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The Primeval Philosopher

What to Believe?

Anne Skjønsberg went in search of explanations for the inexplicable, and in this book presents the fruits of her extensive reading.

What to Believe? - About Extraordinary Phenomena and Consciousness

What to Believe? - About Extraordinary Phenomena and Consciousness

By Anne Skjønsberg

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Conan Doyle present when this picture was taken. Extra was recognisedCould the things people say about their experiences of paranormal phenomena, such as telepathy, precognitive dreams, angels etc., be imagination run wild or could they be real experiences? Should we without further consideration reject the major religions - or dismiss the stories of unexpected healings, spiritual experiences, or other unusual events as fiction or coincidence? Anne Skjønsberg went in search of explanations for the inexplicable, and in this book presents the fruits of her extensive reading. With the major religious traditions as background, she provides a fascinating presentation of strange phenomena and abilities, duly recorded and witnessed, as well as research and the theories around them. Consciousness, dreams and visualization, spirit beings and channeling, near-death experiences and reincarnation are key topics among the many aspects discussed. The book comes complete with a detailed bibliography and reference notes and index.

Originally published in Norwegian in 2008, Anne has painstakingly translated her book into English and after a further 11 months’ work with Ann Harrison of SNPP she feels that it is a more rounded book than earlier, having learned more about psychic physical phenomena from the experiences of people such as Charles Richet and Pierre Curie to Arthur Conan Doyle and Louie Harris to add to her already wide knowledge gleaned from mystics, philosophers and world religions.

Product Details
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Saturday Night Press Publications (6 June 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908421088
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908421081
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.6 cm
A 5* review on amazon

All in one place, July 26, 2013
Marie K Fossli (Oslo, Norway) –
This review is from: What to Believe? - About Extraordinary Phenomena and Consciousness (Paperback)
I was led to your book this week - with the help of the Universe, as I see it. I am studying psychology, spirituality and theology alongside a job as a therapist in alternative therapies. I am now writing to say THANK YOU for the book you wrote, "What to believe?" There is so much I do not know, that I am looking for. Many write within their respective fields - which takes time to read. But you have gathered it all in one place. It was a relief to find your book and bless you for all the work you've done. You are formulating and expressing the words that I have inside me, but have not been able to express. From now on it will be easier for me to convey to others what I think. I see your book as an extra "bible", and will use it actively in my quest for understanding and experience.

Book Extracts

”Love is the goal of humanity.” Marcello Haugen

Do we today know how the mind is functioning – what consciousness is? Can we believe everything people say about their experiences with paranormal phenomena, such as telepathy, precognitive dreams, ghosts etc., or is this fantasy going wild? Can we simply consider the great religions as myths, or disregard stories about unexpected healing, spiritual happenings or other similar rather exceptional stories as fiction or as coincidences? What is to be expected is that we listen and wonder or, at least, that we take a look at what parapsychologists have investigated and what others claim to know about such phenomena. Maybe we will learn something that will give us a better understanding in our quest about what life is and how life should be lived.

“I do not believe in God or in the Bible or in Jesus” – these are statements I quite often hear. But what is it that they do not believe? That they cannot answer. By wondering and looking around, I have found certain answers which have given me a good platform as to how I shall live my life....

Martinus ThomsenThe Danish mystic Martinus Thomsen (1890-1981, who from here on only will be called Martinus, since he is known by this name in Scandinavia) has said that some people are born with the ability to believe, but others are not. I belong to the last category, as so far I do not know what to believe....

However, in this book I have tried to put together what I can register with my senses, what I have experienced, what I have read and what I have been told. And I have come to the conclusion that there must be a spiritual dimension in our existence and a special purpose within our lives. It is possible to believe in a spiritual dimension of existence without having to follow a certain practice or a certain teaching, or having to try to appease the high powers. My belief is then based on the feeling or the experience that there is more to our existence than the physical....

Chapter 3.  Extraordinary Phenomena
Powell....Has the development of civilization – or should we rather say the development of technology together with human greed – led us to forget that we have the capabilities to intuitively capture and understand everything around us? Have we forgotten that everything is energy, an energy that we can all use to our advantage?....

Vis-Knut, Norway, his actual name was Knut Rasmussen Nordgard (1792-1876), was a well-known individual in the Gausdal valley. There were many who thought that Marcello Haugen was his reincarnated soul. Vis-Knut was psychic and was able to find people and animals that had been lost, as well as water and metals. He could also heal. Because of his religious activities and his healing practices, he came into conflict with the authorities and was once imprisoned for 14 days....

Marcello Haugen, Norway, (1878-1967) may well be described as the greatest known savant in Norway in regard to psychic powers. He was a mystic and healer. There are countless people who were helped or have a story to tell about him. There is only a small book by his hand plus a collection of notes known today. The Norwegian author Øistein Parmann (1921-1999) has written a fascinating biography, which now has been published several times and with new stories in each issue. Marcello Haugen was able to heal both directly and at a distance. He proposed herbal medicines as cures and also produced such himself. He was able to find objects and animals. He was able to make a painter paint images based on telepathic contact. He was for many confessor and spiritual advisor. Unfortunately, nothing is recorded about as to how he could explain his abilities.

Martinus, Denmark, was a mystic who had a spiritual awakening when he was 31 years old and experienced, as  he said, that he could look into eternity. He had then just received a book on Theosophy and in connection with reading this book he experienced what he called a ‘baptism of cosmic fire’ – an initiation. He had new sensory abilities which made him able to see the Universe’s spiritual powers and eternal laws while being fully awake. He explained that this experience resulted in a permanently alert day-consciousness where he ‘saw’ the mystery of existence....

Ch. 3.3 Definition of a mystic
Mme Blavatsky....Within Catholicism a mystic is considered someone who has the highest form of religious life or has specific mystical experiences. Master Eckhart has said it in this way: "What comes to you in this way gives you pure being and durability ... In this birth you will nevertheless take part in the divine influence and all of its gifts."

Ken Wilber has written that the essence of mysticism is that in the very deepest part of one's being, in the absolute centre of the pure consciousness, one is fundamentally in unity with the Spirit or Deity – The Totality, in a timeless, eternal and unchangeable way....

The English professor of philosophy, Walter T. Stace (1886-1967) defined a mystic as a person who has had a mystical experience or who has a mystical awareness. The mystical experience cannot be described by a sensory-intellectual consciousness....

Ch.7.1 Consciousness, Dreams and Visualization
....The Norwegian author Erik Dammann (b. 1931) has in his book Bak Tid og Rom (Behind Time and Space) described his extensive interviews with researchers in parapsychology, physics, chemistry, and psychology. He has come to the conclusion that consciousness has a range in excess of the limited time-space dimension, and that it has contact with an all-embracing immaterial niveau. With reference to famous scientists such as Karl H. Pribram and David Bohm and to the research and philosophy of other quantum physicists, he suggested that ‘awareness’ is a term for this immaterial overall plane. He then finds it unreasonable to limit the existence of the mind to the body, as that which is part of something timeless cannot be terminated....

Ervin Laszlo says in his book about the psi field that consciousness neither seems limited by time or space, and is subtly connected with everyone else's consciousness. A person’s consciousness can affect another person's mind and body, and also objects. We are not isolated objects, but are living in a sea of energy where everything affects everyone.

However, there is something that is not mentioned in these comments, and that is the human beings’ and the animals' ability to feel love and care. Is this due only to the genes – a necessity for the survival of the species, or is it something else? This I will comment on later. But first, let us look at how human consciousness, or perhaps rather the human being’s acknowledged ability, has been described by the mystics through the ages...

Ch 16.1. Prayer and meditation
MeditationThe purpose of prayer and meditation is to make the consciousness open and receptive for the inner impulses. There are many examples that show that people who are praying or meditating regularly, have a more harmonious mind and a better life than those who do not pray or meditate. This should therefore be something that everyone, no matter what you believe in or have as a philosophy, should practice regularly. Both forms are a means to turn the mind inward, into itself, to get to know yourself and your Self. Only by becoming familiar with your own feelings and reactions and the reasons why you react as you do, will you achieve peace of mind. The feeling of safety creates harmony and peace in your existence, and strength to face the difficulties in life. In return, thanks to meditation and prayer you may reach an acceptance of existence; you may come to see how important it is to have a good relationship with your surroundings, and you get a completely different and better understanding of death.


About the cover:
The picture on the front cover is called The Primeval Philosopher and is a bronze sculpture by the Norwegian artist Øystein Bernhard Mobråten. It is exhibited at Oslo University, Institute of Biology. (The height of the sculpture is about 1 ½ meter.) Photo: Jon.

The text the artist has assigned to the picture is as follows:

The picture represents an inner evolution. The Ape represents: The primitive in a human being, who, through mental acknowledgement, must try to reach insight and understanding as regards the laws of life. The Ape is sitting next to and leaning against the Tree of Knowledge. The fruit from the Tree of Knowledge will give the human being the ability to discern between good and evil. The Ape holds a leg bone as a weapon in the right hand, which refers to the left half of the brain, the part that controls aggression and violence. In the left hand the Ape holds a flower, which refers to the right half of the brain, that part which controls the soft, searching, wondering human mind. By containing such contradictory qualities, the human being must of necessity try to reach an understanding of its own nature.
Øystein Bernhard Mobråten

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