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AFTER THE GOLDEN AGE for 09/18/2006
I frequently get mail from people especially fascinated by Superman's superpowers. Many of these writers are so enthralled with the possibility of achieving this themselves, they refuse to accept the fact that superpowers like the Man of Steel's are simply fictional ideas that have been around for a long time in our literature, at least as far back as The Trojan Wars and the rest of the legends of which our chief sources are Homer and Hesiod. The superhero addicts may be indulgling in wishful fantasies as a solution for current problems--according to most skeptics. But I don't share that view. I have experienced so many things that lie for most in the realm of fantasy, and have become familiar with similar legends from mideastern and oriental mythologies and somehow had the good fortune to attract strange practitioners of arts that make superpowers seem rather elementary.

I've encountered tulpas (often discussed in these columns as well as in my books such as AN UNLIKELY PROPHET and the soon to be published A GATHERING OF SELVES) and have even learned and practiced the arts of consciousness visiting--enabling me to enter and share the minds and identities of other people as well as a range of other living creatures such as birds, mammals and even insects. Yet even among some of my closest friends and associates--Tony Isabella--for example, who in reviewing the first edition of PROPHET sometime back, while praising the book, expressed definite doubts about its non-fiction status.

In fact, in a column already some years back, I went into great detail about consciousness visiting. So rather than asking my readers to search back through all those earlier columns to find it, I'm reproducing here a segment in order to make a further point about the nature of consciousness. And about Supermanic powers. In that earlier column, knowing I was going against the grain of common belief, I wrote:
The experience of consciousness visiting which I've tried to examine from different angles in previous columns still evades what I feel is a clear explanation. Perhaps to get clearer, I'm going to have to get muddier. I've already explained what the experience is like-how I managed on many occasions to experience portions of the lives and memories of other persons without intruding on their privacy. But the ability to do this, which many writers have, still hasn't been explained to my satisfaction.

But in a recent column where I discussed the problem of non-locality as established by Alain Astain and his team who demonstrated that there was signaling between photons at speeds greater than light-speed, seemed to suggest, along with Bell's theorem, that there was no such thing as local-or far away. In fact, everything was just about instantaneously in touch and locality had no meaning. All vicinities were in the neighbourhood, so to speak. Built upon properly, this notion, known as non-locality literally changes the shape of the universe. Everything is really right here-in the form of something called "quantum entanglement."

Considering that, it occurred to me that Superman himself was only utilizing the fact that everything was mutually entangled, then it followed that so-called superspeed was simply a way of reaching out alongside himself instead of chasing across the universe. Because-the universe was all together in one place.

Having decided that, I thought I'd ask myself a simple question that would completely explain consciousness visiting.

How does consciousness visiting relate to non-locality?

There is apparently a state where every manifestation of consciousness is not a clustering but, in fact, a unit. There is one unit of consciousness that is everywhere-the wave state. (No two electrons will ever exist in the same quantum state, because there is only the one state available to the observer. Then everything else is off the table once a selection has been made. It is at this point that an electron loses its classical indefinable fuzziness, becoming as Fred Alan Wolfe puts it, "a construct of human thought." *( p.47 Mind into Matter, Moment Point Press 2001)

So, in a sense, consciousness visiting has to do with a single act of attention in which a unit of focused awareness emerges from the collapse of the quantum wave. The observer, which in this case happens to be myself, has a synoptic view or sense or immersion-I can't really say in which way it happens-so that seeing and knowing become simultaneous, or even part of, the full awareness of others-and that simply because, in that moment of vision, there is only the knowing. And it takes a leap of self-recollection to realize that the knower is in fact myself.

Is it really as simple as that? Then how come we're not all doing it? It would seem that our minds have decided to function as if they had two parts. If I'm me-then there's something outside of me-which, because it's OUTside, extends infinite distances in all directions. We've created the Outer world, and, of course, an Inner World. No-it wasn't always like that. During what they now call the dream time, the Australian aborigines decided to step into their dreams and take up residence in this new Outside. But they know it's only an artifact.

As for us, somehow, we don't. Not yet. But we may be coming back to it. In fact, I personally suspect that Superman with all his faster than light flashing around, is really putting us all on. Because he knows it's all inside. He really has to know.
In other words, the existence of what has come to be termed "non-locality" in quantum theory--which, by the way, has been the most successful theory in the history of science, suggests a number of things to me. Superman may be a fictional character, but, in fact, a very realistic one. Which explains why his introduction as fiction had the strange effect, over a few years, of convincing large numbers of people that, underneath the fictional trimmings, they were discovering a reality-- a state of being that formed part of their own life possibilities. That indeed, by looking more deeply into themselves, by breaking down some of the boxes that defined contemporary reality, the abilities of Superman-especially his capacities for flight and unimaginable sensory powers, could be achievable. It was not childish or absurd for not a few private correspondents as well as correspondents to my Round Table to write in some detail about their own efforts to develop Supermanic powers. Stories of children attempting flight--not only like Superman, but like Peter Pan and even many legendary figures of the past--became so legion as to suggest that there had to be something in it. And indeed there is, as quite a few have discovered, and even more expressed in their otherwise amazed awareness (amazed because they've known instinctively that it had to be possible,) yet they lived in a Newtonian mechanistic paradigm that went so far counter to the possibility of transcendence in which Supermanic powers of one kind and another were not only possible but had been happening all along and which they did not see as long as they were educated not to believe in their possibility. Until that moment when they did see and allowed themselves to believe in what they saw and experienced.

I might note here that ever since the production of the widely witnessed film WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?, there has been a vast outbreak of scientists, philosophers, researchers and otherwise staid academic types with theories of reality that are so in accord with the basic Superman idea that it has become a powerful new wave in the entire intellectual cosmos, in which it is demonstrated "that human intention is a powerful energy... as powerful as an electric current...and that our thoughts and intentions can influence the world."

And what are superheroes, really, if not various modes of a new kind of powerful intention brought into focus by that "field" connecting us all--that like an electro-magnetic field or even the field of "habit" as developed by the great British biologist Rupert Sheldrake makes the Supermanic myth one of the overweening realities from which so much more than just the capacity for free unfettered flight emerges--but, in fact, a new vision and a new hope.

--Alvin

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