The Nightshirt Sightings, Portents, Forebodings, Suspicions

Category “Mysticism”

The Nightshirt Guide to the Twin Peaks Rebirth

Tuesday, 27 June, 2017

“We live in a world of opposites, of extreme evil and violence opposed to goodness and peace. It’s that way here for a reason but we have a hard time grasping what the reason is. In struggling to understand the reason, we learn about balance and there’s a mysterious door right at that balance point. […]

Master Minkowski’s Wild Ducks (Zen and the Glass Block Universe)

Thursday, 4 May, 2017

Probably because I am thinking about (and trying to finish a book on) precognition and retrocausation and the glass block universe they seem to imply, I keep finding my thoughts returning to a famous Zen koan from 8th-century China. You will have heard it: Master Ma and his student Pai Chang were walking along when […]

Psi’s Big Guns: Sleep Paralysis and Astral Time Travel

Saturday, 16 April, 2016

A year ago I wrote at length about out-of-body experiences (OOBEs) in the context of alchemy and the hermetic tradition. I confessed that I was a fence-sitter on the question of what they are—lucid dreams that just feel more real than most (i.e., corresponding to real physical environments) or actually what they feel like, some […]

Altered States of Reading (4): Ginsberg & the End of the Bookstore

Saturday, 9 April, 2016

Ralph Waldo Emerson warned, in his essay “Self-Reliance,” about the failure of most people to notice and follow their inner light or spark: “A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he […]

Lost in Translation (or, Don’t Look for a Matrix of Meaning)

Tuesday, 15 March, 2016

I have been arguing that present experience contains associative traces of emotional events ahead of us in time; we are detecting (faintly) the future—the real future, not just some imaginatively forecast future—at all moments, mostly beneath the level of conscious awareness. But because the retrocausality implied in this model is so “hard to think” (and […]

Synchronicity Machines and Psychotropies of Spacetime

Tuesday, 1 March, 2016

It is because we are lost, decentered by the ego and conceptual symbolic thought, that many mystical or religious experiences involve a sudden amazement of what Ram Dass famously called “being here now,” or simply presence. What is really the most obvious fact, our simple existence somewhere, our conscious awareness, suddenly comes alive as something […]

The Vicinity of the Real (Tarkovsky’s Stalker)

Sunday, 2 August, 2015

The Zone in Andrei Tarkovsky’s late sci-fi masterpiece Stalker is one of my favorite places, real or imagined. It is a landscape of overgrown ruins, where spacetime itself is uncertain and only the experienced can guide you through. It is not that the guide (the “Stalker” of the title) knows the way—because the way is […]

The Great Work of Immortality: Astral Travel, Dreams, and Alchemy

Saturday, 16 May, 2015

The ceramic-and-glass sculptures shown in this article are by artist Christina Bothwell, used with her kind permission. Judging from the number of books and YouTube videos now available on the subject, out-of-body experiences (OOBEs) seem to be enjoying a contemporary revival, and there is surely no hobby more ontologically controversial. Several authors, including Robert Monroe […]

Psi, the Enjoyment Body, and the Electric Power of Yes

Monday, 27 April, 2015

Like many people, I am fascinated by synchronicities that occur in my life, and I even see them as signposts on my life’s path. Yet the “nuts and bolts” side of me agrees with Arthur Koestler in his wonderful 1972 survey of ESP research, The Roots of Coincidence: Carl Jung’s theory of synchronicity is a […]

Don’t Look Now: Witches, Weird Sisters, and the Eroticism of ESP

Saturday, 18 April, 2015

Nicolas Roeg’s 1973 paranormal thriller Don’t Look Now, based on a Daphne du Maurier short story (and now finally released on the Criterion Collection), is one of my desert-island top 10 (probably top 5) favorite films, and it is hands down the greatest Fortean film ever made. Short of UFOs, it has everything you could […]