Ralph’s new online course starts November 6!

Understanding and Navigating Your Soul’s Journey from Before Birth to After Death

In this course you will learn to identify the six great stations and phases of your soul’s journey through human life: incarnation and conception; birth and infancy; the springtime of youth; the mid-life turning; old age, elderhood and dying; the hereafter and rebirth.

In six one and a half hour video talks and Q & A discussions, illustrated by diagrams from Ralph’s major work Ecology of Consciousness, you will be exploring new approaches to realms of consciousness that are traditionally considered the deepest spiritual mysteries of our lives.

Comparing and integrating insights from entheogenic experiences, shamanic journeys, breathwork, hypnotherapy, as well as meditative experiences and dreams, we find remarkable convergences of modern findings with esoteric teachings, both Eastern and Western. Through this course, you will gain a deeper understanding of the totality of your life cycle, from before conception and birth to the after-death realms and reincarnation.

Sign up for the course here.

Available Now: Overtones and Undercurrents

New Book Available Now!

Overtones and Undercurrents: Spirituality, Reincarnation, and Ancestor Influence in Entheogenic Psychotherapy

Overtones are the subtle sounds created in stringed instruments by the sympathetic vibrations of the struck or plucked fundamental strings. One can think of the spiritual dimensions of our experience, that we refer to as “spirit” or “soul”, as analogous to these ethereal harmonics. They are the inner tones and subtle harmonics of spirit and soul that can accompany our experience.

Undercurrents are the flow of tides of water or energy invisibly, below the surface, that can induce powerful movements of surface objects in unexpected directions, towards damaging rocks or abysmal depths. Similarly, karmic entanglements of past incarnations can affect our present experience with seemingly unfounded feelings of guilt, indebtedness, resentment or shame.

The 15 true stories related here, show how the psychological problems we confront may derive from factors often not considered in conventional psychotherapy, including residual effects from prior abortions, unconscious imprints from prenatal existence, memories from past lives, ancestral and familial soul connections, and even psychic intrusions and possession states. The case histories and methods described include the use of quiet retreat space, guided regressions to pre-natal and past-life conditions, yogic light-fire practices and selective use of small doses of entheogens. The concluding chapter describes the use of three different kinds of healing serpent imagery from the Chinese Taoist traditions as well as the ancient Greek Asclepius and Hermetic teachings.

Spiritism and Expanding Paradigms of Mental Health

In my blog dated Feb 12, I wrote about the film Astral City, based on the Brazilian best-selling novel Nosso Lar (Our Home), by the renowned Spiritist medium Chico Xavier (1910-2002). I have since became aware of a ground-breaking book entitled Spiritism and Mental Health (Singing Dragon Publishers, London, 2012) by Emma Bragdon, Ph.D., which contains over 25 chapters by various contributors, many of them Brazilian medical professionals, on the mental health aspects of Spiritist teachings. Here are some representative chapter titles from this superb collection, to give an idea of its range: The Relationship of Mediumship to Mental Disorder; Magnetic Healing, Prayer and Energy Passes; Psychotherapy and Reincarnation: A Necessary and Fruitful Encounter; Jung, Spirits and Madness – Lessons for Cultural Psychiatry; Spirit Attachment and Health; Soul-Centered Psychotherapy; The Positive Potential of Dissociative States of Consciousness; Contributions of Brazilian Spiritist Treatments to the Global Improvement of Mental Health Care.

Most (though not all) of the essays in this book are written by Brazilian medical doctors and healers, explaining the principles and practices of Spiritist-inspired of treating medical and psychiatric cases in the more than 50 hospitals in Brazil where these principles are used to treat acute and chronic psychiatric conditions.  Emma Bragdon has been traveling to Brazil with other mental health professionals to study these practices and these integrated health care hospitals for more than ten years. She relates that researchers have shown that spiritual practice and belief have a positive influence on longevity and health – improving the survival rates after operations, ameliorating pain, improving mental acuity, lessening depression, boosting immune system functioning, reducing the incidence of smoking, alcoholism, cancer and heart disease. She call is an “accessible path for growth and well-being and a model for integrative health care.” Spiritist Centers in Brazil, of which there are more than 10,000 that serve 20-40 million people alone,  do not charge for any of their services. There are numerous spiritist centers in North America and Europe as well – totally non-denomenational, free of charge, devoted to the study of spirits and mediumistic communication with them and reincarnation.

In her introductory chapter Emma Bragdon provides a historical overview of the Spiritist movement, from its origin in the writings of a 19th century French scientist-philosopher, who took on the pseudonym Allan Kardec. His writings became much more widely known in Brazil than in Europe. His main books are The Spirits’ Book, The Medium’s Book, The Gospel According to the Spirits, What is Spiritism. Emma Bragdon distinguishes spiritism from spiritualism as follows:

“In his (Kardecs) time those who were Spiritualists believed it possible to communicate with discarnate spirits, but they didn’t categorically embrace reincarnation or notions of spiritual evolution. Spiritists, on the other hand, believe that life is a continuum alternating between life in a body and life as a discarnate, ever progressing toward a spiritual destination…Kardec’s books advocate a high degree of discipline and perseverance in life – in order to effect personal transformation.”

I highly recommend this book to anyone searching for a new paradigm that integrates spiritual concerns and values with psychological and physical approaches to both health and mental health.

The Film “Unmistaken Child” and Tibetan Buddhism

This beautiful and profoundly moving documentary follows the four-year search for the reincarnation of Lama Konchog, a world-renowned Tibetan master who passed away in 2001 at age 84. The Dalai Lama charges the deceased monk’s devoted disciple, Tenzin Zopa (who had been in his service since the age of seven), to search for his master’s reincarnation. Tenzin sets off on this quest through breathtaking landscapes and remote Tibetan villages. Along the way, Tenzin listens to stories about young children with special characteristics, performs rarely seen ritual tests and obtains astrological divinations designed to determine the location and identity of his reincarnating master. He eventually presents the child he believes to be his reincarnated master to the Dalai Lama who certifies the final choice. After permission is granted by the parents of  the boy, he is inducted into a lamasery to begin his long education. His former disciple, now his care-taker guardian, accompanies him as the master, now in child form, bestows blessings on the thousands of devotees who have come to the public initiation ceremony. Obviously authorized by the highest lamaist authorities, this film represents a teaching on the deepest mysteries of reincarnation.