|Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989|
PRECISELY WHEN IT ALL STARTED is worth putting on the record. It was around 0320 hours Kuala Lumpur time, 10th November, 1989. In Berlin it would have been approximately 2020 hours, November 9th. Just about the time The Wall was being dismantled.
What happened to me and my friend Mary Maguire at that particular time could be called a transdimensional breakthrough. I know it sounds rather pompous, considering how silly the entire exercise might appear to certain people.
What were we doing? Fooling around with a what? A ouija board. And who did you say contacted you? Robert Graves. Which Robert Graves? The famous poet, scholar and author? The man who wrote The White Goddess and I, Claudius and Claudius the God?
Ha ha, nice try.
Look, I'm not in the habit of attending seances, reading tea leaves, or playing with ouija boards. And until this thing happened I didn't even know who Robert Graves was. Nor had I read any of his books or poems, believe it or not.
That's a perfectly understandable response. This is the Age of the Mighty Microchip. We don’t burn witches anymore. The Ghost In The Machine? Isn't that the name of a Police album? Well, it's also the title of an Arthur Koestler book I never got round to reading. But I always liked the image it conjured. As a young man I was greatly stimulated by Koestler. When he turned, in his later years, to parapsychological research I was pleased. Here was an intellect of undeniable probity and precision lending itself to serious investigation of the more mystical areas of metaphysics. It could only signal one thing: that the mind of contemporary man was undergoing a shift from the red end of the energy spectrum to the blue. In Koestler's own terms: from the Commissar back to the Yogi.
Events in Europe since November 1989 have borne out this spectrum shift. Witness the dramatic transfiguration of the sociopolitical status quo in what used to be called the Soviet bloc. For humanity as a whole, however, the blue-shift toward spiritual reintegration has not been progressing smoothly. The collective consciousness of most industrial nations remains stubbornly mired in the intellectual materialism that has engendered varying degrees of concealed totalitarianism. In far too many instances the primitive hostility and obscurantism which springs from Fear still rules the imaginations of influential men and women who rule the hearts and minds of entire populations.
Now you may ask: what has this to do with ouija boards and posthumous dialogues with famous poets?
I have long been convinced that all brutishness, greed, malice and deceit stem from assorted fears - and all fears ultimately arise from Fear of the Unknown. And the Ultimate Unknown is Death.
The “Godfearing" fear God's punishment: everlasting death. In view of this I have - like any civilized soul - assiduously practised the overcoming of my own thanatophobia. My fear of death, in other words.
But it is one thing to confront the evident inevitability of physical death on a purely conceptual level - and quite another to find yourself enjoying a cup of tea and a friendly chat with someone who allegedly expired several years ago. Anyone who has experienced something like this stands a good chance of acquiring fearlessness.
Let me try and explain how these transdimensional dialogues with "Robert Graves"* came about. When "Robert" broke through on the ouija board he seemed to have been drawn to the scene by Mary's presence. Before the session with the board Mary had been reclining on a couch. "Robert" mentioned that she had reminded him of someone he used to know, someone named Eddie: a pensive and languid lad of 19 who - heartbroken with jealousy - had drowned himself in a pond.
"Robert" also reported that he was attracted to my thought-field which he described as "friendly." After about an hour of conversing via the board (with astonishing fluency, I must add) I intuited that Mary and "Robert" were sufficiently attuned to one another's mental frequency for her to attempt direct channeling with pen and paper.
|Robert Graves with his muse in Deya, Mallorca|
Mary had had no prior experience with the process called automatic writing (I personally prefer the term spontaneous writing) – but she took to it with remarkable ease. Looking over her shoulder as she worked, I was struck by her aura of secretarial efficiency. The erratic spelling and non-existent punctuation were all hers - but the substance and syntax were clearly emanating from a mysterious source. Whenever I wanted to comment on something or ask a question, I would verbalize it as if addressing a presence in the room. I also tried directing questions at "Robert" telepathically - but the results were unpredictable and inconsistent. Later, as I developed the ability to "channel" I found it unnecessary to vocalize my thoughts and questions.
My own initial attempts at channeling were a little "choppy" till I managed to relax completely and suspend all disbelief. The flow became smoother as I lost my self-consciousness and stopped wondering how much of it was "me." It's interesting to note that after "Robert" made the transition to an expanded frequency range I gradually took on Mary's role of "scribe"`and began to perform spontaneous writing exercises with greater regularity, to keep my neural pathways open.
Spontaneous writing is not unlike keeping a diary - but here the emphasis is on one's inner life. The act of opening the notebook and uncapping my pen seems to trigger a special circuit that plugs me into Inspiration at its source.
Perhaps it's a way of transmuting the contents of the sub- and superconscious into everyday Consciousness. In any case the process of letting "strange” signals flow through my brain and onto paper teaches me not to take the limits of my egoic existence too seriously.
I must include three other observations: (i) a degree of skill with translating thought into language definitely helps and both Mary and myself can lay claim to being writers of one species or another; (ii) both of us have dabbled in theater and might therefore be described as empathetic by temperament; (iii) during the first encounter with "Robert" we had both been psychically primed by a few cups of strong tea laced with the juice of psilocybin mushrooms.**
Our experience of euphoria and heightened awareness lasted several weeks beyond the initial contact with "Robert". I first began to feel the gravity of mundane reality again after witnessing newsreels of the carnage in Romania on Christmas Eve.
|Robert Graves in his 50s|
THE ABILITY TO CHANNEL is a faculty inherent in everyone, though certain types of individuals seem more predisposed to developing their sensitivity as mediums. Poets, composers, dancers, writers, sculptors, painters, and orators have traditionally acknowledged their personal daemons and muses. The same gift of inspiration has also manifested itself in the lives of many scientific geniuses. Scriptures have been revealed by similar process through the agency of individuals with specialized neural pathways. What's truly surprising, therefore, is that people seem to have grown so grossly unmindful of their spiritual links to all the other dimensions of being. If heightened awareness leads to greater awakeness then a huge percentage of the human race is fast asleep. Asleep to its own divine origin and destiny, to its own true potential.
So where the hell is it all coming from?
Bearing in mind that any working model of Reality can at best be considered a tool to help us attain some conscious mastery of our lives, let's examine the arcane teaching that Human Experience is essentially a 7-dimensional affair. And to simplify things let's call these dimensions "levels" - or frequency bands.
Lower frequencies generate greater apparent mass or solidity. So we may visualize the different levels as a series of "kingdoms" of ascending sublimity: mineral, vegetable, animal, elemental, mental, archangelic, deific. The "higher" levels incorporate and complement the "lower" and vice versa. Where does the human being fit in? It varies from one individual to another. The fully realized individual functions consciously on all seven levels. The vast majority of humans, however, appear to be enmeshed in the specific dramas of Levels 3, 4 and 5.
Level 3 is the physical plane, the animal being with its amazing sensory structures. What we call 3-dimensional reality, the tangible world.
Level 4 is the elemental (or astral) plane where the sense of space does not exist (or if it does, it's highly elastic): this is where we "go" in our dreams and in states of death or deep trance. Devas, demons, and disembodied souls abound on Level 4. Thought-forms of limited volition abide in this timeless Twilight Zone that could well be an aspect of Time itself.
The realm of pure thought - Level 5 - is where the Muses live. This is where the Intellect originates, where the Imagination becomes articulate. Five is the firmament of Mind where Ideas float like clouds.
It is the sacred grove where the Poet trysts with his Beloved and is consumed by Eternity. When Mary and I first met "Robert Graves" (a well-named ghost, I had quipped) the man had been disincarnate for nearly four years, earthtime. The Poet was one at last with his White Goddess and "Robert" had himself become a full-fledged Muse.
On Level 6 the ego-personality diffuses into the perfect principle of cosmic love, compassion, and healing light. Here the concept of gender is irrelevant. Six is rightly called the archangelic realm, for it is through archangelic action that the lower kingdoms are sustained. In the myth of Lucifer/Prometheus the Archangel/Titan is erroneously said to have "fallen from Grace"; in truth the Bringer of Light voluntarily forswears Godhood in order to rescue other sentient souls trapped in the lower realms.***
Similarly, the emotive force of the Christ initiation lies in the idea of a voluntary fall, crucifixion, resurrection and return to the Godhead which, for us, is the Absolute Reality of Level 7. In effect "where the hell it's all coming from" is wholly relative to what level of awareness we’re functioning at.
|Robert Graves in his 60s|
"ROBERT GRAVES" developed into a splendid transdimensional conundrum for us. Having introduced himself as Mary's platonic lover from her previous life he went on to become my spirit friend from Level 5 - and eventually established contact with me on a heroic, archetypal and mythic level - playing Zeus to my Cronos, Castor to my Pollux, Romulus to my Remus, and so forth. Finally "Robert" extended his being onto Levels 6 and 7 and was transformed into the voice of our own infinite potential.
Eventually we were faced with a difficult decision: whether to go public with the material or limit it to a manageable circle of friends. "Robert" himself at one point expressed his indifference as to the outcome of our sessions. He said he trusted us with the material. We toyed with the idea of publishing anonymously or under a pseudonym. But then why mystify what's already and always mysterious? Besides (I reminded myself) all names are ultimately meaningless. Nonetheless I've always found anonymous notes, phonecalls, tracts or reviews extremely annoying. So we see-sawed between doubt and decision for a while until one day it suddenly became very clear: the "Robert" contact had restored and reinforced my sense of purpose and given Mary a whole new perspective on her life (or rather, lives) Why couldn’t it do the same for others?
Encouraged by the open-minded interest shown by many of our friends and by the outstanding example of inspired sensitives like H.P. Blavatsky, Alice A. Bailey, Jane Roberts, Dorothy Maclean and David Spangler (to name but a few) Mary and I felt we simply had to do our bit for the Aquarian Dispensation. whereupon "Robert" waxed enthusiastic and gave us his unconditional blessings.
To Mikhail S. Gorbachev we owe a very special debt of gratitude for reminding us of the virtues of glasnost and the power we hold in our own hands for perestroika on a planetary scale.
Antares (Kit Leee)
Easter Sunday, 1990
* Robert’s name occurs in quotes because there has thus far been no incontrovertible proof that we were in contact with the surviving intelligence of the late great poet. However, our subsequent research into Graves' life and work has only reinforced the feeling that it was him all right. In any case all names are ultimately unimportant except as a form of "station identification."
** I have myself eaten the hallucinogenic mushroom, psilocybe, a divine ambrosia in immemorial use among the Masatec Indians of Oaxaca Province, Mexico; heard the priestess invoke Tlaloc, the Mushroom-god, and seen transcendental visions. Thus I wholeheartedly agree with R. Gordon Wasson, the American discoverer of this ancient rite, that European ideas of heaven and hell may well have derived from similar mysteries. ~ Robert Graves, in his foreword to The Greek Myths, 1960
*** "The Manichaean tradition knows that the Holy Ghost is the transformed Lucifer and the dove is the transformed serpent; and that the Grail was once formed from the precious stone in the crown of Lucifer and was filled with the blood of Christ who redeems Lucifer himself." ~ Trevor Ravenscroft, The Cup of Destiny
TO BRING THE DEAD TO LIFE
by Robert Graves
To bring the dead to life
Is no great magic.
Few are wholly dead:
Blow on a dead man's embers
And a live flame will start.
Let his forgotten griefs be now,
And now his withered hopes;
Subdue your pen to his handwriting
Until it prove as natural
To sign his name as yours.
Limp as he limped,
Swear by the oaths he swore;
If he wore black, affect the same;
If he had gouty fingers,
Be yours gouty too.
Assemble tokens intimate of him -
A seal, a cloak, a pen:
Around these elements then build
A home familiar to
The greedy revenant.
So grant him life; but reckon
That the grave which housed him
May not be empty now:
You in his spotted garments
Shall yourself lie wrapped.
[First posted 23 June 2015]