Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Binaural Beats

Binaural Beats

There are many unexplained phenomena in paranormal and spiritual study. One such phenomena, “Binaural Beats” has been investigated thoroughly by the CIA and the Monroe Institute, (amongst other credible researchers).
There have been claims this phenomenon can be used to improve people’s moods, help people with learning difficulties to concentrate, and even claims it can lead to different states of consciousness, much like the use of drugs LSD.
Further claims suggest that spiritual enlightenment can be obtained through the use of binaural beats, Astral Travel, Chakra Stimulation, Chi energy, Lucid Dreaming and telepathy are all claimed to be gained, at least temporarily , through the listening of certain “tones.

So, what are Binaural Beats? 
German experimenter, H.W. Dove first discovered binaural beats in 1839.
 Two tones (sound waves) that are very close in frequency (but not exactly the same), are played separately into each ear (one tone in the left ear, the other separately in the right ear). The resulting effect the listener hears is a single tone that varies in amplitude, but is equal to frequency difference between the two original tones.

 Through various studies, it has been claimed that binaural beats influence on electrical stimulation within the brain. Studies via EEG have shown that the effect may affect states of consciousness.
Various studies have claimed that binaural beats can be used to stop migraines, boost creativity, help prolong concentration and alter mood. The effect has also been dubbed a “digital drug” as some scientist claim similar effects to hallucinogens can be obtained in some people, using the right tones.
 There are claims that the CIA studies into binaural beats were aimed at mind control techniques. Some conspiracy theory claimants believe that binaural beats are subliminally hidden in modern music, and with today wave of head phone wearing young people, they are unwittingly being led consumerism through the hidden tones. 

 On the opposite side of the argument, sceptics point to the power of suggestion as one cause of the claimed brain activity cited by the Monroe Institute. A Japanese study found great variabilities in results, and concluded, that, although the cerebral cortex may contain more activity whilst listening, the frequency does probably not cause the brain activity itself. (Journal of Neurophysiology 2006)
Whether Binaural Beats can do what it is claimed, some ghost hunting teams are beginning to use the phenomena to help with their ghost hunting investigations. They begin with a meditative session of Binaural Beats to help “open their senses” before entering the location, in the hope that the frequency attunement will lend to gathering paranormal evidence. 

 While there is no real reason the “beats” will help bring about paranormal evidence, it most certainly can induce an internal environment that leads to a “personal experience”, and for some, personal experience is becoming more important than the collection of possible paranormal phenomena, and that’s ok. 

So ghost hunters looking to try something different, why not give it a go and see what happens, and if you do have an experience that you feel is significant, head to the “Eidolon Paranormal” facebook page and tell us about it!

Further reading from the Monroe Institute:
Accessing Anomalous States of Consciousness with a Binaural Beat Technology https://www.monroeinstitute.org/article/3001
Using Binaural Beats to Enhance Attention
Binaural Auditory Beats Affect Vigilance Performance & Mood

Binaural Beats Examples: http://healingbeats.com/play.html

Binaural Beats experiences (forum): http://www.diydharma.org/keywords/binaural-beats


Binaural Auditory Beats Affect Vigilance Performance & Mood | The Monroe Institute. 2017. Binaural Auditory Beats Affect Vigilance Performance & Mood | The Monroe Institute. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.monroeinstitute.org/article/2664. [Accessed 02 March 2017].
Dunning B, 2009, Binaural beats digital drugs, Skeptoid Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena, viewed 2 March 2017, https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4147
Free Binaural beats: This is your brain on binaural beats - sound meditation. 2017. Free Binaural beats: This is your brain on binaural beats - sound meditation. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.noiseaddicts.com/2008/09/this-is-your-brain-on-binaural-beats/. [Accessed 02 March 2017].
Karino S & Yumoto M & Itoh K & Uno A & Yamakawa K & Sekimoto S & Kaga K, 2006, Neuromagnetic responses to binaural beat in human cerebral cortex, Journal of Neurophysiology, viewed 2 March 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16790592?ordinalpos=8&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Reedjik, SA & Bolders, A & Hommel, B, 2013, The impact of binaural beats on creativity, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, viewed 2 Mar 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3827550/

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Dreamcatchers - Good or Evil?

Dream Catchers, a Native American tradition are intended to protect a sleeping individual from negative dreams while allowing positive dreams to enter the sleeping person.
Positive dreams, it is believed, would slip through the hole at the centre of the dream catcher, gliding down the feathers at the bottom, and into the mind of the sleeping person.
The negative dreams would get caught in the web, and at the first rays of sunlight in the morning, be destroyed.

One of my Wife, Karen's dreamcatchers
The origin of dream-catchers begins with the Ojibwe, or Chippewa, and the Lakota peoples of Sioux Tribes of Native Americans.

The Lakota People’s tradition states that a very long time ago a spiritual leader had a vision. In his vision, Iktomi (a human-spider spirit) who in legend is described as a trickster, appeared in the form of a spider to the Elder.

He spoke to the Elder in a sacred language, and as he did so, he picked up a willow hoop (hoops were sacred to Native Americans, symbolising strength and unity) the Elder had adorned with beads, horsehair and feathers, and began to spin a web.

Iktomi spoke to the Elder of the cycles of life, how we being life as babies, how we become teens, adults, then elderly, and need to be cared for again, like babies, completing the life cycle.

All the while, Iktomi spoke, weaving his web. He spoke of good and bad forces in nature and how they could help or hinder you in life, all the while weaving his spiders web.
Eventually Iktomi stopped speaking and gave to the Elder his hoop, now with a web spun onto it.

The web was a perfect circle with a hole in the centre. Iktomi told the Elder, “use the web to help your people reach their goals. If you believe in the great spirit, the web will filter your good ideas and the bad ones will be trapped, and will not pass”.

When the Elder returned to his people, he told them what had happened and showed them the gift from Iktomi. He explained that the dream catcher would allow the good tp pass through and filter down to the person, while the bad would be captured in the web and destroyed in the first rays of the sun.

Another of Karen's Creations
Another tradition in Dreamcatcher lore is that they were woven by Grandparents of newborns, and hung above the cradle to give the infant beautiful dreams. Good dreams would enter through the hole, and find their way down through the feathers, where as bad dreams would enter the hole and get lost in the web.

Traditionally dreamcatchers contained one gemstone. This stone represented the One Creator in the web of life. Sometimes they would be adorned with arrowheads and beads. The hoop (not always round) would most often be made from willow.

A traditional dreamcatcher will only have 8 places where the web intertwines with the hoop. This represents eight legs of the spider, or the spider-man spirit Iktomi.

I have recently seen several different people asking in forums if “dream-catchers are evil?” (Hence why I wrote this blog.)

I was intrigued to find out how, a traditional piece of folklore art, which has served a native people for centuries, can suddenly be attributed as “evil”.
It would seem this stigma has been attached through the teachings of Christians associating dreamcatchers as “talismans”. This attribution is related to passage 1 Corinthians 8 in the Bible, which talks about worshiping false idols.

So basically, the “evil” is someone’s interpretation of a Bible passage – take that as you will.
A traditional Sioux dreamcatcher

For others who have “experienced” some kind of “evil” while in the presence of dreamcatchers, (or any other symbolistic object), usually it falls down to a placebo effect where the person attributes a power to an inanimate object, or they’ve read something online, and through their own cultural, or learned bias, attribute the effect to the object. There is another reason – the person is just plain crazy (but no-one ever wants to talk about that!)

I am a Catholic, and my wife makes dreamcatchers, we don’t attribute them to being evil, nor have we ever had a negative impact of any kind from one (other than our cats trying to eat the feathers). I believe God created everything, and within that are the native tribes of the world, almost all of which are still linked to their spirituality, and that spirituality is linked to the true source of God, The Creator.

As for talismans, I wear a St Benedict Crucifix, just as many Christians wear crosses as a symbol of their faith, are they not a talisman as well? Or is it a case of befitting evil only where we differ from other people, to make ourselves feel like we appeasing God -who loves us anyway?

For more of Karen's work visit here:

Native American Ceremony for hanging a Dreamcatcher - http://snowwowl.com/naartdreamcatchers.html#ceremony

GotQuestions.org. 2017. Is it wrong for a Christian to have a dream catcher?. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.gotquestions.org/dream-catcher-Christian.html. [Accessed 05 March 2017].
Iktomi, spider trickster of the Sioux tribes (Inktomi, Iktome) . 2017. Iktomi, spider trickster of the Sioux tribes (Inktomi, Iktome) . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.native-languages.org/iktomi.htm. [Accessed 05 March 2017].
Lakota Sioux Legends of Iktomi and Wakinyan. 2017. Lakota Sioux Legends of Iktomi and Wakinyan. [ONLINE] Available at: http://nativeamerican-art.com/lakota-legend.html. [Accessed 05 March 2017].
Wikipedia. 2017. Iktomi - Wikipedia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iktomi. [Accessed 05 March 2017].

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Adelaide Mosque

Adelaide Mosque

In the quiet backstreets of Adelaide’s south west, not far from Whitmore Square you will find Little Gilbert Street, upon which you will find Australia’s oldest surviving mosque.
 Erected in 188-89, it was the first mosque to be built within an Australian City, and is still used to this day by local Muslim as a place of worship and socialising.

The Express and Telegraph newspaper described a visit to the mosque on June 30th 1890 (page 3), describing the building as the following:

 “On reaching the court shoes and boots were deposited on the ground, a small covered cloister was crossed, and the place of prayer was entered by a doorway looking to the east. It is an exceedingly plain, small roofed building whose whitewashed walls might recall those of a ''kirk" in some remote country district of Scotland.
 Immediately opposite the entrance is a niche about 9 feet high, near the top of which is a bullseye window looking due west. This niche is the mihrab or kibla, and is supposed to show the direction of Mecca, as Christian churches do that of Jerusalem.
 In the walls of the sanctuary are smaller niches, which do not reach to the ground, and where lamps and printed copies of the Koran are kept. On the floor are strips of matting, very necessary to prevent the feet of the faithful from feeling the cold while engaged in their devotions…”

…  “Leaving the place of prayer, we resumed our shoes, and the mulla pointed to a large excavation which is being bricked up just in front of the cloister. This is the tank for the ablutions requisite before prayer. It will form the centre of the little court in front of the sanctuary, and the covered cloister, or liwan, will be extended so as to surround it on all sides.
The effect of the pillars, the mosaic pavement, and the water in the Centre, should then be very pretty, especially on a bright day, when the play of light and shadow will come in.”

It estimated that the building cost around $450 pounds (in 1888/89)
Little Gilbert Street view of Adelaide Mosque - photo: ®2017 Allen Tiller
1to build, with large subscriptions tendered by active Muslims in Melbourne.
The initial interest in building the Mosque was headed by local man, Hadji Mullah, an Afghani man who had worked with the Overland Telegraph Line construction, moving material via camel through the outback.

View through arches of Adelaide Mosque to garden and pool in 1937.
The Adelaide City council approved plans for the building of the Mosque in 1887. It took two years to construct a caretaker’s cottage, and the Mosque. Following that, small cottages were built nearby to house unemployed cameleers, hawkers and the retired cameleers who were now moving south after their work had finished in the outback.
In 1903, the impressive minarets were added to the building, marking its place in Adelaide’s quiet, leafy back streets, and making the Mosque stand out, above the buildings around it.
 The Mosque’s minarets underwent some repair work in the 1990’s after they began to flake and crumble.

Unfortunately, the Mosque has seen tragedy in its time, the first occurring in 1896 when four-year-old William Mahomed was found drowned in water tank in the mosque yard. It is possible he was murdered by a local man who sought revenge against the child’s mother for an earlier perceived indiscretion.
 A near tragedy was averted between two old male worshipers in 1942. Two old cameleers One aged 70 (Izze Khan), assaulted another aged 87 (Sultan Mahomet) with a knife and an axe handle.
 The fight began after an incident the day before, when a woman climb into the mosque from the window of an adjoining building, Mr Khan followed her into the kitchen and said to her "Lady, you go out and go home through the door."
The lady then climbed out a window, and down a drain pipe, breaking the pipe on her exit.

The following morning the two men were in the Mosque, and began arguing over the incident. Khan then punched the older man in the face, went out to the shed, and came back brandishing an axe handle and knife, with which he beat Sultan mercilessly.
The older man spent three days in hospital with his injuries, and never fully recovered from the beating.

Today the building is still used for worship by local Muslims, and is often a feature in local history tours of the area. You can find it situated at:
22–28 Little Gilbert Street
Adelaide, SA

© Allen Tiller “The Haunts of Adelaide”, 2017
1890 'A Mosque in Adelaide.', The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), 1 July, p. 3. , viewed 25 Feb 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article208386804

1890 'SCRATCHINGS IN THE CITY.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 17 June, p. 3. , viewed 25 Feb 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108353211

Elton J,2017. Adelaide Mosque | Adelaidia. History SA, Viewed 25 February 2017, http://adelaidia.sa.gov.au/places/adelaide-mosque.

InDaily. 2017. Time and place: The Adelaide Mosque - InDaily. [ONLINE] Available at: http://indaily.com.au/news/local/2016/11/25/time-and-place-the-adelaide-mosque/. [Accessed 25 February 2017].
Williamson B, 2013, The oldest mosque in Australia, ABC Adelaide, Viewed 25/2/2017, http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2013/07/02/3794324.htm

1942 'AFGHAN CHARGED OVER INCIDENT AT MOSQUE', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 17 December, p. 6. , viewed 26 Feb 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128309456

1896 'FATALITY AT THE MOSQUE.', The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), 30 November, p. 2. (ONE O'CLOCK EDITION), viewed 26 Feb 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209078872

SA Memory. 2017. SA Memory Adelaide Mosque.  Viewed 25/2/2017,http://www.samemory.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=1454&c=880

1890 'GENERAL NEWS.', Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), 2 August, p. 28. , viewed 25 Feb 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article159550468