Waking Illusion or Dream Reality

RealityCheckAheadIs life as we know it real or some illusionary dream reality? Can we exist in two waking/dream dimensions simultaneously? These are some deeper philosophical questions to ponder, and I don’t hold all the answers, but they certainly intrigue me.

This question always brings to mind a 9-year old client I once treated for seizure disorder. Audra developed nocturnal seizures after a bad vaccination reaction when she was five. At school she was in special education classes for learning disabilities. Her behavior was often slow and lethargic–almost like someone going through life sleepwalking. The epileptic seizures didn’t happen every night and rarely ever happened during the daytime, but the damage had taken its toll in all aspects of her life due to her lack of energy. Her mother brought her into my office for neurofeedback brainwave training to help reduce and regulate her daughter’s sleep onset seizures, which were causing a sleep disorder.

While hooked up to an EEG monitor, Audra’s frontal lobe (the executive function of the brain) displayed high amplitude slow wave theta/delta activity. This is the type of activity our brain makes when drifting off to sleep or in an altered state of consciousness. Audra had an abundance of this activity. Consequently, I had to adjust visual and auditory Neurofeedback training rewards to make it easier for her or frustration would quickly set in and she would give up. It was usually a struggle.

Then one day, while Audra was doing a training session, I suddenly heard faster beeps signaling she was racking up points and doing outstanding. I glanced over at Audra and she was sound asleep in her chair. I looked at the EEG monitor and saw she was making consistent wide-awake beta activity without even trying. I’d never seen this pattern before with her and she was clearly not in the throes of a seizure. Her closed eyelids showed no indication of rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, either. I was perplexed. Most people show faster beta activity while awake, and the slow theta/delta activity while sleeping. Audra was just the opposite. I’d never seen anything like it. Intuition kicked in and I knew I was witnessing an anomaly.

I had the clear thought at the time, however unproven, that Audra’s real waking world might very well be what we call the sleep state. Then when she transitioned upon waking, her brain would slip into what looked like an abnormal dream-like state. I tried to get her to talk about her “dream” experiences while sleeping, but she wouldn’t open up. It was if she had a secret she was not going to share.

Which comes back to the point–what do we understand about reality anyway? Is a dream/wake reversal state even possible? Perhaps. Later, I would learn from researchers studying Alzheimer’s disease, that these patients seem to be able to transverse both dimensional worlds as they deteriorate and become more communicatively unreachable. Some patients were able to later reveal how the other world seemed more real at times than this world. Consequently, they began spending more time in this other world until the body’s life energies eventually withdrew and they exited this plane. This is fascinating stuff.

The closest you can get to understanding this duo-dimensional world is through the practice of lucid dreaming—knowing you’re dreaming while in a dream state. If you’ve ever experienced a lucid dream, then you can probably attest to how real that other world can feel. The trick to staying in a lucid state is to not let yourself get too emotional (i.e. excitement, laughing, fear, etc.) or it will wake you right up. I once tried opening a refrigerator in a lucid dream to see if I could eat veggies while in that state. The second I put the dream carrot in my mouth, I woke right up. It’s hard to master. But perhaps for some it’s not at all. Which leads us right back to where we started—what is the true nature of reality?

Dr. Kathy Forti is a clinical psychologist, inventor, and author of the new book, Fractals of God.   amazon.com/author/kathyforti

Living an Examined Life – The Hieroglyph of the Human Soul

photo(9)If one’s home is truly one’s castle, then Leigh J. McCloskey has created a portal into another dimension in his Malibu house.  His upstairs “living” library is an acrylic painted road map into the psyche, with vivid, colorful archetypal symbols that leave each visitor enthralled.   I just had to come back for more of his enchantment, and I did.   McCloskey, an artist, actor, author, and philosopher, might well be remembered for his role as Mitch Cooper on the hit TV series Dallas.  But acting was his day job—his real passion is and always has been his art.  It all started for him on September 11 when the World Trade Center Towers came down and our concept of reality was forever changed.  “I tried to make sense out of it all,” Leigh explains.  “The only way I could search for answers and find true meaning, was  through painting.”  What transpired for him was a look into the journey of the human soul.

Man most often searches for life’s answers when he is confronted with his own mortality.  But for Leigh, he found that by examining man’s history he could get a glimpse into his future. He explains his symbolic art like an ancient philosopher.  And like a wise sage, his students hear a lecture that, ultimately, will prompt their own self-examination.   He is a brilliant narrator and it’s no coincidence he had a long and profitable acting career.  Every inch of ceiling, floors, walls, and bookshelves are alive with his murals and paintings.  Even his sofa cushions are made out of canvas and display his creative mind at work.  Flip over the cushions, and they tell a different  narrative.   Even what is hidden has underlying meaning.  Everything in his library is a metaphorical visualization.

Leigh-McCloskey-in-Back-of-LibraryWhat is truly amazing is that Leigh created his “Hieroglyph of the Human Soul” collection in 3-D, without even realizing what he had accomplished.    When one dons 3-D glasses, and looks down at the floor paintings, one feels like they are looking below the ocean surface to the mysteries of the deep.  And so much is hidden there, like life itself.

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Throughout this experience, one feels an affinity with divine creation—a sense of oneness. Whenever I listen to Leigh, I see the ancient alchemist at work, weaving his magic into symbols that will forever awaken and transform us towards  a deeper understanding.

Enjoy it for yourself. Follow Leigh’s story and art  by taking a short video tour through the Hieroglyph of the Human Soul (5:02). CLICK HERE

To learn more:  www.LeighMcCloskey.com

Dr. Kathy Forti is a clinical psychologist, inventor, and author of the new book, Fractals of God.   amazon.com/author/kathyforti

Random Acts of Forgiveness

 “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Louis B. Smedes

ForgiveHeartForgiveness is something we can all  practice on a daily basis.  Perhaps its that person intentionally cutting ahead of you in the Starbuck’s line, or someone on their cellphone in a movie theater.   While some might classify such occurrences in the realm of practicing tolerance, they are also opportunities for what I call “random acts of forgiveness”.  It prepares us for when the bigger betrayals come in life that demand strength of character to either say you’re sorry, or that you were wrong, or declare peace and try to move forward from there.

Sometimes such events can be somewhat lop-sided.  One side may want to hold onto their anger for years—plotting revenge and perhaps even ways to destroy the other party.  A scenario such as this usually has karmic undertones, and is really a joint agreement by both parties coming into this life to help each other learn to forgive and let go.  But what if you’re willing to forgive and move on, but they’re not?

I’ve experienced one of those scenarios. The kind that costs you time, frustration, and a lot of money as you deal with their need to win knowing quite clearly that no one ever comes out a clear winner in such cases.  What if forgiveness is just not enough?

In my case, I was given extra insight through a dream.  In the dream I saw myself in a restaurant approaching a table where the other party was eating dinner with two strangers dressed in dark suits (probably lawyers).  We were both surprised to see each other, and there was no animosity.  I sat down and listened to her tell me about what she had accomplished in this lifetime so far and what she was still working on.  We seemed to be just two friendly souls comparing progress notes.  At one point, she sadly told me, “But my father still asks me:  Are you pretty enough?  Have you made enough money?  Are you keeping your figure?”  In her eyes, nothing she had accomplished meant anything because she still could not gain her father’s sought after approval.

I felt a flooding of compassion and love for her.  She was clearly hurting and dealing with soul issues of self-worth.  I felt her pain and it was deep.  I reached out my arms to her in the dream, embraced her, and said “I am so sorry”.  My sorrow came from the deep realization that our altercation was just another parental-like dismissal for her, cementing her lack of self-worth.  I suddenly had complete understanding of the situation and the parts we had both played.   There is so much going on behind the scenes on so many different levels, and my higher guidance was showing me the true core issue.  My dismissive  actions had added to her feelings of worthlessness.  I was sorry for my part and with it I experienced a deep release as I also forgave myself.   I knew we had completed our work together and I was at peace.

Dr. Kathy Forti is a clinical psychologist, inventor, and author of the new book, Fractals of God.   amazon.com/author/kathyforti

May I Be Frank – An Amazing Transformation

may-i-be-frank_Frank Ferrante is a no-holds barred Sicilian from Brooklyn with an incredible story to tell.  Being Italian myself, and an ex-New Yorker, we naturally gravitated to each other at a mutual friend’s house where I learned about his amazing life transformation.  A drug addict since his early 20’s, Frank contracted Hepatitis C and, as a result, was on a cocktail of prescription drugs.  Unfortunately, the toxicity of his meds only served to make his depression and lethargy worse.  From the photo he showed me, he looked older than his years, weighing close to 300 pounds.  He probably had high blood pressure as well.  In other words, Frank was a mess. Yet, today he is 110 pounds lighter and off prescription drugs.  He looks younger and more vibrant.  He has embraced a more spiritual lifestyle and has even re-united with estranged family members.  So how did he do it?

The saying, “You are what you eat” has Frank’s name written right next to it.  Café Gratitude, an organic vegan restaurant in San Francisco, decided to make Frank their 42-day “clean up” project.  They fed him three meals a day of cleansing raw vegan food.  They added in three helpful coaches from the restaurant for support, and together they set up Frank’s regimen plan.  Frank admits quite honestly that he had no idea what he was getting himself into when he agreed to the project.  But he liked Cafe Gratitude’s owner and staff, and so he signed on.  And so the journey began.

His progress is documented in the film May I Be Frank and it’s definitely worth watching.  Let me say that this is no whitewashed documentary. It’s both gritty and brutally honest as Frank comes to terms with his personal demons. Yet, at the same time it is hilarious and charming (much like Frank). Viewers will get an eye-popping look into Frank’s colonic sessions and doctor’s visits.  (He may have missed his calling as a stand up comic.)  You’ll see him embroiled in altercations with his ex-wife, who he has a love/hate relationship with, as he comes to heal painful wounds and do some personal soul searching.  It’s not an easy ride for Frank, but it is an endearing one as he learns to start loving himself.  Frank calls his documentary “a film about sex, drugs, and…”   And that description pretty much sums it up.  You will be rooting for him, you will be groaning along with him, but in the end you will have witnessed the triumph of the human spirit.

I had to ask Frank how a 54 year old drug addict had found his way inside a vegan restaurant in the first place. His response was just as funny. “In AA they’re always talking about Gratitude. I figured Café Gratitude was a place for recovering addicts to hang out.”  Call it Divine Intervention at work.  Frank’s journey has now become a mission to help others–which is what it’s really all about in the end.  You go, Frank!     www.MayIBeFrank movie.com

WATCH THE TRAILER

Dr. Kathy Forti is a clinical psychologist, inventor, and author of the new book, Fractals of God.   amazon.com/author/kathyforti

 

Are We Living in a Multi-Universe?

The Blogspot for Spirituality, Consciousness, Healing & More...

The Blogspot for Spirituality, Consciousness, Healing & More…

Cosmologists studying a map of the universe, from data gathered by the Planck spacecraft, have concluded that it shows anomalies that can only have been caused by the gravitational pull of other universes.  These gravitational waves point to the existence of mult-universes existing in parallel conjunction with ours. First revealed by physicist Alan Guth in 1979, the presence of gravitational waves was confirmed by radio astronomers this year who stated that the foundation of the Big Bang supports Guth’s theory of “cosmic inflation”.  Inflation theory predicts that ours is just one of countless universes to emerge from the same primordial vacuum. While we currently have no way of seeing these other universes, predictions of their existence have recently been corroborated by astrophysical measurements.  They are out there.  And it would be foolish to think we are all alone, or the only form of human life, in this great big multi-universe.

Guth is presently the Victor Weisskopf Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his findings would  also support the concept that we do indeed live in a fractal universe as well. Universes within universes, holographic in nature, very much alike, but with only slight differences.  It’s an expansive thought that gives you much to ponder.  Does that mean there might be a parallel Earth, just like ours, in another universe?  Or quite possibly each of us having a parallel life?  If so, hopefully it is more peaceful Earth. An Earth which has learned to avoid wars, as well as killing its own for power.  In other words, a more evolved Earth.

About 25 years ago I had a somewhat unusual nitrous oxide experience while having a root canal done at my dentist.  Under the influence of gas, I saw the human race existing, like billions of cells, inside a giant human body that made up our universe. We had no idea we were inside this large body but we were all working together to keep it alive and functioning as we accomplished our work. And this large body was a small organism inside an even larger body.  It was a pretty trippy dental visit, but it gets you to thinking about collective consciousness and that there has to be some greater intelligence at work.

 Dr. Kathy Forti is a clinical psychologist, inventor, and author of the new book, Fractals of God.   amazon.com/author/kathyforti

 

ONENESS FOR ALL

I_remember_OnenessONENESS–individually we strive to attain it, but what does it mean? It’s not a simple answer, for the term can mean many different things to different people. Collectively we are one humanity, one species, with a common evolutionary destiny. Our origins are the same and our interconnectedness on a human level is without question. Yet, on a higher level, we are more than one humanity, we are the universal “I”.

I recently got to experience this in a rather profound sense.  I had just attended a week of intense meditation work in Arizona, and as I was driving home I felt a shift.  I looked out my driver window at all the hundreds of cars speeding along to their unknown destinations and I felt an overwhelming oneness with the drivers and passengers in each and every vehicle.  This is not something most Los Angelenos can ever admit too.  It is a battleground every day on our city’s congested freeways.  But on that particular day (due to all the meditation, I’m sure) I became aware that every car was filled with other “Kathys”.  There was Kathy in one car experiencing being in the body of a male (a rather buff one, I might add); there was Kathy in that Prius driving like a jerk trying to get ahead of everyone else; there was Kathy in that big semi-trailer looking bored and extremely tired and unhappy.  Wow, I thought!  This was quite a new perspective.  Suddenly, I had greater compassion and understanding for all those other Kathys.  They were me in all my multi-facets navigating this thing called “life”.

It didn’t end there.  I stopped off to buy water and came upon a man, dressed as a beggar, both homeless and penniless, needing food.  Better give Kathy some money, I thought–so I did.  With this sense of Oneness there was no way I could be dismissive or over-reactive to what my fellow man ever did.  Every one of them was me experiencing life in its many forms.  We are in this together.   It was very enlightening.  While that intense sense of Oneness has slightly faded, I am still aware of this inter-connectedness we all share.  I practice it in crowds to see how all my other parts are doing.  Like neurons making connections at rapid speed, we are a human internet—a Global Brain.  We are ONE.

Dr. Kathy Forti is a clinical psychologist, inventor, and author of the new book, Fractals of God.   amazon.com/author/kathyforti

 

Overcoming “Friday the 13th” Fears

3641c531ba98e18b2dc0ceefc9e37ab3Today is an auspicious day for me. My first blog post ever, which just so happens to fall on Friday the 13th. I admit that the pressure of keeping up with an ever evolving social media scene raises some fears in me. I wonder if I will be any good at this thing called “blogging” or, more importantly, will I have anything worthwhile to say which might inspire others?

Years ago, while still practicing as a clinical psychologist, I had a client come in on Friday the 13th and wish me a happy “Triskaidekaphobia”. I had never heard the word before. They hadn’t covered this particular phobia in graduate school—“fear of the number 13”. So the irony of all this is that I am choosing to face my fear of writing this blog on the 13th. There are just no coincidences in life.

Which got me to wondering why so many people universally avoid the number 13? Even buildings tend to eliminate the 13th floor on elevator banks and call it the 14th instead. Why are we so superstitious about this one simple number? Since numbers totally fascinated me after my near-death experience, I decided to look into the matter further.

The number 13 is actually what the ancients refer to as a “Karmic” number. It symbolizes the forces of upheaval leading to revealing new ground. In other words, CHANGE. Change in general is a primary fear for every man. It encompasses the unknown. It puts us through tests and trials as we strive for greater spiritual consciousness.

Let’s look at the number 13 by breaking it down. The number 1 is associated with new beginnings. The number 3 is a sacred number (in my opinion) and symbolizes communication, self-expression, creativity, expansion, growth and manifestation. You put 1 and 3 together and you have great promise. You have God-given blessings in disguise. Out of one’s fear can come liberation and so today I am facing my fear of blogging. And you know what—this entry just flowed out of me and I actually enjoyed it!  www.trinfinity8.com

Dr. Kathy Forti is a clinical psychologist, inventor, and author of the new book, Fractals of God.   amazon.com/author/kathyforti