Sunday, August 09, 2009

"Being Watched" and Electricity

Ever get the feeling you're being watched?

The sense of "being watched" can be real or imagined, and may be threatening or not. Most of us are uncomfortable with the sensation of being watched. It feels unnatural, like a violation of privacy. The sense of feeling "self-conscious" may occur, as your insecurity is heightened and you feel that you can't just "be yourself". There is a need to be on guard, to discover the source, and hopefully re-gain one's sense of privacy.

There are many occasions where being watched is expected. If you are a performer or public speaker, certainly people will be watching you (and a lot of people get nervous before crowds). The more well-known you are, the more watched you are, which is why celebrity seems like a bad trade-off for loss of privacy. At least it would to me. Some people love attention and thrive on being watched. In other cases, you can't help but to be watched, regardless of who you are. When I walk the streets of London, I know I'm being watched somewhere all the time. CCTV is in operation in most places, so it is likely that someone somewhere is monitoring your movements.

I'm watched in my own house every day--by my cats. When I get up in the morning, they are staring at me. I feed them, and go upstairs to get dressed--a few minutes later I turn around and they are in the bathroom with me, watching me. If I sit down at my computer, they situate themselves nearby. Sometimes they appear to be sleeping, but if I glance over, I see that there's always one eye on "Momma". If I think they're sound asleep and tiptoe upstairs to my own bed, it will take less than 5 minutes for them to come running upstairs and jump onto the bed next to me.

Sometimes being watched is a more sinister thing--the "stalkers" who look up details of your private life, follow you to your car, or to your front door, sometimes they send messages that are threatening or at least disturbing. Stalkers are willful violators of our boundaries, and they usually provoke a more violent resistance--getting police involved, restraining orders, perhaps even carrying a weapon. I have been stalked on a number of occasions, mostly connected with work, when I used to do public service librarianship. I've been told by patrons that I'm very approachable, and a lot of times, even if I couldn't get the information the person wanted, they felt better for having someone listen to them. That can be very rewarding, but in the case of the very isolated or mentally unstable, it can lead to stalking behavior. They misunderstand your general respect for them as people, and assume that now they need to be part of your life, that you care much more deeply about them than you actually do. For women, this can be a problem with men--they interpret your approachability as flirtatious behavior, and think they should act accordingly. It can make defining boundaries very frustrating--you don't want to shut the world out, but sometimes you have to. I think one of the things I like about London is the fact that people can be very polite to you, but then they go on their way. The Londoner's "indifference" can actually be a positive thing. I don't worry about being stalked in London.

In the category of "real" vs. "imagined", there is the sense of "being watched" in houses that are believed to have paranormal activity. A classic example is that of someone who goes into their basement to do their laundry, and is overcome with an uncomfortable sense of dread--they quickly do what they have to do, and run out of the room, refusing to go back unless they are accompanied by someone. No one is actually there, but the feeling is very strong, and one assumes that if they don't have a living person watching, they must have a dead person watching.

In many of these cases, paranormal investigators have discovered an electrical phenomena known as a "fear cage". They walk into such a room as described in the example above, and when they measure electromagnetic frequency (EMF), the meter goes off the charts. Regular EMF should be in the neighborhood of <1, getting a bit closer to 1 around electrical outlets and appliances. In the "fear cages", the EMF can be over 100, and can be traced to an electrical box that isn't properly grounded, faulty wiring, and/or some kind of conducting metal like copper that draws the EMF throughout the entire room. Side effects of high EMF include that sense of being watched, dizziness, nausea, headaches, and sometimes hallucinations. Geomagnetic energy (natural electricity that comes from sources in the Earth) can have the same effect.

When I think about the sense of being watched, real or imagined, I realize it all has to do with electricity. Even my cats staring at me and following me around has to do with electricity. Living beings (and non-living things, such as rocks) are made up of electrically-charged atoms, so sources can be natural or man-made. And, just as certain metals and minerals are better conductors, some people are more sensitive to the effects of electricity. In any case--the sense of discomfort that is interpreted as "being watched" comes from an intense concentration of electricity. The "fear cage" example aside, it is clear that when someone enters your physical space, their own "electricity" interacts with yours. This is actually the best way to get a sense of whether or not someone is interested in you--that "physical attraction" comes from the sense of attraction or repulsion that occurs when you are close to someone. The psyche is also electric in its own way. Consider the way it can interact with the pituitary gland in adolescents, causing poltergeist phenomena--objects that appear to move by themselves, or via "telekinetic" means. Or, less controversially--think about talking to someone who is happy and approaches you in a friendly way, versus someone who is very negative, and attacks you verbally. In the former case, you feel you have more energy; in the latter, you feel drained afterwards. This is true whether or not the person is standing in front of you, or has sent you an e-mail, or is talking to you on the telephone. The very fact that you are aware of the energy of that attention provokes a response.

Many yogic practices, especially those related to kundalini shakti, (which is in fact the electrical center of your being), are designed to condition the body to the electricity of consciousness and being that surround it. If you spend a lot of time physically sitting at the feet of a yogi or a satguru, if you yourself do not engage in regular yogic and meditative practices, you will find that you feel extremely dizzy and nauseous after awhile--similar to the effect of being exposed to high EMF. This has happened to me--if I spend 3 or 4 days around my guru, I usually go home with terrible body aches and a fever of about 105 degrees Farenheit. It's like the body is oversaturated with too much electricity. If you think about magicians and magic, magicians are fancifully portrayed in artwork as having lightning bolts come out from their hands, or some similar imagery. While this never happens literally, it does point to the fact that magicians deal with pure electrical energy--the psychical kind--and with the willful directing of that energy. Many adepts in magical societies practice yoga and Eastern meditative practices for this very reason. Experiences of the "numinous", or mysterium tremendum" (in Otto's terminology) produce similar reactions--there is a sense of dread and awe of something very powerful, more powerful than you by yourself.

So the question is--is the basis of our reality, beliefs, worship, and existence all based on electricity?

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