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AWAKENING AND BELIEFS by Dr. Harry Stafford

A new insightful blog entry from the Metaphysical World of GhoSt Augustine team member Dr. Harry Stafford, professor of Human Consciousness Studies and Founder of Haunted St. Augustine – our Paranormal Investigation Tour. After taken his PhD at FSU and Master of Divinity at Harvard, Dr. Stafford has been studying and educating in metaphysics, human consciousness studies and parapsychology for decades.

 

AWAKENING AND BELIEFS

The history of human culture is a history of beliefs. It is a history of beliefs

enacted in the norms and structures of societies. On a cultural level we can call beliefs

worldview. Science entails a worldview. So does religion. Of far greater significance,

however, is the worldview that is uniquely our own – the beliefs that inform our

existence, our self-image, our view of the world, our expectations and goals.

Beliefs are the assumptions we make about what is true. They define our

expectations and interpretations of the world, our actions, reactions and interactions. We

so take for granted many of our beliefs that we do not even recognize them as beliefs.

Maturing, evolving, awakening as spiritual beings – whatever term you choose

for the spiritual path – inevitably entails exploring our beliefs. We must learn what they

are, and how they help shape every aspect of our existence, especially the awareness of

Each of us is born into a framework of beliefs – a given family or caregivers,

a particular location within a larger society. Initially to a great extent our beliefs are

undeniably shaped by others. Even so, each of us is unique, and the beliefs we assimilate

or internalize become uniquely our own, bearing the stamp of our own identity.

Because our beliefs frame our self-image and shape our perceptions, they

become to a great extent self-fulfilling prophecies. They not only sculpt the shape of our

own identity, but our entire experience of others and the world. Because we take most of

our beliefs for granted, they are like lenses we do not know we are wearing. Beliefs that

work, or seem to work, we rarely question.

Another way of putting it is that we become the channel of our beliefs, their

living embodiment. Indeed they affect our bodies and our health, as well as our state-of-

mind, and the faces we present to the world. Therefore understanding our beliefs, their

source and effects, is crucial to becoming conscious and free. Understanding beliefs is

vital to any spiritual path. First we must recognize what beliefs are and are not.

Mistaking beliefs for knowledge curtails our growth. In the Medieval world,

Europeans knew – that is to say they believed – that the world was flat. That belief

blocked simple perceptions and calculations that proved that the world was round. On

a personal level, if I assume that I am an uncreative dolt, evil by nature or just average,

each of these beliefs will attract plenty of reinforcement. More sadly any such belief will

block the experience of my own divinity. Whether on a cultural or personal scale, we

must recognize that beliefs are not the same thing as knowledge.

Beliefs, then, are assumptions that need to be examined. This is our right and our

responsibility if we are to grow. We must determine what beliefs we wish to shape us,

and we alone can expose these beliefs to the test of effectiveness in making us whole and

Secondly, attachment to beliefs is not the same as devotion to truth. Beliefs are

patterns of thought and awareness. Rigid beliefs are shapes that imprison us as surely as

a physical jail cell. Truth is alive. It is dynamic, fresh, unfolding. Truth requires that we

remain alive, dynamic, fresh, unfolding.

Practically speaking, though the origin of beliefs is usually complex, they exist

in layers – like an onion. You may envision concentric circles as we consider this. The

outermost layer includes widespread assumptions, beliefs held by most of our species.

Examples would be the belief in linear time, or the objectivity of a material world made

up of separate things – things most of us take for granted.

A second layer of beliefs are those held en masse by societies though they

are not universal. This would include most religious beliefs, as well as beliefs such as

“democracy is the best form of government.” Traditionally, gender roles are another

A third layer, now getting closer to the center, are beliefs held in more intimate

circles such as our family of origin, an orphanage or similar institution, or perhaps a

specific parochial school. Often these beliefs are largely unconscious, like patterns

of wallpaper that have been in the same house for generations. These beliefs may be

expressed in mantras such as “we are the Smiths (fill in what name you will) and the

Smiths always . . . You fill in the rest.

Even closer to the center are beliefs that surround our core, beliefs we hold about

ourselves. These include our assumptions about our gifts, or ungiftedness, our roles –

husband, wife, child, parent, sibling, “oldest,” “youngest.” Often we act out specific

roles for the family: the rebel, the black sheep, the good son or daughter, the thoughtful

or unthoughtful one. These are the most intimate of our beliefs, and if we are not aware,

often the most unconscious ones – that is, base level assumptions that go unquestioned.

These are the beliefs we most need to recognize, to address, and to process. Why?

Because they are not the core of our being. That distinction belongs alone to our spiritual

Beneath all layers of belief is the truth of our own being, not reducible to beliefs

or even words. It is our essence – that which arises from the source of our being itself,

always unique and fresh. Call that source what you like – God, Spirit, the Universe,

Being, All That Is. Whatever you call it, it is the core of our being, and we do not want

to hold any belief that blocks that core, impedes its presence, or curtails its expression

through us. Even seemingly positive beliefs can become slogans or mantras that

substitute for direct spiritual encounter.

How do we encounter our own spiritual center? Throughout history, one way

is meditation, though there is no single format for meditation that works for everyone.

In general meditation helps us release all the ordinary contents of consciousness, to get

beneath the habitual self so to speak – or at least our familiar or ego self. Then we may

begin to experience directly our own timeless core, the perfection from which we each

arise and the freedom that is rightfully ours. I release all thoughts, feelings, and images

as they arise, and open myself to the still center of my own being.

 

© 2013 Harry C. Stafford

What you seek is already within you by Dr. Harry Stafford

A new insightful blog entry from the Metaphysical World of GhoSt Augustine team member Dr. Harry Stafford, professor of Human Consciousness Studies and Founder of Haunted St. Augustine – our Paranormal Investigation Tour. After taken his PhD at FSU and Master of Divinity at Harvard, Dr. Stafford has been studying and educating in metaphysics, human consciousness studies and parapsychology for decades. He has also for 10 years been conducting GhoSt Augustine’s H.S.A. Paranormal Investigative Tour. Currently he leads the tour himself 5 nights per week.

WHAT YOU SEEK IS ALREADY WITHIN YOU
There is nothing that you seek that is not already established within you.  There are no substantive barriers to your realization, only illusions that by their very nature must dissipate.  The intention to release these illusions engages the process of doing so. You are on your path of awakening now.
Give your soul credit in this regard.  As divine expression, the soul is imbued with the plentitude of resources it needs for your unfolded awakening.  Before you ask, all that you need is given in infinite supply.  Ask freely, for you are transforming yourself now and always.
Remember, your wholeness is, established in the singular energy pattern that is the soul’s archetypal nature. Healing, then, is always aligning with the soul’s expression as you, including your immediate and perfect archetypal wholeness that subsists in the divine field of your source and substance.
Everything that you seek to experience and manifest in your life is already accomplished.  Each of you remembers an experience where you suddenly became aware of an issue or goal that once seemed impossible that is now resolved, filling you with relief and gratitude.  That is because there is no time in the soul’s reckoning, but only an expansive present.  In that present field you are already whole, perfect and complete – the gift of the Place of Birth in Consciousness.
You are divine manifestation.  There can be no gap between divine desire or conception and its accomplished expression.  Without this simultaneous field of fulfillment all goals or desires would remain the captives of time, illusory like the ever receding horizon.  In a vision that encompasses the whole earth there is no horizon. All points coexist simultaneously in the singular globe.  There is no horizon in the perfection of your being, only your unfolding wholeness. All of your soul desires coexist as one in the expansive present.
You are awakening to this knowledge because it is already within you. It is accurate to experience your divine fulfillment as accomplished fact, a gift of Being that underlies and pervades your own being. There are no deficits in the Divine or in any of its expressions. This is the modus operandi of all true prayer, healing, visualization or unfolding: realizing the infinite wholeness of prime values and the divine nature.
You need not invest yourself in shadows or appearances, for they are without substance and have no linkage to the field of being.  Fears, isolation motifs, imagined alienation, separation or conflict, are illusions propagated by unconsciousness.  All must fade, dissipating or evaporating in the light of being.  Prime values are the measure and test of what is real and eternal.
All of your true goals and desires – as well as your character and nature – are implanted in your heart by the Divine, bearing its signature, sustained and fulfilled in your divine nature.  There they already exist, whole and complete, finding expression in the journeys of your soul.  This is your archetypal perfection, lavish and ecstatic in its unfolding as you become what you are, carried by grace into the splendors of awakened consciousness that await your discovery. You are indeed greatly blessed

© Harry C. Stafford, 2011

BELIEFS AND PRIME VALUES- Dr. Harry Stafford

It is important that you learn to distinguish between moral judgments about your beliefs and practical insight.  The former further complicated matters by evoking feelings of guilt or unworthiness.  The latter helps you choose beliefs wisely, as a master craftsman chooses highly specific tools that serve the refined skills she has acquired.
Beliefs are not merely tools, but particular or unique shapes that mold energy, or express consciousness.  We, of course, speak of beliefs you actually hold “in your heart,” not those to which many of you give lip service.  Living beliefs are organic forms, encoded even in your body and its systems.  That is why they may – and do constantly – affect those systems.
Each of you has your own unique version of any beliefs, so their manifestation will differ somewhat from one person to another, even though their beliefs appear quite similar.  Beliefs are like any other living forms: no two are precisely alike or identical.
Beliefs cannot be separated from values, for they express values.  That is, the actual beliefs you hold in the living patterns of your consciousness express your values.  At the depths of your being, each of you is not only aware of prime values, but is an expression of them.  Prime values are not precepts such as the Ten Commandments, but the deepest inclinations of Consciousness, or Being Itself.  Prime values inhere in the disposition of Consciousness from which all creation and transformation flow.  They are the propelling instinct of all authentic evolution, that is, the evolution of consciousness.  You can say that prime values spring from the heart of All That Is.  They are the fountainhead of all love or compassion.  They lead to justice, but not necessarily justice as your conventions dictate, but rather an exquisite justice that is enlightenment, transformation, compassion and cosmic harmony, balance and unfolding.  We are speaking here of the entire cosmos of consciousness, a cosmos that is multidimensional and lies behind and is expressed in every manifest world or reality.
Prime values, then, remain the touchstone of all beliefs.  Without a single word or definition you live out your beliefs.  When you are attuned to prime values, they, too, take shape in the living fabric of your consciousness and experience.  Do not get lost in an intellectual morass with your beliefs, my friends, but let them take shape from the deepest instincts of your being.  You do have a deeper intellect – the expansive intellect – that never contradicts the knowledge of the heart.  There is no excuse, then, for being intellectually lazy, for the expansive intellect serves both an enlightened mind and heart, and the two are in fact one.  The ego must learn to defer to – and listen to – the inner self in this regard, crafting beliefs from inner, living knowledge.  You continue to evolve throughout every aspect of your soul’s activities, so there is no point of arrival in this dimension or in any other where you become a smug or pretentious “celestial master.”

Solnia-2003

©2011, Harry C. Stafford

Director of Haunted St. Augustine Ghost Tour

THE SHADOW, DREAMS AND THE PSYCHE’S AGENDA

(This is part of a section on the Birth of Consciousness dealing with the Shadow)
The shadow is not evil.  In one sense it is all that you neglect consciously, and therefore at times may be allied with creativity and even a deeper spirituality.  The shadow is hardly static, and its contents and character are always shifting.  Neglected, the negative side of the shadow can erupt unexpectedly, irrationally, angrily, or even violently.  When the positive side of the shadow is too much neglected, depression can ensue.  Whatever its contents, the shadow seeks recognition, acknowledgment, understanding and integration.  This is why you cannot fully evolve without some awareness of your dreams.
       Now clearly, especially in the world you know, many of you do not have time to engage your dreams at length.  Many of you seldom remember dreams.  We have several points here: 1) Not all dreams necessitate, or are designed for, conscious recognition. 2) Even a very brief time – say five minutes in the morning – devoted to dream awareness can open windows in the psyche and help integrate its contents. 3) A shorthand for recording dreams – a few descriptive words, images or phrases – may be expanded later when you do have time. 4) Asking yourself “what does this mean?” may yield later insights when you return to the dream.
       You must understand that the psyche has its own design, and that is not to fit many of your conventions.  Your conventions will be far more satisfying and will serve you more when they are designed to reflect the needs and nature of the psyche.  Dream work is part of the psyche’s agenda.  To understand the psyche, you must be willing somewhat to meet it on its own terms.  If you reach out, it will respond in kind.  This is part of the integration of the whole self.  Many of you would not dream (forgive us) of missing your favorite TV show, but you easily neglect the far greater treasures of your own dreams and psyche.  Also, though you may find invaluable help from knowledgeable others, your own psyche is your best analyst.  You must learn to accept this function, however, and that includes some attention to your dreams.  Being playful with your dreams, even the dark ones, can yield greater insights than an oppressive or obsessive gravity.  Some of your dreams are “Academy Award” winning dramas.  Others are B-grade melodramas or horror films.  Some are potpourris of detached symbols or episodes.  Even a sense of wonder at the psyche’s diversity and creativity will yield insights, and will contribute to your wholeness.  The psyche will respond to your requests, though often in its own way and timing.

©Harry C. Stafford

Birth And Lucid Consciousness by: Dr. Harry Stafford

A Solnia Session:

Physical consciousness is only one stage, albeit an important one, of your birth into consciousness.  You do not denigrate the cocoon because the butterfly emerges.  In a real sense, physical embodiment and existence are a cocoon from which you will emerge as a conscious being.  The body of consciousness you need is formed in your physical lifetimes.  From the standpoint of your soul, physical reincarnations and probabilities are simultaneous.  You can and do have more than one dream simultaneously at times. Likewise, your physically focused lives and activities are simultaneous.  They constitute the cocoon or womb from which the fully conscious self emerges.  You may use various metaphors as you prefer, but in greater terms you are not fully born, nor are you truly free, until you emerge into lucid consciousness.
Your soul – your source – is awakened, and gives birth to the progeny of consciousness.  You grow into your soul and its freedom which is your own, even as your soul continues its expansion into infinity.  This expansion is not spatial as such, for space implies meaningful measurement relative to your physical position.  Infinity brackets not merely the limitations of physical space as you understand it, but all terms of physical measurement.  Infinity requires no space, and thus certainly is not limited by it.  Its “measure” is a qualitative one, signifying boundless creativity, freedom and diverse orders of being, encompassing, however, experiences that in your present understanding would seem to be non-being.
As you emerge into lucidness these conundrums will disappear, even as your species outgrew the paradoxes of a flat earth.  You now inhabit a round earth, and your growing awareness of it makes it more intimate to you.  Just so, though the emergence of lucid consciousness will expand your framework in truly infinite ways, your experience will become more intimate than anything you presently imagine.  That is because the more your consciousness expands, the more immediate and pervasive the presence of grace and prime values, and the more at home you are in your divine nature.  The field becomes more and more personal as you evolve, even as the personal becomes transpersonal in the field itself.  In a quite valid sense, your conception of separate, detached egos is not yet personal, for “personal” requires an intimate awareness of – and identity with – the living field.  To put it in simpler terms, “personal” means love – knowing the interdependent, sacred, living whole, present in every one of its expressions.  This is also grace.

©  Harry C.Stafford

GOOD AND EVIL AND THE USE OF ENERGY By: Dr. Harry Staffford

Creating dichotomies splits reality where it cannot be split, and establishes conflict of energies where integration of energies is what is needed. Fragmentation happens, and it always creates problems. The problems, however, are not solved by codifying the fragmentation as a permanent condition.
“Evil” is not a cosmic force of permanent standing alongside an equally separate good. This literalizing creates a duality that blinds you to the nature of energy and its proper use. Consciousness, deriving from the Divine always, is good. When you do not understand its true nature, or become forgetful of its source, you fragment that which cannot be permanently, or finally fragmented.
If you believe in a reified, permanent evil you cannot understand the essential goodness of consciousness or energy. What we call the “shadow” side is the unintegrated aspect of your own consciousness. The shadow and its contents are not static, but shift as consciousness shifts. Acknowledging the shadow is not acknowledging Evil with a capital E. Instead, it is acknowledging your need to be aware of, and to integrate, split-off parts of the self that represent energy and insights you need for your own wholeness.
When the shadow goes unacknowledged and is reified as a separate and independent cosmic force, it creates problems for you, for you do not see what you need to see to achieve a necessary phase of wholeness in your evolving. For example, it is easy for you to condemn others who, operating out of ignorance, create disasters in your world. Many of you assume that terrorists, with the beheading of innocent hostages, embody acts of pure, unadulterated evil. What are the terrorists doing? They are using an ideology of good and evil to justify acts that are clearly barbaric. What you may not realize is that if you see the terrorists as agents of Evil with a capital E, you are taking a step in the same direction.
Need we remind you that your bombs in Iraq have killed and maimed numerous innocent people? Are these acts then “good” because they are aimed at annihilating “evil?” Your own unacknowledged shadow is just as dangerous as that of your “enemy,” in fact more so because it lurks behind you, intimately poised in the moment. Now we are talking about energy and its use, so the danger is quite real. Unacknowledged negative energy, especially when it is rationalized as good against a reified evil, can kill and maim. It can also make you sick, directly undermining your own wholeness.
Good and evil, light and dark, right and wrong, body and spirit, being and nonbeing – whenever such dualities are given cosmic status or are considered to be permanent conditions of being, you are asking for trouble. Whenever you label others – any others whatsoever – as Evil with a capital E, you are cultivating fragmentation, conflict, violence or the misuse of energy. Indeed, at such moments it is precisely the time to look at your own shadow, and see what is hiding there. It may be waiting to catch you in a moment of weakness, ready to wreak havoc with energy in need of recognition and integration.
What about the seeming evidence for “evil forces” such as dark spirits, demons, etc.?
My friends, read what we have taught you about the imagination and its use, and about your field nature. Do you wish to empower such forces, hypostatizing* them by your own beliefs? When you do so you project your own shadow outwards, joining energy links with others of similar beliefs, co-creating and energizing the very forces you fear and wish to defeat. To be blunt, not only are Christian, Muslim and Jewish fundamentalists unwittingly in league with each other, any of you are also in league with them whenever you knowingly or not, reify or hypostatize evil, granting it substantial, independent being. In each case the irony is tangible and potent, for such “Evil” exists only by reason of the individual or mass belief in it. The displaced shadow, whether of an individual, a tribe, or a nation, whether of traditional religion, cult or new age sect, is energetic and will affect the one or the many whose shadow it is.
What we are counseling is not an unrealistic denial of the many “evils” you experience and witness. On the contrary, we counsel a tough honesty and lucidness, a willingness to face squarely your own shadow, to see through artificial dualities to the actual use of energy that is obfuscated by such literalized beliefs. It is only by understanding the most basic terms of being, including the creative capacity of consciousness to shape energy in a given field, that you will truly evolve and begin to experience the peace and wholeness you all seek.
(*hypostatize: “to ascribe substantial or distinct existence to; to consider as real.”)

©Harry C. Stafford

ASSESSING THE PARANORMAL:

THE MIND II

Energy does not cease.  It only changes form. Since the 1920s many physicists have considered energy to be “mind stuff” more than “matter” as we think we know it.  If mind is behind the appearance of matter, then we must look to the qualities of mind to understand the origin and destiny of the physical world.  The mind creates energy forms and patterns through its own projections, and our senses and perceptions specifically tune us in to that projected world.
With this in consideration, “hauntings” are very interesting phenomena.  While we are physically focused creatures our bodies carry the quality of “mind stuff” even at the cellular level, and our health and physical presence depend greatly on the caliber of our thoughts. When we die the physically projected self dis-integrates, but the mental pattern of our being persists.  We learn both the tenuousness of physical life and also the strength and timelessness of the consciousness that we are “before,” “after,” and behind all physical appearance.  From this perspective, the intent of physical manifestation may be to learn how to use energy creatively and responsibly.  This, it would seem, is to prepare us for a plane of pure energy where form appears instantly with the thought of it.  As long as we engage the physical realm as an arena of combat, conflict, separation and power plays we are not ready to deal in the living “vocabulary” of cocreation or pure energy.
As we begin to awaken to our energy bodies we also awaken to our non-local self.
The non-local self exists as part of a greater interdependent, living field of energy through which we expand and evolve. The physical realm seems analogous to the pupa stage preparing for this metamorphosis and the release of the spirit imago.  Hauntings may very well be our perception of remnants of the physical, as spirit strives to emerge through and beyond it into its greater freedom. 

© Harry C. Stafford, 2010

Assessing the Paranormal with Dr. Harry Stafford

ASSESSING THE PARANORMAL:

by Harry Stafford, Ph.D, Director of Haunted St. Augustine – Nighlty Investigations of
the Paranormal

                                           THE ROLE OF THE MIND I

        There’s a familiar saying “it’s all in the mind.”  All of us have experienced the power of suggestion.  We know how rapidly our attention can be riveted to something of appeal or significance to us – such as someone consuming an icy beverage on a blisteringly hot day.  Parapsychology recognizes how easily the power of suggestion can evoke the paranormal experiences that so many strongly desire. This is evident in many supposed sightings, interpretations of what we hear on EVP, or just the feelings evoked by eerie accounts of paranormal events.  What about a decidedly spooky setting such as a cemetery filled with broken and weather-worn monuments?
        On an even more fundamental level, we are learning the potent role mind can play in the very ways we construct reality.  The Placebo Effect has proven how sugar pills can contribute to healings if we believe these pills to be some powerful drug.  Demonstrations of psychokinesis or telekinesis in the laboratory illustrate how the mind may directly affect material objects apart from any ordinary physical contact.  What is most relevant to the paranormal, however, is the view of many physicists today that mind is at the basis of all reality.  Sir James Jeans once remarked that our understanding of quantum physics makes the world look more and more like a great idea (mind) rather than a great “thing” (matter.)  Most of the founders of quantum physics – such as Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, etc. – held similar views, views that are even more commonplace today.
        All of us — and all “things”– are manifestations of a vast, integral field of energy that is more like “mind” than “matter” as it is traditionally understood.  Our observation and interpretation of what we see and experience cannot be neatly separated from what we think of as a world or events existing objectively apart from us. In a real sense, there is no such separately existing world.
        Consider what this means, for example, for encounters with the paranormal. If we do not exist separately from the ordinary world, how much more true is this of the paranormal?  If we in part construct the ordinary world through our senses and our beliefs and interpretations of events, how much more true may this be for the world(s) of the paranormal?  If we project reality outward onto our everyday world (a well-known fact of modern psychology,) how much more may we do so with the paranormal world(s)?  For example, what is an “intelligent haunting,” really? We shall return to these intriguing and perplexing issues . . . Paranormal riddles are also riddles about the nature of reality itself.

©Harry C. Stafford, 2010

SENSORY AWARENESS AND THE PARANORMAL

The most direct means of encountering the paranormal is through the use of the five senses. Ordinarily, because of the physical orientation of the senses, they block out far more signals than they bring to awareness.
The senses are often quite acute when danger is present, linking us to the instinctual world of our primal ancestors. Sensory data then seems intensified or heightened, even riveting.

It’s probable that at one time in human evolution what we think of as paranormal encounters were far more commonplace. The boundary between life and death, between the ordinary physical and the realms of spirit would have been far more permeable. This seems to be the case even now with psychically gifted people.  As our species chose more and more to literalize physical experience, granting it an independence that it does not possess (for all is energy,) the closely linked living energy field we share with all else became seemingly more dense, opaque and separate. We conceived a world of objects rather than an animate realm of interdepedent subjects.

Primal peoples around the world have generally maintained their intimacy with nature as a participant living framework. What we think of as heightened sensory abilities or psychic/intuitive awareness remain far more commonplace. There is no abrupt break or chasm between what we call the paranormal and the normal. Evidence suggests that most of us can extend the use of our senses and psychic awareness with some training in harnessing these natural abilities, for example through meditative or similar practices. Learning to explore the paranormal is also learning to know ourselves more, including a wide range of abilities we probably all possess that remain latent until called into service. The paranormal is certainly one trajectory for expanding our consciousness, and deserves our respect for that reason alone among many others.

Harry C. Stafford
Copyright 2010

ASSESSING THE PARANORMAL WITH DR. STAFFORD PART 2

THE ELUSIVE ORB

Orbs remain one of the most controversial of paranormal phenomena.  The fact that orbs have become a serious consideration for paranormal investigators only since the advent of the digital camera is suggestive in itself. After 10 years of almost nightly research I have witnessed innumerable orbs, at times appearing in large clusters. These can and do appear not only in reputedly haunted sites, but virtually anywhere.

The most obvious cause of orbs I have observed is moisture – rain, fog, and clouds of humidity, often visible to the naked eye. Orbs can and do frequently appear in great proliferation in these conditions, and all are in motion, sometimes with clear tails of light.

Most researchers assume also that a variety of microscopic particles found in the air around us, such as dust and pollen, can create the appearance of orbs. Insects can be mistaken for slightly amorphous orbs as well.

There are some simple rules-of-thumb for orbs that are useful, but hardly enjoy the status of cosmic laws:

  1. The vast majorities – well over 90% — of orbs are clearly natural phenomena and have nothing to do with the paranormal.
  2. The more orbs that appear, the more likely they are natural phenomena such as humidity, which of course can appear inside as well as outside.
  3. Orbs in motion, especially those that appear to defy gravity, are more interesting, though air currents could conceivably carry orbs upward . . .
  4. When orbs appear around conditions that do seem to indicate paranormal activity – such as high EMF spikes or measurable cold spots – they are more suggestive of paranormal origin. When effects known to be paranormal cluster and coincide it is always more suggestive . . .
  5. Anecdotally, interesting orbs seem to show up more often around people who are having strong feelings or getting such readings, though the feeling criterion is obviously somewhat subjective. It’s interesting that on various occasions orbs have been observed on or around people and virtually nowhere else – something repeated that may not easily be explained by coincidence.

If most orbs are strictly natural phenomena, we can assume that will be established more firmly as evidence and demonstrations accumulate.

If there are paranormal orbs, what are they?  The simple answer is no one knows for sure. The orb or sphere is perhaps the simplest and most perfect form in nature. One cogent theory is that the orb may be a natural shape that is assumed by the disembodied energy essence of spirit. It may be a form in which spirit travels. I find this theory aesthetically appealing even if empirically uncertain. There is much still to be discovered about the ubiquitous orb.