Graveyards, Places of Pilgrimage?

It was an odd thought that came to my mind as we were talking at Harlam. As Harlin had that day gone to the Golden Temple what Lamo thought of as a sort of pilgrimage. He is not sure why but he had the following thought form in his mind in how it would be nice to have a place of pilgrimage for his own self.

Whilst I, (Lamo), am not a truly religious person, I am very spiritual and in fact becoming more so of late. It struck me that perhaps a pilgrimage for me would be to my mother’s grave site, (She passed in early 2001). Then I started to think about this in that the grave site is just the location where the empty shell for her soul is housed that is now being absorbed back into the star dust cycle of the Universe. Gravestone Yet the remnants of where her soul made the transition from this world to the next, is more likely to be found where she actually died. This is the way my mind interprets the idea, so it would not be hanging around that graveyard would it? Even then it is more or less irrelevant for her soul is now within the spiritual realm which is not bound by the physical confines of the space and time our physical shells inhabit during their lifetime.

As I thought about this more, my belief has always been that it does not matter where you might be at the time when you want to have a spiritual conversation, for it is not in any way based on your physical proximity in this world. For the soul you wish to address now has no boundaries within our time and space. I believe that those willing to close their eyes and have a conversation with the spirit they seek, (Or equally the God of their choice), then the one they seek will hear and respond to them if they choose to. We have to accept that they may not always answer even though they will always here the thoughts of words we send them.

I think that going to a grave site shows a sign of respect when people seek to have these conversations, yet I think it then becomes a limiting ideology that you need to be there for them to hear you or even for them to respond. Surely you can talk to that person, who may be long since gone from the physical world, no matter where you are in this world? Then they are always with you if you need them, for they are just waiting for you to talk, or seek them out, no matter the reason. The same with God’s also holds true to me, they too are not solely only going to hear you or answer if you go to church to pray. For again being omnipresent they will hear you no matter where you might be.

Sat watching a film the other night, “The Fountain”, weird whacked out Sci-Fi to say the least but had an interesting thought in it. TheFountain Here was sown the idea, (Pardon the pun here), that if you plant the seed for a tree, (Or any plant), in some ones grave then their soul grows into this as it grows. This I found somewhat against the belief that the soul departs the body as part of the death process. (For they died elsewhere away from this grave). Which begs the question how can this thought of their soul becoming part of the tree, new life, that grows above their grave have substance? This must imply it is possible that the soul leaves some kind of spiritual DNA behind as it were. Much like the physical DNA that version defines our souls temporary shell. Can this be somehow, absorbed from the dead cells of the empty shell, like DNA can be extracted from hair that has been cut from your head?

I find this a little disturbing for this would then mean that not only can you be physically cloned; you could be spiritually cloned, your soul being exactly copied. Yet this cannot be for your soul is a truly unique thing that exists, with all its experiences from all realms within the Universe. Thus if this tree where to grow with the imprint of your soul’s DNA it is not your soul for it does not contain your experiences. (It is just an empty soul.). The same as a physical clone of you is not you either, it looks like you bet becomes its own unique self as it absorbs its experiences after being created. Thus to me this myth bears no weight in its concept as beautiful as it is. (Plus we here at Harlam strongly believe trees have their own unique souls anyway, see our thought on Whispering trees).

Therefore I return to our grave site, in that this contains nothing but the now empty shell of that former being whose soul left it where ever they experienced their physical death.

It is not a bad thing as it adds to the respect you feel when you talk to their spirit yet as I say I much prefer the thought that you can talk to them anywhere, at any time, all the time, which I believe they would much prefer?

Some do say it is to remember them by but we do that within our own mind and we keep them alive there with thoughts of them from their living past. Rich memories of when they were with us, full of physical life not as a decaying shell buried in the ground with a kindly worded headstone.

Do not misunderstand my thought for I do think that churches, temples, those holy places are more like focal points where that which you seek can be felt in a stronger form. Not like a phone for this implies two way conversations but like a street light on a dark street, it as point where more light shines down upon you to experience. It allows you to absorb their light and in doing so see more of your own self, like you would standing under the street light.

These are pilgrimages not just to seek divine spiritual light but are there for self-discovery to coming from the experience that light bestows on you whilst you are there.

This is not the same as visiting a grave site, this for me, would not be a pilgrimage to visit my mother’s grave site for there were be no stronger spiritual connection there? Also is that I talk to her where ever I am when I need to, although I do not expect an answer, if I am lucky then maybe she, perhaps with other angels may send me the occasional guiding message. (Angel numbers for example.)

reincarnation-1Another question that springs to my mind is that of re-incarnation? Here the soul would leave one physical being to return in a new physical human form or perhaps an alternative kind of being that lives in our world. If this is the case then how can that soul answer those spiritual conversations from those that knew it from its previous life? We know that there is the possibility of past lives lived but then we also know that the memories of these are suppressed, which means so to are all those people we may have known in that previous incarnation. How then could these people left behind then ever be heard or receive any message from the relocated soul? Is it possible that the soul can exist in two places yet be the same one, is the part that we experience a piece of a larger. Not in the sense that we are all just part of one single God soul but that perhaps our soul exists in two or more realms. Yet the one we experience in the here and now of this physical world somehow is not aware or the communication is only one way. Our other soul part(s) can see this one but not the other way round. (Well not intentionally). This would then allow our soul, (The part in the other realm.), to hear and if needed to respond to those we knew in a previous life. Perhaps it would explain how re-incarnation works in that each of the new lives we may live are feeding back the experiences to the other part of our soul, unchanging yet ever learning. (Until what ever level of enlightenment is needed.).

In our research we came across some odd rituals but two struck as they have to do with the connection between the living and those now dead, through the physical remains. The first we came across, well this one is called, Endocannibalism. (Prepare yourself for this one!Endocanabilism For some cultures, the best way to honor the dead is by eating them. Before you grimace in horror to much think about it as these “feasts of the dead” are a way to forge a permanent bond or connection between the living and those that have died and moved on. It’s also considered a way to cleanse, or purge the fear that is associated with death and its tragic aftermath. These cultures believe that Endocannibalism is something the dead would have expected from the living being a final gesture of goodwill to them. You may be pleased to here that it is no longer practiced (At least not that our research showed,), but cultures who were engaged in Endocannibalism included the Melanesians of Papua New Guinea and the Wari people of Brazil.

The reason we mention this one is that thought about there being some presence left, a part of a persons soul, in the physical remains as shown by this old ritual.

It is not the only one that we came across, as another example is the Australian Aboriginal Mortuary Rites. Here following the demise of a family member, the body was placed on top of a raised platform then covered with leaves and branches where it was left to decompose. (This could take months of course!). Here is the part of interest in our thoughts here, the liquid from the decaying body was collected, then was rubbed over the bodies of young men, (Not sure why not woman?), as the believed it would pass on the good qualities of that deceased person.

Again there is another belief that there is something residual within the dead physical remains, which gets back to the original thought of this post. The original thought was  that Lamo believes that there is no part of the soul left within the dead body, that is has left this empty shell and now resides in the other realm, or as we have discussed, perhaps has been re-incarnated into a new physical earthly shell of some  form. That the thought of talking to those that have died and moved on through the physical remains is actually a myth?

Logic, (Ironically a construct from our ability to think!), tells us that all that we are, including the brain where our mind comes into being to create our self awareness,  simply all made from atoms of matter. The question has to be asked then, is our mind and all that we think, including the idea of a soul, merely the result of clever programming from the firing of neurons through synapses within the brain? Is our self no more than an incredibly sophisticated version that of what we term artificial intelligence, (AI), that we see generated by clever coding in today’s computer programs?

Lamo is a huge Isaac Asimov fan, there is a quote made by a character, Dr Alfred Lanning as follows when talking about AI in Robot’s;

There have always been ghosts in the machine, random segments of code that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols. Unanticipated these free radicals engender questions of free will creativity and even the nature of… the soul. Why is it that when some robots are left in the darkness they will seek out the light? Why is it that when robots are stored in an empty space they will group together rather than stand alone?… how do we explain this? Random pieces of code? or is it something else. When does a perceptual schematic become consciousness? When does the difference engine become the search for truth? When does the personality simulation become the bitter mote of a soul?

Are our minds no more than the personality simulation’s that are referred to here in the artificial mind of a Robot. That the soul is no more than a construct of our complex brain processing data from all the inputs of the human body?

Although there is no empirical evidence there are just to many things beyond merely coincidence that indicate that there is so much more to the Universe, including a soul, life force, that is free to live outside of this physical shell. Yet this leads to another question that is starting to haunt the mind of Lamo, how does the physical body hold on to the soul, contain it yet in such a way it is free to leave, does the soul come before the mind or when the mind is sufficiently ready it inherits one? (This question will follow with further thoughts from Harlam soon.)

(c) Harlin & Lamo The Lion 2018

Cats, Messengers from the Underworld?

It started innocent enough, (Like everything here at Harlam), with Harlin making mention that she had been woken the night before by a loud cat. Yeah you know those furry things that seem do nothing all day then disappear at night doing whatever feline things it is they do. Lamo though had a thought that struck him about this that prompted this post from us here.

It is well documented that these creatures, (Yes the Cats.), were revered in ancient Egypt, in fact far more than humans. UnderwoldCat Did you know that the penalty for someone to have caused the death of a cat, whether intentionally or inadvertently was death! (Yeah that is some serious Cat respect there!). Cats were even given the high status of being mummified when they died. Also the family that owned the cat would shave their eye brows off as an act of mourning, which was not be over until they, (The eye brows.), grew back.

It is also a strong belief that is was the Egyptians that domesticated Cats around 2,000 BC but this theory again has been usurped. (Yes that means infringed upon!). 130,000 Years ago those Mesopotamian, (The cradle of civilization, or so they like to think!), Farmers were breeding cats from a small family of wild Cats living on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Middle East. This technically meant they were, “Domesticating” this furry critter long before those smarty pants Egyptians! But we digress as this is about a specific thought of Cats, lets get back to that!

Although many believe it was the Egyptians that started the myth of Cats being the Guardians of the Underworld, this is based on a very loose interpretation of their Cat Goddess “Bastet”. She was Goddess of protection against contagious diseases and evil spirits which is not really the Underworld. Her only tenuous connection in these Egyptian myths was because she was seen for a while as the wife of “Anubis”, (The God of Embalming.), who was considered second in command to Osiris of the Underworld but that is as far as it goes.

For the Egyptians it is more likely in regard to their ancient Sun God, “Atum-Ra”. (They were incredibly passionate about this particular God). It was believed he would take the form of a cat on visits to the underworld. (Probably on visits to see Anubis and Osiris?). Thus we have the connection to that spirit world now being much more tangible. It is also legend has it that, “Atum-Ra”, gave birth to eight other gods and thus represented nine lives in one. Now we also have the explanation for perhaps where the idea that Cat’s have nine loves comes from to. (All from the same legend!)

However for the purpose of this post’s thought we need to perhaps move to Celtic Lore. (These guys were around about 1000-800 BC, time of the Iron Age.). The reason for this is that it was they who believed that cats were guardians of the gates to the Otherworld, guardians of their treasures and also bring to the people the wholeness, as a spiritual link between humans and the universe. This implies that Cats maybe have the ability to hear those spirits that have passed on to the Otherworld, whilst they stand guard of the gates. (We assume as our protectors to make sure that nothing nasty escape from there to our world?).

Going back to poor Harlin’s sleep interrupted night because of the kindly cat, there is a thought that forms. Is it possible that there are non-domesticated Cats, those with no human masters that are these Otherworld guards? Yet so like normal Cats that we would not be able to distinguish them from those we have at home so we do not notice them as they carry out their guard duties? (Hence why we don’t really know they actually carry out this important function?)

We went on to wonder if these guardians of the underworld gates are either trying to warn humans about a forthcoming demon or perhaps evil spirit that is trying to escape, (Or maybe has already managed a jail break.), from that world to this. CelticCat Perhaps a more happy circumstance is that because they are the bridge between us and this spiritual Otherworld, maybe they are trying to pass on a message. One from some one that has died and now is part of that other world where they are unable to send a direct message themselves to one of here in this world so they ask the Cat Guards to pass the message on for them?

One thing that brought us to postulate this weird sounding possibility, is that the following Chinese legend about these same furry critters was written.

In this myth it is said that in the beginning of the world, the Gods appointed Cats, (Why on Earth they would do this is frankly bewildering!), to oversee the running of this new creation. However in order that they could better communicate with the Gods they were given the power of speech. (This is the ability to speak to the Gods, not human speech!), Sadly though these feline lay about animals were more interested in sleeping and playing beneath the cherry trees. Three times the Gods visited to see how the Cats were doing, each time they were disappointed. (Proof that God’s  were mad to give Cats this task!). So on that third visit the Cats actually admitted that they had no interest in running the world so humans were nominated and they were given the power of speech. (The Cats had this power revoked!) Yet as we humans seemed incapable of understanding the actual language of the Gods, Cats still remained entrusted with keeping time and so effectively maintaining order.

Therefore if Cats once had this inherent ability of communication between the God’s and other creatures of the world, is it not logical to make the leap that this has remained within some of their descendants? Perhaps those that now stand Guard to that Otherworld? So when they are warning us or hopefully trying to pass on a message, they wrongly assume they can make us understand with their language, (Which we actually don’t understand because we don’t see its significance to us!).

Also remember that perhaps as part of this, compared to human eyes, cat eyes actually have six to eight times more light sensing rods, (Bits on the retina same as humans.), which means they can see a lot more in very low light. Ghostcat It is probably possible they can see other areas of the light spectrum to, ultra violet for one, which may mean they can see ghosts or spirits. Another tweak to their DNA for the task of being Otherworld guards? (The evidence for our thought does stack up here!)

Harlin also recants a story of a mother Cat who gave birth to three kittens in her back garden a few years back. Shortly there after another Cat, a male we think, came in to the garden and murdered, (That is the word Harlin uses.), the black one in the garden. Now for weeks after the mother cat would come back to that same spot and howl, like she was in emotional pain, at the exact spot where that kitten had died. Is it possible she was either trying to get the kitten’s soul to come back by talking to it? Or was she maybe trying to convince the kittens spirit to leave that spot in this world and make the journey to the Otherworld were it would find peace? The kitten being so young may not have understood the Otherword, what it was as it had not had time to learn from the parent or older Cats as it grew up. Again is this showing that Cats have the ability to see and converse with those life spirits from the world we all live in? (The mother to the kitten’s spirit in this case.)

Catluage (Cat-loo-arge), the new Harlam word for the language of Cats! (Yes it is in the dictionary, take a look.)

In conclusion we wonder is it therefore possible that the Cat meowing outside of Harlin’s bedroom window is trying to give her an important message of some sort? Maybe from a spirit of a life now transitioned to the Otherworld?. Maybe a warning that something nasty has escaped, or there is a presence we cannot see that the Cat is trying to warn us against!. Harlin is not the only one who enjoys this communication attempt late at night of course as many people hear Cats meowing but do they misunderstand its real meaning. (Rather than just being annoying and keeping them awake that is?). We think that there is some thought that Cat’s can be a communication bridge from this world to the next, we just need to learn how to interpret this language of theirs.

(C) Harlin & Lamo The Lion 2018

Should You Come Home From Traveling?

This was a question posed by a travel blogger friend of Harlam’s recently, (A travel writer), to which I didn’t want to give my honest answer because I did not want to offend her. I have written my answer but have not yet decided whether I will publish it or not, if I have taken the decision to do so, well then read on…… TravelWriter

Those that travel the world are not people I think should be admired at all. I know this may sound like a sweeping statement, perhaps written by someone green with envy. Now that I am not, and I shall now try to explain my thoughts without creating offence to anyone, if that’s possible? (This was written as an honest answer for her to think about.)

First, people sat they travel because they want to see wondrous things that the world has to offer. I will put a bet on right now that nearly all of these people have never explored more than perhaps 5% of their own hometown or country of birth, the place they say encompasses their so called roots. You do not need to travel very far to see amazing things for they are around you where ever you live yet most have simply never taken the time to see them. (Probably because they take them for granted and simply don’t notice.)

Lamo lives in the UK, London to be exact whilst Harlin is living in North India these counties are amazing places as are all other countries. I could spend all my time exploring London, (Harlin places like Chandigarh), and we would struggle to see all that diversity they offer up. Even if we needed a change of scenery, do we need to travel thousands of miles? Not at all, for next to no money, Lamo only has to travel 20 miles and I am in the amazing countryside surrounding London, or on one of the many beaches that adorn our UK shores. I can easily jump on a train and visit, Wales or Scotland with such treasures these have for people to discover. (Harlin also has the same opportunity within India of course.). All over the world people live in countries that they seem all too keen to leave at every chance they get because somehow they think the rest of the world is more beautiful? What a narrow sighted view this actually is.

Then there are those people that say, “Oh man it’s just such a better way of life, no responsibilities, carefree, you should do it” Wake up people, the world we live in works because of those people you look down on, that life you consider trapped you, these are necessary to make the world work. globe-world-e1454703024331 These are the people to admire for they are smart enough to know that the world will not work if we were to all take the attitude that persistent travelers take. We need people willing to work those jobs you look down on with such disdain like you’re somehow above all that. Do you not realise that if all of us were to suddenly stop, up sticks and travel without end, well the world as we know it would cease to work. But you don’t think about that unfortunately. Your attitude towards the working world I think is actually pretty unfair, ask yourself this, why should you very select few be privileged to live a life above that of the rest of us? You’re not living a better life, your living a lie I’m afraid.

“Oh but we’re doing people a service by blogging and writing reviews on places around the world”, is that how you justify it? We all take holidays, well most do, and we can all post pictures and write our thoughts about these places online somewhere like ‘Trip Adviser’ for others to read, you offer nothing above this. Maybe you would say, “But we have more time there and work hard to find those places that others may not find”. city-streetThousands of us normal folk go to the same places as you travel bloggers, I would guarantee that between all those people there is nothing you can find that they have not. Think about those that are truly trapped in their lives, that cannot travel at all, how do you think it makes them feel when they see people like you swanning around the world? You think it fills them with hope perhaps? Of course it doesn’t it makes them feel even more trapped and depressed because they can’t do that. They have to go to their mundane job because the world needs to keep turning so people like you have that luxury.

Don’t get me wrong travel is a good thing; I have no issues with the concept of a gap year, or sabbatical at all. Travel with a slightly extended time line but a year is more than enough before you then need to come back and be fair to everyone else and play your part in making this world work.

A holiday is travel that you really appreciate because you know it is a rare commodity, something to truly value, a reward for the hard work put in to helping the world turn. If you travel all the time, then it becomes of meaningless value, nothing special anymore. Even worse the longer you live in this unreal world, well the more you work not to have a place in the world because you won’t know how to fit back in to that life you left so long ago.

Do we think you should stop travelling and come home, yes of course we do!

(c) Harlin & Lamo The Lion 2018