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August 2008

Ferris Wheel by Jean-Baptiste Duret


Inside Editorial, by Jean-Baptiste Duret (p.3) Leo, by Elikozoe (p.4) The Cougar, by Mike N. Pedde (p.5) Christian The Lion, by Éric P. Lemoine (p.5) Tanzanian Lions, by Catherine Dumont & Jérémie Feldschuh (p.6-7) Whisper Zone, feat. Kenneth Mc Sween, Devonne Morgan (p.8-9) Pond Poetry, pictured by Mia DeLight (p.9) A Shaggy Dog Story, by Howard A. Reed (p.10-11) Whisper Zone (continued), poetry by R. L. Dudy, Howard A. Reed (p.12) The Last Horn Snake, by Bill Michaels (p.13) How Much is That Dogma?, by Sharon Mendenhall (p.14) Outside Looking In, by Daniel Gilliland (p.15) Exploring Mass Events: Chapter One, by Thomas J. Sherlock (p.16-17) The Orchestra of (Psychic) Politics, by Emmy van Swaaij (p.18-20) Kentucky Fried Science, a fable by Ken (Oba) Mc Sween (p.21) We Be Cookin’, by Marcy Singer (p.22) Bones For Your Fantasy, by Judyette Clarke (p.23) In One Moment, by Bill Pate (p.23) WaterWorld, by Rob Arteman (p.23) The Right Spook For The Job, by Bill Ingle (p.24-25) Man On Wire, by Éric P. Lemoine (p.25)



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photography by Tracy Marshall

Editorial Finding a Resonating Place Email for inquiries and submissions Cover artist Jean-Baptiste Duret Design and publication Éric P. Lemoine

ISSN 1760-4796 Contributors to this issue James Arteman (USA) Judyette Clarke (USA) Rick Daddario (USA) Mia DeLight (New Zealand) Robert L. Dudy (USA) Catherine Dumont (France) Jean-Baptiste Duret (France) Jérémie Feldschuh (France) Daniel Gilliland (USA) Bill Ingle (USA) Kenneth McSween (USA) Tracy Marshall (Spain) Sharon Mendenhall (USA) Bill Michaels (USA) Lee Muir (New Zealand) Bill Pate (USA) Mike Nelson Pedde (Canada) Howard A. Reed (USA) Thomas J. Sherlock (USA) Marcy Singer (USA) Emmy van Swaaij (Netherlands) We would love to hear from you Want to react on a published article, or submit your own? Contact us at No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. The views expressed by the contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent those of Wisp e-zine.


was born in August, and as far as I can remember, I’ve always felt a strong resonance with this time of the year. Mostly because living in the northern hemisphere I’ve always associated it with summer, heat and holidays. During this time of the year I feel an openness and a strong desire to explore the outside, and thus it is motivating me to go and visit new places in my own country or abroad. Using my body as a resonator, it becomes an indicator of my response to my environment. When I was young, I used books to go to these distant or not so distant lands (but always seemingly unreachable) and my body was already giving me an indication of whether I would appreciate them or not. I read many books, and that’s how I discovered the first places I could resonate with; and that’s how I found the motivation to go to these lands to discover whether I would feel the same things as I once felt with my imagination. Over the last few years, I’ve been in many different countries and I’ve discovered that many factors were influencing this resonance, and that it was not only a question of the place. The main factor at play is ourselves of course, what kind of energy we are generating so to speak. With no desire nor direction, there is nothing to resonate with. In physics, resonance is the tendency of a system to oscillate at maximum amplitude at certain frequencies. In this, resonating would enhance our own vibrations, amplify a particular quality, or some other aspect. Would it be the same as a bird using air currents to glide in the sky effortlessly? There is always a thrust for the take off, and then all we have to do is follow the flow. Any particular movement or direction is not positive or negative in itself, it only depends on how we direct our energy and what we want, what direction we choose.

by Jean-Baptiste Duret Another important factor is that the energy of a place is not static or homogeneous and it is influenced by all that live there. You can feel it especially in big cities where a lot of people are moving around at any time of the day. It is like weather patterns, always changing and shifting. For example when you are enjoying a conversation at the terrace of a cafe with a friend and suddenly a group of Italian tourists passes by. You feel the difference of the energy before, during and after (when it has become quiet again). It is a good indicator of your own energy; would you feel vibrant with the lively rhythm of their words, and would you exchange a few with them? Would you feel annoyed and sullen, irritated, glaring at them and hoping that they would notice how noisy they are? Or would you just let it go as the wind? For 4 months now we have been creating this dynamic place together. Wisp is always in motion, and continuously expressing different qualities and experiences. It is a reflection of the pooling of our energies, from the editors to the contributors and the readers. The continuing flow of new submissions and responses is the indicator that it is becoming one of these resonating places; one will resonate with a particular article, another one with the pictures and the paintings, and someone else with the layout. Each of us influence and support the movement. Don’t you feel how it has become easier? Don’t you feel how warm it feels also for those of you who are in the southern hemisphere now? We hope you enjoy this adventure as much as we do.

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July 23 - August 22

photography by Éric Lemoine


he eleventh major arcana of the Tarot of Marseille, STRENGTH (or FORZA in Italian decks) brings up the image of the Virgin and the Lion to evoke the theme of Force. Strength is nothing brutal here, to the contrary. It is standing for one of the four cardinal virtues (i.e. ἀνδρεία andreia or courage). This Strength tells us of moral strength, which is understanding and domesticating, persevering with fortitude and gentleness, to finally go past physical limitations. Elikozoe

Androcles and the Lion (Æsop's Fable) (translation ~ G.F. Townsend)


slave named Androcles once escaped from his master and fled to the forest. As he was wandering about there he came upon a Lion lying down moaning and groaning. At first he turned to flee, but finding that the Lion did not pursue him, he turned back and went up to him. As he came near, the Lion put out his paw, which was all swollen and bleeding, and Androcles found that a huge thorn had got into it, and was causing all the pain. He pulled out the thorn and bound up the paw of the Lion, who was soon able to rise and lick the hand of Androcles like a dog. Then the Lion took Androcles to his cave, and every day used to bring him meat from which to live. But shortly afterwards both Androcles and the Lion were captured, and the slave was sentenced to be thrown to the Lion, after the latter had been kept without food for several days.



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The Emperor and all his Court came to see the spectacle, and Androcles was led out into the middle of the arena. Soon the Lion was let loose from his den, and rushed bounding and roaring towards his victim. But as soon as he came near to Androcles he recognised his friend, and fawned upon him, and licked his hands like a friendly dog. The Emperor, surprised at this, summoned Androcles to him, who told him the whole story. Whereupon the slave was pardoned and freed, and the Lion let loose to his native forest. Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.

The Cougar


by Mike N. Pedde he comes here every morning. Never by the same path, but by whatever design leads her footprints to this place. There are those who would say it is her favourite spot. There are those who would say that those who say such things are fools. No matter; none of it means anything to her. The hows and whys do not take flight in the depths of her imagination. Only being. So she is what she is, and she dreams only of being a perfection of herself. Here, at the top of the cliff, she is complete in her aloneness. Time and experience have made her a fluid mixture of stealth and shadow. She is neither seen nor heard. At least not until it is too late for her prey. She had a good kill yesterday, a deer too weak to run far. She ate well and covered the rest to save. Snow is not the best medium for that purpose. Others would find the carcass; this she knew. Fox and raven, even hare or squirrel if it was cold enough, but not now. A hare could also be a meal. Here in this land she decides her place in life. And death. She will challenge any who come into her space. Soon, though she might allow another. Her cubs have grown and gone, and she has begun to feel the stirring in her belly. She will leave her scent upon the trails and see who comes to call. If he is worthy, she will allow him a few days – accept his gift and send him on his way. If not, she will simply chase the interloper from her territory – with a good bat from her paw to send him on his way. She will see. Solitude is her companion.

A flash of red from across the canyon stirs her from her thoughts. Movement at the cliff edge. It is one of the two-legged creatures. A human. Instinct tells her to flee. These humans bring death wherever they go. It is well known among the forest. Still, something keeps her rooted and she stays. To watch. There is something about this one, something strange. He moves deliberately among the rocks. His steps are well placed, as if he is at home here too. There is something else, though. Something unforseen. This one knows the dance. A strange quality among these humans, where everything is forgotten. He would not kill without need, and he seems to know the patterns in the movements around him. He brings a sense of peace, healing to this land. How very unusual. From her place in the crevice she is hidden. Still, she knows he can feel her, sense her presence. Instinct begs her to stay, to melt back into the forest, but no. Perhaps, for a moment, for this one, for this once, she will rise. And let him see.

Christian the Lion by Éric Lemoine The tale of Androcles (or that of Saint Jerome who was similarly said to have relieved a lion from the pain of a thorn stuck in its paw) are touching stories, but so remote in time that one could be tempted to think such “tales” impossible in our modern age. Cat’s eyes by Tracy Marshall

However, there is another strikingly similar and poignant story which has re-surfaced these past few years, thanks to the and care it needed would be too much effort viral diffusion of the Internet video-tubes. for them to handle. Unlike the others, this (documented) story A chance encounter with two actors having is set not so far in history. starred in a movie about a lion cub rehabilitated in the wild brought an acceptable solution Back in 1969, John Rendall and Anthony to their quandary. Bourke, two Australians living in London, came across the most unexpected item on sale in the ‘exotic animals’ department at At the advice of the actors, they contacted Kenyan conservationist George Adamson who Harrods. A lion cub in a small cage. agreed to help them reintroduce the British lion into its natural habitat. Somehow, they decided that something What then follows is a long and amazing story had to be done for the (yet) small creaof patience and cooperation with nature, as it ture, and they bought it. took some years to have the lion acquainted with other lions so that he could form a pride For a few months, they lived happily and establish his territory. But finally the efin London with their big cat which not forts paid off and by 1974 the new pride was without humour, they had christened ‘Christian’. Until they start to realise that established, self-sufficient and thriving in the his growing size, as well as the attention Kora Reserve in Kenya.

One of the most amazing facts which alone would almost occult all the other fabulous events in this story is that even after years, when his previous owners came to see him, being told he would not recognise them, the lion once named Christian did recognise them. And greeted them with a warm hug in the most tender and unbelievable moment. “Christian stared at us in a very intense way, [...]” recalls Rendall. “We called him and he stood up and started to walk towards us very slowly. Then, as if he had become convinced it was us, he ran towards us, threw himself on to us, knocked us over, knocked George over and hugged us, like he used to, with his paws on our shoulders. “Everyone was crying. We were crying, George was crying, even the lion was nearly crying.”

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Tanzanian Lions

by Catherine Dumont & Jérémie Feldschuh




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Whisper Zone Shift Tectonics... Presuming dominance Urbane continent Trading the heat of spent composition Actors intercept stark rejoinders In lyrical clusters In primal fabric Audience dreams of a platform entranced When linked through a process Of flavored conveyance Only suggestions Only ghosts

Ba Khepre, oil on canvas, by Ken (Oba) McSween

Wander the pitch Of silent contours. Ken (Oba) McSween


n my dreams he comes to me And we walk hand in hand Along ocean shores, mountain tops And castle walls His dark hair framing his god-like face His intense eyes burning into my soul Leaving me wanting... What more is said or done I cannot say For as the new day dawns He kisses my forehead Waking me from the dream Leaving my head in a fog Grasping at the memories That fade to black all too quickly Devonne Morgan



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Clearing At Dawn

~ Li Po

The fields are chill; the sparse rain has stopped; The colours of Spring teem on every side. With leaping fish the blue pond is full; With singing thrushes the green boughs droop. The flowers of the field have dabbled their powdered cheeks; The mountain grasses are bent level at the waist. By the bamboo stream the last fragment of cloud Blown by the wind slowly scatters away. Translation Arthur Waley (1889-1966)

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A Shaggy Dog Story by Howard A. Reed


’m giving up my online bingo time tonight to relate a story that happened on Saturday.

I went to the Mountainaire Tavern where I have lunch on Saturday and gave Linda my CD selection of the week to put into the music system, ordered a beer and a cheeseburger and watched the College World Series while waiting. The food arrived and I cleaned my plate and then went outside to have a smoke. I was alone on the porch when a car drove slowly by and pulled into a parking spot. I heard a car door slam and then the car backed up and left. “That was weird,” I thought. No sooner had I thought that, that a small furry dog came out from behind a truck and began to sniff at me. He was limping. His right front foot was crippled like it was broken. It didn’t touch the ground. He kind of limped hopped wherever he went. Sniffing, nudging and pissing on posts. That kind of stuff. Another car arrived and a lady got out and went to the door before the dog realized what was happening. He dashed (somewhat) for the opened door but it closed before he could make inside. Forlornly, he wandered off and continued to explore and when he was a sufficient distance from the door, I got up and hurried inside. Locked out again. I returned to my seat at the bar and got Linda’s attention and said to her, “There’s a little dog with a broken foot outside and I think he needs water. Do you have something that holds water?” She said yes and the next thing I know, the waitress is inside holding the dog and all the gals were all around her and this dog doing girl cooing stuff. Later Linda came over to me and said, “He’s delightful! What a wonderful little dog.” I agreed. She had decided he was part Jack Russell terrier. He was mostly white, dirty white in fact, and needing a bath.. He also had a spattering of black patches here and there. I remember a black-eye patch, like a cartoon dog, and a black and white ear. Otherwise he was dirty and needed a bath. He also had plenty of tags, but nothing that identified who the owner was, nor his name.



I watched what was going on and then Linda said they called a number on one of the tags that belonged the dog’s vet, and the person who responded said the best thing to do was to take him to the Humane Society and when he got back into his office on Monday, he’d find out who owned the dog. This was unacceptable to Linda and I made a spur of the moment decision to take him home with me. Immediately I thought of the cats.

I remember what Cathy Churchman said to me when I impulsively picked up one of the dogs she was training and then realized what I had done. I said, “oops. I never thought about it.” To which she responded, “that’s why you didn’t get a reaction.”

It also seemed like a good idea at the time.

Don’t ever rescue a dog during a dog fight if you thought about doing the right thing. Do it now!

I wondered out loud, “This will be interesting.” Linda laughed, knowing that I owned two cats —or rather, two cats owned me. I was concerned for Cecil. Axel could take care of himself.

I knew this too when I reached into the pack and pulled the little guy out. It really was a moment to remember.

Act immediately and don’t think!


Sometime later I asked her if she knew what dogs like to eat and if the little store next door had dog food. She didn’t know but was sure that they had. So I left the tavern and started next door and saw one of the cooks holding the dog and talking excitedly to a couple that had just arrived.

The waitress got control of her dogs and got them in her car and when she returned, she looked at me and I gave her the most mean Reed look I could muster and said with contempt, “What the (bleep) just happened?”

And, at that moment, the waitress came out of the back door of the tavern followed by three big dogs! It was shift change time and she was leaving.

“Bull. They’re killers.”

She said, “They were only protective.”

She returned to her car and drove off.

The dogs took one look at the cook holding Tyke (I’m calling him Tyke now) and they bolted for her, barking and snarling and before I could react, she dropped the little dog and they pounced on him!

Everything settled down and I carried him to his water and set him down and then went to little store and bought a bag of food. I returned to the tavern leaving Tyke outside saying, “I’ll be back.” Inside I collected my CD, paid my bill and left. I swear I could hear a pin drop as everyone looked at me.

She was yelling something to the waitress and in the meantime the dogs had this little guy pinned to the dirt and were hurting him.

“He must be a saint or something,” I felt them say!

No one moved. I had the image of the time when Sarah Woolsey had a cat in her arms when she left her house and suddenly the mastiffs that Paula and Eric (her mother and father) owned decided to attack Sarah. Sarah dropped the cat because the cat scratched her and the dogs tore the cat apart while Sarah watched, unable to do anything.

Outside now, I found Tyke in the arms of a woman sitting in a chair. “Do you know this dog,” I asked? “No,” she answered, “he wanted to get in my car, I just want something to eat.” “All right, I’ll take him,” I said. “Ohhh, another animal lover, god bless you,” she said.

“This dog will be killed!” I thought.

I snapped my fingers and patted my leg, “Come on buddy, lets take a ride.”

Without thinking further I stepped into the dog fight. I grabbed the little fellow by the collar and jerked him out of the pile and held onto him. He fought and barked and howled and struggled to get loose, but I held on not saying anything, not moving. But I was mad as hell. And the other dogs left me alone. It was like I shut this kill frenzy down immediately.

I picked up the bag of food I left on the rail of the front porch and went to Karmann and opened the door. Tyke was right behind me. He took a leap, which for him was like ten feet but only 12 inches and somehow got inside and we drove home.

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The distance from the tavern to my house is about fifteen minutes. He never stopped panting, walking, scrambling all over me and Karmann’s new upholstery. He never rested. When we got home I opened the car door and he jumped out and began exploring my front yard. Because I could walk faster than he could limp-hop I got to the front door, opened it and before he could discover what other mysteries my front yard held for him I called, “Come on, let’s get inside.” I didn’t want Cecil to bolt for the open door. “Hurry!” He hopped up the steps and got inside. I closed the door and then went to the back door. Immediately he found the dishes of cat food in the kitchen and gruffed. “Too much tuna and chicken.” Or something. Axel heard the commotion. He rounded the corner of the kitchen cabinet and saw a dog at his food dish. And if ever we could record a cat double take, this was it. He actually shook his head, turned around, stopped, turned around again, peeked around the corner went instantly electric-fuzzy-bushy all over. I heard a hiss and claws trying to get traction in the linoleum and he disappeared.

I called the Second Chance Animal Center and they said to call the Humane Society. By law they couldn’t do anything unless the Humane Society placed the dog up for adoption. The dog’s broken foot didn’t seem to matter to them. They could fix it they said… I called the Humane Society telling them about the dog, and they said that if they could not find the owner within seventy-two hours, the dog would be put up for adoption. This was both a good thing and a bad thing. I was really conflicted. I didn’t want him to be “put-down.” I wanted the little fellow to find his owner and if that failed, I made the decision to take him in. Also, I was concerned about shots and stuff like that. I didn’t want him to be rabid and bite my cats while I messed with the fact that I suddenly had a dog to share “our“ reality with. So I decided to take him to the shelter. In the meantime Axel had bolted out doors and took up a position in the corner of the yard watching the dog’s every move. His tail was bushy to the max and he was not happy. Final cat note: Cecil decided he felt a ripple in his reality and when Tyke and I were leaving,

A Shaggy Dog Story, continued from page 10

Whoosh! Gone! Somewhere. I have no idea where. It was like a cat blink-out or something.

k Tyke and I left the house. All I had to say to him was, “come on let’s take a ride.” That was enough. I went to the truck, opened the door and this time he couldn’t get in. The floor boards were too high. I picked him up put him on the front seat and he immediately went to the back and for the first time he stopped panting. I got in and we drove to the shelter. At the shelter, I got out and waited for him to wake up and then I carried him inside. I told the lady I was the one who had just called and I’d like them to help me help him find his owner. I asked her about his foot and she said it was a birth defect. “Lots of Jack Terriers have this.” They took off his collar and said there was plenty of information there for them to track down the owner. So I left, making sure that they would call me if they found the owner, otherwise I wanted to know when the Tykester was going to put up for adoption. Seventytwo hours she said.

Howard, seeing this “stray“ thought he would take him home with him. Forest, not content with simple solutions, decided to get into a dog fight, which he had never experienced before and does not think he wants to do again. He arranged for his Knight in Shining Blue Karmann armor to rescue him from the mean evil pack of dastardly canines and whisk him away to the other side of valley. Once there, unfortunately, Forest found two unexpected cats that were not happy to see him at all. Thinking quickly, Forest changed his reality and said, “It is time to be rescued by Sara Lee.” And along the way he thought he’d place some guilt (Plan B) into Howard’s brain, just to make sure Howard would not forget him. He was diabolically certain enough to know that Howard would rescue him again in the event that Sara Lee could not be found. As Sara Lee told me about the adventures of Forest it was all I could do not to laugh! Here is this little dog who has three legs and he, in one afternoon went more places, probably met more people and experienced more than any of the able bodied dogs in his neighborhood experienced in a year! Don’t even suggest that animals don’t create their own reality! Forest, the Jack Russell terrier is proof that they do.

So we separated. When I got home both cats greeted me with major questions in their eyes.

And now it’s time for supper and bed.

Cecil looked at the door all night.

I hope you enjoyed this story. It really happened.

Shaggy Charlie, by Tracy Marshall

I opened the back door and called him outside. I found some dishes put water in one and some of the food in the other and then started calling the shelters. This idea of a dog in the house was not going to play right unless I had time to figure out how to keep the cats okay with it.

Cecil appeared and saw the dog before the dog saw him. It was like an orange streak in time.

Sunday went and come Monday afternoon, I was talking to myself. Do I want a handicapped dog? Do I want a dog? Yes and no. When I got home Monday night there was a call on my answering machine. It was from Sara Lee. She said that she wanted me to know that Forest, her Jack Russell terrier, was back home and she was very grateful for me taking him to the Humane Society. She left a number and I called her back. Turns out that Forest was always finding a way to get out her back yard. She loves him but he’s just a handful, she said. As she talked I began to smile. And when she was through I knew what had just happened. Forest it seems, got loose, and was wandering around Mountainaire for a week. He “adopted” the young lady who dropped him off at the tavern. I doubt that he ever got that far from his house ever in his life.

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photography by Jean-Baptiste Duret

Tree Life I don’t choose to be alone, it is more a part of my nature derived from environment. Nothing again the re of them, but they all are so familiar to one another as if that gives them comfort. My aying apart has enabled me my full potential, allowing me to realize and grow rong to take in more from life. I feel fortunate as if nature has prepared a special place with which to nurture me. What some may deem as being different, I feel is an opportunity, a freedom for expressionthere are no shadows for me to and in. Often how we perceive ourselves, and are perceived by othershas more to do with where we are, not who, or what we perceive ourselves to be. Remember thisthe same fore cannot see you for its trees. R.L. Dudy Dec. 6th, 2004

Neighbors, friends and loved ones we once were. Together we grew blossoms of fragrant memories in soil of mutual trust. Colors of emotion cling to each tendril, stock and vine. Here a green, There, reds and deep sultry blue. White, a carpet of yellow, all basking in the suns' kind light, removing shadows of angry careless moments and distrust. Stay precious fragrant flowers. Let the wind carry the heavy scent, to reach both of us while apart. Reminding us that we were once, and remain still, Neighbors, Friends and Loved Ones. Houston, August 1982 Howard A. Reed



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The Last Horn Snake by Bill (Ayyon) Michaels


t about this time of the year here in North Eastern Indiana when plants were exploding with growth, young raccoons and squirrels were being shown for the first time the world outside the nest, the butterflies were beginning to flit among the wildflowers and flowering weeds, and all manner of bees, flies, wasps, and insects were buzzing about in a celebration of life, my father killed a horn snake. Now, everyone today knows that horn snakes don’t exist and never did. Just look it up in a book or on the internet. In 1924, however, when such knowledge was gained from the “old timers” living in the area, a few of the oldest remembering when the land was put up for “homesteading”, snakes with horns were widely believed in. If you were to ask one of these old settlers who had carved a farm out of virgin woods about poisonous snakes in the area, he would have listed “rattlers”, “moccasins” and “horn snakes”. The belief in “horn snakes” was strong enough that the carnival folks in the 1930s would attach a spur from a rooster to a sliver of silver dime, insert it into a slit in a snakes skin, and charge to view it.

Chief among the scoffers was my “Uncle Earl” who had studied such things in college and repeatedly pointed out that only a “Pig headed Republican” would believe such a thing. During the Roosevelt administration, “Uncle Earl” got a job with the welfare department in the town where he lived, and was able to steal enough money to become rich and garner enough respect to be elected mayor of the town, so they no longer visited to beg food and ridicule Republicans. As Dad described the snake, it was rather short and thick, black and dark gray with diamond patterns, and of course the horn resembling a chicken spur between and just back of its eyes. I have thought a lot about this creature, and it would have been a good design for invading burrows of chipmunks and field mice. These small animals are quite plentiful, but are protected by tight fitting burrows, so it would be advantageous to incapacitate them with a shot of venom from the single horn and to pull them out by hooking them with the horn, or else with small teeth in the mouth. I personally believe that one of the last specimens, if not the very last of a rare breed of reptile was killed on our farm that day.

Dad was cultivating corn, a process by which a horse drawn machine with shovels steered by the operator’s feet was drawn down a row of corn digging out the weeds between the rows when he noticed the horses acting like they were concerned by the prospect of stepping on something. Dad carried a broomstick for the purpose of rescuing corn plants accidentally buried, and suspecting a snake went to investigate. He claims that the snake came toward him, and that he killed it with the broomstick. (Broomsticks were much thicker then than they are now) He noticed that it had a horn on its forehead, and recognized it as a hornsnake, the first one he had seen. Having no idea of how rare they were (you can’t get much rarer than “nonexistent”!) he left it lay. Later, as more and more people scoffed at his story, he began to wish that he had saved it.

The Horn-Snake, illustration by John McLenan (1827-1866)

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or centuries, people have been keeping their dogmas on a tight leash, and not allowing them to run around in the backyard, and get some fresh air. When I was small, I had a black and white, Catholic dogma, who would constantly yip in my ear, or bite at my heels. My dogma was very masculine, and was forever marking his territory, which happened to be my living space. As I got older, I began to notice that both my dogma, and my living space, had started to stink. By that time, my dogma was old and cranky, and I was tired of putting up with him, so I began to search for a new dogma.

How Much is That Dogma? from Diary of a Goddess

There are all kinds of dogmas in the world, but most of them are male. Some of them have been nurtured, and think they are asexual. Those types of abstemious dogmas aren’t very much fun to have around. I was looking for a big, bad, watch dogma, for protection against people who exhibited dogmatic ideas, and reeked of a noxious odor, that would always remind me of my old Catholic dogma, whom I mistakenly believed, had long since died.

by Sharon Mendenhall One day, just by chance, I stumbled upon a female dogma, that was so beautiful that I fell in love with her immediately. I named her “Goddess.” She is a wonderful dogma because she is intensely nurturing. Then I began to notice that most female dogmas are the very same way. They seem to be much brighter than male dogmas, as most male dogmas are restrained to basic left-brain activity, which sometimes causes them to be perpetually sprinkling testosterone on anything they can, and forgetting that other activities exist. Female dogmas have a phenomenal method for handling the male dogmas’ isolated, egotistic, and tyrannical behavior. Every so often, when the mood strikes them, they choose one, from a huge range of male dogmas (that are always readily available), and commingle for a brief period of time. I do admit, they are sort of locked into that situation for a while. But, female dogmas are never concerned about restricting themselves to only one male dogma. This tendency has given the female dogma a very bad name, however. So, whenever a female dogma is displaying her intrinsic and inherent predisposition, humans call her a “bitch.”



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I never restrict my dogma, and she never restricts me, but one day I noticed that “Goddess” was disappearing for hours at a time. I was curious about where she was going, so I followed her, only to discover that “Goddess” was having meetings with the other female dogmas in the neighborhood. It seems that, for some mysterious reason, all the female dogmas of the Earth have suddenly detected a high-pitched sound that has revived an ancient memory, and caused them to respond accordingly. I began to investigate the reason for their sudden astute and perspicacious senses, and what I learned is that, you can teach old dogmas new tricks. This book is about my investigation into the deep, dark recesses of the brain of my female dogma, to learn what exactly makes her tick. What I discovered, was intelligence so alien to prevalent beliefs that it is constantly shrieking for attention, because it was ignored for so long. This reminded me of a movie I had once seen, where the alien intelligence actually took over the Earth, and proved to be smarter, and more capable, thereby, saving the Earth from total annihilation and further trauma. This was not a popular sci-fi,

however, because it had a chaotic plot with absolutely no violence, or conflict, of any kind. I don’t think it ever even made it to video being considered too philosophical for the mass audience. The movie going multitude could not perceive that a fundamental principle of cooperation and acceptance could ever really survive on the planet Earth. For the life of me, I can’t even remember the title, but I am still searching for that movie, because I would like to view it again. In the meantime, I have noticed certain parts of other movies that strike me as being very profound in a symbolic manner. This caused me to want to write my own movie in book form, which I have done with the help of “Goddess,” my female dogma, who steadfastly sits by my feet, and bestows nothing but unencumbered love and support. How much is that Dogma? How much is that dogma in the window? The one with the mysterious tale. How much is that dogma in the window? I sure hope that dogma’s for sale. Woof, woof.

Feria Divine Feminine, photography by Tracy Marshall

Outside Looking In by Daniel Gilliland I’ve been moving away from the subjective realms lately, and trying instead to look at the outsides of things. I’m less interested in the content of channeled messages than the outward forms they take, and the actual worldly effects they have. Example: forget for a moment what (or who) you think Elias is, what he’s all about, or what he’s saying. Instead, what about the phenomenon that is the E forum? Look instead at the actions and interactions of the members themselves. How do we approach life, and what is being experienced and accomplished in a very mundane sense? This is the outside-looking-in approach. For a long time I’ve looked at religions that way. You know, forget what they actually say. What do they do? And I’m not talking about the sort of... naïve, knee-jerk response of “Oh, well they’re a bunch of hypocrites, blah blah.” No, I mean beyond that, even. As if you were an alien from another dimension entirely, with no preconceptions or opinions or value judgements about what you see. It’s very interesting from that neutral standpoint. And so I’ve been considering channeled messages in that light lately. I don’t think either particular view — internal or external — is better or worse. I guess a lot of this has been inspired by looking into Ken Wilber’s integral theory lately. It’s the idea that, you’re not getting a complete picture of anything until you’re looking at it from multiple, often contradictory angles. We’re all well-versed in the internal viewpoints of Seth-like philosophies. “Why/How did I create this?” we ask ourselves. But what happens when we — without abandoning or renouncing what we’ve learned from our inner-Self-centric pursuits — step back and look on the whole YCYOR1 scene with fresh eyes? So instead of reading into the meaning of Seth or Elias or Kris’s words, one steps back and looks at how actual individuals and groups implement those words and teachings in the real world. Look at it from the point of view of somebody who doesn’t believe this stuff — a sociologist or historian, perhaps. What is the effect of these channelings on the human race and individuals? What kinds of results are they having in the world? How has the New Age / YCYOR movement evolved and affected society at large in the last, say, 30-40 years? Put simply, what is The Shift from the outside looking in, instead of the inside looking out?

I realize I’m asking a lot of questions here, and not answering them. I myself am only beginning to look at it from this perspective. The idea is that this is a cognitive “flip” you can perform — shifting from the interior, subjective experience (where you as a person are attempting to apply these ideas, and thinking in terms of success/failure/improvement), toward an external perception of the phenomenon in terms of the very concrete, physical and social effects it’s having. It can be applied in the observation of groups (including online forums) or individuals (yourself, as seen objectively from the eyes of someone else who is not experiencing your inner world — just outward behavior and activities) Recently I doubted it was possible for my own viewpoint to shift beyond a certain plateau I’ve been stuck in, but these kinds of mental antics seem to be a genuine move beyond what I’ve been capable of prior. Suddenly I’m less enamored with anything channeled or remotely smacking of self-improvement, while moving more toward scientific/objective material. But somehow this process is altering my understanding of what Spirituality is and could be, to something more refined — and practical. Perhaps it’d be better described as a redefinition, for me, of what “spiritual” means: spurred by increasing doubt and boredom with direct metaphysical readings, I’m attempting to clear the table and look at it all with a fresh, more objective perspective. But instead of discarding everything I’ve encountered and believed prior, it seems to be improving my grasp of the sheer depth of physical experience and my appreciation for the invisible structures and laws which it has to rely on, in order to maintain this consistency and focus for us. I’m also starting to recover a sense of ability (even pride?) in using my intellectual, cognitive capacities, which I had perhaps brushed aside too readily in the past after having decided that they alone weren’t sufficient to probe into the mysteries of existence. The outside world is taking on a new relevance, and I’m realizing to what extent I was pushing it away, playing a game of peek-a-boo. In expanding my definitions of Reality, I’m accounting for some real-world facts that I was (semi-consciously) hoping would go away if I stopped looking at them long enough!

1 YCYOR, or “You Create Your Own Reality”

photography by Tracy Marshall

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Exploring Mass Events Chapter One by Thomas J. Sherlock

In his on-going review, Tom Sherlock continues his analysis of Seth and Jane Roberts’ book, The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events started in the second issue of Wisp.

In this chapter, Seth discusses the body along with other related phenomena such as illness, death, communication, natural rights and the greater framework. He also touches upon the goals of Mass Events.

Purpose Occasionally treating chapter one as an introduction, Seth explains the purpose of Mass Events: “This book will, then, be devoted to the nature of the great sweeping emotional, religious, or biological events that often seem to engulf the individual (p.22); “This book will be devoted, then, to those conditions that best promote spiritual, psychic and physical zest” (p. 33). He intends to provide answers to such questions as: “what is the relationship between the individual and the gigantic mass motion of nature, of government, or even of religion? What about mass conversion? Mass hysteria? Mass healings, mass murder, and the individual” (p.22)? Until Mass Events, Seth had dictated books dedicated solely to “the private nature of reality”. He wanted to ensure that private reality was emphasized sufficiently before starting to discuss masse events (p. 20). It makes sense to emphasize the individual reality over the collective reality because “inner reality and private experience give birth to all mass events.” (p.22).

Illness and the Body Conventional, modern, Western knowledge tells us that mass events such as epidemics originate from exterior causes such as viruses. Seth suggests otherwise: “epidemics … cannot be answered from a biological standpoint alone” (p.20). They arise from the needs and desires of all relevant and affected parties. They occur within a context informed by psychological, religious, philosophical, cultural and political aspects (p. 19). Such aspects “cannot be isolated from the biological results” (p. 20). While the body may produce antibodies due to an inoculation that it knows is counterfeit, having been produced in a laboratory (p.21), it will “often produce its own … ‘inoculations’ by seeking out … new and foreign substances in its environment” (p.47). “Illness therefore represents the overall body defense system at work.” The body survives with the help of illnesses (p.47). Furthermore, “no person becomes ill unless that illness serves a psychic or psychological reason” (p.21). Not only does the body want to survive, it also wants to “maintain a quality of existence at certain levels [in order to promote] health and fulfillment.”(p 49). Such a drive is often thwarted by modern “scientific medical beliefs” which offer apparently effective medical procedures that “only reinforce … beliefs about the body’s ineffectiveness” (p.32) In fact, “the majority of accepted beliefs – religious, scientific, and cultural – have tended to stress a sense of powerlessness, impotence, and impending doom” (p.54). Often such an approach leads to suffering or anguish for those who have relinquished power over their own body to another authority.



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Seth reminds us that “suffering is not necessarily good for the soul (p.34). Animals avoid suffering by engaging natural compassion. An animal will “instinctively starve an offspring while its consciousness is still unfocused, rather then send it loose under adverse conditions” (p.35). Children who “die stillborn” or who are “naturally aborted” are examples of natural compassion (p. 35). Often such children are “fragment personalities”, who want a taste of physical reality, but are not ready for a full life. (p. 35) Beliefs effect health. Those that foster apathy, despair or hopelessness lower our bodily defenses (p. 30). Despair is a psychic contagion that moves faster than a mosquito (p. 31). Often “victims” are assailed by apathy, despair or hopelessness first (p. 30). Most accepted beliefs, whether religious, scientific or cultural, “have tended to stress a sense of powerlessness, impotence and impending doom” (p.54). Such mental states imposed by political, social, economic, religious or philosophical forces will cause the body to retaliate. (p. 31) On the flipside, those who have survived epidemics such as the plagues of England “were actively involved” in helping to heal those smitten and were “untouched by despair”. They saw “themselves as being effective” (p. 32).

Death Death is the most prominent, and dramatic, of the secondary themes in the chapter. We learn that death is one more tool for fulfilling our value. Death serves both humanity and the individual (p.21). The very private death of an individual affects our collective existence: “part of the species dies with each death” (p.20) and “takes place within the greater context of the existence of the entire species” (p.21). In fact a whole civilization will die when the civilians see no reason to live (p. 33). Death is a necessity. It insures “the continued vitality of the species.” (p.23) It frees “the exuberant, ever-renewed energies of the spirit [when they] can no longer be translated into flesh” (p. 23). Each individual must die “in order to survive spiritually and psychically [because] the self outgrows the flesh” (p.24, emphasis mine) and “because the nature of consciousness requires new experience, challenge and accomplishment” (p. 39). Death is desired by those who die; it “does not come unbidden” (p.21). The desire for death is more prevalent than commonly believed. It just doesn’t get as much attention as the desire for life (p.24). A person desiring death is not necessarily a suicidal person. Seth does not condone suicide. In fact, if a suicidal person only waited for the wishes of his body consciousness to align with his own, he would die of a “more natural cause such as disease” (pp. 24, 25). Consequently, individuals who have decided upon death will “die in any case, of [one] disease or another, or of the side effects of [an] inoculation” (p. 22). Frequently a person will die young because he “originally intended to experience only a portion of earth life. This would be entwined with the parents’ intent” (p. 25). Hence, the manifestation of an illness serves “the sociological purpose

of providing an acceptable reason for death” (p. 24). Illness also serves as a “face-saving device” allowing to die those who have finished with their challenges (p. 41). Conversely, the desire to live is stronger than the conditions that might normally cause death: “No epidemic or illness or natural disaster … will kill a person who does not want to die” (p.24). For example, during “the great plagues in England there were those smitten who did not die, and there were those untouched by the diseases who dealt with the sick and dying” (p. 32).

Get out the Message Often epidemics are an expression of mass protest that occurs after more conventional social protests have failed (p. 31). Outbreak will frequently occur during wartime (p. 31). “Specific diseases have certain symbolic meanings, varying with the times and places” (p. 33). The unexplained disease that has struck many soldiers after the Gulf War could possibly be one of these epidemic protests. Disease is a form of communication, with epidemics focusing on public problems (p. 32). The body itself is a “spiritual, psychic, and social statement, biologically spoken” (p.45). Thus by simply being in our physical bodies, we are making a statement. And the “most private life imaginable is a very social affair” (p.46) since the “most secluded recluse” depends on the sociability of his body’s cells and the creatures within the natural world (p. 46) At a molecular level there is a “constant interchange between [the body] and the physical environment” (p.38). Man is “a part of nature and not apart from it” (p. 38).

Natural Rights One aspect of Mass Events that has surprised me is the reference to natural rights. During an election year in the United States it only seems appropriate to highlight them.

patterns whose final form is determined by consciousness and which our senses perceive in their own manner (p.19). Our physical community is nested within a cogitopathic1 community or environment (p.34). Our outer environment springs from an inner, psychic environment. The exterior phenomena arise from a moving, fluctuating inner realm (p. 38). A psychic event occurring in any part of the world will be experienced by all of us to some degree. Man’s effect upon the world makes for great debate these days. His effect is greater then most may know. Earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, hurricanes all emerge from psychic counterparts of equal or greater proportion. Such psychic events form part of the greater collective inner landscape, which in turn and in part, rises from our private individual thoughts, feelings and intents. (p. 46) At this psychic level, we are all connected; “there are no closed systems (p. 20). Such psychic connections allows for a self-regulating system: “You cannot separate issues like a population explosion [in one part of the world] from epidemics, earthquakes and other disasters” in other regions (p.25). Seth points out that ‘in wars, people automatically reproduce their kind to make up for those that are killed, and when the race overproduces there will be automatic controls set upon the population” (p. 25). He also notes that when “a species overproduces, the incidences of, say, epidemics grow” (p.34). It would be an interesting experiment to map similar events by color and to catalogue the time and location of such events in order to establish a relationship between superficially unrelated events. Perhaps we could anticipate and better prepare for unavoidable “acts of god”. Or, a more ambitious goal would be to examine our inner state to eventually draw the connection between the mass events, the condition of our body and our private, interior events.

1 WTF!?! I know, I know. Just having fun with English. A cogitopathic community is my pseudo-scientific term for community of thoughts and feelings

Seth says that we have the right to act (p.33), the right to exist (p.54). The right to act becomes effective in a life of joy, a life that acquiesces in itself (p.33). This brings to mind Elias’ acceptance and Kris’ allowance. Then, there is the right to freedom of expression. We must, according to Seth, have the freedom to express our ideas on an individual basis in a “worldwide social and political context in which each individual can develop his or her abilities and contribute to the species as a whole”. This environment would thrive on many ideas that are not universally accepted (p.51). It may be this innate drive toward self expression that will catapult us into an Eliasian post-shift world wherein individuals will act according to their own value fulfillment, obviating the need for money. Although I would personally opt for a detour through community issued currency, as it will make us realize that we are the source behind the power of money and it will serve as an expression of our ideas rather then a restriction on our ideas, making it easier to shed the need for money.

Greater Framework In order to understand the nature of mass events, we must “consider the even greater framework in which they have their existence” (p.19). We must consider the Greater Context. Our physical world is made up of invisible, configurable

Butterfly Haiku, by Rick Daddario

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The Orchestra of (Psychic) Politics by Emmy van Swaaij Let me share with you my dream adventure of 26th December 2006 and the results of my puzzling this morning. To make it easier to read I’ll include my translation of the symbols after each dream “chapter”. The dream will be in italics, my interpretation of it will be in regular type.

I find myself in the middle of a big gathering of people. An orchestra is rehearsing in this huge room. I’m fascinated to see that the room is a concert hall and political debating room in one. People are debating passionately, trying to convince each other of their own personal truths, trying to point out to the others where they are wrong. I’m feeling bored with all these discussions, observing them with irritation: why can’t we just start and make music together? This part is referring to the many debates that are often going on in life, and on forums, people trying to convince each other of their truths. Like political parties they are debating different topics. Sharing their point of view. The reason why I’m annoyed in this dream is that the people are only fighting, not having a constructive debate, and only trying to prove why their “camp” is better than all of the others. I’m literally bored in the dream by these non-constructive discussions. I also realize that to play the music of life different instruments are needed for the orchestra to be balanced. Each of the instruments is as important as the other as they work together. It reminds me greatly of how sometimes people like one particular source of information over another. Let’s say someone likes Seth’s approach over Elias’s approach, or the other way around, and then discounts the other approach, while in fact they are part of the whole orchestra, playing in the end similar music, just another part of it. (You can fill in any school of thought instead of Seth/Elias. I use it merely as an example here). This section of the dream also reminds me of the title and content of Jane Robert’s book: Psychic Politics.

Then someone explains to me that this orchestra rehearses on two days: Monday and Tuesday nights. On Mondays the debate will be included, on Tuesdays the main aim is to make music. I notice that I don’t have time to join both rehearsals every week. “One of the rehearsals you have to go to in order to be a member of the orchestra,” this woman says. To my big relief it is the Tuesday night which is the most important, the one without these political discussions. This part of the dream shows me that I prefer to make music than to debate, and it also shows me that making music and living life is the most important thing for the conductor of the orchestra, regardless



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of the “party” chosen to interpret life. Regardless of the world view chosen. The only rehearsal that you have to go to as a member of the orchestra is the making music part. I think this part of the dream can relate as well to the idea that in order to live your life it is not entirely necessary to know how it is built up, how the “engine” works etc. That it is a matter of choice to investigate that, and that it is not a pre-requisite to living your life in a fulfilling way.

Tuning my instrument I sit with my cello, I notice that the A-string has snapped and I put on a new A-string. I don’t want others to be bothered by this, and try to do it as silently as possible. Very carefully I replace the A string, then, because I have a new set-up, I need to tune my cello again. This part of the dream refers to my fear that others will be bothered by my process of “fine-tuning” my self. That other people might be annoyed to see me working on a broken string. It shows how people in general are afraid to show their “hurts” and “problems” and their fixing of these problems. Every once in a while a string snaps, every once in a while a string needs replacement even if it hasn’t snapped. I think it will be better to accept this and not be ashamed of it. Others won’t be bothered and I can also choose, if it is too noisy, if the problems are too big so to speak, to go to another room and to come back when I’m better. It’s all possible. People in the orchestra will understand problems with broken strings, since they all (especially in that section) sometimes experience similar things. We human beings all can have a “broken string” and need not be ashamed of the process of repairing it.

I do this by ear first… (the tuning) and then afterwards check if I’m in tune with my tune machine. To my big satisfaction I see that I am able to tune my cello by using my own senses, my ears. The machine gives green light for every string, accept for one of them, it’s orange. I focus on that string and tune it by ear again, later checking if I got it right and indeed, it’s in tune. Electronic tuner: when the light is red, this means it is out of tune. If the light is green it’s in tune and if it’s orange it is almost in tune. I use it often to tune my cello, to be sure I have it tuned properly

The in-tune refers to my fine-tuning, the accurate tuning of my consciousness. For example I learn to tune my consciousness in such a way that I can channel Defrene. I learn to trust more my own senses instead of relying on the tune-machine. This took quite some time. I might not be able to get everything right yet, but I’m very satisfied with the result. You always need to retune a string instrument, due to weather changes (emotional weather) or any other change you need to readjust the strings. A string instrument that is in tune, is in balance. If you learn how to tune your instrument you’ll be able to tune it however out of tune it has become. Sometimes you will need a reference to help you get in tune again (as the tune machine can be, or a piano, or someone who has an in tune instrument to help you get the tone right). This is also the case with being emotionally out of balance and getting yourself balanced again. We all get out of balance once in a while. Sometimes the tuning can take quite some time, but it is never impossible.

Then I look for my bow and notice that I have two of them, my old bow, all the hairs of that bow are snapped and I’ve taped the broken wooden parts together. I realize that I can’t use my old bow and will use my new bow. I lay the old bow apart, knowing that I will let go of the bow having appreciated it for years. I’ve kept an old bow, one that looks a lot like my new bow, but one that I can’t use anymore. This refers to an old aspect of my self, that I’ve used with much pleasure but that broke and needed replacement. I still kept the bow and sometimes I mix them up, trying to “create my life’s music” with that old bow. I’m learning to keep more distance from it. I also see that I can really not get back into using that old bow again, unless I get help and fix it. This will take so much energy and money that I’ve chosen to replace it with an entirely new bow.

Some members of the Orchestra go home after the heated discussion and don’t stay to make music. At that moment I’m worried that I might end up as being the only cellist there. I start to panic: If I’m the only one there, they will see that I can’t really make great music at all. Then to my great relief I see four other cellists there and walk over to them. They are already seated in their positions. I walk towards them to sit with them in the cello-section of the orchestra.

Orchestra set-up

Set-up of a symphony orchestra as it


continued on next page…

horns tuba



second violins violas conductor


first violins


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The Orchestra of (Psychic) Politics, continued from page 21

is in Europe with most concerts

Some people forget to make music, live their lives and are fed up with debating the origins of life. The other part refers to me being scared to fail, to not be good enough, not worthy enough, to be part of this orchestra. And that others will finally, if they really get the chance to hear me, decide that I suck big time. The other four cellists relate to people having a similar approach to life as I have. It also refers to channeling and that I’m not the only one who does it from this particular angle. I know that the material Defrene gives, has a lot in common with what Kris says and what Seth says for example. But because we are all individual cellists (Serge, Jane, Emmy, fill in any other name here), even though we all play cello and they sound similar, they all have their own tone. Our unique way of playing a similar instrument. Added together they make a great team. A similar message amplified.

I notice that I do have the music sheets with me but that they are still over the other side of the room. I can’t play the piece by ear, without music paper, because the music is too complex, there are so many layers. I notice that I also need to get my own music stand. In an orchestra people always sit together in pairs of two, but because we are with five people I will have to get my own music stand. There will be a place for another partner next to me. This refers to unconscious information that is inside of me, the score is inside of me, but it’s so complex that I can’t play it by ear. I need the translated paper in order to get it out there. I need my own “standards”, my own framework to put the music on. I will get back to this in the upcoming paragraph.

Music stand I could look at the music stands of the other people who are already there, but then I would have to sit in a position that is not comfortable for me. It will not bother the others, but it will be difficult for me to read because of the distance. I doubt if I will get my own standard. The director of the orchestra will have to wait a little bit longer before we can start playing because I have to take the time to walk to the other side of the room, get my music sheets and music stand and install myself in position with the orchestra again. I decide very consciously that I will take the time to do this, and I feel far more confident then in the past making this decision. Before I would always worry that people had to wait for me to be ready etc. Now I know that it is better for us all to take the time and space necessary. I could read along with others, but it is better to create my own space. I can force myself, when doing the channeling for instance, to do it in exactly the same way as Jane did, or as Serge does it (this doesn’t only count for channeling of course, but it’s something that’s on my mind often lately so I use this as an example). I will be more comfortable with my own standard. I will have a better view and can make better music



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if I do so. It will take some time however to get my standard up and running in this dream. I’m worried that people will lose their patience with me, but decide to take that risk. I know that the benefits of doing this at my own pace are far greater overall for the music-making. It’s the first time in my life I have truly taken space for myself to do it my way, and not worry overly about what other people think of me.

Then I search for my cello, I have one in my hand but I notice the A string has snapped and suddenly realize: this is my old cello, not my new one. I look around me and see many cello cases. I study the many cellos that are in there, remembering a particular thing I need to look for that is unique to my kind of cello. This makes it easier to shift to the many cellos that are there, but still I can’t find it. Every time I study another cello I think: “this is it”, only to notice a detail that makes it clear to me that it looks similar but it’s not my cello. I’m worried that someone else accidently took my cello, mistook it for hers and took it to her home. I keep on searching for my cello. I’m touched by the variety of cellos that are there, all unique, still part of this bigger category of cellos. Again, having an old cello refers to mixing up old and new, my old self and my self that I am now. I look around for my new cello. I look around for Who I am… now… I use studying the old cellos to define better who I am now. The old cello cases and cellos refer to all the other focuses I have had in the past and future. Just as others, I am always on the journey of figuring out more of who I am. Seeing all the varieties etc. The part of me being worried about someone taking away my cello might relate to the worries I sometimes have speaking for Defrene: where am I… who am I? When I talk for Defrene I can lose myself talking for her. I can worry she is taking away my individuality. I realize this can’t happen in the way I fear and that she is not trying to do that either. This part of the dream refers to always searching and experimenting to know a little bit more of who we are.

photography Jérémie Feldschuh

Kentucky Fried Science A Fable


nce upon a time at a bio-engineering lab in a city called Frankfort there was a team of research scientists, one of whom was named Dr. Ripley Talon. Dr. Talon and his colleagues made a ground breaking discovery involving genetically facilitated memory as applied to embryonic chickens. These chicken eggs were in incubation units and very near to hatching. The experiment involved inducing these creatures to tap with their beaks on their inner shells in a sequential manner that sounded very much like counting. This caused quite a stir in scientific circles when word got around that Dr. Talon and his cohorts could actually genetically “teach” embryonic chickens to mimic tabulation!

by Kenneth (Oba) Mc Sween

One day Dr. Talon sat daydreaming in his office engaging a fantasy in which his experiment resulted in exclusive features in all the elite scientific journals, replete with generous research grants, etc. While this was occurring, he neglected to monitor the thermal range control on his chicks incubator and they hatched far before schedule, rendering his particular experiment a failure. However, the other scientists involved in this endeavor having minded their duties, each ended up with a massive grant and were included in a prestigious cover story in Scientific American. Dr Talon’s incompetence unfortunately led to the termination of his employment… The moral: Don’t hatch your chickens before they count!

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We Be Cookin’ by Marcy Singer


o, speaking of good eats and good cooking, and if we weren’t speaking of it, we should have been… anyone who knows me for more than three minutes knows that I’m a great fan of Beethoven. And of course everyone knows what a magnificent and amazing musician and composer he was and how he changed the world with his music. But I wonder how many people know that at one point in his career he aspired to become a good cook! Here’s the story as related by his former student and long time friend, Ferdinand Ries, in the book Beethoven Remembered… Apparently Beethoven’s difficult personality was not just in social situations but reached down to touch his most intimate connections. He was forever hiring and then firing household help. He was extremely hard to please and took offense at the smallest of infractions.

Eventually when everyone sat down to the table and Beethoven began to serve, the dinner turned out to be quite… interesting. Several dishes were unrecognizable, and the ones that the guests could recognize were inedible. They all proceeded to push their food about on their plates in feigned enjoyment, while winking at each other in veiled amusement. Beethoven, however, ate heartily and proclaimed each course even more succulent and delicious than the one before it. At the end of the evening dear Ludwig deemed the whole evening a rousing success and saw his guests out with a flourish. They all gathered on the sidewalk below and laughed uproariously at the fact that not one of them had been able to eat a single bite. From that point on Beethoven went back to his composing and never again did any cooking. Apparently he felt that he had conquered the kitchen and that was all there was to it. And lest my dear readers think the guests were making fun of or ridiculing the great man, even though he was considered difficult and perverse, Beethoven was well-loved and greatly respected by many people, who saw the charm, generosity, and childlike wonder beneath the short-tempered, gruff, often angry exterior that he displayed to the world. From all accounts 30,000 people attended his funeral. He be cookin’!

So one day after firing yet another cook, he decided that he could do just as well if not better, thank you very much, and set about gathering up piles of books on ‘cookery’ and teaching himself to cook. Now Beethoven was an extremely intense person with a laser focus on whatever was his current interest, and so in typical style he completely immersed himself in his new project to the point that during the months that he was learning to cook he completely abandoned his composing. He could be seen striding home from the market, head down, arms clasped behind his back, brow furrowed in thought, with various vegetables and meats peaking out from the pockets of his greatcoat, and would then disappear into his ‘rooms’ for hours on end. Reports say that after many months of practice he eventually gained enough confidence in his cooking abilities to plan a dinner party, so he sent a messenger round to various friends with an invitation to attend dinner at his apartment on such and such a date and time. On the appointed day his friends arrived at his home and were greeted by a gleeful Beethoven, adorned in apron and with his unruly, wild hair captured under his nightcap. He hurried them into his parlor and then bustled out to the kitchen to finish his preparations. Dinner was to be hours late.



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He Be Cookin’, digital manipulation by Elikozoe ~ original artworks: Beethoven’s portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler (1820) & The Cat and the Cook by Augustin Théodule Ribot (ca. 1860).

Bones For Your Fantasy You dress me up with wings and lace sweetness, grace from skel’tal base you animate my soul with niceties and watch me fly then change your mood next day and wrap me up in protocol platitude and condescending tone label me with someone else’s words tuck me away your lesson for the day but here I sit naked, in my bones still waiting to be seen. Judyette Clarke Summer 2008

In One Moment You were a dream for centuries, a will-o-the-wisp, a gentle thought, then …

WaterWorld by Rob Arteman I recently began exploring a focus in a dimension that I would translate as the Hydro Dimension. A type of water world. My focus, Al G. Spertoely is apparently the head of a grime syndicate. Even so, I always seem to keep my hands clean and anytime the authorities think they can get something on me, it just won’t stick. I always manage to slip through their fingers. Then, along came this new mayor, a woman named Heira Caine and a district attorney that I've mixed it up with a few times and she always seems to come out on top. A woman named Olive Valvolina. It’s obvious they both wanna hang me out to dry. Heira stormed into town and shook things up a bit, but ultimately ran out of stream. Because it is the Spertoley families that provided her with off shore support. So we just let her run dry… However, the DA was another story. It’s like she could see right through me. She tainted water marked bills with food coloring and picked up some of my boys. They were hit with a wet/ dry vac during a raid on one of our laundering facilities. I know she’s just trying to flush me out. One of them’s gonna rat on me. I think it’ll be Lee King Hosé. He’d spill his guts even if you taped him up. Or Tai Tannic, that guy is a disaster waiting to happen. Of the three, the only one I think I can trust is Duane Trap. He gives up nothing!

So after condensing my thoughts, I think I’ll craw up onto a beach somewhere with my girl friend Dusty and lay low for awhile. I’ll give Valvolina 3 months tops, or maybe 3000 miles. With all of the grime in this city, her future’s looking black. Then I’ll be there to pull the plug and rain on her parade! While sponge juggling with my best friend Tubs, he told me that he could porcelain slap Olive until he knocked the pit out of her, if I can arrange a meeting with his ex-wife Bubbles! All their problems began with Tub’s idea of a proper ring. Bubbles works in one of my pipe clubs. I could hire a hit man by the name of Wayne Storm to bwoe her bwains out! Now sure, I’ve thought about that DA deep frying with the happy meals a few times. However, I’ve also been thinking about going straight. Sure it can be a bit rocky, but if I can learn to go with the flow, it’ll be down hill after that! Maybe I could do a stand-up comedy show at the youthful to be night club, “Fountain of Goof!” Or perhaps a tow truck driver dealing with illegal water parking. Piloting Delta Faucet’s water jets! Maybe I can be the next wave in consciousness. Addressing the belief system of imbeshells! Oh! I don't know!

centuries later, I found you, my dream of coolness. You are real, and for centuries to come, I will love you forever. Bill Pate From Within a Soul @ 2006

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The Right Spook for the Job by Bill Ingle

RealityTest: John O’Neill, will you talk about the attacks on 9/11?


he shocking events of September 11, 2001, still reverberate throughout the world in wars and new security laws and procedures for which the events served and continue to serve as justification. Many died on that day but many more have died since, after an angry populace assented to policies of aggressive militarism. Official explanations were immediately offered but with the passage of time many have questioned them, as they appear to be seriously flawed in a number of ways (See RealityTest’s explication of this situation in its Controversial Histories section1.) September 11, 2001, was also the second day of John O’Neill’s new job as chief of security at The World Trade Center. O’Neill, a recently retired FBI man and the bureau’s Al Quaeda expert, died that day, doing his job. Thinking the deceased O’Neill, possessing the necessary skills and desire, might be the very best spook to ask about the events of 9/11, RealityTest found a talented amateur medium willing to attempt to reach O’Neill and convey his thoughts. Did the medium succeed? No one can yet determine this, as what O’Neill had to say — which follows — has yet to be verified. Certainly many accept the official explanations, despite pecularities and anomalies in those explanations, despite the comments made by the co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission after the commission concluded its work, and despite the U.S. administration’s destruction of its own credibility after 9/11, during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. Those who accept the official explanations tend to deride anyone who raises the possibility of alternative explanations, while large media corporations invariably portray alternative explanations and their proponents in a negative light. For such people the very idea of a dead FBI man conveying the essence of his own post-death investigation is not likely to be taken at all seriously; nevertheless, RealityTest offers what it has obtained below, believing that the events will either be forever shrouded in mystery or, possibly, eventually illuminated by as yet unknown latterday Woodwards and Bernsteins (should the official explanations turn out to be truly as flawed as many suspect). If so, maybe John O’Neill’s brief account will serve as a source of inspiration. Only documented evidence and/or corroborated testimony will resolve the issue (this is so very difficult to obtain, apparently, owing to the destruction of physical evidence, the classification of endless documents, and other factors). In the meantime, please feel free to treat the following strictly as a work of imagination — a kind of creative fiction — or, instead, as the genuine afterdeath testimony of an FBI man, translated as well as possible by an amateur medium. You might also choose to wait, and see what the passage of time reveals. 1



John O’Neill Investigates 9/11

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John: Yes. I’ll talk to you. RealityTest: Have you learned more about the attacks since you died in the World Trade Center? John: Yes. I have. It is in my nature to want to understand the complete situation. A bit of “unfinished business” you might say. RealityTest: What do you remember of that day? John: I arrived early at work. I had just started my new job and was anxious to get things underway. I entered the building and took the elevator to a temporary office. Work was underway on a permanent office for me and my staff. The permanent office was to be on a lower level, allowing us quick access to any of the buildings within the complex. The new office was to be somewhat of a bunker, quite protected from ordinary bomb attacks. When the jet collided with my building, I was suddenly shaken as if there were an earthquake. I heard the impact and did not realize at once what had happened. My temporary office was below the floor of the impact. I looked out of the window, which had been broken by the impact. I saw smoke, dust, papers flying and heard screaming. I immediately suspected a bomb, so I went to the stairs and went down to the ground floor. There were many others in the stairwell and some were hysterical, while others were calm and methodically walking down. At one point, I heard an all clear, but I kept walking downward. It was my job to gather information and determine the cause and extent of damage. At this point, I did not realize that a jet liner had impacted the building. My first thoughts were of explosives. When I reached the ground floor and exited the building, I saw a second plane rapidly approaching the intact tower. At that moment, I realized that we were under sustained attack and that the impact in my building had been another airplane. After a quick consultation with a guard who had witnessed the first attack, I moved away from the building far enough that I could see the damage. I went back inside and took the stairs to my office in an attempt to gather important papers that I would need for further investigation. These included detailed maps of the complex showing hidden passageways which were used only by security personnel. These passageways were not doors marked “no admittance,” but rather concealed panels which appeared to be plain walls. They were known only to the architect, to some construction workers, and to a select corps of security personnel. Since I was new at the job, I needed the maps. I suspected that terrorists had knowledge of them, and might be concealing themselves within the passageways. I had reached my office and was searching for the papers when an enormous rumbling began and the first building collapsed. The second collapse followed shortly. For a time, I thought I was trapped on a stairway with a number of others. I felt no pain, and felt myself moving without effort. It was only after some time that I realized that there was no stairway left, yet there I was —hanging in mid-air so to speak. I thought I was hallucinating, and wondered if I had been injured or if some sort of mind-altering gas had been released. The others, like me, seemed confused and disoriented. We remained in this state for an indeterminate period of time. None of us in pain. All of us confused.

©2008 Jean-Louis Blondeau / Polaris Images

At that point I became aware of an impulse to move. I thought of my office, and with a quick uplift I was there. My office appeared as I had left it. Only gradually did I realize that my office was glowing with a bright yet indirect light that I could not account for.

Man on Wire

Then I began to move very quickly and arrived here, to what I know to be home. RealityTest: When you arrived “home” did you continue to learn about what had happened that day? John: Not at first. No. But later, I found that I could not focus on other matters until I had satisfied my curiosity about the event. RealityTest: In what manner did you satisfy your curiosity? John: Through direct contact, telepathically. RealityTest: Whom did you contact? John: I directed my thoughts to the men who were flying the planes. I questioned them. They believed that I was an agent of Allah speaking to them, and so they told me of many things. They were quite proud of their accomplishments.

by Éric P. Lemoine

RealityTest: Did you contact others? John: Eventually, I contacted many others. Osama bin Laden knew only sketchy details about the planned attacks. He gave money to the effort, but left the specifics to others. There were also other nationals involved, including Americans. RealityTest: In a nutshell, what did you learn? John: I learned that there are traitors in my country. I learned CIA knew in advance of this plan and had alerted high officials in our government. It was decided by various people within the administration and the Pentagon to allow this plan to be carried out as it would offer an opportunity for control of Middle Eastern oil and would be an opportunity for world domination. Instead of thwarting the plan to attack, these people decided to aid and abet the effort in order to be sure that it succeeded. Since it was known that the twin towers were the targets, demolition explosives were implanted into the structures so as to destroy the buildings, and thereby destroy any evidence of the explosives themselves. RealityTest: Were there other involvements by these traitors? John: Yes, of course. The facts were altered heavily, and a complicated coverup was in place at the time of the incident. The plan was based on the hope and belief that the attacks would take place as scheduled. They were corroborated by various surveillance films, still shots, phone taps, and the like.


efore they became a painful symbol etched into America and the world’s memories in 2001, New York’s Twin Towers had once been the set for a rather extraordinary and madly poetic feat. In 1974, after six years of preparation, 25 yearold French stuntman Philippe Petit accomplished what few may have even contemplated. In the tradition of tightrope walkers and daredevils like the Great Blondin (who became famous in 1869 for being the first man to cross the Niagara Falls on a tightrope, which he accomplished a number of times), on August 7, 1974 shortly after 7 AM, Petit started his walk on a 450 pound rope he and his friends had stabilized (in the most brazenfaced breach of the law) between the roofs of the two towers. This event and the circumstances surrounding it are the subject of a 2008 documentary Man on Wire, directed by James Marsh, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

RealityTest: Will you reveal the names of the traitors involved? John: No. It is not my desire to exact revenge. It would have been my nature in the life just lived, but not now. I will say this one thing: The president was not directly involved, nor did he have prior knowledge of the attacks.

It may be strange to look at it this way, but at the time, the Twin Towers had been much criticized, and Petit’s feat had helped them gain some popularity.

RealityTest: Do you have anything further to say?

In another flip of the coin, perhaps this movie will be seen as a reflection of yet a new change; our own delicate crossing between remembering and reaching for new symbols, to bring hope where there was fear and shock.

John: Not at this time. RealityTest: Thank you. John: You are welcome.

photography by Tracy Marshall

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photography by Jean-Baptiste Duret

The intention of WISP is to provide a place for personal stories; inspirational, light, humorous, challenging or anything in between… and beyond. We would welcome any kind of personal writing, artistic works, poems, essays, etc. Find previous issues and all published stories on our website... Wisp e-zine — Issue #4 — August 2008 No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher

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Fourth issue of Wisp (August 2008) see

Wisp #4  

Fourth issue of Wisp (August 2008) see