. For the sake of our two sons, we are not going to make any drastic moves. It would seem at the moment though, as far as she is concerned we are basically separated, while still living together. I spent the better part of yesterday doing my best to not lose control. It was a very difficult day, to say the least.

    Something amazing happened to me this morning though. I awoke at 3 am, and instantly began to stress, picking it up right where I left off from the day before. I sat like I do every morning in front of this computer. Difference today was I didn't give a crap to read, or reply to any of the things I would normally. I just stared at the black screen, like I was looking into my very soul. Suddenly it all became so clear. I felt as though I were looking into the eyes of God himself, and found myself lacking. Not in a negative way though. More like just actually seeing something that was so obvious that it stirred what I believe to be a natural change in my very soul.

    Now she is the one who brought me here, and no matter what happens between us I will be forever grateful that she led me to this place of self realization. Today, not because I'm trying to be what she wants me to be, but because I, through simple truth, feel a deep change within. Beginning right now, I am going to be a good husband. I'm going to be an even better father (that part I have always been good at). Thing is, for this marriage it might be to late. I have wasted years. Its also possible she wont believe that I have actually changed, and will think the changes I'm about to make aren't real. None of this I have any control over. All I can do is my half, and let the cards fall where they may. With or without her, my new life begins right now. Its when we find ourselves looking over the edge of the cliff, is when we change.

    I know I could have written this blog much better. I could have gone into much more detail etc. But Its difficult for me to even think straight right now.

    Thanks for stopping in folks.

  19. As long as I can remember, I have some very strange and interesting experiences.  Some people have told me that they would afraid to go to sleep at night.  I had mentioned in one of my blogs that over 20 years ago I had a very strange experience that I can't explain.  People who know me have believed me but can't understand how these things happen to me.  People that don't know me have often reacted very negatively to me telling me I had mental health issues, a hidden drug or medical problem (which I don't have) or have attacked me personally (verbally that is).  

    Very basically I might have had a experience with a UFO, Talking on a pay phone but not remembering what I said or who I called, Out of Body experience while driving, possible encounter with space aliens or something not of this world, being guided to a restaurant that I wanted to go to but couldn't remember where it was and then getting to a meeting on time even though I was over an hour away.  The strangest thing about this was the reaction that my mother had when I came home (at the time I lived with her).

    She was upset with me and basically said to me, "You tapped into something you shouldn't have. What were you thinking or doing?"  Do you want a visit from someone who isn't happy with you? When I asked her if someone had come to the house, she wouldn't answer me.  It seemed like she was upset and afraid at the same time.  She wouldn't talk about it.  At the time I didn't have a cell phone and had had no contact with her to my knowledge after I left the house that morning.  What did my mother encounter?  From the brief conversation I had with her it seemed like she knew about the phone call at the pay phone. 

    One person suggested that I tapped into something that was in a different plane or field or I was disconnected from reality.  I wonder then if I was disconnected from reality how I was able to drive a vehicle to where I needed to go and act and function normally during this times.  

    Would there be a way to tell what this experience was because it seems to be a combination of many different things.  

  20. Wïççåñ`ś Bėåçöñ

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    Welcome to the first blog of the Wïççåñ`ś Bėåçöñ where I'll be touching base upon the basic info and FAQ regarding to becoming a Wiccan! If at any point there's further into you'd like to see here or want a answer to a question. Post down below and I'll add it here or in upcoming blogs. So let's begin!

    What is the belief system/(s) does a Wiccan have?
    Some Wiccans base their beliefs upon the equality of both the Goddess (Feminine) and God (Masculinity) while there's others believe in the balance within the universe. With that being said no matter what belief you pick as a Wiccan we all have the Divine power within. 

    What are the rules for Wicca?
    the Rede/Creed which is the main focus within our practice which is "If you harm none, do what you will." Meaning you shall not place a spell upon another against their Freewill as this will need end well upon your behalf. It's pretty much karma what goes around will come around whether it's positive or negative. 
    Take FULL responsibility for the everything u do. Meaning if u treat someone poorly you must make amends why? Because u need to take responsibility for your action(s)/word(s). 

    What types of Wicca paths are there available for me?
    Here are some paths briefly summarised for u all to find ur inner Wiccan each type that's highlighted in blue is a link to further information upon each path:
    Alexandrian: Wiccan path who follow the philosophy of Alexandria.  
    Celtic: Path of Wicca that involves the Celt and their languages. 
    Dianic: A tradition that focuses upon only the Goddess and feminine forces. 
    Eclectic: Alternative Wiccan the one who mixes and matches other paths to suit their beliefs and needs. 
    Faerie: The Wiccan who believes in the fae and works with the realm of fae. 
    Hereditary: A path of a Wiccan who continues their magical path from generation to generation within a family. 
    Gardnerian: The Wiccan green thumb of the group
    Shamanic: This is a path that's a combination of Shaman and Wicca. 
    Traditional: Follows the only traditional path of Wicca. 
     

     

  21. Ałł Thïñgš Tåröt

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    Welcome to the first blog of Ałł Thïñgš Tåröt to kick this blog off let's begin with the simple basics of Tarot and some FAQ. If there are other questions you'd like to know about tarot pls comment them below and I'll both the question and answer to this blog. 

    What are tarot cards?
    Are a deck of 78 cards which are separated into Major Arcana which are 22 cards which represent life lesson. The remaining 56 cards are our Minor Arcana which are then split into four suits Cups, Pentacles, Swords and Wands. 
    Within the Minor Arcana we have the court cards who are the Kings, Queens, Knights and Pages who provide the 16 personality characteristics to your readings. 

    Why are tarot cards used?
    They are used to help provide information regarding to a situation, person or event which helps make decision making easier. 

    How do I use tarot cards?
    1. Once you have a question in mind begin shuffling the cards in your hands. Stop shuffling when you are ready to begin the reading. 
    2. Pull out the amount of cards that a the spread calls upon that you are using. 
    3. Now refer to your deck's guide book (if you don't have one because you have either lost it or don't own one. Look up the card's meaning online). 
    4. Record the reading for future reference (optional) keeping a record on your readings helps you develop a better understanding towards Tarot and yourself as a tarot reader. 

  22. My Paranormal Story

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    There isn't much to tell about my earliest experiences, there were some odd things that happened to me that I cant explain. I would, even as a kid try to rationalize the things I saw, heard or felt, but this wasn't always possible. Even since I've grown up, there are a few things that simply couldn't be rationalized.

    The first of these memories deals with the house I grew up in. Both my brother and I experienced, what you might call, bad vibes; feelings of unease, anxiety, and of being watched. It was very common for the room to go dead silent. No ambient noise of any kind. It was at these times you could feel the air get stale and heavy. It wasn't restricted to any specific time of day, either. I remember feeling this just playing in my room. Night time was the worst, though. I would be laying in bed an feel my hair being twirled by fingers. My grandma said this was the Devil plying with my hair; something about it being because I lied (I don't know how much I believe that. Old German wives tale, I think). There was many occasions where I dreamt that I was laying in bed awake at night. The room was dark, but I could see everything. I could see under the door that the hall light was on. I would just stare towards my door rom my bed. Then a shadow would appear in the middle of the crack under the door as if someone was standing just on the other side. Its as if my vision would then zoom in to that spot. I would see yellow eyes staring back at me from under the door. I would always wake up from this dream sweating and completely freaked out. 

    It only really occurred in that one room of the house. My brother and I would switch rooms every few months to, in an odd, unspoken way, take turns. My mother just assumed that we got bored of the room we were in or both of wanted the bigger of the two rooms (the scary one). Actually my mom never actually found out the full story about the room and why we were always switching back and fourth. It wasn't until I was about 30 that we were talking and she mentioned something about my sisters not liking that room either. She asked if I thought it was the same reason me and my brother didn't like it (though she didn't know what that reason was). I told her is was the exact same reason and then I told her what that reason actually was. She went wide eyed and pale. She had never noticed. I then proceeded to tell her about my other experiences throughout my life and she was shocked. 

    I will be sharing those other experiences throughout this blog. That's about all the time I have for today.

    Thanks for reading.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

  23. Meeseek's Pointless Blogs

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    Miss Meeseeks
    Latest Entry

    Around 11, Mum and Dad came home from the OP Shop. Mum handed me a bright yellow box which was the Rider Tarot Deck by Pamela Smith for $2. I was amazed by the price and the condition that the cards were in. The deck itself is usually $150+ when I was given the deck it lifted up my mood for pretty much rest of the day. 

    Since they were second hand I needed to heavily cleansed the deck before further usage from me. While I was shuffling I picked upon a female voice who introduced me to herself as "Pamela" which at the time I didn't know who created the deck till I saw the author. Anyways for my test reading of the new deck I done a reading on the effects of the Blood Moon which I'll be uploading as well on here to share. 

    Lately ive been having a lot of technical difficulties which I'm not understanding and it's a real head **** to deal with. Pulled a couple of cards to figure it out which was the Star in reversed and the High Priestess. "It's the electric impulses from the moon" that screamed in my head. The original meaning behind the the Star reversed really confused me but the High Priestess was simple because she represents the Moon and intuition. So I needed to be patient and the answer revealed itself as a scream. 

  24. John 12:20-33 Some Greeks Seek Jesus

    20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

    The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up

    27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

    “Seeing the Glory of Jesus Christ” Year B

    A couple years ago my wife and I got to visit Washington D.C. It was my wife’s first time there, so it was awesome to be able to show her all the breathtaking sights of our nation’s capital. We went to all the major places...like the White House, the Capital Building, The Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument. We even got to see and tour the United Methodist Building. 

    Another great thing about this trip was how we got to see the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. When we were there, I discovered something I was just fascinated by...The Jefferson Bible. Have any of you, my readers, ever heard of it? When it came to religion, the great Thomas Jefferson was what you call a deist. This is a belief where God creates and sets everything in motion, but is withdrawn from humanity. Deism was a really popular view back then and other founding fathers were Deists as well. 

    So as a deist, Thomas Jefferson rejected belief in the God of the Bible. He didn’t believe in things like the Trinity or in miracles. He felt that the Gospels had been hijacked by Jesus’ followers to advance their own agendas and ideologies. But in spite of all that, he loved the teachings of Jesus. He adopted His teachings as a moral code to guide his life. He said that Jesus taught "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man."

    And that leads us to the Jefferson Bible. Using a razor and glue, Thomas Jefferson meticulously cut up four copies of the Gospels in English, French, Greek, and Latin. He kept only certain passages, the ones he felt were authentic sayings of Jesus and without the miracles. Jefferson’s version ends with Jesus’ burial on Good Friday. There is no resurrection and no Easter Sunday. He felt all of that was a myth. Jefferson called this version “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. As a history lover, it’s such an interesting story and it’s fascinating that he took all the time and effort to make that book. 

    So at the Smithsonian I got to see the original from 1820, encased in glass. And I was also able to buy a Smithsonian Edition copy that was created from high resolution photographs of the original. 

    But I think what’s most interesting about that story is the fact that…like the Greeks in our text….he really wanted to see Jesus. But what kind of Jesus? Was it the real Jesus? Or was it a Jesus entirely of his own making?

    And when we fast forward to today, all of that brings us to an interesting question. How do Americans see Jesus Christ today? I think it’s safe to say that almost everybody has an opinion about Jesus. And as I was preparing for this sermon, I got curious about where people stand. 

    So, I did what you always do when you get curious about something….I typed the question into Google. The results were interesting. The vast majority of Americans believe that Jesus was a real historical figure…approximately 92%. But the next Barna survey result was really interesting. 83% of Americans still describe themselves as “Christians”…..but only 56% of that number believes that Jesus is actually divine and that He literally rose from the dead. 26% felt that Jesus was only a great moral teacher, much like the Buddha or the Prophet Mohammed. Another 18% said they just weren’t sure about His divinity. So in sum….at least 92% of Americans still want to see Jesus. But is it the real Jesus? Or is it a Jesus of our own making?

    In my essay this morning, I’d simply like to explore this request…”we wish to see Jesus.” So it’s my hope that after today, each of us, dear readers, will be able to see the glory of Jesus Christ more clearly. And to do that, we have to lift our eyes, our hearts, and our minds to the Cross. May the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit open our minds to the understanding of His word and open our hearts so that we may feel His love coursing through us.

    To begin, our Gospel lesson is set in the context of the Passover festival. As I said recently, Passover was one of the holiest feast days of the Jewish faith. Thousands of faithful pilgrims would have flocked to the Temple from all over the Mediterranean to celebrate and make their offerings to God. 

    But not everybody who came….were Jews. John says, “Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, Sir we wish to see Jesus.” Now the question is why. Why would these Gentiles come all the way from Greece to see Jesus? 

    Well, for one thing…there was no Instagram. It’s hard to believe, but in those days you couldn’t just hold up a phone…take a picture or a video….and then send it to all your friends in a few seconds. If you wanted to see somebody…you actually had to get up out of the house and do it. Imagine that?  And we complain about our connection speeds….first world problems!

    For another….I suspect news of Jesus…had already travelled that far….with no help from social media. See, I think they’d probably gotten wind of some of the things He was teaching. Jesus was saying and doing some pretty radical things. He taught with authority. He broke all the rules of social convention. He ate with tax collectors and sinners. He had real compassion for the poor. He put down the religious leaders for their false piety. Then He told little children that they would be the greatest in God’s Kingdom. 

    And then there were the miracles. Turning water in to wine. Calming storms and walking on water. Healing sick people and casting out demons. Maybe most importantly….Jesus had just raised Lazarus from the dead….and that’s a pretty big deal. So no doubt all of this stuff was traveling far and wide. They were probably hearing all these wild stories…all the way in Greece….and these people were like….”is this for real?” They wanted to see Jesus…because they were curious.

    In other words, these Greeks were no different than…say….Thomas Jefferson…or Americans today. Curiosity is the great motivating force of research and discovery. And like Thomas Jefferson and so many of us today…I’m sure they had their own preconceived notions about who Jesus was. I’m sure they’d taken a mental razor and cut out the things they didn’t like or believe and glued in the things they did like and believe. 

    I imagine they probably had their own Jefferson Bibles by the time they reached Jesus and the Disciples. Now after they made their request to Philip, he did what a lot of us church leaders do when outsiders come to our doorsteps seeking God….he formed a committee. He went and told Andrew. They probably debated about it for an hour. Then maybe they took a vote. Annnnnnddd then they told Jesus. 

    Their minds had to have been racing. They might’ve thought these would be the first Gentile followers of Christ. Or maybe they were apprehensive. Aren’t you here for just us Jews? I’m sure those two disciples had their razors and their glue just as the Greeks did. But on that day…none of them saw a Jesus of their own making. 

    They saw the real deal. Now we don’t know this for sure, but I imagine Jesus turned and said these things to the entire crowd…Jews and Gentiles alike. “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 

    This is the real Jesus. We can say we want to see Jesus, but is it the real Jesus or is it the Jesus we want to see? We can spend endless hours with our razors and our glue. We can glue in a safe Jesus, a Jesus we can control. 

    We can glue in a Jesus who says some nice things, but we aren’t sure if He’s really divine. Or we can glue in Jesus who’s a divine butler who exists solely to grant our wishes and doesn’t ask for anything in return. We can do a lot of work with our razors and our glue.

    But when we encounter the real Jesus, the glass cases of our own Gospels shatter. The pages crumble…they fall apart and wither in to dust. You see, that’s one of the key purposes of John’s Gospel. 

    He wants us to see Jesus as He actually is….beyond our limited perception of reality…beyond our physical and our mental understanding….beyond our razors and our glue. He wants us to see the great spiritual reality of Jesus Christ….and to respond by believing and trusting in Him as the one sent by God. The thing is, though, seeing Christ in His real glory isn’t all that easy to do because it flies in the face of just about everything we do believe in. Let me explain.

    This concept of life from death would’ve made very little sense to the original audience of this Gospel. It’s widely accepted that this Gospel and all the writings attributed to John the Beloved Disciple are the products of a Johannine community of churches in Asia Minor. They were dedicated to preserving the teachings of John, but like most of the other early Christian communities, they were persecuted heavily…by both Romans and Jews.

    And as they were being persecuted and martyred…they had to wonder….how can death possibly bring life? Here they were living in another place and time...and they wondered...where is this supposed glory of Christ? These questions are similar for us today, too. As a culture we try to avoid thinking about death. We cling desperately to the good things we have because we want life and still waters. And yet, our lives our filled with little deaths.

    Sometimes our circumstances shift and the old securities go and the only roads before us…go right through the valleys. So we wonder. How can the fallen wheat of our lives really bear fruit?

    In fact, I originally wrote this essay during the Christian season of Lent…I think this is the heart of what Lent really means. Our symbolic gestures of giving things up, our extra time spent in prayer…all of those things are important, yes. But the reality of Lent is that Lent comes to each of us in its own due time. At its heart, Lent is “Media vita in morte sumus ”…”In the midst of life we are in death.” “In the midst of life we are in death.” 

    No one’s immune from suffering, loss, the fear of death, or death itself. In other words…Lent isn’t always about choosing our losses…no….it’s the season for acknowledging them…for coming to grips with them. It’s the awareness that even as we’re living and drawing breath….we’re also dying. Heavy stuff.

    And this is why our razors and our glue are useless. If we try to create a Jesus of our own making, then we miss this spiritual reality. We miss the full expression of what God is offering to us through Christ. 

    We miss seeing Christ in His real glory, and so we miss our opportunity to be lifted up…even in the midst of our own deaths, big or small.

    So what is the real glory of Christ? The glory of Christ is the Cross and the fact that life will be offered to all people through death. Now that just might be the most theologically complex sentence I’ve ever said…so naturally, we’re going to have to unpack it. I think it’s safe to say the meaning of the Cross is the most difficult thing to understand and explain in all of Christianity. I bet most of us get a headache whenever we even try to think about it.

    And it’s been debated from the earliest days of the church right up to our time. There’s entire classes in seminary devoted to making sense of it. Some have said that the Cross was a ransom…a payment that bought the world freedom from sin and death. Some have said that the Cross was substitutionary…that Christ took on victimhood and died in our place to atone for our sins and guilt. 

    Some have said the Cross is our “moral exemplar”….that through His life and death on the Cross, Christ shows us how to live. Now I think there’s validity to all these theories. I think all of them might reflect part of the truth of this great Mystery.  

    But what’s interesting for our message today…is that all these “classical theories” of Atonement are completely absent from John’s Gospel. John focuses on one thing. He’s focused completely on the restoration of the relationship between God and humanity. 

    When Jesus turns to Philip and Andrew and the Greeks He’s saying “If You want to see me as I am, if you want to see me in glory….then you have to see this…you have to see the Cross.” Why? It’s the sign of His true glory because it reveals God’s everlasting, self-emptying, self-surrendering love for all of humanity. He becomes what we are and He endures what we endure. The doubts, the fears, the little deaths, the weaknesses of the ‘Father, save me from this hour’ moments…He takes those things all onto Himself because…He loves us that much. So in the end, the Cross isn’t ultimately about paying ransoms or substitutions and the need for someone to be punished because of sin. 

    Through His death on the Cross, Jesus Christ is creating a new reality.  It’s a new reality that says you are reconciled to God. You are loved and accepted by God.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Indeed, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Out of His death He brings us new life.

     

     

     

     

    So if we want to see Christ in glory, then we have to look at Him as He’s being raised up on the Cross….because the Cross is our signpost that points to the limitless bounds of His love and the unfathomable depths He will go to…just to be in relationship with us. 

    In the words of the great Saint Catherine of Siena: “As a child who sucks the milk from his mother’s breast, likewise we, in love with God, draw love from Jesus crucified, always following His footsteps and walking with Him on the path of humiliation, pain and insults. We do not seek joy elsewhere than in Jesus and we avoid any glory which is not that of the Cross. Embrace Jesus crucified, loving and beloved, and in him you will find true life because He is God made man. Let your heart and your soul burn with the fire of love drawn from Jesus on the Cross!” My sisters and brothers…this…this is how life comes from death. 

    This is how the dying wheat that falls to the ground bears fruit. All we have to do is put away our razors and our glue and see the glory of Jesus Christ. And when we look on Him who was raised up for us, we should also be raised up. Maybe you’re cast down today. Maybe you’re grieving over the death of a loved one. Maybe you’re having financial troubles. 

    Maybe your marriage is strained or you’re fighting with members of your family. It’s in these moments...as the wheat is falling where we feel the most vulnerable and the most alone. But if we let go….if we just let the wheat fall….we’ll see that we’re not alone. 

    We’ll see that we’re not just God’s second-class citizens clinging to words in a 2,000 year old book…no….we’ll see that He’s here….that He’s with us….and that He’s lifting us...and all people up and drawing us to Himself....in the power of His reconciling love that flows from the Cross. 

    Today I’m going to leave you with the words of a poem written by an Eastern Orthodox Monk by the name of Fr. Seraphim Rose, a poem that beautifully sums up the true glory of Christ bringing life from death on the Cross. 

    And it’s a poem that has brought me comfort and hope as some of my own wheat fell to the ground. My friends, may it be so for you as well:

    "Come to Me, says the Way,

    The way seems long only because you cannot see the end.

    But when you reach the end and look back, the way will seem so very short.

    And you will see that you could have never known happiness

    Unless you had known this sadness.

    You will be thankful.

    You will be glad things happened just as they did.

    That they are just as they are.

    You will be thankful in the harbor, if only you can endure to the end.

     

    To be empty is to be filled. To be tattered is to be renewed.

    Follow Me, says the Way, Descend into the Valley,

    Enter the city, and then be raised with me in ignominy

    Torn and Tattered, Dragged down to the most abased place on earth, Atop the highest tree

    On the highest hill outside the city.

     

    Follow me, says the Way

    Hollow, empty, selfless

    Resting in forsakenness, There abide in Me as I abide in You.

    Abide in the highest, You who have been abased in the depths with Me.

    Be filled with Me, you who have been emptied with Me,

    Be renewed, you who have been tattered with Me.

    Taste incorruption, You who have lain in the grave with Me.” (Taken from Christ the Eternal Tao by Hieromonk Damascene)

    Amen.