Dreamtime & Inner Space, 6-7

pp. 52-53 out-of-body experiences (OBE)




"Objects retain their solid appearance during an OBE, but colors are said to be incomparably brighter and more luminous ... . If an OBE occurs at night the whole room is filled with radiant light and the outside is brighter than daylight. ...


Some people experienced 360-degree vision, were able to see though solid objects, and perceived things over long distances. Yet others report ... access to extensive information, and the feeling of knowing without having to think ... . Any question they asked themselves was immediately answered. They also felts that they could "traverse" the whole universe in a flash. This "traveling clairvoyance" allowed them to explore any place in the universe."

p. 58 development from distant to nigh

"The sciences have developed in an order the reverse of what might have been expected. What was most remote from ourselves was first brought under the domain of law, and then, gradually, what was nearer : first the heavens, next the earth.

{When partaking of their psychedelic potion, South American Indians perceive have developed in a sequence the reverse of that which might have been expected. What is most remote from ourselves is first brought under observation, and then, gradually, what is nigher : first the galaxy, afterwards the stars, and lastly the rainbow.}

p.59 similarity of the world for soul of the dead with the world of the living

[reference :- Iokhel’son 1926] The Yukagir "believe that the souls live as they did on earth but that their world is one of shadows, a world in which shadow souls live in shadow tents and hunt shadow animals." [p. xi (Platon’s parable of the cave) : "the shadow objects passing before us ... demonstrate the shadow nature of their world."]

[reference :- Shirokogorov 1935] "The Buryat ... compare life after death to life on earth but believe that in the land of the dead there is no pain and suffering, although those living there continue to follow their trade as they did on earth."

Iokhel’son 1926 = Vladimir Iokhel’son : The Yukaghir and the Yukaghirized Tungus. THE JESUP NORTH PACIFIC EXPEDITION, Vol. 9, No. 2.

Shirokogorov 1935 = S. M. Shirokogorov : Psychomental Complex of the Tungus. London.

p. 59 reversal between the world for soul of the dead and the world of the living [reference :- Holmberg]

The eastern Yukagir "say that we look toward the outside with out eyes in this world, but the dead direct their gaze inwards.

The Lapps believe that the soles of the feet of the dead are pointed away from the earth when they walk.

For the Samoyeds, rivers in the Beyond run "backward," the tips of the trees grow downward, the sun rises in the west and life begins with old age, to that after birth you get younger and younger." {"the mortal nature ceased to be or look older, and was then reversed and grew young and delicate; the white locks of the aged darkened again, and the cheeks the bearded man became smooth, and recovered their former bloom; the bodies of youths in their prime grew softer and smaller, continually by day and night returning and becoming assimilated to the nature of a newly-born child in mind as well as body; ... after the return of age to youth, follows the return of the dead, who are lying in the earth, to life; simultaneously with the reversal of the world the wheel of their generation has been turned back, and they are put together and rise and live in the opposite order" (according to Eleatic Stranger, in :- Platon : Politikos (‘Statesman’).}

Holmberg = Uno Holmberg : Finno-Ugric, Siberian (Vol. 4 of MYTHOLOGY OF ALL RACES.)

Statesman = http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/stateman.html

p. 59-60 journey by souls of the dead to shore, island, or riverbank




The Southern Tungus describe "the way to the Beyond as being divided into eighteen sectors ... [reference :- Grube 1897]. The journey itself ... seems more like a path of mystical initiation than an ordinary journey. ...


According to the Haida Indians the dead person, once he has reached the shore of an ocean bay, calls to the other shore from where a figure carrying a red staff sets out on a raft to take him to the other side. [reference : Swanton 1905] ...


In Borneo they believe in a city of souls situated in an island in the Sea of Fog. The traveler has to use a vessel of iron to reach it, because on the way there hot whirlpools of fire must be crossed. [reference :- Ro:der 1948, p. 126sq] ...


With the [Yukagir], there is an old woman standing on the bank of the river who asks whether the soul wishes to cross for good or only temporarily. The traveler then has to cross the river in a boat and is met by a dead relative on the other shore. [reference :- Iokhel’son 1926] ...


In the Solomon Islands, the soul of the dead reaches Totomanu, the river of Living Water, in which it bathes and is thereby transformed into a true spirit of the dead." [reference :- Fischer, 1965, p. 173]


For the Semang (Malaysian peninsula) the road to the land of the dead has ... scenery ... increasingly unearthly. A river ... marks the frontier between this world and the Beyond. After the soul has washed itself in this river it becomes aware of its destiny, picks a few flowers and then looses the longing to return to the earthly life."

Grube 1897 = Wilhelm Grube : "Das Schamanentum bei den Golden". GLOBUS, No. 71, pp. 89-93.

Swanton 1905 = John R. Swanton : Contribution to the Ethnology of the Haida. JESUP NORTH PACIFIC EXPEDITION, Vol. 5, No. 1.

Ro:der 1948 = J. Ro:der : Alahatala : die Religionen der Inlandsa:mme Mittelcerams. Bamberg.

Fischer, 1965 = Hans Fischer : Studien u:ber Seelenvorstellungen in Ozeanien. Munich.

pp. 60-62 divine guardian of the entrance into the destination for souls of the dead




"With the {east Assam} Rengma Naga there is a guardian at the entrance to the realm of the dead who extinguishes the memory of life on earth by a slap on the face. ...

With the {east Assam} Sangtam Naga, admission to the realm depends on passing a ... test : A "Mother that devours with her claws" orders the soul to remove parasites from her hair. [reference :- Skeat 1900, p. 50] ...


With the Nung {in Tonkin}, the soul also reaches a river in the underworld. The guardians posted there will not allow the souls of sinners to pass, who are either detained or thrown off a bridge and have to expiate their sins before being allowed to cross to the other shore." [reference :- Skeat 1900, p. 194]


According to the Seman, "The way to the land of the dead leads over two bridges : the first of these is like a springboard that catapults souls up into the firmament {as is likewise believed on the islands of eastern Melanesia}, while on the second bridge they are pushed into the ocean by a creature {not creature, but creator : "Ta Pedn created the world" (GP, p. 37).} called TaPed’n." [reference :- Skeat 1900, p. 23]


"Ojibway narrative of a journey to the after-death or shadow realm, in which the soul reaches a river with a strong current. There is a bridge in the form of a fallen tree; its roots touch one bank of the river and its branches the other. The bridge sways dangerously up and down. As the soul gets nearer it realizes that his apparent bridge is, in fact, a gigantic snake whose head is on the same side of the river as the soul. {cf. mythic tree as snake among South American tropical-forest tribes} Members of the esoteric Mide`wiwin Order of the Ojibway have no difficulty in crossing the river, because they know the special formula that has to be recited." [reference : Landes 1968]

Skeat 1900 = Walter William Skeat : Malay Magic. London.

GP = Charles F. Keyes : The Golden Peninsula. Macmillan Publ Co, 1977. http://books.google.com/books?id=g3oajnKzUNEC&pg=PA37&lpg=PA37&dq=

Landes 1968 = Ruth Landes : Ojibwa Religion and the Mide`wiwin. [U of WI Pr].

pp. 62-64 other obstacles encountered by souls of the dead on their journey




"The Haida believe that the dead have to pass through up to five countries in the Beyond. Each crossing from one country to the next signifies a further death. [reference :- Swanton 1905]


Among the Sima-Sima of Central Ceram ..., the soul leaves the body and wanders to the World Mountain which rises over nine levels. {cf. Taoist 9 heavens} At each level the soul is interrogated by spirits and may only advance to the next if it has lived a blameless life. [reference :- Ro:der 1948]


"According to the California Chumash Indians, the soul rises from the grave three days after burial {as did Iesous Khristos} and continues to roam a further two days near where it used to live. ... Soon it sees a light and goes toward it through the air and thus reaches Similaqsa. ... the Chumsh say there were three lands to the West : Wit {cf. WhITTier, Los Angeles county, CA}, Ayaya {cf. /AYe-AYe/ (lemur, a primate)}, and Similaqsa {cf. SIMI Valley, Ventura county, CA; and /SIMIan/ (monkey, a primate)} ... At first the soul comes to a deep ravine through which it must pass. In the ravine there are two huge stones that continually part and clash together so that any person caught between them will be crushed, but souls can pass through unharmed. Past the clashing rocks the soul comes to a place with two gigantic birds (qaq), each of which pecks out an eye as the soul goes by. The soul quickly picks two of the many poppies {cf. the poppies picked by Persephone, resultant in her abduction alive into the realm of souls of the dead} growing there in the


ravine, inserts them into its eye sockets and so is able to see again immediately. When the soul finally gets to Similaqsa, it is given eyes made of blue abalone shell. After leaving the ravine the soul comes to ... the Woman-who-stings-with-her-Tail. She kills any living person who comes by, but merely annoys the soul which passes by safely. The soul finally reaches a body of water that separates this world from the next. There is a bridge that the soul must cross to reach Similaqsa. The souls of [the wicked] never reach the bridge but are turned to stone from the neck down and have to watch the other souls pass. As the soul crosses the bridge two huge monsters rise from the water on either side, attempting to frighten it, so that it falls into the water, where the lower part of it changes to that of a frog, turtle, snake, or fish. However, the soul of anyone who has regularly attended {viz., partaken of} the traditional toloache ... (toloache : leaves from a narcotic plant) {‘moonflower’ (Datura inoxia), "to strengthen their bond with their spirit helper, communicate with the dead, or divine the future." ("DI")} has nothing to fear and may pass the bridge safely to reach Similaqsa. There are two roads leading from the bridge – one goes straight ahead and the other to the left." [reference :- Blackburn 1975, p. 98]


"the soul journey among the Winnebago Indians. The first obstacle the dead encounter is a deep ravine, the beginning


and end of which are out of sight and which you cannot by[e]pass. The only thing to do is to jump straight into it. The journeyer then has to penetrate the undergrowth. ... He next encounters cunning birds who try to confuse him with their wild chatter. ... Finally, horrible revolting slime rains down upon the soul which it must not try to shake off but must patiently endure. {Is this slime the genital secretions of his parents-to-be who are in the process of begetting him for another life?} In addition to that, the soul has to run through burning earth {the heat of the erotic excitement of his parents-to-be who are in the process of begetting him for another life?} and climb a vertical wall {being born?}". [reference :- Radin 1970, p. 69sq]

"DI" = http://www.alchemy-works.com/datura_inoxia.html

Blackburn 1975 = Thomas C. Blackburn : December’s Child : a Book of Oral Chumash Narratives. Berkeley.

Radin 1970 = Paul Radin : The Winnebago Tribe. Lincoln (NE).

p. 67 transcendent nature of spirits praesiding over the realm of death

"the Beyond consists of all those properties particular to ... consciousness ... independent of the body. And so the spirits encountered there are described as omniscient, knowledgeable of past and future, and capable of finding lost objects. ... They perceive past, present, and future to be an inseparable whole, because they see it from a cosmic perspective. Unlike people living on earth they do not experience a continuous sequence of time intervals but can comprehend the complete sequence of time intervals but can comprehend the complete process of an action or life. They are therefore in a position that is not subject to our conventional notions about time and space. That is also the reason why people ... make contact with celestial spiritual entities. They want to find out more about ... destiny".

pp. 67-68 sexual intercourse as transcendence beyond death

[Ojibway (reference :- Landes 1968, p. 198sq) "a man ... will carry with him the vaginas of all the women with whom he has coupled and, in the same way, woman must carry with her the sexual organs of all the men with whom she has had sexual intercourse".

pp. 68-69 journey by a Waxiro shamaness into the abode of souls of the dead




[quoted from :- Watson Franke 1975, p. 205] "I was unconscious {of the physical}; no pulse could be felt and my hands were cold. While I was in this state the spirits took me with them to a


place where there were many dead. ... I couldn’t eat the food of the dead. ... I was not allowed to eat. ... Nor was I allowed to touch anything, and I couldn’t speak with the dead. Only the spirit that acted as my guide spoke with them. Many of the dead wanted to talk with me, but my spirit guide forbade me to answer. If one of them wants to talk they all come along ... to laugh and tell stories. But I was not allowed to do that, because they would have kept me there and not let me go away again. I could have died."

Watson Franke 1975, = Maria-Barbara Watson-Franke : Guajiro-Shamanen". ANTHROPOS, No. 70. pp. 194-207.

p. 70 layered cosmologies

"The Yuma Indians believe that the soul (Metr’ao) remains for a while near its earthly dwelling place. In the course of its subsequent journey it must pass through three levels before reaching the land of the dead, which is very much like our world except that people do not die there. Nor are there any cold seasons, so that everything grows and flowers all year around.

The first level is on the earth itself.

The second level (Ampo’t) is full of fine dust and situated not far above the earth.

The third (Asa) is a world of mist, and

the fourth is the actual realm of the dead.

People who die prematurely spend a longer period of time in each of these spheres so that relatives dying after them can catch up with them and they can all reach the land of the dead together." [reference :- Forde 1931]

The "Tungus believe in nine heavens :

the first three are populated by spirits,

in the fourth lives the sun, and

in the remaining five the stars and planets." [reference :- Shirokogoroff 1935, p. 126]

Forde 1931 = C. Daryll Forde : Ethnography of the Yuma Indians. Berkeley.

Holger Kalweit (transl., from the German, by Werner Wu:nsche) : Dreamtime & Inner Space. Shambhala, Boston, 1988.