Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:19 am
|The following article will be included in our latest issue of MBT Times soon to be sent out to all subscribers!
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Enjoy....and thanks, Dennis!
Once Upon a SpaceTime - A Long, Long SpaceTime Ago
Hello Dear Readers, Dennis here. Yup, it's that Dennis Mennerich you read about in MBT Book 1, Sect 1, Ch 6-12 or maybe met at the Toronto workshop. I will be attending the upcoming workshop in NYC.
Keith asked me to share some recollections about Tom and "The Early Days" that were not in MBT (nor Bob Monroe's 1985 book Far Journeys). I have no doubt that Tom and I were destined to meet. Although I did not realize it at the time, like Tom, I also had some OOBE as a child. We both gravitated towards mathematics and the sciences and ended up with graduate degrees working at the same place. I started there in 1971 and Tom joined in 1972. I had been on a personal quest for meaning for many years and had read many books on various religions and belief systems. Tom and I both learned TM meditation at UVA at the same time (early Ã¢â‚¬Ëœ71) but did not know each other then. (I brought an apple instead of a banana, which is why my initiator was a good looking redhead, probably Alfred E. Newman's wife.) I had already gotten to know Bill Yost (Tom's boss) who talked a group of us into attending a weekend Silva Mind Control seminar about Jan 1972, before we knew Tom. Silva used alpha rhythm sounds and various consciousness focusing techniques. Bill also gave me Bob's 1971 book Journeys Out Of The Body to read. So it seems that Bill, Tom and I were all intended to meet (there are no coincidences). Bill took Tom and me with an eclectic group from the Center (including many of the Silva attendees) out to Monroe's the spring of 1972 where Tom and I were "selected to volunteer" (twist of fate?) to help develop the Whistlefield Lab. The "Lab" was located in an ordinary trailer home on blocks at the top of a hill in a hayfield. Looking back, the fact that it had a metal covering may have been fortuitous - as an electromagnetic shield. I saw Tom a few weeks ago at TMI where he gave a keynote speech. It was amazing to see TMI as it is now and remember its humble beginnings in a trailer.
I think the meditation Tom and I had been practicing helped us to be able to clear our minds of noise and facilitate the altered states we were embarking upon. (Much later in my martial arts career, I realized that we were trying to achieve the state of Mushin) Tom began to see energy fields - auras - about things and people. As he also mentioned in MBT, we had built negative-ion generators but forgot to note that he could also see tiny red things shooting out of them. We attended a lecture at UVA given by the Dalai Lama. The large auditorium was packed full with no standing room left. Tom was sort of zoned out during the talk (but I was used to that). Afterwards he described to me that the Dali Lama had a vivid purple aura about him when the talk began. By the time the presentation was finished, his aura had expanded to immerse the entire audience. I, of course, having my feet firmly planted in the concrete of engineering at the time, did not see anything. I did see a very strong aura once at a later date. Tom and I were on similar paths with different time references. We all grow in our own way at our own time. We are still comrades in the pursuit of the Big Truth. And he still has that great stealthy sense of humor. Ã¢â‚¬ËœOoga! Ooga! I have to debug the bias errors in my human behavior analysis algorithms' (Ch 6).
There is a tight curving 270Ã¢ÂÂ° exit ramp from the interstate that we often took coming back late at night from Whistlefield. I still think of this every time I use it. As described in MBT, we frequently rode together on Tom's motorcycle. He would take this exit somewhat above the recommended speed (ha!) and I can still see the sparks flying from the metal center stand as it dragged along the road. (Don't try this at home, kids. We were young and foolish and bulletproof and were going to live forever. (Actually, now, I think we do "live" forever. (Have you noticed that Tom and I both tend to write with nested parentheses?))). It must be the programmer in us. And the Ã¢â‚¬Ëœcycle chain did break one cold night coming back from Bob's. The only thing that saved my fingers was my very heavy, thick leather mitten. We stashed the bike behind the guard rail and caught a ride from Bill who was following behind us. Tom has drifted away from riding. I started riding Ã¢â‚¬Ëœcycles again in '93 - Hondas of course. I think AUO enjoyed sharing our experiences in PMR.
As time passed at the Lab, we both began to have uncontrolled and controlled discrete OOBE at home, as did our wives, who also spent some time in the isolation chambers at the Lab. But our experiences were still mostly subjective. Their immediate reality implied they were not just Lucid Dreams. We were looking for some "proof." As Tom kept saying after our first simultaneous trip in NPMR, "This stuff might actually be real." (MBT, B1, S1, Ch10) My Big Aha! moment came later after I had stopped going to the lab and was reinforced three years later. We described these experiences during an interview by April Hannah in Toronto about "The Early Days," which was filmed by Mike Habernig. This interview will be incorporated in a future release at The Path. We began to learn there is more to SpaceTime than meets the eye. The three intrepid Astralnauts (Tom, Nancy-Lea and I) charged off to where no (wo)man had gone before (at least that's what we thought). "THIS STUFF IS REAL," as Tom said. But you can't take our word for it. You have to do it yourself, as he repeatedly reminds you in MBT - with open minded skepticism. If you are not already meditating, I suggest you start practicing a method that will enable you to empty your mind of all the internal self-generated thoughts / noise so you will be able to recognize information that comes from NPMR. Our OOBE were a useful - but not necessary - way of introduction to NPMR (your mileage may vary). OOBE were called Astral Projection in older works.
Have you ever fasted? After indulging ourselves from Thanksgiving through Christmas cookies and the resultant avoirdupois, Tom & I decided to only drink water for the 1st week of Jan '76. We were young and in good health and anticipated no problems. Going without food for 7 days, and tapering into / out of it, was a unique mental experience - as well as physical. We had hunger pangs for a couple of days until ketosis set in and felt cold as our metabolism and body temperature dropped. We learned that eating was a family social activity and how good food smelled - so we had to go elsewhere while they ate. There was a mental clarity and meditation was better. The sense of time changed without the punctuation of three meals a day. I think it helped to loosen the ties to PMR a bit. And (coincidentally), I had my Big Aha the day I started to break my fast. The realization that I don't need food carries through to today and missing meals is no big deal.
Tom and I already knew we were strange - perhaps certifiably (I can hear the voices in your head.) - so it was comforting to see the EEG results that were taken at the UVA Sleep & Dream Lab (Bob Van de Castle had visited Whistlefield several times, as well as one of his researchers). We took one of my Binaural-Beat tapes with us to his S&DL and listened to it during the RV experiment. (MBT, B1, S1, Ch10) Our internal states were observable externally and the remarkable EEGs noted by Duke reassured the scientific parts or our minds giving us more "proof." Humbly speaking, Tom and I were the right persons with the right experience at the right place at the right time. We turned out to be a synergistic dyad. We willingly contributed our expertise, time and efforts at the Lab and Bob Monroe shared his knowledge and experience with us, opened our minds and consciousness and changed our lives forever. Thanks, Bob, wherever you are. And thanks to Jane and Seth for the books that provided an initial framework for interpreting our experiences.
I had studied extremely low frequency - ELF - phenomena and Schumann Resonance during research for my MSEE on Diurnal Frequency Variations of the Earth-Ionosphere Resonances (1966) and my Chairman's work on ELF radiation effects on living organisms. So when I read the Oster article in the Oct 73 Scientific American (another coincidence?), and thinking about the Silva sounds, I realized that Binaural Beat (BB) sounds should be able to have an effect on our brainwaves and state-of-consciousness. I made the first BB tape for our research at the UVA EE Department during spring break 1974. My discovery really turned out to be The Breakthrough that we were seeking (MBT, B1, S1, Ch9). Confirming our subjective experiences, EEG measurements subsequently published by a number of researchers clearly showed that BB initiated a frequency-following-response and entrained brainwaves that were correlated with various states of consciousness. Bob Monroe began to incorporate BB sounds into his training tapes and, through trial and experiment with us and others, optimized them into what was later to be known as Hemi-Sync, which he patented in 1993 and '94. However, Tom and I later realized that BB were useful training wheels or a stepping stone to consciousness explorations but not essential. Binaural Beats are now in wide usage for various applications as you can readily see by Googling "binaural beats" Little did we know how our work would Live Long and Prosper. If you want to discuss BB, see me at the MBT workshop in NYC April 30 - May 2. This workshop is an opportunity you can't afford to miss. I hope to see you there. (I am looking forward to seeing Ron again too.)
With best wishes for decreasing your Entropy,
"First of all, let me make one thing perfectly clear. I never explain anything." Mary Poppins