The following are excerpts from a paper by behavioral neuroscientist, Todd Murphy, with evidence suggesting geology and the geomagnetic fields play a role in hallucinations, emotional cycles, and more. The paper also presents fascinating studies by cognitive neuroscientist, Michael Persinger. I recommend reading the full paper from the link provided at the end of this post. |
There are some places on this earth that people hold as sacred. We will be looking at one of them here. The place is Harbin Hot Springs, a spiritually-oriented retreat in Middletown, California, about 100 miles north of San Francisco. Harbin is not so famous as some of the other “power spots” in the world, like Findhorn in Scotland or Easalen in Big Sur, California or Glasonbury in England. All the same, as a place where “things happen,” it must surely rank among the most spiritually evocative places in the world. In this article, we will be looking at some of the things that help to make it what it is. The people who live and work at ‘Harbin’ often say that we create our own realities. At Harbin, however, and other places like it, the earth beneath our feet is also making its contribution.
One thing stands out about Harbin’s land; it has a unique geology. Very unique. I am going to try to convince you, gentle reader, that this geology is what’s behind Harbin’s amazing synchronicities, emotional cycles, reputed healing powers, and beguiling roshni. Not only that, but also that other sacred places owe their phenomena to similar forces.
Harbin Hot Springs is just one of many geological features in southern Lake County. It rests between two ancient volcanos. One of them, northwest of Harbin, is a Pleistocene (really, really old) formation (including Cobb Mountain and Harbin mountain), while the other, directly south is a Plieocene (really, really,really old) one. The older one, in the Calistoga area, is almost worn down to the level of the surrounding valley (Napa Valley). That explains why there are 92 hairpin turns on route 29 between Calistoga and Middletown. One volcano was building up next to one that was wearing down. That will make a steep mountainside for you. Try it yourself if you don’t believe me.
Between these two old volcanoes there is a line of spots where the underground volcanic heat breaks through to the surface. There are three natural kinds, and one that’s man made. The man-made one is the Calpoint geothermal power plant in Cobb, California. You can’t miss it on route 175 coming from Cobb towards Middletown at night. It presents an almost ethereal angry look, with its billowing clouds of steam backlit by orange lights.
There are also two groups of geysers (called big geysers and little geysers), each with neighboring Fumaroles, holes where volcanic fumes escape, reeking horribly. There is also a line of hot spring clusters (running along the the southeastern edge of the taller old volcano to the north):
and the Sulfur Banks.
Besides geothermal spots, there is also the isolated Collayomi fault. One of its ends is about four miles to the west of Harbin (Isolated means that its not connected to other fault systems). That’s close enough for Harbin to feel its tremors. That power plant is built right on top of it, close to the middle of its length.
The Collayomi fault is the source of about 85% of all the seismic activity within 50 miles of Clearlake (a city about 10 miles from Harbin). A typical day will see 5 tremors of 1.5 (or more) on the Richter scale. Our extinct volcanoes have left the crust thinner here than in other places, so its more likely to vibrate. Each vibration makes a seismic event.
The Collayomi fault, I believe, is one of the main reasons why Harbin has its almost paranormal emotional atmosphere. My explanation can explain a great deal, from psychic synchronicities to the emotional phases we talked about earlier (See full article – link below). It does not rely on spiritual concepts. Instead, it only uses scientific ideas. Together, we will see how much about Harbin can be understood without the expectations that appear when one tries to understand it in terms of traditional spiritual beliefs. There will be a lot of convergence with these ancient ideas, but also some differences.
What’s the point?
It will help scientists to understand a variety of related things. It will help us to understand which mental disorders a place like Harbin heals. When I say ‘science,’ I mean two fields of science in particular. Neurology and geology. Behavioral neurology and the study of seismic and geomagnetic phenomena.
The Earth’s magnetic field changes all the time. About 80% of the field stays the same (is steady-state). The remaining 20% is the variable part. When we speak of geomagnetic quiet, or intense geomagnetic activity, we mean within its variable range. The field itself, even at its peak, is very weak. The measure is called a nanotesla. A nail, magnetized to a strength of a hundred nanoteslas, wouldn’t even pick up an iron filing.
Dr. Michael A. Persinger, director of the Behavioral Neurosciences Laboratory at Laurentian University writes:
‘The tendency for … telepathic experiences concerning death or crisis to occur on days when the geomagnetic activity is significantly quieter than the days that precede or follow the experience have been found for collections of experiences that occurred during the latter quarter of the last century and this century. This pattern is not unique to spontaneous cases. Over six decades, larger effect sizes for psi experiments occurred during years of quieter geomagnetic activity.
…analyses of [certain] dream telepathy studies also indicated that the geomagnetic activity on nights in which the contents of were most strongly correlated with the target stimuli had been significantly quieter than the nights in which the dreams did not match the target pictures.” (M.A. Persinger, ‘Geophysical Variables and Human Behavior LXXI. Differential contribution of Geomagnetic Activity to Paranormal Experiences Concerning Death and Crisis: An Alternative to the ESP Hypothesis’ Perceptual and Motor Skills)
What’s it mean? When a mother in San Diego just ‘knows’ that her daughter is in danger at the same moment that she is really having a car accident in New York, its a good bet that the Earth’s magnetic field was quiet at the time. Quieter then the days immediately before and after. It also means that if someone had a dream about the end of your relationship just when your girlfriend was packing her last box into her new boyfriend’s van, its a safe bet that the geomagnetic field was quiet for that dream, too.
Here’s another quotation from the same Ph.D. guy, working with two other Ph.D. guys about precognition (I’ve added some stuff in parentheses to try to keep things clear):
‘ …(156 legitimate) first hand precognitive cases that contained the days, months, and years of the experience and the event were obtained from all of the publications of FATE magazine (approximately 450 issues). …(these cases were analyzed against) measures of global geomagnetic activity for the years 1867 to the present. …values were obtained for the day of the experience (of precognition) and the day of the event (that validated the precognition) and for each of the three days before and three days after the experience and the event.
…These results support the hypothesis that precognitive experiences tend to occur during periods when the geomagnetic activity is similar to what the geomagnetic activity will be at the time of the event (it predicted) [Lewicki, Douglas R., Schaut, George H. & Persinger, Michael A. ‘Geophysical Variables and Behavior: XLIV. Days of Subjective Precognitive Experiences and The Days Before the Actual Event Display Correlated Geomagnetic Activity’ Perceptual and Motor Skills 1987, 65, 173-174]
What does it mean? That if you have a vision of your aunt Martha wearing a Boa Constrictor, and then, shortly thereafter, you meet her in the reptile house at the zoo doing exactly that, the values for the variable part of the earth’s magnetic field will turn out to be the same for the moment when you had the vision, and the moment when your aunt started playing up with reptiles. Something is going on between this magnetic stuff and psychic experiences, and I’ll give you a hint. It ain’t tachyon power.
And now for something completely different. Out-of-body experiences (OBEs). Dr. Persinger:
‘…the greatest subjective intensity of out-of-body-like experiences was reported primarily for those subjects who …(were most prone) … on those days when the geomagnetic activity ranged between 16 nT (nanoteslas) and 45 nT. … (There is a) concurrence between daily geomagnetic activity and the enhanced experiences of detachment of the self from the body for individuals whose brain’s are most prone to generate these experiences.’ [Earlier]…’The results of this study support the hypothesis that sensitivity or lability of portions of the brain which are most correlated with the reports of …(subtle altered states of consciousness)… are sensitive to a component of geomagnetic activity … The likelihood that there is some particular frequency or pattern of information which is probabilistically associated with this range of intensity variation in global geomagnetic activity must be considered.’
…'(An) exploratory hypothesis (to explain the result) is that the neurocognitive processes which are associated with the generation of the sense of self are coherent or intercalated with some unspecified feature of the steady-state or quiet component of the geomagnetic field. During periods of perturbation (increased geomagnetic activity) … the sense of self can … be discriminated as different from the body … [M.A. Persinger, ‘Out-of Body -Like experiences are More Probable in People With Elevated Complex Partial Epileptic-Like Signs During Periods of Enhanced Geomagnetic Activity: A Nonlinear Effect’ Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1995, 80, 563-569]
What does this mean?, you might rightly wonder. It means that OBEs are more likely on days when the variable 20% of the earth’s magnetic field is up in its higher ranges, but only for those who are prone to the experience. This proneness is measured using questionnaires that ask about feelings that often precede OBEs.
If you read books on how to have an OBE, or how to astral project, you will almost always find that the author explaining that the first step in attaining OBEs is to create the feeling that the body is rocking or swaying when it is actually still. The best time to do this, we are told, is while falling asleep. The subtle body rocks its way out of the physical body. This sense of movement, felt when the body is at rest, is an ‘OBE-like’ experience. Another one is ‘feeling as if I were somewhere else.’ We need to remember that OBEs are the most common first phase in Near-Death Experiences(NDEs) in our western culture. One cannot help but wonder if experiences that are similar to other NDE episodes might be enabled by increased geomagnetic activity. Angels, being visited by beloved dead friends and relatives, going through a tunnel into a spirit world; all these might also be more likely to happen when the Earth provides a strong field.
To deal with our next subject, UFOs and visions of the virgin Mary, I need to make sure that the reader has a grasp on a concept called tectonic strain. Tectonic strain is the stress that builds up when one tectonic plate is pushed up against another. Earthquakes and tremors release this strain. The tectonic plate’s constant movements against one another builds it up again.
Here’s the idea: When a fault moves, the land bends. When this happens, the rock below is squeezed. That creates magnetic fields, although its a complicated piece of physics (its called a piezoelectric effect). What we find is that there are experiences that don’t line up with geomagnetic values, but that do line up with earthquakes and tremors. Both types are ‘special cases’ of the same phenomenon. This is because the strengths of the field is not what is at work. Its the signals that are the culprit. Not how strong they are, but how coherent they are with the brain’s own internal signals.
Lets start off with UFOs. Not alien abductions, but the experience of seeing spaceships in the sky. We will be looking closely at UFO reports because understanding how they happen will help us understand Harbin. Although they are rare events, they do occur at Harbin, and this fact is a major clue in my investigation of the ‘Harbin experience.’ Again we go back to the same researcher, Dr. Micheal Persinger. Writing about one of his research projects, he said (again I will use parentheses to try to keep things clear):
‘ Various correlational methods involving over 20,000 UFO reports(UFORs) between 951 and 1965 for six earth quake sectors of the U.S.A. indicated that the combined numbers of seismic events during 6 month periods within the northeastern, eastern and central regions were correlated as much as 0.70 with UFO report numbers during previous 6 month intervals …’ ‘The greatest number of significant correlations occurred with UFORs before low level … seismic displays.’
“The data support the crude associations noted between seismic activity and UFORs. Although the variation in numbers of seismic events in the central, eastern, and northeastern sectors of the U.S.A. during 6 month periods accounted for no more than about 50% of the variability in UFOR numbers, the magnitude of these (statistical) effects may be considered significant in light of the gross nature of UFOR measurements. Perhaps we will find that the UFO dilemma, like so many other apparently, unsoluble problems in the history of science, can be resolved by precise numerical analyses. [Persinger, Michael A, ‘Earthquake Activity and Antecedent UFO Report Numbers. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1980, 50, 791-797]
You have to remember that seismology is an exact science. So is statistics. UFO reporting is not. When the three are put together, the results can be somewhat, well, crude. The same article also says that some quakes in one area matched up with UFO sightings in another, distant, area.
‘If the (tectonic strain) hypothesis is a valid explanation for UFORs, then the concept of tectonic strain should be supported by any systematically collected data base, including those that are given alternative interpretations. The Rutledge field observations are classic examples (a group of UFO sightings collected by somebody named Rutledge). They involved the observation of luminous globs of light, metallic looking objects, and flashing or strobe-light like observations primarily during the years 1973 and 1974.’ …
‘The temporal distribution of UFORs indicated that they clustered around the occurrence of the only two earthquake periods in the region (within 1000 km). ‘The spatial distribution of UFORs … indicated that most of Rutledge’s observations occurred in an area near the opposite side of the seismic activity in the area.’ [Persinger, Micheal A ‘Geophysical Variables and Behavior: L. Indications of a Tectonic Sstrain Factor in the Rutledge (UFO) Observations During 1973 in Southeastern Missouri. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1988, 67, 571-575]
UFO sightings have also been made at Harbin (unfortunately for guys like me, no records have been kept). Just like the S.E. Missouri sightings, the ones at Harbin happen on the the opposite side of a seismic region. The Collayomi fault is towards one side of the chain of Hot Springs. Harbin is towards the other. The same, documented earth forces that contributed to flying saucers in Missouri are also at work at Harbin, too. Not all the lights in the sky are seen as aliens. Some of them are seen as the Blessed Virgin Mary, but the powers behind it are much the same.
Between April 1968 and May 1971 hundreds of thousands of people reported seeing apparitions of the Virgin Mary over a Coptic Orthodox church in Zeitoun, near Cairo, Egypt. When photographed, these phenomena appeared as irregular blobs of light. Primarily there were two types of events: small, short-lived highly kinetic (‘doves’) and more persistent coronal type displays that were situated primarily over apical structures of the church. More detailed descriptions of the phenomena , such as visions, often occurred as ‘flashes’; their details usually reflected the religious background of the experiment.
The characteristics of these luminous phenomena strongly suggested the existence of tectonic strain within the area. According to the hypothesis of tectonic strain, anomalous luminous phenomena are generated by brief, local changes in strain that precede earthquakes within the region. Psychological factors determine more elaborate details of the experiences because there are both direct stimulations of the observers brain as well as indirect contributions from reinforcement history.’
[Analysis revealed that) ‘luminous phenomena in Zeitoun increased during the month of or the month before an increase in regional seismic activity’ (Derr, John S. & Michael A. Persinger ‘Geophysical Variables and Behavior: LIV. Zeitoun (Egypt) Apparitions of the Virgin Mary as Tectonic Strain-induced Luminosities. Perceptual and Motor Skills 1989, 68, 123-128]
The epicenter of the earthquakes in Egypt (at the southern tip of Sinai) was much farther from Zeitoun than the few miles from Harbin to the Callayomi fault, where Harbin’s tremors come from. The monthly periods mentioned in the quote above will probably not apply in other areas. Only further, in-depth studies will provide the answer.
Earthquakes and the Harbin Experience
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the lord came down from heaven…
… His appearance was like lightening and his clothes were as white as snow.
Gospel according to Matthew 28: 2,3
How can balls of light, you may ask, become spaceships when people look at them? It has to do with magnetism. The land below Harbin stretches as the Collayomi fault builds up and releases its strain. The earth’s magnetic field, coming up from below our feet, picks up the signals emitted by the rock as it bends (‘piezoelectric signals’) as it bends following changes in tectonic strain, like a tremor or earthquake. When the rocks change the way they bend (before or after seismic events), their signals change, too. Lightning also contributes. It puts a charge in the ground that can be released when the tectonic strain changes. This charge helps the magnetic field light up.
The parts of the brain that are the most sensitive to magnetic signals are the parts with the lowest electrical thresholds. What do these parts do? They are in charge of managing your states of consciousness, among other things. The intense magnetic fields that are around the light shows, therefore, can out you into an altered state. When you are in one of these states, it becomes much, much easier to hallucinate. You are also more suggestible. If you expect that bright lights in the sky are most likely to be spaceships, then that’s what you are most likely to see. Also, these same brain structures have been found to produce the experience of The Light in laboratory settings, so that if a person is confronted with a light in the sky, and they begin to have an hallucination, they might very well find themselves seeing the light as they are seeing a light. The combined effect might be to induce a vision of a light quite beyond description
Hallucinations are not just visual. You can hallucinate sounds, tastes, smells, touches, ‘senses of shape’, memories, and even emotions. The brains uses magnetic signals. The earth produces geomagnetic signals. When the two are in phase, so to speak, the earth enables an hallucination of whatever function that signal would ordinarily be matched with. My guess is that the normal range of geomagnetic signals at Harbin leave them in phase with one of the signals involved with our emotions at almost all times. The changing signals might produce the roshni phases.
I believe that the geomagnetic signals that the land at Harbin, constantly being flexed by the Callayomi fault, are similar to the ones the brain uses to help us experience emotion. These signals are what makes 80% of the Harbin residents (who were asked) feel their emotions keep changing their default settings from week to week. If the signal coming out of the ground is like the one that your brain uses when its pissed off, then you are going to be much more irritable than otherwise. Neuromagnetic signals interact with geomagnetic signals. The roshni changes as the signals change. The signals change as the tectonic stress on the land change. The tectonic stress changes as the fault moves, either building up or releasing stress. Where is the interface between the magnetic signals coming from the ground and consciousness?
Its a fact. The brain has about five million (very small) magnetite crystals per gram. That’s enough crystals to make all kinds of things happen, if you believe in ‘crystal power.’ I suspect that these crystals work to help brain centers talk to one another, by organizing themselves to flash little signals to one another. When the brain wants to call up an emotion, it uses its little magnets to do it. Magnetic signals travel much faster. If a signal from outside is close enough to one that an emotion center responds to, the outside signal will turn on that emotion. (Evoked Response)
The signals from the Harbin land are close to the ones the brain uses to create and maintain emotions. These signals don’t make you feel emotions. They act more like default settings, so that one emotion or another is always the easiest to fall into. If something is going on that makes someone feel happy, like a new relationship, the earth’s signals during an ‘angry week’ won’t have much effect.
One other point about roshni at Harbin. All other conditions being equal, women will experience it more intensely than men. There are many gender differences with respect to management of state, and disorders of state, and all of them imply that more parts of the brain will be affected in women. However, all other conditions are not always equal at Harbin. Harbin has gay men, left handed men, and men who have done spiritual work. Each of these things (and others) will make men more likely to respond to the roshni the way women do. Both men and women are more venusian when they pursue spiritual practice. Take nothing for granted just because someone is one gender or another.
Full article via Harbin Hot Springs, Todd Murphy – Behavioral Neuroscientist
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