Sunday, February 28, 2010

Black holes & Supermassive Black Holes

Black Holes - Black and Red: the colors of gravity...

Black holes are amongst the universe's family of anomalies that we've just recently begun to understand in the recent decades. The term black hole was laid to claim by John Wheeler in 1969, yet the theory dates back over 200 years. In 1783, John Michell wrote a paper declaring that a star that was massive enough would have a gravitational influence so strong that light would not be able to escape its surface. He also believed there were a number stars like this in the universe, but because light could not escape their gravity they would just be black voids in space. Michell also conjectured that even though we could not see the stars' light we could feel their gravitational influence. It took 200 years before Michells theories could be put to the test, but it came.

Of course Re won the battle each and every day, to shine his rays onto the fertile lands surrounding the river Nile, bringing food and prosperity to the realm. It's not surprising that the most important god of Egypt was the sun, source of all wealth. The Pharaohs didn't take on the name and depiction of Re for no reason. The sun was the embodiment of life AND eternal life. But how eternal is the life of the sun really?

A relatively small star

The expected life span of our sun is about 14 billion years. The sun is about one-third through that time, and can be compared to a human being in her late twenties, still full of strength and vigor.

In order to understand black holes, one must understand the life process of a star. Stars form when a large quantity of interstellar gas - mainly hydrogen atoms - begins to contract due to self-gravity. The colliding atoms begin heating up as they collide at greater rates and at high velocities. Eventually, the collapse gets so hot that the atoms no longer repel off of each other, but fuse together into helium atoms. This is called thermonuclear fusion. Eventually, the heat produced from these collisions counters the contraction of gravity and a star is formed. Stephen Hawking's analogy works great: "It is a bit like a balloon - there is a balance between the pressure of the air inside, which is trying to make the balloon expand, and the tension in the rubber, which is trying to make the balloon smaller." Inevitably, the star will run out of nuclear fuel and will no longer be able to melee with gravity. Thus, gravity wins the war and the star is doomed to collapse; but it isn't necessarily doomed to a collapse so severe it creates a black hole.

black hole space death of star

How will the sun die eventually?

During the next billion years or so, the sun will become brighter by 10%. This will heat up our planet as a result of a severe greenhouse effect. All of the oceans on earth will vaporize and all life will be destroyed. After another 5.5 billion years the sun will burn up all of its hydrogen fuel located in the core, and then it will start using up the hydrogen from the layers surrounding the core.

This will cause the sun to swell like a big balloon. 2.5 billion years later the sun will have become about 100 times bigger than its present size. By this point it has swallowed Mercury, Venus and very probably the Earth in the process of expansion. At that moment we call the sun a Red Giant.

The sun's exhaust gas, helium - generated through nuclear fusion - will serve as the sun's new fuel, when it has devoured all of its hydrogen. The standard hydrogen core can reach temperatures as hot as 100 million degrees, while a helium core can reach up to 600 million degrees. The temperatures increase and the fuel runs out quicker. The transition from a G2 star (our sun) to a Red Giant is roughly 160 million years. On the cosmic scale that's quite fast. The lifespan of a Red Giant is only 1 billion years, compared to our sun's 10 billion years.

Once all the sun's helium is consumed it will then eject enormous amounts of matter into space. After it ejects its surface layers, the sun will then cool down and contract to be an object with a very high density, but only a few thousand miles in radius. We call this object a White Dwarf. A teaspoon of white dwarf material would weigh five-and-a-half tons or more on Earth. Yet a white dwarf can contract no further; its electrons resist further compression by exerting an outward pressure that counteracts gravity. This balance between gravity and outward pressure, called electron degeneracy pressure, is the reason why stars do not explode very soon after birth. Effectively the sun is now around its dying years.

Shrinking Star

White dwarfs are very common objects in the universe.Most of them are very dim and invisible to our eye and telescopes. A very famous one is Sirius B. Astronomer W.Bessel was the first to suspect that Sirius had an invisible companion when he observed that the path of the star wobbled. In the 1920's it was determined that Sirius B, the companion of Sirius, was a "white dwarf" star. The pull of its gravity caused Sirius's wavy movement.

shrinking star siruis

Here is an X-ray image of the Sirius star system located 8.6 light years from Earth. This image shows two sources and a spike-like pattern due to the support structure for the transmission grating. The bright source is Sirius B, a white dwarf star that has a surface temperature of about 25,000 degrees Celsius which produces very low energy X-rays.

The dim source at the position of Sirius A - a normal star more than twice as massive as the sun - may be due to ultraviolet radiation from Sirius A leaking through the filter on the detector. The picture was taken with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Since its launch on July 23, 1999, the Chandra X-ray Observatory has been NASA's flagship mission for X-ray astronomy, taking its place in the fleet of "Great Observatories."

The picture to the bottom right shows the same star system, now through a 'normal' visible light telescope, to show exactly how small Sirius B is compared to Sirius A, which is about 1.6 times the size of our own sun, but 22 times the luminosity of our sun. Sirius B has a luminosity of 1/400 of our sun, making it very dim.

Next to these facts it was also discovered that Sirius B had another important trick up its sleeve: it was the first star of which the light showed a gravitational red-shift, making a nice piece of evidence to support Einstein's theory of relativity. Einstein had predicted that photons (light particles) that meet a strong gravitational pull will lose energy. Thus, the light's wavelength stretches so that their color will shift toward the red spectrum. Until that moment (in 1924) it had been very difficult to detect red-shifted light in low-mass stars such as our sun. You're probably now saying, "Light particles and light waves! Which is it!"? We will discuss this effect of light shifting toward the red again when the black hole is being explained.

dying star black hole

A big star dies

Contrary to what you might think, a larger star burns out more quickly than a small star like our sun. The moment all of a star's fuel is consumed, the big star will shed most of its mass into space - much like our own sun will do, but then with an incredible force, a stellar explosion which astronomers call a supernova. There are more spectacular explosions, called hypernovae, but scientists are still in doubt as to their cause. What happens before the bang of a supernova?

We are stardust

Massive stars burn up hydrogen, which is converted to helium. They do that at tremendous rates: a star, 25 times the mass of our sun will live its life a thousand (!!) times faster. It will also burn a 100,000 times brighter. Because a massive star has more mass, gravity will build up pressure and temperature around the core, which will help to fuse the fuel into elements of increasing atomic weight. There are many of these processes going on in a star, and depending on the distance from the core, we will see different layers.

blackhole star collapse

At the stars surface we would see hydrogen being fused to helium, somewhat deeper there would be a layer where helium was fused into carbon and oxygen, carbon would be fused into neon and magnesium and so on. At the stars deepest point, where it is really hot (8 billion degrees Kelvin), iron is created by fusing silicon. The creation of this iron core takes place in about a week.

Once the iron core is formed it is no longer possible to produce more energy just by compressing it to start a new fusion reaction. Gravity is indifferent to this and will go on compressing the core, raising temperatures to about 10 billion degrees Kelvin.

At this temperature the photons split the iron nuclei into protons and neutrons. They don't do that quietly: in a tenth of a second a 12,000 km iron core collapses into a neutron star of about 20 km in diameter. The outer layers of the star are suddenly without support, and they now collapse and bounce on the dense, incompressible neutron core, resulting in the instant release of a huge amount of gravitational potential energy. Boom!!

As you see, during its lifetime and especially toward the end the sun is the creator of all elements we find on earth and in ourselves. Truly we are stardust, the remains of a dead star, which once burned brightly in the heavens.

Neutron Star

A star that exceeds 1.4 solar masses, and is limited to 3 solar masses, after its supernova will collapse further than a white dwarf into a very dense star called a neutron star.

neutron star black hole collapse

A neutron star is nothing more than an incredibly dense core made of just neutrons. Its mass is packed in a volume roughly 10^14 times smaller than our sun and has a mass density around 10^14 times higher than the sun; it is so dense that a teaspoon would weigh 100 million tons. A neutron star less than 3 solar masses will not contract any further, because the neutrons will resist the inward push of gravity, just like the white dwarf's electrons do.

This is now called neutron degeneracy pressure. When the neutron star's mass far exceeds 3 solar masses (no-one exactly knows the precise critical point) there is a good chance that the process of inward gravity exceeds that of the neutrons' resistance. The core of the neutron star collapses further and then there's no more stopping the ongoing process, the star infinitely collapsing; a black hole is formed.

Black Hole: the making of:

What exactly IS a black hole? A black hole is a region in space-time that has a gravitational field so strong that the escape velocity is faster than the speed of light.

This means nothing can escape its clutches, not even light. When the core of a massive neutron star collapses, the inward gravity prevailing over the neutron degeneracy pressure, the process will go on and on, until we reach a point in which all matter of the star if being compressed into a point of infinite density.

The tale of the black hole has the following chapters:

-A singularity
-The Schwarzschild radius
-The event horizon
-The apparent horizon

black hole singularity

The Singularity

The singularity lies at the heart of the black hole. This is where all matter has been crushed to an infinitely small point of infinite density, where space-time has an infinite curvature. The laws of physics break down at the singularity; it is really a point where space and time as we know them cease to exist. Astrophysicists say the big bang started as a singularity.

The Schwarzschild radius

The German astrophysicist Karl Schwarzschild used the equations in Einstein's theory of relativity to determine the radius for a given mass at which matter would collapse into a singularity. An example: A black hole with a mass of about 10 of our suns will have a radius of only 30 (!!) kilometers (19 miles). Thus, the radius between the singularity and the event horizon is called the Schwarzschild radius.

black hole event horizon

The event horizon

The event horizon is what some would call "the point of no return." Beyond this unseen border the escape velocity for the black hole is greater than that of the speed of light, meaning light would have to travel faster than its constant velocity of 300,000km/h in order to escape. The event horizon is a static state at some point. The event horizon coincides at some point in time with the apparent horizon.

The apparent horizon

The collapsing dying star will show an "apparent" event horizon forming all of a sudden. This horizon moves out like a balloon expanding until it coincides with the event horizon of the black hole (see diagram). This horizon - during its existence - will separate trapped light rays from the light rays that can still move away. Some of these rays can be trapped later when more matter or energy falls into the hole, increasing the gravity inside.

Apparent versus Event Horizon

Even before the star meets its final doom, the event horizon forms at the centre, balloons out and breaks through the star's surface at the very moment it shrinks through the critical circumference. At this point in time, the apparent and event horizons merge as one: the horizon. The distinction between apparent horizon and event horizon may seem subtle, even obscure. Nevertheless the difference becomes important in computer simulations of how black holes form and evolve. Beyond the event horizon, nothing, not even light, can escape. So the event horizon acts as a kind of "surface" or "skin" beyond which we can venture but cannot see.

black holes event horizon singularity

How can we see a black hole?

As more and more research is compiled we find more evidence to support black holes. The black hole itself can not be directly observed for reasons aforementioned. There are several ways we can observe a black hole. One of the most obvious is observing the effects it has on surrounding celestial bodies. Obviously if we see a star orbiting around an invisible mass, we conclude it is a black hole of an X amount of mass.

If gas from a nearby star is "sucked" into the black hole, the gas will begin orbiting the event horizon, accelerating to velocities near the speed of light and heating up to many millions of degrees. We then will be able to detect the radiation. Another way is through Hawking radiation, where virtual particle and anti-particle pairs are created outside of the event horizon. The two will immediately collide and obliterate themselves, releasing gamma radiation. However, there are times when one of the pair is pulled in beyond the even horizon. The particle pulled into the black hole will then have a negative mass-energy and the one released will have a positive mass-energy, thus being detected as radiation.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


President Roosevelt (FDR) provoked the attack, knew about it in advance and covered up his failure to warn the Hawaiian commanders. FDR needed the attack to sucker Hitler to declare war, since the public and Congress were overwhelmingly against entering the war in Europe. It was his backdoor to war.

FDR blinded the commanders at Pearl Harbor and set them up by -
  1. denying intelligence to Hawaii (HI)
  2. on Nov 27, misleading the commanders into thinking negotiations with Japan were continuing to prevent them from realizing the war was on
  3. having false information sent to HI about the location of the Japanese carrier fleet.


  • 1904 - The Japanese destroyed the Russian navy in a surprise attack in undeclared war.
  • 1932 - In The Grand Joint Army Navy Exercises the attacker, Admiral Yarnell, attacked with 152 planes a half-hour before dawn 40 miles NE of Kahuku Point and caught the defenders of Pearl Harbor completely by surprise. It was a Sunday.
  • 1938 - Admiral Ernst King led a carrier-born airstrike from the USS Saratoga successfully against Pearl Harbor in another exercise.
  • 1940 - FDR ordered the fleet transferred from the West Coast to its exposed position in Hawaii and ordered the fleet remain stationed at Pearl Harbor over complaints by its commander Admiral Richardson that there was inadequate protection from air attack and no protection from torpedo attack. Richardson felt so strongly that he twice disobeyed orders to berth his fleet there and he raised the issue personally with FDR in October and he was soon after replaced. His successor, Admiral Kimmel, also brought up the same issues with FDR in June 1941.
  • 7 Oct 1940 - Navy IQ analyst McCollum wrote an 8 point memo on how to force Japan into war with US. Beginning the next day FDR began to put them into effect and all 8 were eventually accomplished.
  • 11 November 1940 - 21 aged British planes destroyed the Italian fleet, including 3 battleships, at their homeport in the harbor of Taranto in Southern Italy by using technically innovative shallow-draft torpedoes.
  • 11 February 1941 - FDR proposed sacrificing 6 cruisers and 2 carriers at Manila to get into war. Navy Chief Stark objected: "I have previously opposed this and you have concurred as to its unwisdom. Particularly do I recall your remark in a previous conference when Mr. Hull suggested (more forces to Manila) and the question arose as to getting them out and your 100% reply, from my standpoint, was that you might not mind losing one or two cruisers, but that you did not want to take a chance on losing 5 or 6." (Charles Beard PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT AND THE COMING OF WAR 1941, p 424)
  • March 1941 - FDR sold munitions and convoyed them to belligerents in Europe -- both acts of war and both violations of international law -- the Lend-Lease Act.
  • 23 Jun 1941 - Advisor Harold Ickes wrote FDR a memo the day after Germany invaded the Soviet Union, "There might develop from the embargoing of oil to Japan such a situation as would make it not only possible but easy to get into this war in an effective way. And if we should thus indirectly be brought in, we would avoid the criticism that we had gone in as an ally of communistic Russia." FDR was pleased with Admiral Richmond Turner's report read July 22: "It is generally believed that shutting off the American supply of petroleum will lead promptly to the invasion of Netherland East seems certain she would also include military action against the Philippine Islands, which would immediately involve us in a Pacific war." On July 24 FDR told the Volunteer Participation Committee, "If we had cut off the oil off, they probably would have gone down to the Dutch East Indies a year ago, and you would have had war." The next day FDR froze all Japanese assets in US cutting off their main supply of oil and forcing them into war with the US. Intelligence information was withheld from Hawaii from this point forward.
  • 14 August - At the Atlantic Conference, Churchill noted the "astonishing depth of Roosevelt's intense desire for war." Churchill cabled his cabinet "(FDR) obviously was very determined that they should come in."
  • 18 October - diary entry by Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes: "For a long time I have believed that our best entrance into the war would be by way of Japan."

  • Purple Code - the top Japanese diplomatic machine cipher which used automatic telephone switches to separately and differently encipher each character sent. It was cracked by the Army Signal Intelligence Service (331 men).
  • J-19 was the main Japanese diplomatic code book. This columnar code was cracked.
    Coral Machine Cipher or JNA-20 was a simplified version of Purple used by Naval attaches. Only one message deciphered prior to Pearl Harbor has been declassified.
  • JN-25 - The Japanese Fleet's Cryptographic System, a.k.a. 5 number code (Sample). JN stands for Japanese Navy, introduced 1 June 1939. This was a very simple old-type code book system used by the American Army and Navy in 1898 and abandoned in 1917 because it was insecure. Version A has a dictionary of 5,600 numbers, words and phrases, each given as a five figure number. These were super-enciphered by addition to random numbers contained in a second code book. The dictionary was only changed once before PH on Dec 1, 1940, to a slightly larger version B but the random book was changed every 3 to 6 months- last on Aug 1. The Japanese blundered away the code when they introduced JN25-B by continuing to use, for 2 months, random books that had been previously solved by the Allies. That was the equivalent of handing over the JN-25B codebook. It was child's play for the Navy group OP-20-G (738 men whose primary responsibility was Japanese naval codes) to reconstruct the exposed dictionary. We recovered the whole thing immediately - in 1994 the NSA published that JN-25B was completely cracked in December 1940. In January 1941 the US gave Britain two JN-25B code books with keys and techniques for deciphering. The entire Pearl Harbor scheme was laid out in this code. The official US Navy statement on JN-25B is the NAVAL SECURITY GROUP HISTORY TO WORLD WAR II prepared by Captain J. Holtwick in June 1971, page 398: "By 1 December 1941 we had the code solved to a readable extent." Churchill wrote "From the end of 1940 the Americans had pierced the vital Japanese ciphers, and were decoding large numbers of their military and diplomatic telegrams."(GRAND ALLIANCE p 598) Chief of Navy codebreaking Safford reported that during 1941 "The Navy COMINT team did a thorough job on the Japanese Navy with no help from the Army."(SRH-149) The first paragraph of the Congressional Report Exhibit 151 says the US was "currently" (instantly) reading JN-25B and exchanging the "translations" with the British prior to Pearl Harbor.
In 1979 the NSA released 2,413 JN-25 orders of the 26,581 intercepted by US between Sept 1 and Dec 4, 1941. The NSA says "We know now that they contained important details concerning the existence, organization, objective, and even the whereabouts of the Pearl Harbor Strike Force." (Parker p 21) Of the over thousand radio messages sent by Tokyo to the attack fleet, only 20 are in the National Archives. All messages to the attack fleet were sent several times, at least one message was sent every odd hour of the day and each had a special serial number. Starting in early November 1941 when the attack fleet assembled and started receiving radio messages, OP-20-G stayed open 24 hours a day and the "First Team" of codebreakers worked on JN-25. In November and early December 1941, OP-20-G spent 85 percent of its effort reading Japanese Navy traffic, 12 percent on Japanese diplomatic traffic and 3 percent on German naval codes. FDR was personally briefed twice a day on JN-25 traffic by his aide, Captain John Beardell, and demanded to see the original raw messages in English. The US Government refuses to identify or declassify any pre-Dec 7, 1941 decrypts of JN-25 on the basis of national security, a half-century after the war.

  • AD or Administrative Code wrongly called Admiralty Code was an old four character transposition code used for personnel matters. No important messages were sent in this weak code. Introduced Nov 1938, it was seldom used after Dec 1940.
  • Magic - the security designation given to all decoded Japanese diplomatic messages. It's hard not to conclude with historians like Charles Bateson that "Magic standing alone points so irresistibly to the Pearl Harbor attack that it is inconceivable anybody could have failed to forecast the Japanese move." The NSA reached the same conclusion in 1955.
  • Ultra - the security designation for military codes.


Warnings do no harm and might do inexpressible good
  • 27 January 1941, Dr. Ricardo Shreiber, the Peruvian envoy in Tokyo told Max Bishop, third secretary of the US embassy that he had just learned from his intelligence sources that there was a war plan involving a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. This information was sent to the State Department and Naval Intelligence and to Admiral Kimmel at Hawaii.
  • 31 March 1941 - A Navy report by Bellinger and Martin predicted that if Japan made war on the US, they would strike Pearl Harbor without warning at dawn with aircraft from a maximum of 6 carriers. For years Navy planners had assumed that Japan, on the outbreak of war, would strike the American fleet wherever it was. The fleet was the only threat to Japan's plans. Logically, Japan couldn't engage in any major operation with the American fleet on its flank. The strategic options for the Japanese were not unlimited.
  • 10 July - US Military Attache Smith-Hutton at Tokyo reported Japanese Navy secretly practicing aircraft torpedo attacks against capital ships in Ariake Bay. The bay closely resembles Pearl Harbor.
  • July - The US Military Attache in Mexico forwarded a report that the Japanese were constructing special small submarines for attacking the American fleet in Pearl Harbor, and that a training program then under way included towing them from Japan to positions off the Hawaiian Islands, where they practiced surfacing and submerging.
  • 10 August 1941, the top British agent, code named "Tricycle", Dusko Popov, told the FBI of the planned attack on Pearl Harbor and that it would be soon. The FBI told him that his information was "too precise, too complete to be believed. The questionnaire plus the other information you brought spell out in detail exactly where, when, how, and by whom we are to be attacked. If anything, it sounds like a trap." He also reported that a senior Japanese naval person had gone to Taranto to collect all secret data on the attack there and that it was of utmost importance to them. The info was given to Naval IQ.
    Early in the Fall, Kilsoo Haan, an agent for the Sino-Korean People's League, told Eric Severeid of CBS that the Korean underground in Korea and Japan had positive proof that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor before Christmas. Among other things, one Korean had actually seen the plans. In late October, Haan finally convinced US Senator Guy Gillette that the Japanese were planning to attack in December or January. Gillette alerted the State Department, Army and Navy Intelligence and FDR personally.
  • 24 September 1941, the " bomb plot" message in J-19 code from Japan Naval Intelligence to Japan' s consul general in Honolulu requesting grid of exact locations of ships pinpointed for the benefit of bombardiers and torpedo pilots was deciphered. There was no reason to know the EXACT location of ships in harbor, unless to attack them - it was a dead giveaway. Chief of War Plans Turner and Chief of Naval Operations Stark repeatedly kept it and warnings based on it prepared by Safford and others from being passed to Hawaii. The chief of Naval Intelligence Captain Kirk was replaced because he insisted on warning HI. It was lack of information like this that lead to the exoneration of the Hawaii commanders and the blaming of Washington for unpreparedness for the attack by the Army Board and Navy Court. At no time did the Japanese ever ask for a similar bomb plot for any other American military installation. Why the Roosevelt administration allowed flagrant Japanese spying on PH has never been explained, but they blocked 2 Congressional investigations in the fall of 1941 to allow it to continue. The bomb plots were addressed to "Chief of 3rd Bureau, Naval General Staff", marked Secret Intelligence message, and given special serial numbers, so their significance couldn't be missed. There were about 95 ships in port. The text was:
"Strictly secret.

"Henceforth, we would like to have you make reports concerning vessels
along the following lines insofar as possible:

"1. The waters (of Pearl Harbor) are to be divided roughly into five
subareas (We have no objections to your abbreviating as much as you

"Area A. Waters between Ford Island and the Arsenal.
"Area B. Waters adjacent to the Island south and west of Ford Island.
(This area is on the opposite side of the Island from Area A.)
"Area C. East Loch.
"Area D. Middle Loch.
"Area E. West Loch and the communication water routes.

"2. With regard to warships and aircraft carriers, we would like to have
you report on those at anchor (these are not so important) tied up at
wharves, buoys and in docks. (Designate types and classes briefly. If
possible we would like to have you make mention of the fact when
there are two or more vessels along side the same wharf.)"
  • Simple traffic analysis of the accelerated frequency of messages from various Japanese consuls gave a another identification of war preparations, from Aug-Dec there were 6 messages from Seattle, 18 from Panama, 55 from Manila and 68 from Hawaii.
  • Oct. - Soviet top spy Richard Sorge, the greatest spy in history, informed Kremlin that Pearl Harbor would be attacked within 60 days. Moscow informed him that this was passed to the US. Interestingly, all references to Pearl Harbor in the War Department's copy of Sorge's 32,000 word confession to the Japanese were deleted. NY Daily News, 17 May 1951.
  • 16 Oct. - FDR grossly humiliated Japan's Ambassador and refused to meet with Premier Konoye to engineer the war party, lead by General Tojo, into power in Japan.
  • 1 Nov. - JN-25 Order to continue drills against anchored capital ships to prepare to "ambush and completely destroy the US enemy." The message included references to armor-piercing bombs and 'near surface torpedoes.'
  • 13 Nov. - The German Ambassador to US, Dr. Thomsen an anti-Nazi, told US IQ that Pearl Harbor would be attacked.
  • 14 Nov. - Japanese Merchant Marine was alerted that wartime recognition signals would be in effect Dec 1.
  • 22 Nov. - Tokyo said to Ambassador Nomura in Washington about extending the deadline for negotiations to November 29: "...this time we mean it, that the deadline absolutely cannot be changed. After that things are automatically going to happen."
    CIA Director Allen Dulles told people that US was warned in mid-November that the Japanese Fleet had sailed east past Tokyo Bay and was going to attack Pearl Harbor. CIA FOIA
  • 23 Nov. - JN25 order - "The first air attack has been set for 0330 hours on X-day." (Tokyo time or 8 A.M. Honolulu time)
  • 25 Nov. - British decrypted the Winds setup message sent Nov. 19. The US decoded it Nov. 28. It was a J-19 Code message that there would be an attack and that the signal would come over Radio Tokyo as a weather report - rain meaning war, east (Higashi) meaning US.
  • 25 Nov. - Secretary of War Stimson noted in his diary "FDR stated that we were likely to be attacked perhaps as soon as next Monday." FDR asked: "the question was how we should maneuver them into the position of firing the first shot without too much danger to ourselves. In spite of the risk involved, however, in letting the Japanese fire the first shot, we realized that in order to have the full support of the American people it was desirable to make sure that the Japanese be the ones to do this so that there should remain no doubt in anyone's mind as to who were the aggressors."
  • 25 Nov. - Navy Department ordered all US trans-Pacific shipping to take the southern route. PHH 12:317 (PHH = 1946 Congressional Report, vol. 12, page 317) ADM Turner testified "We sent the traffic down to the Torres Straight, so that the track of the Japanese task force would be clear of any traffic." PHH 4:1942
  • 25 Nov. - Yamamoto radioed this order in JN-25: " (a) The task force, keeping its movements strictly secret and maintaining close guard against submarines and aircraft, shall advance into Hawaiian waters and upon the very opening of hostilities, shall attack the main force of the United States Fleet in Hawaii and deal it a mortal blow. The raid is planned for dawn on X-day -- exact date to be given by later order. (b) Should the negotiations with the US prove successful, the task force shall hold itself in readiness forthwith to return and reassemble. (c) The task force will move out of Hitokappu Wan on the morning of 26 November and advance to the standing-by position on the afternoon of 4 December and speedily complete refueling." ( Order to sail - scan from the PHA Congressional Hearings Report, vol 1 p 180, transcript p 437-8) This was decoded by the British on November 25 and the Dutch on November 27. When it was decoded by the US is a national secret, however, on November 26 Naval Intelligence reported the concentration of units of the Japanese fleet at an unknown port ready for offensive action.
  • 26 Nov. 3 A.M. - Churchill sent an urgent secret message to FDR, probably containing above message. This message caused the greatest agitation in DC. Of Churchill's voluminous correspondence with FDR, this is the only message that has not been released (on the grounds that it would damage national security). Stark testified that "On November 26 there was received specific evidence of the Japanese intention to wage offensive war against Great Britain and the United States." C.I.A. Director William Casey, who was in the OSS in 1941, in his book THE SECRET WAR AGAINST HITLER, p 7, wrote "The British had sent word that a Japanese fleet was steaming east toward Hawaii." Washington, in an order of Nov 26 as a result of the "first shot" meeting the day before, ordered both US aircraft carriers, the Enterprise and the Lexington out of Pearl Harbor "as soon as practicable." This order included stripping Pearl of 50 planes or 40 percent of its already inadequate fighter protection. In response to Churchill's message, FDR secretly cabled him that afternoon - "Negotiations off. Services expect action within two weeks." Note that the only way FDR could have linked negotiations with service action, let alone have known the timing of the action, was if he had the message to sail. In other words, the only service action contingent on negotiations was Pearl Harbor.
  • 26 Nov. - the "most fateful document " was Hull's ultimatum that Japan must withdraw from Indochina and all China. FDR's Ambassador to Japan called this "The document that touched the button that started the war."
  • 27 Nov. - Secretary of War Stimson sent a confused and confusing hostile action possible or DO-DON'T warning. The Navy Court found this message directed attention away from Pearl Harbor, rather than toward it. One purpose of the message was to mislead HI into believing negotiations were continuing. The Army which could not do reconnaissance was ordered to and the Navy which could was ordered not to. The Army was ordered on sabotage alert, which specifically precluded attention to outside threat. Navy attention was misdirected 5000 miles from HI. DC repeated, no less than three times as a direct instruction of the President, "The US desires that Japan commit the first overt act Period." It was unusual that FDR directed this warning, a routine matter, to Hawaii which is proof that he knew other warnings were not sent. A simple question--what Japanese "overt act" was FDR expecting at Pearl Harbor? He ordered sabotage prevented and subs couldn't enter, that leaves air attack. The words "overt act" disclose FDR's intent - not just that Japan be allowed to attack but that they inflict damage on the fleet. This FDR order to allow a Japanese attack was aid to the enemy - explicit treason.
  • 29 Nov.- Hull sat in Layfayette Park across from the White House with ace United Press reporter Joe Leib and showed him a message stating that Pearl Harbor would be attacked on December 7. This could well have been the Nov. 26 message from Churchill. The New York Times in its 12/8/41 PH report on page 13 under the headline "Attack Was Expected" stated the US had known that Pearl Harbor was going to be attacked the week before. Perhaps Leib wasn't the only reporter Hull told.
  • 29 Nov. - The FBI embassy tap made an intercept of an uncoded plain-text Japanese telephone conversation in which an Embassy functionary (Kurusu) asked 'Tell me, what zero hour is. Otherwise, I won't be able to carry on diplomacy.' The voice from Tokyo (K. Yamamoto) said softly, 'Well then, I will tell you. Zero hour is December 8 (Tokyo time, ie, December 7 US time) at Pearl Harbor.' (US Navy translation 29 Nov)
  • 30 Nov. US Time (or 1 Dec. Tokyo time) - The Japanese fleet was radioed this Imperial Naval Order (JN-25): "JAPAN, UNDER THE NECESSITY OF HER SELF-PRESERVATION AND SELF-DEFENSE, HAS REACHED A POSITION TO DECLARE WAR ON THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA." (Congress Appendix D, p 415). US ally China also recovered it in plain text from a shot-down Japanese Army plane near Canton that evening. This caused an emergency Imperial Conference because they knew the Chinese would give the information to GB and US. In a related J-19 message the next day, the US translated elaborate instructions from Japan dealing in precise detail with the method of internment of American and British nationals in Asia "on the outbreak of war with England and the United States"
  • 1 Dec. - Office of Naval Intelligence, ONI, Twelfth Naval District in San Francisco found the missing Japanese fleet by correlating reports from the four wireless news services and several shipping companies that they were getting strange signals west of Hawaii. The Soviet Union also knew the exact location of the Japanese fleet because they asked the Japanese in advance to let one of their ships pass (Layton p 261). This info was most likely given to them by US because Sorge's spy ring was rolled up November 14. All long-range PBY patrols from the Aleutians were ordered stopped on Dec 6 to prevent contact.
  • 1 Dec. - Foreign Minister Togo cabled Washington Ambassador Nomura to continue negotiations "to prevent the U.S. from becoming unduly suspicious."
  • 1 Dec. - The tanker Shiriya, which had been added to the Striking Force in an order intercepted Nov 14, radioed "proceeding to a position 30.00 N, 154.20 E. Expect to arrive at that point on 3 December." (near HI) The fact that this message is in the National Archives destroys the myth that the attack fleet maintained radio silence. They were not ordered to (Order 820). Serial numbers prove that the Striking Force sent over 663 radio messages between Nov 16 and Dec 7 or about 1 per hour. The NSA has not released any raw intercepts because the headers would prove that the Striking Force did not maintain radio silence. On Nov 29 the Hiyei sent one message to the Commander of the 3rd fleet; on Nov 30 the Akagi sent several messages to its tankers - see page 474 of the Hewitt Report. Stinnett in DAY OF DECEIT (p 209) found over 100 messages from the Striking Force in the National Archives. All Direction Finding reports from HI have been crudely cut out. Reports from Dec 5 show messages sent from the Striking Force picked up by Station Cast, P.I.
  • From traffic analysis, HI reported that the carrier force was at sea and in the North. THE MOST AMAZING FACT is that in reply to that report, MacArthur's command sent a series of three messages, Nov 26, 29, Dec 2, to HI lying about the location of the carrier fleet - saying it was in the South China Sea. This false information, which the NSA calls inexplicable, was the true reason that HI was caught unawares. Duane Whitlock, who is still alive in Iowa, sent those messages.
    There were a large number of other messages that gave the location of the Striking Force by alluding to the Aleutians, the North Pacific and various weather systems near HI.
  • 1 Dec. - FDR cut short his scheduled ten day vacation after 1 day to meet with Hull and Stark. The result of this meeting was reported on 2 Dec. by the Washington Post: "President Roosevelt yesterday assumed direct command of diplomatic and military moves relating to Japan." This politically damaging move was necessary to prevent the mutiny of conspirators.
  • 1 Dec. 3:30 P.M. FDR read Foreign Minister Togo's message to his ambassador to Germany: "Say very secretly to them that there is extreme danger between Japan & Anglo-Saxon nations through some clash of arms, add that the time of this war may come quicker than anyone dreams." This was in response to extreme German pressure on November 29 for Japan to strike the US and promises to join with Japan in war against the US. The second of its three parts has never been released. The message says it contains the plan of campaign. This is 1 of only 3 known DIPLOMATIC intercepts that specified PH as target. It was so interesting, FDR kept a copy.
  • 2 Dec. 2200 Tokyo time- Here is a typical JN-25 ships-in-harbor report sent to attack fleet, words in parenthesis were in the original: "Striking Force telegram No. 994. Two battleships (Oklahoma, Nevada), 1 aircraft carrier (Enterprise) 2 heavy cruisers, 12 destroyers sailed. The force that sailed on 22 November returned to port. Ships at anchor Pearl Harbor p.m. 28 November were 6 battleships (2 Maryland class, 2 California class, 2 Pennsylvania class), 1 aircraft carrier (Lexington), 9 heavy cruisers (5 San Francisco class, 3 Chicago class, 1 Salt Lake class), 5 light cruisers (4 Honolulu class, 1 Omaha class)
  • 2 Dec. - Commander of the Combined Imperial Fleet Yamamoto radioed the attack fleet in plain (uncoded) Japanese Climb Niitakayama 1208 (Dec 8 Japanese time, Dec 7 our time). Thus the US knew EXACTLY when the war would start. Mount Niitaka was the highest mountain in the Japanese Empire - 13,113 feet.
  • 2 Dec. - General Hein Ter Poorten, the commander of the Netherlands East Indies Army gave the Winds setup message to the US War Department. The Australians had a center in Melbourne and the Chinese also broke JN-25. A Dutch sub had visually tracked the attack fleet to the Kurile Islands in early November and this info was passed to DC, but DC did not give it to HI. The intercepts the Dutch gave the US are still classified in RG 38, Box 792.
  • 2 Dec - Japanese order No. 902 specified that old JN-25 additive tables version 7 would continue to be used alongside version 8 when the latter was introduced on December 4. This means the US read all messages to the Striking Force through the attack.
  • 4 Dec. - In the early hours, Ralph Briggs at the Navy's East Coast Intercept station, received the "East Winds, Rain" message, the Winds Execute, which meant war. He put it on the TWX circuit immediately and called his commander. This message was deleted from the files. One of the main coverups of Pearl Harbor was to make this message disappear. Japanese Dispatch # 7001. In response to the Winds Execute, the Office of US Naval IQ had all Far Eastern stations (Hawaii not informed) destroy their codes and classified documents including the Tokyo Embassy.
  • 4 Dec. - The Dutch invoked the ADB joint defense agreement when the Japanese crossed the magic line of 100 East and 10 North. The U.S. was at war with Japan 3 days before they were at war with us.
  • 4 Dec. - General Ter Poorten sent all the details of the Winds Execute command to Colonel Weijerman, the Dutch military attache' in Washington to pass on to the highest military circles. Weijerman personally gave it to Marshall, Chief of Staff of the War Department.
  • 4 Dec - US General Thorpe at Java sent four messages warning of the PH attack. DC ordered him to stop sending warnings.
  • 5 Dec. - All Japanese international shipping had returned to home port.
  • 5 December - In the morning FDR dictated a letter to Wendell Wilkie for the Australian Prime Minister, "There is always the Japanese to consider. The situation is definitely serious and there might be an armed clash at any moment...Perhaps the next four or five days will decide the matters."
  • 5 Dec. - At a Cabinet meeting, Secretary of the Navy Knox said, "Well, you know Mr. President, we know where the Japanese fleet is?" "Yes, I know" said FDR. " I think we ought to tell everybody just how ticklish the situation is. We have information as Knox just mentioned...Well, you tell them what it is, Frank." Knox became very excited and said, "Well, we have very secret information that the Japanese fleet is out at sea. Our information is..." and then a scowling FDR cut him off. (Infamy, Toland, 1982, ch 14 sec 5)
  • 5 Dec. - Washington Star reporter Constantine Brown quotes a friend in his book The Coming of the Whirlwind p 291, "This is it! The Japs are ready to attack. We've broken their code, and we've read their ORDERS."
  • 5 Dec. - Lt. Howard Brown of Station Cast in the Philippines received urgent request from Washington to listen for a short message from Tokyo which ended with the English word "stop". He heard the message at 11:30 PM Hawaiian time Dec 6. This is the Hidden Word Code set up in a message of November 27 (e.g. in code, Roosevelt=Miss Kimiko). The message was: "Relations between Japan and the following countries are on the brink of catastrophe: Britain and the United States."
  • 6 December - This 18 November J19 message was translated by the Army:
    1. The warships at anchor in the Harbor on the 15th were as I told you in my No.219 on that day. Area A -- A battleship of the Oklahoma class entered and one tanker left port. Area C -- 3 warships of the heavy cruiser class were at anchor.
    2. On the 17th the Saratoga was not in harbor. The carrier Enterprise, or some other vessel was in Area C. Two heavy cruisers of the Chicago class, one of the Pensacola class were tied up at docks 'KS'. 4 merchant vessels were at anchor in area D.
    3. At 10:00 A.M. on the morning of the 17th, 8 destroyers were observed entering the Harbor..." Of course this information was not passed to HI.
  • 6 Dec. - A Dec 2 request from Tokyo to HI for information about the absence of barrage balloons, anti-torpedo nets and air recon was translated by the Army.
  • 6 Dec. - at 9:30 P.M FDR read the first 13 parts of the decoded Japanese diplomatic declaration of war and said "This means war." What kind of President would do nothing? When he returned to his 34 dinner guests he said, "The war starts tomorrow."
  • 6 Dec. - the war cabinet: FDR, top advisor Hopkins, Stimson, Marshall, Secretary of the Navy Knox, with aides John McCrea and Frank Beatty "deliberately sat through the night of 6 December 1941 waiting for the Japs to strike." (Infamy ch 16 sec 2)
  • 7 December - A message from the Japanese Consul in Budapest to Tokyo:
    "On the 6th, the American Minister presented to the Government of this country a British Government communique to the effect that a state of war would break out on the 7th." The communique was the Dec 5th War Alert from the British Admiralty. It has disappeared. This triple priority alert was delivered to FDR personally. The Mid-East British Air Marshall told Col. Bonner Fellers on Saturday that he had received a secret signal that America was coming into the war in 24 hours. Churchill summarized the message in GRAND ALLIANCE page 601 as listing the two fleets attacking British targets and "Other Japanese fleets...also at sea on other tasks." There only were three other fleets- for Guam, the Philippines and HI. 2 paragraphs of the alert, British targets only, are printed in AT DAWN WE SLEPT, Prange, p 464. There is no innocent purpose for our government to hide this document.
  • 7 December 1941 very early Washington time, there were two Marines, an emergency special detail, stationed outside the Japanese Naval Attache's door. 9:30 AM Aides begged Stark to send a warning to Hawaii. He did not. 10 AM FDR read the 14th part, 11 A.M. FDR read the 15th part setting the time for the declaration of war to be delivered to the State Department at 1 PM, about dawn Pearl Harbor time, and did nothing. Navy Secretary Knox was given the 15th part at 11:15 A.M. with this note from the Office of Naval IQ: "This means a sunrise attack on Pearl Harbor today." Naval IQ also transmitted this prediction to Hull and about 8 others, including the White House (PHH 36:532). At 10:30 AM Bratton informed Marshall that he had a most important message (the 15th part) and would bring it to Marshall's quarters but Marshall said he would take it at his office. At 11:25 Marshall reached his office according to Bratton. Marshall testified that he had been riding horses that morning but he was contradicted by Harrison, McCollum, and Deane. Marshall who had read the first 13 parts by 10 PM the prior night, perjured himself by denying that he had even received them. Marshall, in the face of his aides' urgent supplications that he warn Hawaii, made strange delays including reading and re-reading all of the 10 minute long 14 Part Message (and some parts several times) which took an hour and refused to use the scrambler phone on his desk, refused to send a warning by the fast, more secure Navy system but sent Bratton three times to inquire how long it would take to send his watered down warning - when informed it would take 30 or 40 minutes by Army radio, he was satisfied (that meant he had delayed enough so the warning wouldn't reach Pearl Harbor until after the 1 PM Washington time deadline). The warning was in fact sent commercial without priority identification and arrived 6 hours late. This message reached all other addressees, like the Philippines and Canal Zone, in a timely manner.
  • 7 December - 7:55 A.M. Hawaii time AIR RAID PEARL HARBOR. THIS IS NOT DRILL.
  • 7 December - 1:50 P.M. Washington time. Harry Hopkins, who was the only person with FDR when he received the news of the attack by telephone from Knox, wrote that FDR was unsurprised and expressed "great relief." Eleanor Roosevelt wrote about December 7th in This I Remember p 233, that FDR became "in a way more serene." In the NY Times Magazine of October 8, 1944 she wrote: "December 7 was...far from the shock it proved to the country in general. We had expected something of the sort for a long time."
  • 7 December - 3:00 PM "The (war cabinet) conference met in not too tense an atmosphere because I think that all of us believed that in the last analysis the enemy was Hitler...and that Japan had given us an opportunity." Harry Hopkins (top KGB agent and FDR's alter ego), Dec. 7 Memo (Roosevelt and Hopkins R Sherwood, p. 431)
  • 7 December - 9 hours later, MacArthur's entire air force was caught by surprise and wiped out in the Philippines. His reaction to the news of Pearl Harbor was quite unusual - he locked himself in his room all morning and refused to meet with his air commander General Brereton, and refused to attack Japanese forces on Formosa even under orders from the War Department. MacArthur gave three conflicting orders that ensured the planes were on the ground most of the morning. MacArthur used radar tracking of the Japanese planes at 140, 100, 80, 60, down to 20 miles to time his final order and ensure his planes were on the ground. Strategically, the destruction of half of all US heavy bombers in the world was more important than naval damage in Pearl Harbor. Either MacArthur had committed the greatest blunder in military history or he was under orders to allow his forces to be destroyed. If it were the greatest blunder in history, it is remarkable how he escaped any reprimand, kept his command and got his fourth star and Congressional Medal of Honor shortly later. Prange argued, "How could the President ensure a successful Japanese attack unless he confided in the commanders and persuaded them to allow the enemy to proceed unhindered?"
  • 7 December - 8:30 PM, FDR said to his cabinet, "We have reason to believe that the Germans have told the Japanese that if Japan declares war, they will too. In other words, a declaration of war by Japan automatically brings..." at which point he was interrupted, but his expectation and focus is clear. Mrs. Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor, observed later about FDR: "I had a deep emotional feeling that something was wrong, that this situation was not all it appeared to be." Mrs. Perkins was obsessed by Roosevelt's strange reactions that night and remarked particularly on the expression he had:" In other words, there have been times when I associated that expression with a kind of evasiveness."
    FDR met with CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow at midnight. Murrow, who had seen many statesmen in crises, was surprised at FDR's calm reaction. After chatting about London, they reviewed the latest news from PH and then FDR tested Murrow's news instincts with these 2 bizarre giveaway questions: "Did this surprise you?" Murrow said yes. FDR: "Maybe you think it didn't surprise us?" FDR gave the impression that the attack itself was not unwelcome. This is the same high-strung FDR that got polio when convicted of perjury; the same FDR that was bedridden for a month when he learned Russia was to be attacked; the same FDR who couldn't eat or drink when he got the Japanese order to sail.
  • 8 December - In a conversation with his speech writer Rosenman, FDR "emphasized that Hitler was still the first target, but he feared that a great many Americans would insist that we make the war in the Pacific at least equally important with the war against Hitler."
    Later, Jonathan Daniels, administrative assistant and press secretary to FDR said, "The blow was heavier than he had hoped it would necessarily be...But the risks paid off; even the loss was worth the price..."
    FDR reminisced with Stalin at Tehran on November 30, 1943, saying "if the Japanese had not attacked the US he doubted very much if it would have been possible to send any American forces to Europe." Compare this statement with what FDR said at the Atlantic Conference 4 months before Pearl: "Everything was to be done to force an 'incident' to justify hostilities." Given that a Japanese attack was the only possible incident, then FDR had said he would do it.

Information Known in Washington and Hawaii

October 9-December 7, 1941
Date Item Washington Kimmel Short
Oct. 9 "Bombplot" message X
Nov. 26-28 "Winds" setup message X X [1]
Nov. 26 Location of carriers X
Dec. 1 Japanese declaration of war X
Dec. 2-6 Code destruction X [2] X
Dec. 4 "Winds execute" message X
X [3]
Dec. 4 US at war with Japan via ADB X
Dec. 5 British Admiralty Alert X
Dec. 6-7 14 Part" message X
Dec. 7 "One o'clock" message X

[1] Admiral Kimmel learned of the "winds" code in a Nov. 28th dispatch to him from the US Asiatic Fleet. JCC, p. 470.
[2] DC informed HI that codes were being burned world-wide so when they learned the local consulate burned codes they would not go on alert.
[3] General Short was given the Winds Execute by British IQ.

Note that none of the 3 diplomatic messages or the many naval messages identifying Pearl as the target were forwarded (not to mention HUMINT). Only 5 of the 74 Navy IQ packets delivered to FDR in the 2 weeks before Dec 7 can be found.


Two and only two courts of law have decided the issue of whether FDR and Washington or the commanders in Hawaii were responsible for the Pearl Harbor disaster. Both the Navy Court and the Army Board found Washington guilty (in 1944).
  • NAVY Court of Inquiry
  • !!!Top Secret ARMY Board Report!!! (30K), Oct, 1944, "Now let us turn to the fateful period between November 27 and December 6, 1941. In this period numerous pieces of information came to our State, War, and Navy Departments in all of their Top ranks indicating precisely the intentions of the Japanese including the probable exact hour and date of the attack. " In response to this report, Marshall offered his resignation - the sign of a guilty conscience. Marshall testified at the MacArthur hearings that he considered loyalty to his chief superior to loyalty to his country.
  • JOINT CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Nov 15, 1945 to May 31, 1946, proved that there had been so much reversion of testimony, coverup and outright lies that the truth would have to wait until all Pearl Harbor records were declassified.
Most of the conspirators were military men, all men of FDR's own choice, men who only followed orders and FDR never delegated authority. Stark, in answer to charges that he denied IQ to Hawaii, publicly offered a Nuremberg defense in August 1945 that everything he did pre-Dec 7, 1941 was on FDR's orders. The handful of military men in DC responsible for the disaster at Pearl Harbor were directly under the control of FDR and were later promoted and protected from investigation; promoted with FDR's full knowledge that they were responsible for not warning Hawaii. On the record, Intelligence tried to warn HI scores of times but were prevented by FDR's men.

Life After Death: There is no Self


"...There is rebirth of character, but no transmigration of a self. Thy thought-forms reappear, but there is no ego-entity transferred. The stanza uttered by a teacher is reborn in the scholar who repeats the words.
Only through ignorance and delusion do men indulge in the dream that their souls are separate and self-existent entities. Thy heart, O Brahman, is cleaving still to self; thou art anxious about heaven but thou seekest the pleasures of self in heaven, and thus thou canst not see the bliss of truth and the immortality of truth."


While some believe it's impossible to know whether there is life after death, belief in immortality is timeless. People of all times and places in history have believed that the human soul survives death. If there is no consciousness beyond the grave, then life has fooled almost everyone from the Pharaohs of Egypt to Jesus of Nazareth.

When we talk about rebirth or reincarnation, some people laugh at the idea. They consider such belief is passe and obsolete. Others may think such question is in arena of religion. After all, it concerns what is after death.

All Existence is Spiritual

THERE was an officer among the retinue of Simha who had heard of the discourses of the Blessed One, and there was some doubt left in his heart. This man came to the Blessed One and said: "It is said, O Lord, that the samana Gotama denies the existence of the soul. Do they who say so speak the truth, or do they bear false witness against the Blessed One

And the Blessed One said: "There is a way in which those who say so are speaking truly of me; on the other hand, there is a way in which those who say so do not speak truly of me. The Tathagata teaches that there is no self. He who says that the soul is his self and that the self is the thinker of our thoughts and the actor of our deeds, teaches a wrong doctrine which leads to confusion and darkness. On the other hand, the Tathagata teaches that there is mind. He who understands by soul mind, and says that mind exists, teaches the truth which leads to clearness and enlightenment."

The officer said: "Does, then, the Tathagata maintain that two things exist? that which we perceive with our senses and that which is mental?"

Said the Blessed One: "I say to thee, thy mind is spiritual, but neither is the sense-perceived void of spirituality. The bodhi is eternal and it dominates all existence as the good law guiding all beings in their search for truth. It changes brute nature into mind, and there is no being that cannot be transformed into a vessel of truth."

Identity and Non-Identity

KUTADANTA, the head of the Brahmans in the village of Danamati, having approached the Blessed One respectfully, greeted him and said: "I am told, O samana, that thou art the Buddha, the Holy One, the All-knowing, the Lord of the world. But if thou wert the Buddha, wouldst thou not come like a king in all thy glory and power?" Said the Blessed One: "Thine eyes are holden. If the eye of thy mind were undimmed thou couldst see the glory and the power of truth."

Said Kutadanta: "Show me the truth and I shall see it. But thy doctrine is without consistency. If it were consistent, it would stand; but as it is not, it will pass away." The Blessed One replied: "The truth will never pass away."

Kutadanta said: "I am told that thou teachest the law, yet thou tearest down religion. Thy disciples despise rites and abandon immolation, but reverence for the gods can be shown only by sacrifices. The very nature of religion consists in worship and sacrifice." Said the Buddha: "Greater than the immolation of bullocks is the sacrifice of self. He who offers to the gods his evil desires will see the uselessness of slaughtering animals at the altar. Blood has no cleansing power, but the eradication of lust will make the heart pure. Better than worshiping gods is obedience to the laws of righteousness."

Kutadanta, being of a religious disposition and anxious about his fate after death, had sacrificed countless victims. Now he saw the folly of atonement by blood. Not yet satisfied, however, with the teachings of the Tathagata, Kutadanta continued: "Thou believest, O Master, that beings are reborn; that they migrate in the evolution of life; and that subject to the law of karma we must reap what we sow. Yet thou teachest the non-existence of the soul! Thy disciples praise utter self-extinction as the highest bliss of Nirvana. If I am merely a combination of the sankharas, my existence will cease when I die. If I am merely a compound of sensations and ideas and desires, whither can I go at the dissolution of the body?"

Said the Blessed One: "O Brahman, thou art religious and earnest. Thou art seriously concerned about thy soul. Yet is thy work in vain because thou art lacking in the one thing that is needful. There is rebirth of character, but no transmigration of a self. Thy thought-forms reappear, but there is no ego-entity transferred. The stanza uttered by a teacher is reborn in the scholar who repeats the words.

"Only through ignorance and delusion do men indulge in the dream that their souls are separate and self-existent entities. Thy heart, O Brahman, is cleaving still to self; thou art anxious about heaven but thou seekest the pleasures of self in heaven, and thus thou canst not see the bliss of truth and the immortality of truth.

"I say to thee: The Blessed One has not come to teach death, but to teach life, and thou discernest not the nature of living and dying. This body will be dissolved and no amount of sacrifice will save it. Therefore, seek thou the life that is of the mind. Where self is, truth cannot be; yet when truth comes, self will disappear. Therefore, let thy mind rest in the truth; propagate the truth, put thy whole will in it, and let it spread. In the truth thou shalt live forever. Self is death and truth is life. The cleaving to self is a perpetual dying, while moving in the truth is partaking of Nirvana which is life everlasting."

Then Kutadanta said: "Where, O venerable Master, is Nirvana?" "Nirvana is wherever the precepts are obeyed replied the Blessed One.

"Do I understand thee aright," rejoined the Brahman, "That Nirvana is not a place, and being nowhere it is without reality?" "Thou dost not understand me aright," said the Blessed One, "Now listen and answer these questions: Where does the wind dwell

"Nowhere," was the reply.

Buddha retorted: "Then, sir, there is no such thing as wind." Kutadanta made no reply; and the Blessed One asked again: "Answer me, O Brahman, where does wisdom dwell? Is wisdom a locality?"

"Wisdom has no allotted dwelling-place replied Kutadanta. Said the Blessed One: "Meanest thou that there is no wisdom, no enlightenment, no righteousness, and no salvation, because Nirvana is not a locality? As a great and mighty wind which passeth over the world in the heat of the day, so the Tathagata comes to blow over the minds of mankind with the breath of his love, so cool, so sweet, so calm, so delicate; and those tormented by fever assuage their suffering and rejoice at the refreshing breeze."

Said Kutadanta: "I feel, O Lord, that thou proclaimest a great doctrine, but I cannot grasp it. Forbear with me that I ask again: Tell me, O Lord, if there be no atman [soul], how can there be immortality? The activity of the mind passeth, and our thoughts are gone when we have done thinking."

Buddha replied: "Our thinking is gone, but our thoughts continue. Reasoning ceases, but knowledge remains." Said Kutadanta: "How is that? Are not reasoning and knowledge the same?"

The Blessed One explained the distinction by an illustration: "It is as when a man wants, during the night, to send a letter, and, after having his clerk called, has a lamp lit, and gets the letter written. Then, when that has been done, he extinguishes the lamp. But though the writing has been finished and the light has been put out the letter is still there. Thus does reasoning cease and knowledge remain; and in the same way mental activity ceases, but experience, wisdom, and all the fruits of our acts endure."

Kutadanta continued: "Tell me, O Lord, pray tell me, where, if the sankharas are dissolved, is the identity of my self. If my thoughts are propagated, and if my soul migrates, my thoughts cease to be my thoughts and my soul ceases to be my soul. Give me an illustration, but pray, O Lord, tell me, where is the identity of my self?"

Said the Blessed One: "Suppose a man were to light a lamp; would it burn the night through?" "Yes, it might do so," was the reply.

"Now, is it the same flame that burns in the first watch of the night as in the second?" Kutadanta hesitated. He thought it is the same flame, but fearing the complications of a hidden meaning, and trying to be exact, he said: "No, it is not."

"Then," continued the Blessed One, "there are two flames, one in the first watch and the other in the second watch." "No, sir," said Kutadanta. "In one sense it is not the same flame, but in another sense it is the same flame. It burns the same kind of oil, it emits the same kind of light, and it serves the same purpose."

"Very well said the Buddha and would you call those flames the same that have burned yesterday and are burning now in the same lamp, filled with the same kind of oil, illuminating the same room?" "They may have been extinguished during the day," suggested Kutadanta.

Said the Blessed One: "Suppose the flame of the first watch had been extinguished during the second watch, would you call it the same if it burns again in the third watch?" Replied Kutadanta: "In one sense it is a different flame, in another it is not."

The Tathagata asked again: "Has the time that elapsed during the extinction of the flame anything to do with its identity or non-identity?" "No, sir," said the Brahman, "it has not. There is a difference and an identity, whether many years elapsed or only one second, and also whether the lamp has been extinguished in the meantime or not."

"Well, then, we agree that the flame of today is in a certain sense the same as the flame of yesterday, and in another sense it is different at every moment. Moreover, the flames of the same kind, illuminating with equal power the same kind of rooms, are in a certain sense the same." "Yes, sir," replied Kutadanta.

The Blessed One continued: "Now, suppose there is a man who feels like thyself, thinks like thyself, and acts like thyself, is he not the same man as thou?" "No, sir," interrupted Kutadanta.

Said the Buddha: "Dost thou deny that the same logic holds good for thyself that holds good for the things of the world?" Kutadanta bethought himself and rejoined slowly: "No, I do not. The same logic holds good universally; but there is a peculiarity about my self which renders it altogether different from everything else and also from other selves. There may be another man who feels exactly like me, thinks like me, and acts like me; suppose even he had the same name and the same kind of possessions, he would not be myself."

"True, Kutadanta, answered Buddha, he would not be thyself. Now, tell me, is the person who goes to school one, and that same person when he has finished his schooling another? Is it one who commits a crime, another who is punished by having his hands and feet cut off?" "They are the same, was the reply.

"Then sameness is constituted by continuity only?" asked the Tathagata. "Not only by continuity," said Kutadanta, but also and mainly by identity of character."

"Very well, concluded the Buddha, then thou agreest that persons can be the same, in the same sense as two flames of the same kind are called the same; and thou must recognize that in this sense another man of the same character and product of the same karma is the same as thou." "Well, I do," said the Brahman.

The Buddha continued: "And in this same sense alone art thou the same today as yesterday. Thy nature is not constituted by the matter of which thy body consists, but by thy sankharas, the forms of the body, of sensations, of thoughts. The person is the combination of the sankharas. Wherever they are, thou art. Whithersoever they go, thou goest. Thus thou wilt recognize in a certain sense an identity of thy self, and in another sense a difference. But he who does not recognize the identity should deny all identity, and should say that the questioner is no longer the same person as he who a minute after receives the answer. Now consider the continuation of thy personality, which is preserved in thy karma. Dost thou call it death and annihilation, or life and continued life?"

"I call it life and continued life," rejoined Kutadanta, "for it is the continuation of my existence, but I do not care for that kind of continuation. All I care for is the continuation of self in the other sense, which makes of every man, whether identical with me or not, an altogether different person."

"Very well," said Buddha. "This is what thou desirest and this is the cleaving to self. This is thy error. All compound things are transitory: they grow and they decay. All compound things are subject to pain: they will be separated from what they love and be joined to what they abhor. All compound things lack a self, an atman, an ego."

"How is that?" asked Kutadanta. "Where is thy self? asked the Buddha. And when Kutadanta made no reply, he continued: "Thy self to which thou cleavest is a constant change. Years ago thou wast a small babe; then, thou wast a boy; then a youth, and now, thou art a man. Is there any identity of the babe and the man? There is an identity in a certain sense only. Indeed there is more identity between the flames of the first and the third watch, even though the lamp might have been extinguished during the second watch. Now which is thy true self, that of yesterday, that of today, or that of tomorrow, for the preservation of which thou clamorest?" Kutadanta was bewildered. "Lord of the world," he said, I see my error, but I am still confused."

The Tathagata continued: "It is by a process of evolution that sankharas come to be. There is no sankhara which has sprung into being without a gradual becoming. Thy sankharas are the product of thy deeds in former existences. The combination of thy sankharas is thy self. Wheresoever they are impressed thither thy self migrates. In thy sankharas thou wilt continue to live and thou wilt reap in future existences the harvest sown now and in the past."

"Verily, O Lord," rejoined Kutadanta, this is not a fair retribution. I cannot recognize the justice that others after me will reap what I am sowing now."

The Blessed One waited a moment and then replied: "Is all teaching in vain? Dost thou not understand that those others are thou thyself Thou thyself wilt reap what thou sowest, not others. Think of a man who is ill-bred and destitute, suffering from the wretchedness of his condition. As a boy he was slothful and indolent, and when he grew up he had not learned a craft to earn a living. Wouldst thou say his misery is not the product of his own action, because the adult is no longer the same person as was the boy?

"I say to thee: Not in the heavens, not in the midst of the sea, not if thou hidest thyself away in the clefts of the mountains, wilt thou find a place where thou canst escape the fruit of thine evil actions. At the same time thou art sure to receive the blessings of thy good actions. To the man who has long been traveling and who returns home in safety, the welcome of kinfolk, friends, and acquaintances awaits. So, the fruits of his good works bid him welcome who has walked in the path of righteousness, when he passes over from the present life into the hereafter."

Kutadanta said: "I have faith in the glory and excellency of thy doctrines. My eye cannot as yet endure the light; but I now understand that there is no self, and the truth dawns upon me. Sacrifices cannot save, and invocations are idle talk. But how shall I find the path to life everlasting? I know all the Vedas by heart and have not found the truth."

Said the Buddha: "Learning is a good thing; but it availeth not. True wisdom can be acquired by practice only. Practice the truth that thy brother is the same as thou. Walk in the noble path of righteousness and thou wilt understand that while there is death in self, there is immortality in truth."

Said Kutadanta: "Let me take my refuge in the Blessed One, in the Dharma, and in the brotherhood. Accept me as thy disciple and let me partake of the bliss of immortality."


Reincarnation is in my opinion an overly simplified concept, designed to be easily understood and accepted by the general population. But the theory of reincarnation falls down sharply when closely examined. That is, if you understand how standard linear time sense behaves in higher dimensional levels, i.e., time sense fluctuates.
As far as it goes, the theory of reincarnation is clear enough to explain some very complex esoteric matters in a simple way; without giving people headaches whenever they think about it. It also allows for the illusion of the continuation of present consciousness, unchanged and progressive, with only an occasional memory loss to mar its course; marking the division between each Re--Incarnation. This makes it easy for people to accept the bones of the incarnation process.
It gives them the benefit of a rational afterlife belief-system containing the simplified essence of the whole truth. This allows a measure of independence and security, and a reassurance of the continuance of self, i.e., life after death and reincarnation = a kind of immortality theory that people can easily accept and relate to.

But the whole truth of reincarnation is so extraordinarily complex it is not so easily grasped.

At the top of the dimensional structure is ONE consciousness. A SINGLE mind (call it universal consciousness, The Great White Spirit, the mind of God: pick one?). Or split it into three if you like: Father, Son & Holy Spirit, or many more if you prefer the demigod perspective, i.e., Hindu beliefs, etc. However you conceive this structure, at the top of it all rests a single consciousness: the original spark of consciousness that created and is continually creating the entire multi-dimensional universe we call home. But grasping and relating to the ONE is not an easy thing to do. The ONE is so far above our understanding of what consciousness is, it becomes incomprehensible to the human mind: except of course in the abstract; which is the only realistic way this can be perceived and related to. The most popular way of relating to the ONE is through abstract simile, i.e., God is like the father of all fathers, or, God is like the mother of all mothers, et cetera.

Beneath the ONE are layers of consciousness (relating to subtle dimensional levels, i.e., the astral dimension, mental dimension, etc) where the ONE fragments and splits into multiple parts, with each lower layer splitting again and again into many more layers and parts, and so on, until you get to the physical dimension, the dimension of Maya, the dimension of solid illusion where we as energy-cum-physical beings can experience the limitations of the physical universe through our physical bodies. This, in a way, makes us human beings the myriad eyes, ears and consciousness' (in the physical dimension) of the ONE great universal mind above us.

At the very top of the dimensional spectrum, at dimension ONE, there is NO time. Mystically, this is understood and experienced as The Eternal NOW. This means there is NO TIME. There, time does not exist and everything, the past, present and future, are happening all at once in the eternal NOW. Every layer beneath this takes on a little more time sense (steadily increasing in time sense) until we get back down to the physical dimension; to our Real-Time dimension of solid illusion (our normal physical universe) where time becomes relatively linear once again.

To support this: whenever you experience higher dimensions, say during OBE, you will always notice a significant variability in time; in your sense of time passing during each experience. Modern physicists are already working mathematically in several different dimensions above but related (or linked) to the physical universe. The great physicist Einstein stated that at some point in the dimensional spectrum there must be a point where time does not exist, where past, present and future coexist simultaneously.

I have traveled to and experienced higher dimensional levels where there is NO concept of time at all. But the sensation and perception of time passing is also quite variable in the physical universe, and time sense is entirely relative to your state of mind. Look at how time flies when you are happy, say when you are spending time with someone you love. But oh how it drags and drags like a heavy stone while you are bored, or while you are waiting or experiencing something you dislike.

In a way this can be likened to a simple pyramid structure:

The Eternal Now

The above diagram shows the ascending and descending layers of the ONE consciousness, splitting into more and more parts as it descends into the real time universe (the here and now). Each part of the layers directly above the physical dimension can be more easily related to, if you consider each as being an Overself or Oversoul, or Higher Self (pick one?). In our dimension, each of these split into many separate parts (hundreds or even thousands of people; how many is unknown). And if you take into account this flow of multiple consciousness units from above, from the eternal NOW, it is also likely this spreads throughout all of time and space: possibly with each Oversoul splitting into countless people; all who have ever lived in the past, all those living in the present, and all those that will live in the future. The bottom line is that these are all living simultaneously in the shadow of The Eternal NOW. And if you also take into account the countless worlds in our universe that probably contain many other race, not to mention a plethora of parallel universes, the mind simply boggles. And yes, I think I am definitely getting a headache at this point!

If you look closely at and ponder the mind-split effect (see Astral Dynamics, or The Treatise on OBE parts 7 & 8) you'll see before you the underlying principle of incarnation at work. As above so below. And if you apply the mind-split effect to incarnation, you'll see the ONE great mind splitting and reflecting (or incarnating) into many billions of parts, into many billions of people.

Now, if you take the above as read, you will see that the linear concept of reincarnation is just a little off the mark in explaining the higher nature of reality. It leaves too many questions unanswered and has too many holes in it's logic. Its way too simplistic an explanation to fit the enormity underlying the reality of incarnation.

In my opinion, what is really happening is this:

We are all essentially a part of the ONE at the very highest level of consciousness. There is NO time at the top (or you could say there is ALL time at the top) so everything happens in the eternal NOW. Therefore, logically, a single person would incarnate throughout time: past present and future, living and experiencing multiple lives. But these are lived all at the same time, all at once, all in the eternal NOW. And therefore, if all lives are lived at once, then it is also likely each 'person' incarnates many times in the same timeframe, i.e., that you are incarnated many times in the present, and are living many different lives simultaneously in this present time, in the present NOW. This also applies to the past, present and future; meaning you are now currently living throughout all time. Scary concept maybe, and definitely headache material, but its also extremely logical.

I believe the above, with a healthy application of like-attracts-like and opposites-repel, also accounts for what are commonly called Soul Mates. Individual incarnating spirits would logically attract like-minded spirits to them from among their own spectrum of incarnating brethren, i.e., from among those incarnating from their own shared Oversoul.

The Buddhist concept of the Overself is fairly accurate in describing what is happening at a higher level of consciousness. This is a step up from the simpler concept of linear incarnation, living life after life, as taken for granted by most NewAge people today. Although the Buddhist theory also includes linear reincarnation, you will find there are many gray areas between fact, theory and experience.

Past life memories...or past life associations?

In my opinion these may be caused by closely related links (call it a soul family clan) between some spirits contained within a single Oversoul unit. These links are not limited nor divided by our primitive concept of linear time, but are all connected through the higher soul clan in the eternal NOW. They are all existing simultaneously at the higher level where they connect. Therefore, when a person remembers or feels connected with, or affected by, dramatic events from what is considered a past life filtering through into their present reality; these events are actually happening right now, in the eternal NOW. This may account for why these links can be so keenly felt. Even though the actual events that are affecting or being felt as stemming from a past life that may have happened thousands of years ago, it is actually happening right now, in the eternal NOW. And this goes a long way toward explaining why past life memories can have such a profound effect on us.

I think past life experiences can also be felt and experienced (shared) in varying degrees, by all the individual members of a closely related soul clan. They are not remembering events that happened a very long ago, they are being 'felt' and experienced by all parts as if they were actually a part of that other time, as if these events were happening NOW.

The above hopefully sheds some new light on the ancient but little-realized belief that we are all brothers and sisters in spirit, all God's children; regardless of sex or race; or even of species for that matter. Ultimately we are all ONE at the highest level, all ONE in the eternal NOW. (RB)

The Catch Basket Concept

I found the following article, yet again, while searching through my computer files. I had completely forgotten writing it. It seems a shame to waste it, so here it is. It explains a little about who I am and where I am coming from, and why I write the books and articles I do. My life; it's been a learning process in every sense of The Word.

In the mid-to-late nineteen-eighties, I experienced a serious belief system challenge. Glaring contradictions arose at every turn, between my ongoing hard-life experiences and popularly accepted New Age concepts of spiritual reality. I struggled to comprehend and integrate my experience with this paradigm, being forced time and time again to accept illogical compromises. But adaptation of my life experience soon became impossible and I began suffocating under its awkward burden. The popular model rapidly became unworkable in a practical sense. Either I was going crazy and experiencing consistent, repeatable delusions, as were all the people I was helping, or something was decidedly rotten in downtown Denmark.

Like many people down through the ages, I had spent my life searching for spiritual truth and meaning to life. For many years, I had sat in development groups, prayed, meditated, visualized and read until my eyes burned and my mind reeled under the massive contradictory onslaught. I developed psychic abilities, had spectacular OBE's, visions and mystical experiences. I made good progress, but still I need more. . .

I was eventually reborn and transformed when I raised my kundalini to its highest level around 1987 (this was when the enigma of my life became apparent to me). But raising kundalini, in itself, does not bring instant enlightenment. Kundalini has to be raised regularly and mastered, just like any other ability. The first time kundalini is raised it causes 'abstract' enlightenment, not actual enlightenment. You know everything while kundalini is raised, but cannot realize this when you return to a normal level of consciousness (the base level of consciousness in the normal waking state). There are no shortcuts, and there is no way of avoiding all the hard work and hard-life experience necessary for the abstracts to filter down into your conscious mind and physical reality.

All of this gleaned me glimpses of the greater spiritual reality above, with a few tantalizingly abstract snippets of abstract higher truth thrown in for good measure. But my increasingly strong contact with the greater spiritual reality provided me with a flood of contradictions to the popularly accepted model. This intellectual burden grew and grew as my belief system was stretched way beyond its design limits. It rapidly approached critical mass.

I was offered a solution in 1990. I had a major experience where an angel, or my higher-self (hard to tell which, and somewhat of a moot point really) manifested to me as a powerful objective voice. I could have recorded this had I a tape recorder handy; it was that audible. I was wide-awake and standing up. I had just stepped out of the shower and was about to start my evening meditation, around 9 pm. It was the most beautiful voice I have ever heard: deep, masculine, eloquent, loving, forgiving and wise. The atmosphere was intense. I felt like a small child might feel when standing before God in a great cathedral for the very first time. The sense of awe and loving fatherly forgiveness is overpowering. As I write, just revisiting my living memory of this causes tears of deep spiritual longing to flood down my face; such is the emotional impact of this experience.

NB: This was the same objective voice that had spoken to me a couple of years earlier, when it then instructed me to begin teaching myself how to write. Since I barely finished grade eight, this was no mean feat in itself. I had worked hard, and by the time of the second visitation, had already mastered the basics of English and grammar. Even so, I still felt I had not done enough. But direct contact with spiritual beings from the greater reality always has this effect, especially when they come to you.

The voice asked me to sit down, and then proceed to explain a great many things to me, the most important of which was advice on how to proceed on my quest for higher spiritual truth and knowledge. I was instructed to dismantle my belief system, and then to intelligently rebuild it from scratch. I was told to be disciplined in my approach and to use personal experience, logic and commonsense to build a new foundation belief system, upon which to continue my quest for true enlightenment.

The foundation belief system lies deep within the subconscious mind. This comprises a set of conceptual mental filters and shields, which are fundamental to one's physical and spiritual existence. These shape and affect your thoughts and perceptions by filtering ideas and inspirations, making these conform to a central theme, as set by your foundation beliefs. All knowledge lies within your heart. But accessing this is extraordinarily difficult. Everything has to pass through your conceptual filters before it can be perceived or realized.

If one's fundamental beliefs are even slightly flawed, information trying to pass through becomes distorted or blocked. Imagine new truths as being delicate square crystals, and flawed conceptual filters (contradictory beliefs) as being coarse round holes. New truths are effectively blocked. If one forces them through, the results are splintered octagonals, i.e., fractured, distorted or incomplete truths.

Therefore, if a higher intelligence (be it God, one's higher-self, holy guardian angel or spirit guide) tries to pass contradictory new truths through a flawed belief system, these truths are conceptually blocked or distorted. The greater the fundamental errors in one's belief system, the greater will be the distortion. All things being equal, this is why some people can receive inspiration (be it scientific or spiritual) and others cannot or receive only poorly.

This concept that you create your own spiritual reality is nothing new. Versions of this can be found in a great many books of spiritual philosophy. But actually realizing how this works and applying it to one's own foundation belief system in pursuit of higher truth and knowledge is an entirely different matter.

I was given detailed instructions on how to accomplish this. The next day I sat down and made a list of all the things I believed in concerning my spiritual reality. I then analyzed and erased all the things I had not actually experienced or proven for myself. After many days of pondering and revising, I ended up with a very small list indeed. It went something like this:

  • OBE is real: I've had Astral projections all my life.
  • Clairvoyance is real: I've seen auras and visions all my life.
  • Healing is real: I've both given and received it, seen and felt its power.
  • Kundalini is real: I raised mine to its highest level in 1987, and many times since.
  • We survive death: I've seen people after their deaths and have visited the spirit worlds.
  • A higher force is concerned with human existence and its spiritual evolution: I've experienced this many times -- the voice I heard above is just one example.
  • Angels, masters, deities and good spirits are real: I've interacted with these many times.
  • Bad spirits are real: I've experienced poltergeists and psychic attacks, been possessed and self-exorcised, and helped many people and children with similar problems.

Gone were personal spirit guides (while I had learned to believe I had one, I had never actually met or openly communicated with him). Gone was the involvement of spirits in just about everything spiritual and psychic (I had no hard experience to support this, only vague assumptions). And gone was the entire organized spirit structure above us that I had been taught to believe in (I had no real proof this was accurate). I also had a quandary. Apart from angels and other such exalted beings (which have such power and presence they are impossible to mistake for who they truly are) I had no reliable way of telling good spirits from bad spirits. Therefore, logically, I had to reject all lesser spirits until I discovered a reliable method of discernment.
The above might sound extreme, but it is eminently logical. Given the source, I took the advice I had been given to heart. I would learn to live this new way of truth and to apply it to my life.

My final list was real and true, as I had personally experienced everything on it. As instructed, I would build on what was real and discard everything else. I was told to shelve items of 'possible' truth aside, until proven or disproven. However, this is easier said than done and I went into what I can only describe as spiritual shock. I felt empty, alone and depressed. I had to keep stopping myself from talking to my spirit guide during prayers. If I was to do this at all, as instructed, I had to go all the way.

In time, this new foundation belief system settled more comfortably within me. I got over my emptiness and began filling my aching void with practical truth and knowledge. From this point onwards, slowly and surely, everything started to come together in my life. As instructed, I began writing a journal of my thoughts and ideas. I used the writing process to nurture my inner genius, to free up the flow of inspiration between my physical-self and my higher-self. This flow, I had been told, was blocked not only by my previously flawed conceptual filters, but by the vast differences in consciousness: between the level of consciousness of my normal awake mind (my base level of consciousness) and the more rarified and abstract level where my higher-self resided within me.

I turned my unanswered questions into journal articles. These contained everything I experientially knew to be true about each subject. I found myself putting in many logical subtitles and question marks to represent gaps in my knowledge. I used the writing process (revision, sleep, revision, sleep, and so on) to coax the truth from my dreams, and from the deep recesses of my higher spiritual-self. As instructed, I began shutting myself away in a dark, silent room for several hours at a time, discovering a profound new level of deep trance thinking. I thought, dreamed, meditated and wrote on seemingly unfathomable arcane matters.

In time began receiving inspirational ideas. My dreams and visions swam with sparkling clues; tiny pieces of the jigsaws I was trying to build. My logical and inspirational processes began working overtime, far more powerful than ever before. I found myself waking many times during sleep, compelled to reach for pen and paper to record new ideas. Mundane conversations and events triggered intellectual storms through the mental associations they caused, necessitating much frantic note-taking as inspirational ideas surfaced like glistening dolphins leaping from the murky waters of my subconscious mind.

In time, I accepted this process and began working with it. I felt like I had been reborn. This is how I developed my Catch Basket concept. During the day, I set my catch baskets by pondering unanswered questions. These are baited with rich crumbs of personal experience, tantalizing ideas and juicy pieces of logic. In the morning, I check these for fruits that have been cast into them from above. I record everything and add each small harvest to my questioning articles. Pretty soon, these began fleshing themselves out and filling in the mysterious gaps.

In truth, my work teaches me just as much as it teaches those I share it with. Over the years since I began this process, my catch basket repository began groaning with ripe esoteric fruits. As instructed, I began pouring these into the articles, tutorials and books I eventually began writing.

Over the years since my arcane riddle began, my inspirational process grew into a finely-tuned subtle mechanism. Now, if I have a serious question the answer always comes to me. Sometimes it surfaces immediately, sometimes days, months or even years later, but the clues that lead me to the answers always come. This has given me drive and purpose, plus an ever-increasing fascination for this many-splendored thing we call mortal life. Whatever the future holds in store, I look forward to living it with great interest.

I hope the above explanation of where I am coming from is of some help to people who might be struggling with their own beliefs. It is neither my intention nor my joy to cast doubts upon anyone's heartfelt theories and beliefs. But if my work causes you belief system discomfort, then how solid were your beliefs to begin with? While faith is a priceless jewel, if one accepts anything blindly one risks polluting one's essential foundation belief system with the curse of mindless dogmatism.

Please keep an open mind to the possibilities I have introduced here. The popular New Age spiritual model contains a great deal of beautiful, comforting philosophy. But it can fall down quite badly in a practical sense, especially when applied to dark supernatural problems. If one clings to this model, the development of new concepts and the gathering of higher spiritual truths becomes virtually impossible. The parameters of current popular spiritual models simply do not allow for this. Because of this, many people today bend the rules and invent elaborate explanations to get around these problems, while dogmatically holding true to popular beliefs. But this increased complexity prohibits a more direct approach. It leads to belief system obfuscation and ineffective methods being developed.

A Little Sage Advice To Close On:
Question everything, especially the sacred cows of dogma. Always think for yourself. Experiment and learn from all that life has to offer you. Listen to and consider the wisdom of others, and try on their ideas as you might try on a new coat for size. Never buy a new coat just because it seems to fit; it must be practical, within your price range, and look good on you too. And above all, build your own foundation belief system from the wealth of your own personal life experience.