Review by KEN KORCZAK
If you’re a hard core rational-materialistic skeptic and you have accepted Carl Sagan as your personal savior you need not apply to THE CONVOLUTED UNIVERSE.
Author and hypnotherapist DOLORES CANNON doesn’t just throw out the scientific method playbook, she sends it through a paper shredder. That includes methods of hypnotism that wouldn’t remotely be considered legitimate by anyone in the mainstream psychological community.
But no matter! All is well!
Cannon herself makes no bones about her methodology and where her works stands in the greater context. She’s unfettered and free-wheeling, traveling the New Age universe as light as a butterfly flitting from one astonishing flower to the next.
Her method is to put her subjects into what she calls a “somnambulistic trance.” This allows her direct access to the subconscious — but even here Cannon parts ways with standard definitions. She says the kind of “subconscious” she is dealing with is not the same at that defined by modern psychology.
The result is direct communication with extraterrestrials, energy beings, spirit guides, astral entities of amazing variety — including the spirits of former residents of the the vanished super civilization of Atlantis.
If you are thinking by now that I am a typical skeptic who is hostile to Cannon’s brand of unbounded flights of fantastic New Age revelation — you would be wrong.
I see no harm in being an open minded skeptic and taking the work of Ms. Cannon at face value. After all, she lays all her cards on the table. She’s not trying to hoodwink anyone. She’s sincere. She’s just doing what she’s doing — she’s putting it all out there for the reader to decide what they want to believe — or not.
Her amazing 50 years of unstoppable, dedicated work at putting people into trance and recording their transcripts has produced reams of information. Cannon displays not an iota of selectivity for the type or quality of the information she records, choosing instead to dump everything into the pages of her massive books. The Convoluted Universe clocks in at well over 500 pages and is just the first in a series of several, but also builds on at least a half-dozen earlier works.
The problem with this all-in approach is that a lot of the information often tilts toward the 100% absurd, no matter how open-minded we choose to be. For example:
* The Loch Ness monster is real! It’s a vegetarian that lays its eggs in the mud, and it lives in a cave deep beneath the lake!
* Bigfoot is real, too! It likes to snack on butterflies and uses it’s powers of ESP to avoid contact with human beings!
* The Bermuda Triangle? Well, of course, the strange phenomenon there is caused by some kind of giant cracked lens or crystaline super machine left over from the days of Atlantis. It’s sitting at the bottom of the Caribbean sea where it occasionally causes trouble by sending out cosmic rays that alter space and time, sending sundry hapless ships or airplanes careening off into an alternate universe! Darn!
But wait a minute — I will now say with complete absence of mockery or sarcasm — that I find a lot of the material here compelling. After all, even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut.
That is, some of Cannon’s hypnotized subjects are far more credible than others. Some of them channel esoteric information that smacks of legitimacy — such as the subjects who insistently contend that human beings are confused about the nature of physical reality.
The general belief is that first comes a biological lump called a brain, and from that springs consciousness. But the nonphysical entities Cannon’s subjects channel say just the opposite it true: That consciousness comes first and the brain is a receiving device that captures and interprets the information — but then biases and distortions creep into our interpretation of reality because of phony belief systems, phony fears and our phony ego-infected human personalities.
I think that’s right. Even the great Swiss psychologist Carl Jung said: “Consciousness precedes being.” That’s not only the case, but it’s the situation to a much greater degree than any of us might imagine. To this end, some of Cannon’s subjects offer remarkably insightful metaphors that help us see ourselves as beings of nonphysical consciousness or beings, of pure energy-intelligence, rather than biologically programmed meat machines.
If we accept the premise that Consciousness — Consciousness with a Big C — does not originate from physical biological matter, then we have to consider that at least some of the information produced by Cannon has value. I think it does.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to believe everything you read. No one’s putting a gun to your head. Go ahead and give the book a read. Be a skeptic, but an open-minded skeptic. And always remember what the great biologist J.B.S. Haldane said:
“The Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”
Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: MINNESOTA PARANORMALA