High Country Euphoria

In the high country of the mind one has to become adjusted to the thinner air of uncertainty. – Robert M. Pirsig, in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

There are two kinds of high country: mountains and meditation. When you climb a mountain, you experience euphoria at the summit even though your dead dog tired and may only have very little time to spend a few precious moments there. This is physical and mental transcendence.

What a wonderful climb. – Wikipedia photo

When you meditate and slow your brainwaves to an alpha level, you reach mental heights that are often inaccessible when you’re working, commuting, and cleaning up the house. You are in an altered state without the physical danger of physical mountains, exhaustion, or high altitude sickness. Nonetheless, the euphoria is just as real as what you experience on a mountaintop.

While within this euphoric state, we know many things and understand deep in our souls that we are without limits. What powerful moments. The challenge, whether you have climbed a physical mountain or taken a transcendent mental trip is to avoid relapsing to mundane goals and fears when you return to level ground.

The euphoria is like a drug that slowly wears off; the feeling vanishes day by day as the slings and arrows of the temporal world slink back into your thining. The best medicine is climbing another mountain or meditating into the places where the air is thinner and facts and images become less certain.

You can stand upon mountain tops in your meditating, whether you imagine yourself to be there or take a shamanic journey higher and higher into the thin air of dreams. When you return, your friends may think you’re on drugs when, in fact, you’ve had an experience with no equal.

The euphoria is not, however, like being high on drugs. It’s more of a realization of who you truly are and what is truly within yourself. As we used to say years ago, you are at one with the universe. That’s better than fame or money or even your favorite wine.

Before my knees and ankles turned to dust, I loved Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks. Now, I’m exhausted climbing the flimsy drop-down stairway into the attic. I prefer mountains over meditation, so age has cramped my style. And yet, meditation still takes me to these summits where I see heaven and earth combined.


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of “Mountain Song,” set in Glacier Park Mountana.

The Power of Multiple People Thinking the Same Thing

An egregore (pronounced egg’ gree gore) is a group thought-form. It can be created either intentionally or unintentionally, and becomes an autonomous entity with the power to influence. A group with a common purpose like a family, a club, a political party, a church, or a country can create an egregore, for better or worse depending upon the type of thought that created it. – Wikipedia

The concept is ancient and found in esoteric literature and in the practices of mystery schools. With the thoughts of many people thinking the same positive affirmation simultaneously at the same moment, or at planned times during the day, there can be beneficial outcomes, often indirect, in the world or the community. I especially like Rummer Godden’s description of an abbey in her 1969 novel In This House of Brede as a powerhouse.  The nuns’ meditations impact the world via an egregore in addition to their value as prayers.

Mystery schools create egregores intentionally and create meditative ways for achieving a “higher level of thought” at specified contact times to enhance the power of the group’s intent of manifesting something positive for humanity.

Many groups have used this technique, asking members to meditate upon positive outcomes based on the groups’ philosophy/goals–world peace, the end of discrimination, the feeding of the hungry, and other causes. Since the benefits are usually indirect, it’s difficult for groups to persuade their members to hold their meditations for a long period of time. So many people become discouraged when they don’t see immediate and overt results.

When this happens, the egregore fades away like a fire starving for oxygen. As it begins to fade, participants are less likely to see positive change, and so they stop meditating and the whole thing becomes like a helium balloon with a leak in it.

Some of the nasty things we see in society, I think, occur when multiple people think of the same criminal, hateful, and spiteful things simultaneously–it’s like mob rule but on a thinking/speaking basis. Recent increases in white supremacy, racism, and Nazism may well have begun from overt causes–events, speeches, books–but they sustain themselves via the power of multiple people thinking the same thing. None of these people realize they have created an egregore, a thought-form that multiplies the power of the individuals many times over: they simply think what they think.

The results can be catastrophic. They can lead to more books, more unseemly events and speeches, and violence on the streets, all of which serve to create more people thinking in concert with the mess they’ve been creating.

Sending “thoughts and prayers” has become rather a joke when people suggest doing it as a response to street violence, school shootings, terrorism, and genocide. Most people believe thoughts have no impact on events, so the first thing they do instead is to ask Congress for more laws, advocate sending in SWAT teams and the National Guard, and jailing the leaders. The last thing they believe is to believe that–rather than sitting at home frustrated as they read the latest news–they can have an impact on events through their church, club, website, or other community groups. If an anti-Nazi/racism website went viral with the idea of meditating for peaceful times, then what would happen if a million people thought about a positive alternative to white supremacy and racism simultaneously, we would probably see a positive outcome.

Doing this is counterintuitive. So we lose the powerhouse of good people doing their best to counteract the bad people.


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of the three novels in the Florida Folk Magic Series, “Conjure Woman’s Cat,” “Eulalie and Washerwoman,” and “Lena,” all of which show the power of the individual (or group) in combatting the evils of the times. 

You can save on the e-books by buying this set.

Magic: Thoughts about healing

Healing is difficult to discuss because many people associate it only with the forms prayer takes within their chosen religion. Also, it’s often associated with quackery, whether it’s the traveling preacher who plants supposed sick people in his audiences who come forward for a healing and then appear to get well on the spot, to the claims and counter claims made by people about various over-the-counter vitamin and mineral supplements. Also, it is very easy to run afoul of various laws about practicing medicine without a license to prohibitions about advertising oneself as a psychic or healer.

I don’t really see healing as magic, but I place it here because–other than prayer–most people tend to see generic healing methods as paranormal in some way.

I do believe in the power of prayer within the context of an organized religion, other than to note that (in my view) the Christian Science Church has the most comprehensive approach to healing and the way the world is constructed than most other Protestant denominations.

Having said that, I also want to mention that the Silva Method and the Rosicrucian Order, both of which I’ve mentioned before, teach methods of absent healing (healing at a distance). The Silva Method provides a much faster introduction to healing and other intuitive technqiues than the Rosicrucian order due to their short seminars and courses.


Reiki, as it tends to be taught in the United States, provides both laying on of hands and absent healing methods. Personally, I have found its methods to be very effective and to mesh well with my spiritual views. As the website says, The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.”

While its origins are different, Reiki is very compatible–in my view–with Silva and Rosicrucian Order techniques. Among other things, all of these methods teach that the energy does not come from the person acting as a so-called healer, but from Creator. These methods also stress that the healer does not instruct the energy on what or how to do to accomplish its purposes. Reiki, which is taught by certified instructors, can also be researched in books. Instructors are better, I think; also finding the best books–outside of any recommended by an instructor is problematic since some of the more popular ones are criticized for either being inaccurate or otherwise outside of standard Reiki teachings.

Fools Crow

Years ago, Fools Crow, the Teton Sioux healer and medicine man who died in 1989, said that in order to heal another person, me thought of himself as a hollow bone through which the energy flowed.The better he was as a person, the cleaner that bone was. (I am speaking of the Fools Crow in Thomas E. Mails’ book based on interviews and not the novel about a Blackfeet medicine man written about by James Welch.)

Fools Crow’s hollow bone is another way of looking at the fact that the healing systems I’m most familiar with teach that the “healer” is a channel through which the Creator’s healing energy flows. Part of being a good channel is having a positive attitude, generally acknowledging your connection to “all that is” (God/Creator/Cosmic) and living in accordance with the highest precepts such a connection entails.

If you want to help people as a “healer” in addition to or instead of traditional prayer, you might have positive results with the be generic method below if you don’t have the resources to become involved with Reiki, Silva, or the Rosicrucians. Also, if you are not part of the culture in which conjure/hoodoo or shamanistic practices are used, I think going onto conjure/root doctor or shaman websites for healing methods is a mistake. If you grew up in these cultures, then I suggest finding a practitioner to train you rather than trying to learn a rather complex system out of a book.

Generic Technique

In a strictly generic sense, one can attempt absent healing by doing the following:

  1. Whether you use counting down with numbers (self-hypnosis related) biofeedback, a recorded guided medication, or meditate through another method, the process begins by calming the mind and entering a condition where your intuition is enhanced and not focused on concerns and projects of the day. To use Silva’s terminology, you are slowing your brainwaves from beta to alpha.
  2. Various people use the term “mind’s eye” in a variety of ways. When I use it, I consider it to be like a movie or TV screen that I imagine I’m looking at when my eyes are closed. So, when I say visualize something in your mind’s eye, I mean that you are imagining seeing something with, say, the same clarity you might visualize a memory. In this case, you’re imaging seeing the person who is ill. If you know them or have seen a picture of them, then you already can recall their likeness in the same way you’d do that if you were simply thinking about them. If you don’t know what they look like, then you will probably have a name and maybe the town where they live. Pretend that you are seeing this person.
  3. I should mention that if you do this a lot, you will discover over time that the person in your mind’s eye has become more of a psychic impression than your imagination. You’ll know this is happening when you accurately see image of people you don’t know.
  4. “Healers” have various methods for acknowledging at this point that the energy comes from outside themselves. Many of us “say” something like “I am offering myself as a connection and a channel of attunement for the healing energy now flowing to [person’s name].”
  5. If you know the person’s ailment, your mind’s eye impression of them may show them as somewhat translucent with the ailment highlighted in red.
  6. Outside the specific methods taught by Reiki, Silva, and the Rosicrucians, some “healers” simply visualize white or blue-white or even golden light flowing into the image in their mind’s eye and, in the process, seeing the red disappear. It’s best to avoid saying/think something like, “This energy is fixing Bob’s heart” because when you do that, you’re telling the energy (which is smarter than you) what it ought to do.
  7. Healers tend to remain passive at this point while maintaining their visualization of the person and/or while imaging the energy flowing unimpeded through themselves. Really, they need to get out of the way rather than thinking about the person, the ailment, or the process of serving as a channel. As I see it, once you’ve started the process, there’s no particular length of time you need to spend. Five or ten minutes, perhaps.
  8. Then you close out your “session,” thank the Creator for using you as a channel for healing [name of person] and then conclude your meditation in a way that works for you. Many will count numbers upward as a “code” (so to speak) for coming “up” from deep levels of mind to the level of mind used for everyday things.
  9. It’s important to consider–as many disciplines teach–that a physical ailment might be caused by many things. That is, it may result from an imbalance within the person’s life and thoughts. So, one never wants to focus on removing pain because the pain is a signal that something is wrong. And, it’s quite possible that the physical ailment can be healed only to return later because the imbalance that caused it was never addressed.
  10. Basically, if somebody online or in person asks me to pray for somebody who is sick, this is what I’m going to do. Directing energy to those in need doesn’t conflict with what their doctors are doing: if the person or the doctors notice anything, it might be that the person got well sooner than expected.





Remembering Bob (not his real name) and his thousand keys

Years ago during one of the new age tidal waves of enthusiasm for all things psychic, spiritual and otherworldly, I took a course in one of the disciplines of the day that promised to show me how to improve my psychic powers. The course did what it said it would do.

oldkeyWhile the course followed a set lesson plan everywhere in the country where it was taught, those of us in Bob’s course probably saw many phenomena and discussed many ideas that weren’t on the agenda elsewhere. Quite simply, the reason was Bob and his enthusiasm for everything that might tangentially be related to the course’s core ideas.

Bob had the kind of vision that would have made a university’s doctoral dissertation committee proud, for he was forever “surveying” the literature and finding new associations to ideas most people would have lost track of in the more obscure footnotes. The downside, however, was that if he were writing a new age doctoral dissertation, he would never finish it because the data about practices, techniques, theories and methods was, of course, open ended and could never be compiled into a definitive research paper.

Keys to Everything

chakraDuring late-night, after class discussions, Bob was forever saying “if we can just find the key, we will finally know how everything in the psychic world works.” This was, of course, what we wanted to hear. But, once again, there was a downside to this approach because it meant that every time Bob came across an ancient (yet newly discover) system/book/method, THAT was suddenly the key to the world–in his view. We went through phases on new keys and newer keys. Certain principles of Yoga became a key, followed by an in-depth study of Huna mysticism, and then some of the deep secrets being channeled by discarnate entities.

Bob’s enthusiasm led us to discover many new ideas (new to us, though often very ancient) and to consider that there are many approaches to new age techniques that, in fact, are more related to each other in substance than might initially be obvious. People talk about the same things with different words and/or enhance what they’re doing with rituals that make the object of their work appear alien when, in fact, it’s similar to something one already knows.

I don’t know if Bob ever found his master key because those of us who were the mainstay members in his courses moved away over time and lost track of each other. In some ways, Bob couldn’t stick with each new thing long enough to totally understand it or to see if it could be totally integrated into the techniques we were already practicing. Sadly, many of us started to become a little jaded about some of the new ideas Bob brought into the classroom because we knew it was a matter of time before they were proclaimed as the new key.

But what about last week’s key and the key from the week before that?

My thoughts in those days–and since–have probably traveled down many roads I never would have seen had it not been for Bob and his preoccupation with keys and the idea that something miraculous was always just around the corner. Then, as now, I believed that we create our own reality and that whatever we perceive as keys and miracles are our own creation. Bob didn’t believe that and we had many debates about whether or not he was creating clues (without consciously knowing it) and throwing them out onto the road ahead for him to find later.

While we never came to a common ground on this subject,  I’ve carried his scatter-shot enthusiasm with me for forty years because it keeps me young, open minded, and willing to look at alternative ideas. Perhaps we all need a Bob in our lives who can’t stick with anything long enough to fully know it but who serves as a catalysts for the rest of us.

Thanks for the ideas, Bob, and for showing me so many real or imagined doorways.


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of magical realism, fantasy, and paranormal short stories and novels that probably came to mind one way or another because years ago, Bob said, “I’ve found the key that unlocks the world.”

On not looking inward

In a recent post called On Looking Inward, author Dani Shapiro begins with “Increasingly, we are scattered.”

Yes we are. The Internet and other addictions pull us away from listening more often to the voice within.

It’s especially interesting to me to think about just how often I’m not looking inward. I’ve spent a fair amount of time writing stories about characters who are looking inward. But, as I commented on Dani’s blog, it’s as though these characters are my children and I’m giving them better than I’m giving myself.

In Garden of Heaven: an Odyssey, protagonist David Ward is told by his wild woman grandmother when he is a child that the important things in life are found within. By the end of the book, I think he understands her wisdom.

He went through hell to understand it. The paradox is that I wrote about him going through hell to understand it and I’m wondering if I understand it. David, like Robert Adams in The Sun Singer, goes through a spiritual transformation that I (at times) I’m witnessing through a glass darkly.

I need to buy some Windex, wash off the class and follow the examples of my fictional characters rather than saying, “I’ll just check Twitter and Facebook for a while today and then I’ll go light a candle and look for other worlds within the flame.”

I know what’s more important, but the addictions of the outer world are very strong.


BOOK GIVE-AWAY WINNER: Congratulations to Leah, whose name was drawn out of a hat in the GARDEN OF HEAVEN give-away on my Almanac weblog.

Thank you to everyone who entered.