Frequently Unasked Questions

  • What is the aim of this blog?   To log and explore the mystery of mysteries — consciousness. Most problems boil down to issues of consciousness. Something you’re not conscious of (how condescending your manner was) or something you’re too conscious of –(your fears, obsessions, prejudices.) Consciousness can be our worst enemy or our best friend. A difference in consciousness can be the difference between heaven and hell – between good will and murderous paranoia.

  • What do you mean by unbound? Is there a noose around our neck? Is something strangling us?  Yes, sort of. In the struggle for survival, our mental focus narrows and we automatically tune out whole ranges of experience. We end up trapped in the official worldview, rebels or slaves of the Evil Empire du jour. We strangle ourselves with a shrunken vision of what we are.

  •  Why the preoccupation with consciousness?   Is there anything more fundamental? In a radical sense, we are our consciousness. Consciousness is what tunes us into reality in all its various forms, mental and physical. But here’s the rub: consciousness, the great mother of the possible, is a complete mystery; nobody understands its origins or outer limits.
  •  What then is the practical significance of this for my life?  We may have to live with the mystery, but there is a practical point. Pure consciousness is filtered through our brains, our bodies, our cultures. The problem is how to relax the filter, loosen the spigot, sweep away all the junk that keeps our minds in manacles.
  •  That’s a lot of filters and spigots I have to cut through – impossible!  Not at all! The impossible happens all the time. The unknown wants to be explored.
  •  What about the rope around my neck? With the gravity of the universe pressing upon me, what am I to do?  Untie your mental knots! A mental knot is anything that locks you in some limited perspective. Always try reason. Surrendering to the spontaneous flow of life can work miracles. Various kinds of revolution are possible. Prayers ejaculated into Mind at Large have been known to help. All these failing, you can always repair to the specialists: diviners, artists, poets, shamans, philosophers, prophets, mystics, and other aviators of higher consciousness.
  •  Are you a metaphysical joker? Do you really believe in stuff like levitation and life after death? Aren’t such things at odds with modern science and the mass of educated opinion?  No, not at all. For the last four hundred years, scientific materialism has in effect repressed and sought to invalidate the reality of soul, spirit, and consciousness. There are signs everywhere of revolt against this subtle form of cultural terrorism.
  •  Oh my God! You’re against science!   Not science — calm down – just materialism, which is not science but an imposed ghetto of the soul. Materialism is stodgy nihilism; puritanical anality. Lots of stuff suddenly becomes impossible: i.e., mind, soul, dreams, feelings, miracles, jokes, vaulting will, whimsical art, animal consciousness, genius, life after death, magical healing, precognition, psychokinesis, love, magic, and materialization — bloody kill-joys!
  • A hefty list! Have you anything to add?  Yes. We should resist all these assaults on human experience as much as we resist racism, dehumanizing capitalism, militarism, plutocratic narcissism, genderism, ageism, sexism, and so on.

  •  I see you’ve written a book about a monk who could fly. How can we be sure the reports about your aerial mystery man are not a myth created by the Church to bolster its claims to authority?  If that were true, by now someone would have proved it, or tried to – but nobody has. You would have to prove that thirty five years of Joseph’s famous career — all the associated records, sworn documents and statements deposed by cardinals, popes, inquisitors, nuns, physicians, musicians, sculptors, painters, shepherds, and fellow friars – all were deliberate frauds, or relentlessly sloppy and absurd misinterpretations, resulting in the laughable myth of a flying friar.

  • You talk of evidence for miracles. How do you get evidence for the “miracle” of levitation?   You don’t have to be a neuroscientist to report having seen a monk rise into the air, perch on an olive tree branch like a bird, and hover there for about fifteen minutes. All that’s required are good eyes, normal intelligence, and working organs of speech.

  • Suppose all the claims about St. Joseph’s levitations are true, does that mean I should rush off and join the Catholic Church to save my soul?  Don’t be silly! Your soul is your own business. The levitations are simply unexplained facts of nature — a challenge to human curiosity, an invitation to step outside the box of conventional thought. Got it?

  •  That’s all?  No, there’s much more. For some, it’s about pointers to unknown forces, to super-PK or, if you like, God or your guardian angel. To others, it might seem like glimpses of posthuman evolutionary potential. To yet another crowd, a cognitive nuisance that should be buried like nuclear waste.

  • Why are you drawn to this strange case of ecstasy and levitation?   It’s the story of a man who started out in the most unpromising circumstances, but in the end amazed much of Europe with his wisdom, virtues, and miraculous powers. In a provocative way, his story is a giant counter-example to scientific materialism. And finally, his life has interesting implications for the theory of religion.

  • Suppose the supernormal stuff is accurate in substance, what does it mean for people of the 21stcentury?    Take it as an incentive to explore the hidden, the forgotten depths within. Human creative potential – the full spectrum of possibilities — is alive and well among us today. The mode of expression must be unique to our time. We need new vehicles for exploring the outer limits of consciousness. When we learn to make them who knows how far we might travel?

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