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  • Writer's picturetrevorcarterva .

Exploring the Shadow

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

My first novel, Psychoid, explores the warped mind of a serial killer who gets involved with the occult and ends up terrorizing a family that owns a funeral home after his death. It's a story about facing the darkness within the unconscious—the Shadow.

I've spent over twenty-five years studying parapsychological phenomena, including UFOs. What I have learned is that these phenomena seem to be closely linked to human consciousness. And I think that it's likely these phenomena find a way to project into the physical plane of existence through the human mind.

Below is the Introduction to Psychoid.


We need more understanding of human nature, because the only real danger that exists is man himself . . . We know nothing of man, far too little. His psyche should be studied because we are the origin of all coming evil.

—Carl Gustav Jung (Interview with John Freeman, Face to Face, 1959)

The human brain, the most intricate structure known in the universe, is a fascinating enigma that surpasses all other mysteries. Exploring the depths of consciousness, a contentious topic in neurobiology, scientists grapple with the question of whether it is a byproduct of the brain or something more. Its nature remains unresolved, leaving us with many questions. One perplexing question is: how does neural activity become subjective experience?

There is another aspect of the mind that is even more fascinating than conscious awareness—the unconscious. From this realm of the mind comes new ideas for artistic expression. Always working beneath the surface unseen, it remains mostly a mystery. But its influence on our lives is profound. Whether it be through a painting or a work of fiction, such as a movie or a novel, it speaks to us, always seeking to express itself. The work of fiction you’re about to read was not entirely constructed on a conscious level. Most of the story flowed out of my unconscious.

Some of the concepts in this book are centered around the unconscious mind. There is some evidence that suggests the human brain is capable of generating, what is referred to as, paranormal experiences. Whether those experiences have an objective reality is unknown. However, based on the research I have done over the past twenty years, there seems to be some type of externalization that occurs—materializations. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming that materializations do occur. Many researchers have reached the same conclusion.

This book focuses on paranormal phenomena and their relation to the human mind. The people, places, and events in my story are all fictional. Some of the technologies mentioned have actually been used in the study of the paranormal, such as the Koren Helmet, also known as the “God Helmet.” The device was popularized by Dr. Michael Persinger, who conducted studies using the helmet over the span of several years. Persinger reported that participants in his studies had many strange experiences. Some people reported seeing ghosts. Others reported seeing aliens. While others only reported having sensed a presence in the room with them. Some people even reported seeing God; hence the device’s name. It’s worth mentioning that some people had no experience at all.

The human mind is capable of marvelous feats. Take, for example, the placebo effect. Studies of the placebo effect indicate that the mind is capable of affecting the body. There seems to be a neurobiological reaction that can affect certain chemicals, such as endorphins and dopamine. These chemicals affect mood, emotional reactions, and even self-awareness. Ted Kaptchuck, who directed a Harvard program for placebo studies, thinks that the placebo effect not only involves taking a pill, but the very act of taking a pill creates a ritual. He thinks the environmental factors and the ritual of taking medicine are important in the overall effect of the placebo. The ritual of taking medicine has a positive effect on healing, according to Kaptchuk.

The placebo itself has no medicinal value of course. Why placebos work is not fully understood. The expectation (belief) of the person taking the placebo plays into the overall effect it has on them. The use of brain imaging in placebo studies shows that neural activity is changed. Opioid receptor activity is directly impacted. For instance, when placebos are used to reduce pain, known as placebo analgesia, there are a couple of possible reasons for their effectiveness. It either initiates the release of endorphins (natural painkillers) or alters the perception of pain in the person’s mind.

Associate Professor Sheila Coulson (University of Oslo), showed that modern humans have performed advanced rituals for at least seventy thousand years. The use of rituals has persisted throughout the ages. Most religions have rituals that the adherents perform during ceremonies. Occult practices involve the use of rituals, spells, and charms. It is my opinion that the human mind is the true power behind rituals. Rituals are empowered and fueled by belief. This might explain why some people wearing the “God Helmet” experience something anomalous while others experience nothing at all. I mention Kapthuck’s and Coulson’s work because my story involves the use of rituals. They have a major impact on our lives and the lives of the characters in this book.

Thomas Bearden, a nuclear engineer, did research into anomalous phenomena. His research into biofield mechanisms provides a more technical explanation for how placebos might work. Bearden states that negative thoughts that are repeated or obsessed over in the mind can cause physical illness. This is referred to as psychosomatic but admits that the mechanism responsible for this is not known. According to him, electrical currents that run through the nervous system, across cell membranes, and through cell water structures, result in thought energy being continually sparked into weak electrical patterns, which affect all the vital processes of the body. He claims that nearly all kindled thought energy comes from the content of the unconscious mind. This content has either a positive or negative effect on the body.

The human psyche is, according to Carl Jung, the totality of psychic processes, both conscious and unconscious. Jung viewed the psyche as a self-regulating system, which is a type of control system. A control system for what, exactly? It’s a control system that controls and manages the evolution of human consciousness. Jung’s model for the psyche includes a process called individuation; the psyche’s search for wholeness. That is, after all, one of the reasons I wrote this book; to explore the human psyche and its search for wholeness.

Perhaps paranormal phenomena are the projection of psychic forces that serve different functions in the psyche and in the material world. They establish a link between the unconscious mind and conscious awareness. The conscious mind is like the surface of the ocean. The Unconscious Mind is what lies beneath the surface. There are forces that lie beneath that impact the surface. These forces might remain hidden, but their effects are tangible.

What abilities lie within the human mind? Are humans capable of projecting thoughtforms—materializations? What latent powers does each of us have, buried deep within the unconscious mind?

I hope that you find this book entertaining. But more than that, I hope it expands and illuminates your mind.

The Shadow

It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses- and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster; each individual is only one tiny cell in the monster’s body so that for better or worse he must accompany it on its bloody rampages and even assist it to the utmost. Having a dark suspicion of these grim possibilities, man turns a blind eye to the shadow side of human nature. Blindly he strives against the salutary dogma of original sin, which is yet so prodigiously true. Yes, he even hesitates to admit the conflict of which he is so painfully aware.

—Carl Jung, “On the Psychology of the Unconscious” (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.35

To purchase the book, click here.

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