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Paranormal History Creates Lifelong Astral JourneyBernard Powell Salem-News.com
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(SALEM, Ore.) - For me, growing up in my parent's house as a child, there were always tales of ghosts and strange occurrences. This was, for the most part, dinner table conversation for us.
There were stories of deceased relatives who were still heard arguing in their now abandoned home where the front yard was now littered with over grown grass, shrubs and trees, there were stories of “Voodoo” rituals and spells that had been cast on family members in the past, mysterious black dogs and giant crows.
My grandmother was even said to have done battle with the village “witch,” whom she is rumored to have exposed by saving the swept up dust from the house for three days, then beating it with a scourge she fashioned by braiding three young braches together. It is said that the next day, the woman was bedridden, her body overcome with pain and covered with welts.
On the other hand, aside from being spiritual my mother was also religious. She made sure we went to church and attended Sunday school where I heard accounts of angelic (and demonic) encounters and divine intervention.
At about age 8 or 9, while battling with a case of pneumonia, I had my first “Out-of-Body Experience.” I distinctly remember lying on the bed and feeling “floaty,” after a couple of minutes, I was above myself looking down at my motionless body. I saw my mother walk into the room to check on me, she placed her hand on my forehead and walked out.
After I felt better I told her about the experience and she told me that this was a fairly common thing, that it has happened to others and that some people could even control it, she had a couple of books on the subject, (mainly written by Shirley MacLaine).
Under the circumstances and in these conditions I naturally developed an acute interest in the unseen and unknown from a very early age. I obtained my first book on the paranormal at age 10; it was titled, “Into the Unknown” by Readers Digest, published in 1981, which I still have in my possession to this day, some 28 years later.
To my delight, the book not only covered ghosts and “monsters,” but it also discussed some of the subjects that I found more interesting like ESP and precognition, Black Magick and Divination, UFO’s and out-of-body experiences. I was hooked! And so my love affair with the field of the paranormal began.
Interestingly, I also had (and still have) an intense respect and love for religion. I was not (and am not) particularly religious mind you, but I have always been in awe of the reverence dedicated to the sacraments and teachings of ALL religion, everything from the art and architecture to the language and symbolism spoke to me on a much deeper level than the actual words that made up the stories ever could. There was definitely more going on than met the eye... as far as my perception and instincts where concerned anyway.
Much to my frustration however, conventional (Christian) religion told me that the worlds of my two loves were irreconcilable; the paranormal, ghosts, divination, Ouija boards, out of body experiences etc., were all “evil” and “of the devil”. Well, I had personally had an out-of-body experience first hand, and there was nothing diabolical or malevolent about it!
Perplexed with the answers I received and determined to find my own way, I have spent years studying religion and esoteric symbolism and it is an ongoing journey for me. I sought out people with similar interests and experiences and eventually began investigating accounts of the paranormal and occurrences of strange phenomena.
I certainly have my own philosophy, or framework on which I believe everything hangs, and I have formulated it from years of study and the practical application and observation of what I have learned, but I never bring that into an investigation.
Because of my research, I am consistently forced to re-evaluate and modify my philosophy based on the things that I (and others) see and experience around me.
To continue the work, I have founded a paranormal research team here in Salem, Oregon, in an attempt to find the answers to the unresolved questions that I believe fascinate us all.
Thus far, no one has been able to answer questions pertaining to the after-life, and we are all seeking the truth behind why we are here, where we come from and where we are going, but this barely scratches the surface on defining the field of the paranormal and all it encompasses.
So my personal astral journey continues. As does yours.
Bernard Powell a local Author and Independent Publisher; he has been a devout student of religion, mysticism and the language of occult symbolism. He has had a life-long interest in all branches of the paranormal; he is also the founding member of a Salem-based paranormal research society called OPHIR (Occult & Paranormal House of Investigational Research). You can visit their site at Team-OPHIR.com or you can contact him directly at: bernard@Team-OPHIR.com
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