Archive for the ‘Sciences’ Category

Deep Water VII

October 1, 2018

In 1979, at a turning point in my career, I made a trip to New York City to meet with a then renowned psychic named Phyllis Woodbury. Using her multimodal approach, Mrs. Woodbury provided what proved to be correct basic information about my immediate future with The Poughkeepsie Savings Bank, where I had been employed for six years, but she was unable to supply details, direction, or certainty on any matter. Not long into the process of giving me a simplistic and unenlightening reading, she seemed distracted. Her focus had shifted from my queries to studying me personally. She became agitated and guarded to the point of paranoia, expressing unwarranted skepticism about my reason for coming to see her, which I found offensive and did not understand. During growing mutual uneasiness, she received a threatening telephone call and was shaken by whatever was said. Although she did not reveal the content of the call, she associated it with me. Eventually she could tell that I was mystified by her attitude and behavior and, with carefully chosen words, indicated that she had been suspicious and defensive because she could “see” my own psychic abilities and that they were at least as strong as hers. She had felt that I had come there to test and possibly attack her. The rest of our conversation took on a better tone and there was no apparent tension by the time I left. I must say that I was unimpressed—disappointed. I still have the audiotape of the session.

The entire day had been strange from the outset, from the point where my trek to her apartment had begun at Grand Central Station onward. Exiting the Grand Central building through doors at the east side, I had emerged onto a sidewalk crowded with commuters, more than usual it seemed. At the curb an older man stood out from the crowd, partly because he was the only person standing in place amidst the swiftly moving streams of pedestrians, and partly because he was dressed like an upper-class gentleman from about 1920, but mostly because he was shouting out into the street in a desperate tone: “Where is the horse?” He looked like a time-traveler who had suddenly appeared fifty-odd years into his future to see streets filled with unrecognizable automobiles and absent his anticipated horse and buggy. I was intrigued enough to want to ask him but was swept away along the sidewalk by a crowd that moved as if it were one many-legged colony creature pressing its way to work on a morning that promised rain.

Farther along on my trek to see Mrs. Woodbury, I had passed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Headquarters to catch sight of an old friend, Ralph “Raphael” Mark, descending the stairs towards the sidewalk where I stood staring at him. Raphael was a major radio station executive (WEOK) and served on many boards of directors, including the MTA’s. I had first met Ralph in 1963, when I was sixteen, at a block dance in Poughkeepsie that had turned into a “race riot;” we had both sought refuge from the mayhem in the same recessed entrance of a clothing store. Thereafter, like my personal Yoda, Raphael managed to turn up at exactly the right moment when I needed sage career advice. I could write a book about this amazing man who had nearly died of injuries sustained during the Battle of the Bulge—a man of great wisdom, humor, and community influence. His advice that day on the street in New York City centered on the fact that informal authority is often more effective than formal authority. At that point I had already known for many years the significance for me of our synchronistic out-of-the-blue meetings. I knew the value of his fatherly guardianship.

My long walk from the depths of Grand Central past the strange man from yesteryear to Raphael at the broad steps of the MTA building to Mrs. Woodbury’s high-rise apartment had had a kind of Yellow Brick Road quality, including a few flying Manhattan-style monkeys. So, when I was returning to Grand Central from Phyllis Woodbury’s home office, my intuition was running high, and I discovered a totally unexpected source of powerful information. However, I would need to make a separate trip to New York City to give this intuited source adequate attention because what I saw from across the street was the Mormon Visitors’ Center (relocated some years later). In the few minutes that I had at the time, peering in the windows I sensed a connection to Joseph Smith and found myself drawn to take the tour and gather data. In “Revealing the Revelation of St. John,” posted in this blog in October 2012, I discuss a little about that return trip to New York, by bus that time. I believe it was also in 1979 but might have been 1980. In addition to first meeting the Catholic priest who happened to sit next to me on the bus, my later exploration of the Mormon Center proved to be the beginning of a bonding with members of that church, connections that included many profound experiences.

The story of my Peruvian vision quest is too long to be shared here, but it began with a spontaneous vision in 1976 and thereafter involved a strange and persistent call via synchronicities to travel to a place not well known in those days: Machu Picchu. In fact, when I first saw it, in the vision, and made a sketch, I did not know whether it was even a real place or where it was located. Some information about this is included in the post: “Analysis: ‘Fingerprints of the Gods’,” March 2011. In this writing it is pertinent to share that: at a point after I learned the vision was of Machu Picchu, Mormon missionaries responded to my interest in Peru, and particularly Machu Picchu, by bringing materials to my home, including a slide show with views of the ruins. Until I met them and later read the Book of Mormon, I did not know the Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) had such a deep interest in ancient history related to South America or the fact that they had so much information on its peoples and places. The facts I was able to gather with their assistance were a great help as I began making plans to travel to Machu Picchu and climb an adjacent mountain where my mysterious vision indicated the presence of something important waiting to be discovered. The discovery was made, in 1982, and will be revealed in a future post.

In meeting with the Mormon missionaries, I learned much more than just archeological findings that support the LDS faith and their believable conclusions about the ancestry of Native Americans. I learned about the unique personal attributes and experiences of Joseph Smith and others who laid the foundation for the original Mormon church. With few exceptions, I was also impressed with LDS members who, because of their acceptance of certain phenomena commonly called “paranormal,” were open to witnessing demonstrations of psychic gifts. For example, on one occasion missionaries were planning to bring a local member to my home to share information. I told them not to tell me the name of this person in advance, that I would gain the name in a manner some would call telepathic and that I would write it on a slip of paper for them to read upon arrival. Shortly before they came to my door the following week, I closed my eyes and asked to know the name of the new party. As if written in multi-colored light on a dark sky, I read the name and wrote it down. When they arrived, I gave them the paper as they were introducing this person having the same name. These were bonding experiences.

Although I did not, for personal reasons, join the church, there were strong spirit-level connections as well as friendship and mutual respect that I have rarely encountered. One of the most profound meetings I had with the missionaries took place at my apartment one evening. Two young women from Utah, whom I had gotten to know well and who were among the strongest people of faith I have ever—to this day—met, were talking about their knowledge of the spirit, knowledge borne of inner and outer experience rather than just from studying scriptures or from having attended sermons from early childhood. And it was during this conversation that I witnessed something I had never seen before and have not seen since: The bodies of these two young women transfigured (shifted) from flesh and blood to pure white opaque light, as if somehow having ascended—a visible communion. And they remained like that until returning to ordinary consciousness, physicality, and conversation. I often wonder where they are today, thirty-five years later, and what they have achieved. Or had I “entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2)? I really wonder.

My periodic communications with the LDS community ended many years ago, but my interest in Joseph Smith and the roots of Mormonism has continued and four posts have been published: “Analysis: Joseph Smith’s ‘Jupiter Talisman’,” November 2012; “Analysis: Joseph Smith’s Ring,” January 2013; “Analysis: Joseph Smith’s Seer Stone,” October 2015; “Mystery of the Liahona,” May 2016; and associated Image Files.