I first heard about the Third Eye when working for the Government Radio Regulatory Department in 1976 when a Communications Technician told me about a book he had read by one Lobsang Rampa. He said it was all about being attuned to your senses. As an example he said in one part of the book, Rampa describes how just by observing body language and speech patters it was possible to predict behaviour patterns. He loaned me the book and I read it with interest. Who was this Lobsang Rampa?
He was born Cyril Hoskin on 8 April 1910. At the age of 37, shortly after the second world war he told his wife that he was going to change his name to Carl KuonSuo. He felt that as a writer he would have more success under this name. He and his wife moved to a more secluded part of England, and he broke off ties with friends and family.On 13 June 1949 He fell from a tree that he was pruning and suffered concussion. When he awoke it seemed that a Tibetan lama had taken over his body. This was Tuesday Lobsang Rampa. The extent to which Rampa had taken over Hoskins’ body, seems total.
Rampa then wrote the book for which he is best remembered, the Third Eye. It was published in 1956. In it Rampa describes in colourful detail how he was accepted in a monastary at the age of seven, and later had the operation to produce the third eye to bring him in line with the other monks.
In the book he describes the operation just after a small hole was drilled into his forehead just above the nose bone:
“The instrument penetrated the bone. A very hard, clean sliver of wood had been treated by fire and herbs and was slid down so that it just entered the hole in my head. I felt a stinging, tickling sensation apparently in the bridge of my nose. It subsided and I became aware of subtle scents which I could not identify. Suddenly there was a blinding flash. For a moment the pain was intense. It diminished, died and was replaced by spirals of colour. As the projecting sliver was being bound into place so that it could not move, the Lama Mingyar Dondup turned to me and said: You are now one of us, Lobsang. For the rest of your life you will see people as they are and not as they pretend to be.”
The book is a great read, whether you believe his story or not. He meets yetis (“abominable Snowmen” as they were called at the time) and tells of the time when earth was struck by another planet to shape the Tibet we know today. He talks about the fact of reincarnation and being able to travel in the astral plane when sleeping or in a trance. His later books became even more off-the-wall, and in one he said that he had converations with his cat, Mrs Fifi Greywhiskers.
In the end, Lobsang Rampa went on to write another 20 or so books with occult and quasi religious themes. The British press were not kind to him and claimed he was a charlatan and that the book the Third Eye was plagiarised. He upped sticks and went to live in Calgary, Canada where he died (and presumably was reincarnated) in 1981 at the age of 70.
His books still hold a great fascination today and are a good read, whether you take it all in at face value or not.
The Brain in a Vat hypothesis is one of the better known “thought experiments” where someone (usually a philosopher, scientist or student of noetics) thinks up a situation, experiment or hypothesis, to illustrate a conundrum, moral dilemma or illustrate a theory. It is said that Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was based on a thought he had when he was 16 years old. He wondered that if he shone a beam of light into space, and then was able to fly and catch up with that beam and look sidewards at it, travelling at the same speed, what would he see? Would the light appear stationary?
With more than a nod to some Gothic horror story, the “brain in a vat” imagines that a demented scientist has successfully removed a human brain from its body. The brain is then placed in a vat of nourishing liquid that keeps it functioning and to all intents and purposes “alive”. Out spaced-out scientist then attached electrodes to key areas of the brain, and connects these to a sophisticated computer that generates images, sensations and emotions taken from the real world. The brain then receives these electrical impulses which simulate in every detail everyday experiences. In other words the brain receives all the information it would receive through sight, smell, touch etc as if it was back in its a body. The question is, would the brain be able to know that what it was experiencing was not reality, but a simulation? Would that simulation be, in effect reality?
At its heart, the exercise asks you to question the nature of experience, and to consider what it really means to be human. Do you need a body to be human? Even the famous philosopher Descartes questioned whether he could ever truly prove that all his sensations were really his own, and not just an illusion caused by as he put it an “evil daemon.” Descartes concluded “cogito ergo sum” (“I think therefore I am”). However, the brain in the vat thinks, and therefore exists.
Now you know where the idea for the film The Matrix originated!
Here is a scenario. You are at work on your official break. You have been told that you shouldn’t use your Office PC to access social media- you should go to the library to do that. You just want to check Facebook quickly and can’t be bothered top leave your desk. While you’re looking at your new messages, you get an uncomfortable feeling. You shut down the screen- just before your manager comes into the room. Phew! But how did you know she was on her way? A similar feeling can occur when you sense that someone is staring at you. You can’t see them, but something makes you turn round and clock them. What was that?
It’s called presentiment- it’ s not like Nostrodamus’ predictions, or crystal ball scrying. It’s more short-focused than that. Analysis was undertaken last year at Northwestern University, Illinois, in the United States. Julia Mossbridge a neuroscientist at NW University is the lead author of the review of data from 26 mainstream psychological studies and experiments dating back as far as 1978.
“Our analysis suggests that if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes between 2 and 10 seconds beforehand…”
The test subject volunteers in the studies exhibited significant changes in heart and brain waves as well as electrical measurements in their skin up to 10 seconds prior to experiencing randomly chosen stimuli. These were not just anticipating the random arrival at the boss at your work station, but a disturbing or arousing photo. It seems that many of the subjects somehow anticipated they were about to see something that would provoke a strong response such as fear, embarrassment or desire.
Ms Mossbridge said that researchers are not sure whether people are really seeing into the future or just reacting to their bodies somehow pre-anticipating something a few seconds before it occurs. Whatever the explanation, it’s an interesting step towards accepting that there is something akin to a sixth sense.
The British 20th century author Dennis Wheatley, famous for books such as The Devil Rides Out (which was made into a film with Christopher Lee), had a theory about the relationship between dying in a dream and dying for real. He believed that with practice you could become aware within your dreams and direct them. He believed that there were dark forces in the astral (dream) world as well as in the real world. He believed that there was an invisible silver cord that connected your slumbering body to your astral projection that roamed the worlds in your dreams. It could stretch to almost infinite distances. If threatened in a dream, the silver cords would pull you back and you’d wake up. If however, due to drugs, evil demons, or some other physical or non-corporeal entity you couldn’t get back into your sleeping frame, you’d die in the dream and also die in your sleep. There’s little or no scientific proof to back up Wheatley’s theory.
Even if there was a connection between dying in a dream and dying for real, there is no way one can ask the dead person whether they dreamt they died, so that’s a dead-end. So what do we know about the brain and sleeping? The part of our brains that controls basic functions such as breathing is automatic but is connected to the activities of the brain that cause dreams. That’s why your breathing can increase during a troubled dream, REMs occur (Rapid Eye Movements). In theory, a dream could cause so much trauma to your automatic functions that you suffer a heart-attack- but even then scientists say that you would wake up at the point that your life functions are in danger.
In conclusion there is no proven link between dying in a dream and dying for real. But equally it’s something hard to disprove unless you can use a Ouija Board and chat with someone who died in their sleep! And what about Dennis Wheatley? He died in his sleep…