Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests


Spooky Coincidences and “Noetic Science”

posted by David Klinghoffer
I’m a big believer in synchronicity — meaningful coincidence, or what you might call spooky coincidence. Of course, seeming coincidences often happen for reasons that aren’t spooky at all. They can be explained satisfactorily as the play of chance, or the not unlikely outcome of your own choices and interests in life. 
So I started reading the new Dan Brown book, The Lost Symbol, last night and was struck repeatedly by coincidences — he writes about things I’m interested in and so it’s not surprising that some of his source material evidently comes from books I’ve read or am reading now. One of his protagonists, for example, is a researcher in so-called “Noetic Science.” That is, the science of what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance” as it pertains to consciousness — the way our minds seem to be unconfined by the three pounds of brains in our skull but instead are entangled with each other and with the world around us.
There’s an Institute of Noetic Science (IONS) near San Francisco, and it happens to be the subject of a chapter in a book I read last week, NPR religion reporter Barbara Bradley Haggerty’s excellent Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality. Haggerty investigates the scientific underpinnings of psychic phenomena. One of her themes is this idea of entanglement — that the universe is somehow knitted together in ways that materialist science currently can’t explain and maybe never will. On a certain view, a religious one, the unifying factor is God. We’re unified with each other through Him, which is why minds can affect each other across vast distances. That’s the case for the elementary reason that, as in the Jewish prayer Shema, “the Lord is One” (Deuteronomy 6:4). That doesn’t mean just that there’s one God instead of two or three. Rather, God really is One. Somehow, there’s a unity to God that extends to the rest of creation. If we could see to the heart of reality, we would perceive that everything that seems to enjoy a separate existence from God is really nullified before Him.

Our minds are mostly shut to evidence of this unity — it would be overwhelming otherwise, infinitely so — but occasionally, with more sensitive people or sometimes under the influence of events, spiritual practices, or certain substances, intimations will make themselves felt.
Haggerty’s book just came out in May so obviously it’s not Brown’s source on this. Still, readers of The Lost Symbol will be interested to read Haggerty’s journalistic take on the subject. She visits IONS and interviews researchers who have documented the way, for example, married couples can produce measurable physiological effects in their partners by directing loving thoughts to them even if the two are in separate, totally sealed rooms. Somehow their minds, one might venture to say their souls, are entangled. One woman, a subject in the research, turns out to be psychically sensitive to an unusual degree.
Haggerty tells how this woman once had an intuition that her daughter was in trouble. Haggerty later confirmed the story with the daughter. What happened is that the daughter was driving to Sacramento. The mother got a feeling that she must call a certain unfamiliar phone number that had just popped into her head. She called. It turns out it was the number of a service station off the highway on the way to, yes, Sacramento. She described her daughter, Allison, to the service station attendant. Just then, a young woman was walking up to him. He said, “Allison?” Of course, it was her. Allison’s car had broken down and she had come on foot looking for mechanical assistance.
Interesting, no?


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Alexis

posted September 16, 2009 at 5:34 pm


Fascinating, actually.
I too began reading The Lost Symbol yesterday, and it’s hard to put down.
The human psyche really is enthralling.



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Your Name

posted September 16, 2009 at 6:47 pm


Spooky action at a distances what ruined Einstein’s day. And subatomic particles seem to know when they are being watched.



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Zehra

posted September 17, 2009 at 12:23 am


I too started reading ‘The Lost Symbol’ yesterday…..very interesting. I will try to read most of the references mentioned in this book about Noetic Science/ Alchemy. The concept of Mind over Matter is mind boggling :)



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Ahurazarathustrathorisis

posted September 17, 2009 at 12:12 pm


I, too, have felt such spiritual phenomenon stirring in my soul. When I consulted the ancient rune stones as the 5th moon aligned in the galactic opening of the distal star set displaced in the zenith of Leo, it was revealed to me through the divine wisdom of the ancient oracles, whose enlightenment transcends that of space and time, that the uncovering of the philosopher’s stone is but fleeting parsec as we pass through the heavenly ether in our divine quest for enlightenment through the spiritual connection uniting body, mind, and soul against the eternal struggle of the spirit entities seeking to disjoin our harmony with Nature and the cardinal Spirits of the four corners of the cosmos that seek to guide us to a holiness that perfects the union of our imminent reincarnation with our material flesh through the span of ages in our enduring cycle, synchronized by those whose holy name be not mentioned and whose perfection is the aim of our enlightened quest of immortality in the New Jerusalem we shall gain through due, diligent servitude. It unto to Him, Most High, that I offer such praise and gratitude in pure humility that we can unite and have the divine secrets of the ages revealed, as He shows His love to us! Hallelujah, Amen, Peace.



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Glen Davidson

posted September 17, 2009 at 1:29 pm


I remember quite well when one of my sisters called up my Mom, with the premonition that something terrible had happened to her. The only thing out of the ordinary on that day was that call, however.
Such occurrences are rarely remarked, not even remembered in most cases.
What should be needless to say is that Einstein by no means said anything like “the way our minds seem to be unconfined by the three pounds of brains in our skull but instead are entangled with each other and with the world around us.” The EPR paradox was meant to call into question quantum theory’s completeness, after all.
In fact, just yesterday I was reading in Physics Today how QM is so badly used by pseudoscientists. Otoh, anti-evolution pseudoscientists shouldn’t be expected to confine their misuses of science and of quotes to biology.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



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Yirmi

posted September 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm


My great-grandmother become horribly agitated and worried about her son, by great-uncle, at the exact moment that he was nearly killed in WWII, during the Allied invasion of Germany.
Many people, I think, have minds that are so closed to religion that there’s no way they would every come to believe in God through traditional religious arguments, anecdotes, and other writings. I think this applies to many secular Jews, who assume Judaism is nothing but superstition. But when people put together a lot of really uncanny, often unexplainable ancedotes, as Kubler-Ross did regarding near-death experiences, or even as popular writers do (I’m thinking of James Van Praagh), then this can be very effective in opening people’s minds. Now just because the afterlife and psychic phenomenon and such are true doesn’t mean God exists, or that any of the religions on earth contain much truth. But once you realize there’s more than just the physical world, it becomes at least possible to think about the truth of religion. If the universe could be structured in such a wondrous way that such things exist, then why couldn’t it also contain great miracles, or be guided in its social and natural history (I’m thinking of the history of the Jewish people and evolution) by a great divine being?
It’s a good practice to keep a journal of synchronicities and other events. Such things happen all the time, but I easily forget about them, so it’s good to document them.



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Glen Davidson

posted September 18, 2009 at 2:43 pm


But when people put together a lot of really uncanny, often unexplainable ancedotes, as Kubler-Ross did regarding near-death experiences, or even as popular writers do (I’m thinking of James Van Praagh), then this can be very effective in opening people’s minds.

You can start with this one:

During World War One, Hitler thought he heard a voice telling him to get up and move to another location. An artillery shell then exploded right where he had been.

Or perhaps anecdotes don’t add up to evidence.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



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jestrfyl

posted September 30, 2009 at 11:24 am


Enjoy the book. It is a fun read. It may also cause people to tour Washington with more interest and intent. And of nothing else it is probably the best recruitment tool for the masons that they have had in many decades.



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Your Name

posted October 5, 2009 at 7:57 pm


I was eagerly waiting for the book mainly because I like Dan Browns work and subject matter. but I asked my sister Leah a philosophy mjr. a bout 5 days before the book was released if she knew anyone beyond religion and she laughed and said “yeah Josh” our brother” I said no not someone that See’s no point but actually is beyond it. I was thinking of Steven Hawkings the brilliant physicists I know he is highly educated but he has ability few men have. Although his body is feeble and weak his conscience and mind is that of a Hercules. it’s like he remembered what was there the whole time. so what if its just that. Remembering who we are. So oddly enough the things I had been pondering surfaced in the most unlikely place a fictional novel. knowing we all descend from the same light the same Godly intelligence is hope that the answers are but a prayer away with intent to know the source.



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Your Name

posted November 8, 2009 at 7:23 pm


In the middle of Dan Brown’s new book so looked up noetic science and found these posts, and the article. And just finished Signiture in the Cell, a book I believe will eventually have enormous impact. I have experienced these things in business over 20 years, but unlike everyone, I think this “oneness” is primeval and something we are meant to grow away from, and if we are able, will actually be what is meant for us to do, to create a unique being that is unfettered and truly creative as opposed to being mired in, or sucked back into, some morass of “oneness”, or “enlightened” groupiness. Can we we ever outgrow this dorky hippiness?



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Lazerbenabba

posted November 21, 2009 at 9:07 am


As with several of your respondents, it was Dan Brown’s latest book that prompted me to follow and research the various ‘mystical’ elements raised. HowEver, I have to remark that contrary to other posts I have not radically changed my basic and intrinsic belief in the divinity of humanity. That is not to say I believe in any form of almighty (God).
On the contrary, without humanity to conceive of such a concept it becomes a total irrelevance. What is evident is our desire to name, to categorise what we all feel in our inner selves that there is more to life than mere existence, hence we give it a name. All humanity and its’ collective past has been absorbed into our human pysche and we are now beginning to realise that we are that all powerful but very flawed GOD.



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Your Name

posted November 25, 2009 at 5:02 am


Dan Brown is the first influence that has made me question my atheism. I have always been empty of a higher purpose and I suffer an illogical fear of death that makes me eager to run to the hospital at even the slightest discomfort within my body. Religion does nothing for me and I have always viewed it as an excuse that we make up to run away from the fact that we are indeed just one miniscule, unimportant being in a universe that we can’t even begin to fathom. Dan Brown has given me some hope that perhaps the world is not as empty as it seems. I have always seen the coincidences between the religions. I have had those moments of despair in which I have fallen to my knees and prayed to a God that I never accept on a normal day. If science can finally catch up with religion I will be able to find a peace within myself.



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zen

posted December 2, 2009 at 8:03 am


I am thrilled that Dan Brown is not only offering an exciting treasure hunt that inspires interest in our Nation’s Capitol but has inspired us with truth. A Course In Miracles has been exploring “At One Ment” for many years. So the God within instead of without idea is not new to me and I am so glad that Dan is putting it out there for all of his millions of readers.



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Mergatroid

posted December 3, 2009 at 2:54 pm


Lazerbenabba wrote: “That is not to say I believe in any form of almighty (God)… vs … we are now beginning to realise that we are that all powerful but very flawed GOD.”
Alrighty.



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Intregued

posted December 30, 2009 at 11:44 am


I’m a 14 year old and I find Dan Brown’s “the Lost Symbol” quite interesting. I’m more then half way through the book and I’m noticing that even though Noetic science doesn’t have much to do with the book (for now at least) but he incorporated a science that has hooked me and I’ve been researching the topic in the past few days



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Sulinde

posted January 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm


Dan Brown has a serious lack of understanding in the scientific topics he endeavors to use for his novels. The chapter in which Katherine explains Noetic Science is loaded with false analogies and downright falsehoods with respect to the nature of theoretical and particle physics. For starters, the idea of Entanglement in quantum physics is not one of universal connection but very specific action at a distance after specific events. Subatomic theory has most certainly not proven “categorically that all matter [is] interconnected … entangled in a single unified mesh …” this is an elaborate distortion of the word and is scarcely related to the scientific concept.
Furthermore, Katherine not only accepts String Theory as gospel and talks about it as being “based on the most recent scientific observations,” but acts as though the idea of ten dimensions, six of them bound, is held widely even among string theorists. There is much debate over how these dimensions are bound, how many are bound, and how many there are *according to the theory* (most commonly 10, 11 and 12). String theory is also not based on observable data at all, but pure mathematical speculation. While very popular, string theory is decades away from finding any sort of observable validation. Taking a broader view of the science used to give validation to this theorizing, the spooky coincidence of the ten dimensional theory having been guessed at by mystics begins to disappear.
His dismissal of Katherine’s polarity argument is similarly flawed. Polarity is more than a balance of opposing forces in binary systems; by this definition I could argue that Star Wars was about Electricity and Magnetism. The concept of a balance universe is not inherently tied to positive and negative charges in a magnetic field, especially when considering that many positive charges are not caused by positive carriers as opposed to negative carriers, but the mere absence of negative carriers. As with most of Dan Brown’s explanations in this chapter, his surface analogy is ludicrous and he offers nothing deeper than analogy to excuse his pompous disregard for the nature of these subjects. I would like to believe that he merely explains himself badly, but understands the full implications of polarity, String Theory, et al and thus truly does understand what these ancient texts would need to say (and more importantly *mean*) in order to truly represent congruent predictions about physics and the universe.
Dan Brown did something similar, praising Da Vinci’s modern inventions. Most of these, however, don’t work. Da Vinci was a brilliant artist, and brilliant creator of mechanisms, but his machines of war and flight are more brilliant in their conception than practice. In the same way, much of the ancient wisdom Dan Brown purports to hold the secrets of modern science was brilliant and meaningful in its own way, but either did not actually intersect with the topics of modern science, were too vague to truly denote discoveries over coincidental speculation, or finally were just plain wrong with respect to science however wonderful and apt with respect to theology and philosophy.
I have nothing against the field of Noetic study, though I have doubts about some of its methodology. My issue here is with Dan Brown pompously stating that all science in his novel is fact at the beginning of the book despite fundamentally misunderstanding the science he explains, or deliberately misrepresenting it; I prefer to think of the former. Purposeful or not, his representation of science continues to be deceitful and has been since he spoke of Antimatter in Angels and Demons(among many other errors, calling it the God Particle, a name often reserved by the physics community for the Higg’s Boson not antimatter which relates to the Higg’s purpose in Super Symmetry Theory; also antimatter consists of many distinctly different types of particles). If he would be content to write astoundingly accurate fiction, I would not be as angry at his deceptions. However, he contends that his books contain hard-and-fast fact; a shame, as when held to one of the lower rungs of scientific rigor, he continually falls off the ladder.



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Sulinde

posted January 7, 2010 at 7:49 pm


P.S. Also, as a spiritualist myself, I take issue with the idea that the human consciousness is special. I have personal faith that there is spiritual significance in the world, but neither do I endeavor to claim that science has proven this already or will prove it even within the next century nor do I claim for my mind special powers not found in the rest of the world. My consciousness is not unique on earth and perhaps is not in the universe. “Spooky action at a distance” has been occurring between non-living particles in measurable ways since the birth of the universe in the form of quantum entanglement and perhaps even the still mysterious gravity (gravitons have yet to be found to explain the carriage of this important force). And yet people both armed with science and with faith continue to deny spiritual power and significance to the universe. We are but one race of creatures on a minuscule planet, orbiting a relatively tiny sun in a small solar system with even its largest planets appearing unspectacular to the rest of the sky. I believe we are still significant in spite of that. But I am not so arrogant as to suspect that we are significant because of that, or that we are more significant than the awe inspiring power of a massive star, a black hole, a tiny ant. Even cognitively, we have creatures at our own level on this planet, though perhaps their brains are not developed at all in the intellectual manner that ours are so deeply in the modern age: Dolphins, Bonobos, perhaps even Cuttlefish and Octopuses (time and experimentation will tell). And yet we are the cornerstones of a spiritual word, nay a spiritual universe? Dan Brown and the spiritual community need to open their eyes, turn from arrogance, and more importantly follow their own mantra: open your mind as you instruct scientists to do, and see that you are not special at all. We are, I believe, worth much. But so are creatures and phenomena that we routinely overlook and take for granted as mere background noise.



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Tina

posted January 19, 2010 at 3:43 pm


I just finished reading Dan Brown’s new book as well, and also can agree with what you call spooky coincidences. These thoughts that he brings up have been in my mind for a long time. I was raised in a very strict baptist environment, and was taught that questioning the Bible was sacriligious. As I grew older I started to think that perhaps the Bible was not always meant to be taken literally,and that a lot of things are lost in translation. Then I read The Celestine Prophesy and learned about synchronization and following the clues (aka coincidences) and started to open my mind more intellectually to more ideas. It seems strange that this is the website I opened up first when I googled Noetic Science. A coincidence? Is it a coincidence that almost everytime I call someone they were “just thinking about me”, or that often I think of someone I havent spoken to in a while and they just happen to call or email me? I am beginning to think not. I also seem to carry a large ammount of electrical energy (blowing lightbulbs, streetlights that go out often when I pass, and always shocking people when I touch them) that I cant help but wonder if this might be something that Noetic Science might understand. Interesting stuff.



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Erik

posted January 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm


Sulinde –
It’s a book. A story. Dan Brown is an AUTHOR. I could pick any, or, more precisely, all religious texts known to man and find the same false pretenses you rave about above. I’m just gonna take a stab here and say you’d probably like to be an author, but just can’t cut it….
Hmmmm, lucky guess? Or am I on the same intellectual level as you and we’re somehow experiencing spooky action at a distance???
(Yes, I left it open for you to insult my intellect, let’s see how good you are…)



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Sulinde

posted April 5, 2010 at 3:20 pm


Erik –
I recently stumbled across this link through my browser auto-complete feature. I don’t know that you still care for a response, and judging by the tenor of your statement you probably don’t. However, as I am here again, I will respond in a less acerbic manner to your unduly snide comments.
Simply put, I fail to see your point. I do not, as it happens, desire to be an author. As I have never tried to publish anything I can’t say for sure that any publishers think I “just don’t cut it,” and I have scant desire to do so in the first place.
Furthermore your attacks on my person do nothing to defend Dan Brown, Noetic Science, or indeed the crux of my argument’s attack: Dan Brown’s misuse of science, misuse of faith, and attempts to paint his fiction as more than a story. He reports all non-narrative content in his book as fact–not fiction, not “story.” Were he content, as I said, to do so, I would not be as annoyed with his digressions. If you wish to defend the book from the standpoint of authorship and fiction, by all means hold Dan Brown to the standards of storytelling. Dan Brown provides entertainment in the same vein as James Bond films: it’s exciting and it convinces readers that they sit in the middle of a mystery despite being a rehashing of an earlier version. It plays out well as an action/suspense novel. It was pleasurable in this sense. But when originality, character depth, narrative line, skill of word-craft and any number of measures related to the story rather than the admittedly addictive and well-handled action-film experience come in to play I find Dan Brown less skilled than at first glance. By bringing to matter his “story” you bring to mind one of the weaker sides of Dan Brown’s fiction. Yes, how enjoyable a novel is to read is important to the “story” and has something to do with the author’s skill. But Dan Brown uses the same tricks as Hollywood does to make the same simple template just as enticing as it was the first several times we saw it despite having scarcely changed; he uses the easiest methods of making his novel enjoyable possible. This is not a bad thing at all. But it doesn’t have much to do with his skill as a storyteller: he is telling the same story he told in most of his books. What it shows is his skill as a showman, a producer, a decorator. He is very skilled at these things.
This is a matter of opinion, not fact. I acknowledge this. But no matter how much you insult me I am going to hold to it until you provide an argument that consists of more than personal slights couched as supposed insights into my character.
When the spirituality and scientific principles at play in the novel are brought to the fore, my above concerns and opinions still stand. Separate from the story, I find the message in Dan Brown’s novel worrisome (see above posts for more details as to why).
Finally, you said, “[you] could pick any […] religious text[…]and find the same false pretenses [I] rave about above.” I agree. Religious texts often have portions that contradict themselves and use logical and philosophical fallacies to make matters of faith into matters of fact; thus when taken too seriously by followers of various faiths, these texts often cause confusion and controversy. I am confused that you use this statement in your post. It seems that you intend it as a disagreement but I fail to see how it is such. If you return, I would like you to explain what you meant by this statement.



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Toby

posted May 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm


As an outsider to your debate, here is what I see. Sulinde is merely stating that the scientific foundation to most of Dan Brown’s ficticious works are simply that – ficticious. The problem I think he/she is having (and correct me if I am wrong Sulinde) is that Dan Brown usually has a narration in his books stating how accurate everything in his writings are. When, upon scientific review, can imphatically be proven as completely inaccurate.
I believe Erik read the initial post and plainly spoke out of anger. He was upset because he was under the impression that Sulinde was attacking Dan Brown and/or his novels(which I’m guessing Erik has read and enjoyed for what they are, great fiction works).
It is my understanding from reading the above posts that Sulinde is not arguing whether or not Dan Brown is a good author no that he is a good human being. The argument is that Mr. Brown regulalry states his writings are scientifically accurate – when they actually are not.
Oddly enough, I think both of you are correct (minus the character bashing).



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Anthony

posted July 2, 2010 at 2:26 pm


Hey, that’s ordinary to a Christian. God tells me things all the time. He and I have had some great conversations. After my mom died and came back to life, she has also had many great conversations with God. Sometimes He just tells you stuff that seems random and odd, like, Don’t go to work today, and then it turns out to be 9-11. That happened to quite a few Christians. When the Iraq war started, my spirit suddenly knew that it’d be 6 weeks precisely. And when I heard on the radio that Princess Diana was killed in a car accident, I who knew nothing about her besides her name was out of the blue told by God that she was assasinated. Once my car was stolen while i was living in Cape Town. I asked God, am I out of your will? And He put his hand on my shoulder and said, Son, you’re in the dead center of my will. My wife-to-be gave me lifts for 3 weeks, in which time we got engaged, then the police phoned me – they’d found my car besides a freeway a few weeks ago. It was totally undamaged. It’d been in storage. God does this kind of thing all the time, I could give you millions of examples of mine and my friends. Why not? He is spirit. We are spirit – but disconnected from Him by sin. Jesus restores us if we ask. Do it and get to know Him personally. It’s beautiful!



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Luna Lovegood

posted May 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm


I have to admit that I am also one those who started to be interested in Noetic Science after finishing Dan Brown’s book. What I felt while reading his book is also a kind of resonnance within my soul of a very deeply buried knowledge, or Truth, that I can remember and acces if I choose to. This sensation of recognition moved me deeply and I started to wonder if their is realy a science out there that is studying precisely this, and if yes, how far did it actually get to.

For many years now, the realms of many different branches of conventional science has felt that we are advancing so fast in technology that we are now starting to feel the limits of mater… so what comes next? After going so far in the world of mater, we are now seeking our next answers in the wisom of the ancients… something that we might have missed, or overlooked, or misunderstood…

I am happy I found this site because it seems to me like many others are seeking answers outside the conventional boundaries. The world is changing… it is time we change ourselves as well.



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Perry Andrews

posted March 7, 2012 at 7:38 pm


Hey Josh Caldwell! Is this on here? Maybe if You will quit seeing the walls they will not exist. Try closing your eyes and walking through them. very interesting… Love,

Dale



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dr, m. corey

posted June 11, 2012 at 10:03 pm


maybe or not…whoknows what the future holds..dan brown is a fun read.



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VY

posted August 22, 2012 at 2:30 am


Thanks for the info !! Even I read a book by Dan Brown “The Lost Symbol” which says about Neotic Science.I have been looking to know things about Neotic science. This article helped me a lot.



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