Essay 6

"Away with the Fairies"

"Anno 1670, not far from Cirencester, was an apparition. Being demanded whether a good spirit or a bad? returned no answer, but disappeared with a curious perfume and most melodious twang. Mr. W. Lilly believes it was a fairy."

- John Aubrey 1696

Following graduation as an electrical engineer in 1950, I came north from my native Wales, to the Lake District to work at the Sellafield nuclear plant. I spent all of my working life there, and continue to live in and enjoy this spectacular part of the country. My chief role was as an Instrumentation Engineer in the chemical plants, and, principally, within the Calder Hall power station.

Many and varied were the types of measurement made, and many and varied were the devices and techniques that were used. But of all this variety, by far the most important, and sometimes most difficult, was the measurement of radioactivity in its diverse forms. The measurements were necessary for the safe and efficient operation of the various processes, and - of prime importance - for the safety of the operatives and the public at large.

Alpha and beta particles, neutrons and gamma rays - all were there, all potentially dangerous and harmful - and all were invisible. But more than that, they could only be detected by their effect upon something else - a device that produced little flashes of light with each particle; the change in voltage in some other contrivance - and so on. Properly harnessed and controlled as in a reactor, these dangers became converted into a benevolent source of electrical power.

In 1979, and several years after my early retirement, I began to experience another phenomenon - one that is entirely invisible, potentially uncontrollable, dangerous and even "life-threatening" to the life of the mind and spirit, and yet of immense power in its benevolent form - but only discernible through its effect upon the human person through the mind and senses.

In that year I began to hear voices and experience the full gamut of spiritual intrusion and interaction. In that year,

"a 'presence' that I couldn't see, moved from the space in front of me, into me, and immediately my mind was charged with another 'voice' or provoker of thoughts, thoughts over which then I had no control, and which were not initiated by me. In my head began conversation as between two separate people, one of whom was me. I began to 'hear voices'."

"... Thus in almost 25 years I have never been free from intrusions that enter blatantly or subliminally into my mind and mental faculties, and forcefully or subtly into my body and senses."

- Extracts from my book.

My older brother is an Anglican clergyman, and from his late teens he has had a profound prayer life. From that time, and subsequently since ordination, he has been aware of spiritual presence, and the movement within himself as either he settles to prayer, or he consecrates the Eucharist. His mental response has always been - "If you are from God you are welcome: if not, please go."

What each of us in his own way is really acknowledging is that there are intelligent, freely acting "entities", "beings", "spirits" - call them what one will - and that they are able to move without restraint into the human person, both physically and mentally. In detail I can only write of my own experiences - experiences that have involved the intensely benevolent, the consummately malevolent and others of indeterminate behaviour. I am aware of the concepts of "earthbound spirits" and of "lost souls" attached to individuals or places, although I have never been able to reconcile myself with, or understand the proposition of "soul fragments": however, none of these are within my experience.

What I do know with certainty is that in every culture that has ever left a record anywhere on the Earth, this truth has been acknowledged, and a religion or philosophy has emerged that prescribes ways of living in concert with "spiritual good" and avoiding contact with, or the damaging effects of "spiritual evil".

In everything that I have written or spoken about these matters since I first became aware, I have had one purpose, and one only. My purpose has been this: namely to try to convince anyone who would listen or read that the presence of intrusive malevolent "spirits" is the cause of much mental disturbance. Undoubtedly it is the prime cause of schizophrenia, and may be a major component of manic depression, multiple personality, obsessions, compulsions and behavioural problems.

My experiences and resultant arguments are described fully in my book, and I can do no more than indicate a few conclusions. I do not write of anything that could be described as "spirit release", because the unwanted spirits with which one is dealing are intelligent, cunning and have free will. Instead I have written to inform and encourage and to suggest ways of coping and regaining control.

I have tried to be careful in that I do not suggest that every mental aberration is the result of adverse spiritual activity. This was a danger that became manifest during the last major "spirit release" movement - at the time of the so-called "charismatic renewal" of the nineteen seventies and eighties.

Believing that the "charisms" - the gifts of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost - were for everyone, lay and ordained alike, many groups were formed, many were speaking in tongues, and many were trying individual or group "exorcisms". There was much uncontrolled enthusiasm, and there were acknowledged instances of minds being damaged by, particularly, the DIY exorcisms. (And even now, for only recently I read of an eight year old autistic boy in Milwaukee who died wrapped in sheets in a church service to "exorcise evil spirits".)

Undoubtedly there are responsible minds at work in the current and growing awareness, and several and varied are the books now available that record the work and practices. However, there are also those who are regarding "spirit release" as another "Brownie badge" to sew on their sleeve, alongside Reiki, hypnotism and hypnotherapy, past life regression and Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), channelling and "readings", aromatherapy, shamanism, et al.

There is already a seriously debased currency in the training and practice offered in some of these and other "complementary" activities. In Reiki, for the expenditure of two weekends and £550, one can become a Reiki Master, capable of "training and empowering" other aspirants; two weekends in which one can "... learn many professional (sic) techniques and possibly heal or cure ... psychic attack, auric knots, lost spirits ... as well as Rainbow Reiki, NLP ...". There are allegedly some who will offer "empowerment" over the phone!

The Web will reveal a number of sites that offer training in hypnotism and hypnotherapy - "training" that involves no actual contact between the trainer and aspirant, only taped sessions, with a final certificate that guarantees access to a lucrative source of income in activities that include past life regression and NLP - "Jump start your career for the Millennium" said one advert.

I once underwent hypnotism that was practised by someone whom I knew to be competent and well trained. As I was about to be "submerged" I felt my person being entered by a spiritual entity, and was still sufficiently alert to hold myself back from the deep state of hypnosis. I was aware that had I carried on I could have been used and spoken through, as would be a psychic medium. This to me is one of the greatest dangers of hypnotism and regression - how can anyone possibly know what is going on or "who" is speaking through the one being "regressed"?

Equally damaging is the stage hypnotist - opening minds in a very charged atmosphere - for "entertainment". The human mind with its vulnerability to spiritual intrusion should not be treated merely as a source of income for entertainers, no matter how great the reputation that they have acquired. "The fastest way to learn stage hypnotism and enhance your income" said yet another Web site.

It is possible to buy DIY books on how to "channel" - how to "give oneself "psychic protection"; work with guides and angels; conduct channelled readings" - and no doubt contribute to the flood of wisdom that is poured out in constant stream from "Ascended Masters" - with names that range from Aldebran to Zed. A weekend workshop will produce a certificate in Aromatherapy, the practice of which can involve the use of oils that have been demonstrated as having profound effects upon the moods and mental states of susceptible individuals.

"Shamanism" leaves me completely baffled, for I just cannot bridge what I see as the vast gulf between those who identify themselves as "shaymans", and the picture that I derive from the description in Encyclopaedia Britannica of the origins, upbringing and subsequent life, and the "sorcery and magic", of the genuine Siberian Shaman. [Wikipedia]

The human mind and spirit are not there as playgrounds for the dilettante or dabbler. Even the professionals in the workings of the mind can make serious mistakes, as I found to my cost when my own mind was in dire danger of suffering serious and permanent damage as the result of a medical misdiagnosis, inappropriate and totally unnecessary medication, and the machinations of a consultant psychiatrist who could admit in correspondence to "lacunae in my training".

Concerning the potential dangers to my "spirit", I was the author of my own peril through the innocent and gullible use of a pendulum in dowsing. However, if I had not done so, I would not have been able to write as I have done, nor to be constant and insistent, as I shall be while I live, in declaring that spiritual intrusion is a reality, and is the source and cause of many cases of mental disturbance and illness. Conversely, I am equally insistent in my acknowledgement of the existence of a powerful and universal source of benevolent spirituality.

As for the fairies - well, I am sure that you can make up your own mind about them, although, having said that, I once knew a lady, alas now dead, who had a pencil drawing that she had made from sight of a fairy that she had seen among the flowers in her garden. It was an excellent drawing ...


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