Brian Taylor, quite possibly today’s foremost researcher into yoga and the psychic and spiritual sciences, records his research in CENTRE The Truth about Everything. Michael Tymn, quite possibly today’s foremost writer on 19th century and early 20th century Spiritualism, records his investigations in TRANSCENDING THE TITANIC.

Image for Article TITANIC
What both books focus on is the spiritual and transcendent elements of existence and its apparent continuation after physical death. Michael Tymn uses archival anecdotal evidence communicated through mediums by a few of the deceased victims of the Titanic who survived in another dimension. Brian Taylor uses the Centre, the potentiality of which he describes as like the lamp waiting for Aladdin to wipe off the dust and express a wish or desire.

The most famous passenger on the Titanic had been William Thomas Stead (1849 -1912); a British journalist, editor, author, spiritualist and pacifist —as a peace crusader he had been nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1903 and thought to have been the likely recipient in 1912.

Stead boarded the ill-fated Titanic for a visit to America to take part in a peace congress at Carnegie Hall. After the ship struck the iceberg, Stead helped several women and children into lifeboats and during the last hours of the doomed voyage, he was reported as appearing utterly calm, unfazed by the prospect of death, which he regarded merely as a transition to a better world.

Very soon after his death, William Stead began communicating through mediums. Of his passing from earth to spirit life, he deliberately kept brief describing the first part as naturally extremely discordant. His first surprise —and he reminds us that to our way of thinking he was dead— he found that from being in dire straights himself, he was able to lend a hand to others. Just a moment of agitation, momentary only, and then the full and glorious realization that all he had learned as a spiritualist was true. He was still so near the earth that he could see everything that was going on there. He could see the wrecked ship, the people, the whole scene; and that pulled him into action— he could help.

A matter of a few minutes only in time, and there were hundreds of bodies floating in the water —dead—hundreds of souls carried through the air, alive; very much alive—newly thrust out of their bodies, all unwillingly. This is described in CENTRE as the ‘astral body’ leaving the physical body, because it is dead. “The human body functions as a living being only as long as it is inhabited by, and impregnated with, an astral body which can provide a non-physical link between it and the origin of life which is the Centre.”

Stead described how they waited until the disaster was complete. The saved—saved; the dead—alive. Then in one whole they moved their scene to a different land. He could not say how long the journey lasted, nor how far from the earth they were, but described it as a gloriously beautiful arrival, “…like walking from your own English winter gloom into the radiance of an Indian Sky.” He would not say that none were unhappy, many were; but that was because they did not understand the nearness of the two worlds; they did not know what was possible, but to those who understood the possibilities there was little grief for them. 

Brian Taylor’s pioneering discoveries provide a spiritual map, a vocabulary and a method to understand all the experiences described by William Stead who had believed in the afterlife but didn’t have doubt removed until after his physical death. CENTRE carries one across the threshold of the spiritual dimension in an impersonal, scientific way and enables the seeker after truth to fit spiritual experiences, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, into the complete picture. 

Having arrived at the new land Stead reported that they, who had come over from that ill-fated ship, parted company and went their separate ways —in accordance with their karma. Some remained as astrals (ghosts), some found happiness in the Heaven worlds (which Stead describes in ‘THE BLUE ISLAND’), experiencing the truth of “In my father’s house there are many mansions.” Stead described it as a land of freedom and happiness brought about through the real love of man for man. A land to work for—a land in which your place is made according to the knowledge you have had whilst on earth and the way you used that knowledge.

He communicated that Life here is a grander thing —a bolder thing, and a happier thing for all those who have led reasonable lives on earth, but for the unreasonable there are many troubles and difficulties and sorrows to be encountered. He emphasized the great truth of “as ye sow, so shall ye reap.” CENTRE’s core understanding reflects this truth as the natural result of the underlying Oneness of everything illustrated by the simple yet profound Universal Octopus diagram. 

Stead’s urgent message for those on earth is to understand the seriousness of our predicament ‘as you are now, so you will be after death’ and that same law still applies in the afterlife. He gives a brief outline of progressing from sphere to sphere —through making his own conditions. In each further sphere, he said, you become more and more self-contained, more detached. Some can progress to an impersonal state and become pure spirit people; others, he said, return to a new birth on earth. 

Stead enabled another victim from the wreck, the multimillionaire John J Astor (who had conducted himself with dignity and courage during the crisis) to communicate that he had found himself to be suffering from blindness in the new land until he had come to regret his earthly materialistic ambitions after being immersed in a higher spiritual reality. “Why are these things not taught in the world?” he is said to have cried through a medium. “Why did no one ever tell me these things?”

Spirits from the ‘other side’, Stead reported, have nothing more to say that has not been anticipated by one or other of those great Messengers who taught men the Way, their role is more to “widen the chinks through which the same light may shine through a little more clearly…”

CENTRE illuminates the truth about “these things” experienced in the present. It serves as a guide book and blueprint to happiness and teaches how to move from sphere to sphere, form to form, moving steadily deeper and deeper into higher, finer and finer realms —until one reaches the original sphere itself…

William Stead missed CENTRE by a hundred years but anyone reading this has the rare opportunity to read the book, understand the Centre, locate it and use it to reach the destination of their choice and the highest happiness — here and now.


TRANSCENDING THE TITANIC by Michael Tymn (2012) Amazon
CENTRE – THE TRUTH ABUT EVERYTHING by Brian Taylor (2012) Amazon
THE BLUE ISLAND as communicated by William T. Stead (1922) Kindle
TITANIC by Filson Young (1912) Free Kindle


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“Has a dog Buddha-nature?angel
This is the most serious question of all.
If you say yes or no,
You lose your own Buddha-nature.”
-Zen Verse

A poet had written a love poem about his dog and reading it reminded me of this story which I sent to him from the Myths of the Hindus: Five royal heroes recognising that there time had come, resigned the throne to their successors and set forth on their last solemn journey — the pilgrimage of Death — followed by a dog who would not leave them. The last to die refused to enter Indra’s heavenly chariot —without the dog. He cannot imagine happiness, even in Heaven, if it were to be haunted by the thought of one so true who had been cast off. The god pleads and argues against the dog coming with him. The noble hero replies “To cast off one who has loved us is infinitely sinful.” The test is finished. Refusing to enter Heaven for the sake of a dog —and the dog stands transformed into a shining god, the God of Righteousness. The mortal is acclaimed by radiant multitudes and seated in the chariot of glory, he enters Heaven.

The coincidence amazed the poet as it paralleled a recent experience of his own: “I have a painting of my little dog in the arms of Jesus as seen one early morning at sunrise. A friend of a friend came to visit this heathen and preached that in the rapture only the righteous would enter the kingdom. I asked the lady about my dog, taking her to see my painting, and she said, “No, only humans, there be no animals in heaven (paradise).” I said, “Well madam, in that case, I’d rather not enter, for it would not be paradise for me without my dog, a much better being than I ever was or ever could be.”

Intrigued as to what the true answer might be to this “most serious question of all…” I asked Brian Taylor, author of the remarkable book CENTRE The Truth about Everything.

“Do dogs go to Heaven?”

He didn’t answer “yes” or “no” but replied, “Only if the astral leaves its dog behind.”

“What would the astral of a dog look like?” I asked.

“A dog,” Brian replied. “However, astral forms are mind-made, so they can be changed at will. Usually astrals are not aware of this.”

It became obvious that the same question and answer might apply to humans: ‘Do humans go to Heaven?’ the equivalent answer being, ‘Only if the astral leaves its human behind.’ I asked Brian if this was the case and he replied, “Yes.”

He had gone on to say that “Livingness” – life is a constantly changing continuum. “What I am now I was not then…” “What I will be I am not now…” This is described in his book – the truth being (discovered by using the Centre) that what seems to be an individual is a continuum and not an entity that continues indefinitely. “At any moment it is not the same as at any point in the past, but it is not different either.”He quotes the poet Tennyson who described the continuum as “rising on stepping stones of our dead selves to higher things”.

These ‘higher things’ according to CENTRE are to be discovered within us. The physical body (whether human, animal, fish, bird, insect…) is described as functioning only when it is inhabited by, and impregnated with, an astral body which can provide a non-physical link between it and the origin of life which is the Centre.

The astral body, as described in the book, provides “livingness” by means of subsidiary centres which themselves derive from another body inside the astral body. This is the “deva” body, which derives from yet another body inside it, the “brahma” body. Inside the brahma body is a fifth body – the “Buddha” body…

This makes five bodies that have forms: one material and four mental. The author suggests that it is helpful if one thinks of these five bodies fitting inside each other like a set of Russian dolls. Each being the result of karmic actions, in some cases a very long time ago.

Each of them is described as containing the same Centre. Their forms, as it were, being strung on strings which go right back to the origin of everything. One sees, says the author Brian Taylor, that the road home leads ever further and further inward into oneself rather than outward into the increasingly material forms of outward bodies. In withdrawing inward to more refined forms one is in fact retracing one’s steps. This is the way all beings have come on their journey – outwards from the Centre via subtle mental forms into the labyrinth of material evolution. “The spider, the amoeba, (the dog), the archangel and you are all fellow travellers on this journey from a single departure point. Who could have predicted it?”

Copy of draft ariya avatar

Now the truth of the Zen verse is clear! And the royal hero and poet are right in their love and loyalty for a “fellow traveller”. Not only do we lose ‘Buddha nature’ if we view any of the many outward manifestations of the One (the Centre) as separate and inferior but more seriously so, by harming any of the myriad transformations from the Centre which appear now as humans, now as animals, now as birds, now as insects.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
                −Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


  1. Universal Octopus Publications
  2. Centre The Truth about Everything by Brian Taylor

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front.cover.blondin.fBOOK REVIEW
Blondin: Collected Poems

by Brian Taylor

New Edition 2019
Published by Universal Octopus
Paperback  224 pages

Blondin opens with an image of a man crossing Niagara on a tightrope – symbolising Everyman’s precarious journey through Life from birth to death.

“Blondin above Niagara,
 the rope begins to sway.
 The rocks below are grinning.
 Every step is Judgement Day.”

And the opening poem is short and enigmatic:

“The Sun shines
  in a bucket of water
  and doesn’t

The book is made up of three collections of poems which all shine an impersonal seeing on the mundane to the extraordinary, the humour and tragedy, the light and the dark of Everyman’s life. The subject matter ranges from Oxford with its colleges, rivers and ghosts to the Far East with its monks and Buddhism.

Each poem in its own way is a pleasure to read, brightens the mind and has a wise point. No words are wasted. Each poem is different, yet all home in on the transiency of things and seeing the world from the same centre (1)  as the Poet at the time the poems were written. Humour and catastrophe side by side, good and evil, rich and poor, the beautiful and the ugly, the livingness of the present moment and the deadness of clinging to the past or a future.

“Poetry begins with pain
 (like any other kind of birth)
 but though it breeds and feeds on earth,
 it aims at not becoming back again
 and reaches to the root of things
 in search of the eternal springs.”

Though Blondin ends with the same short enigmatic poem as at the beginning there is now emphasis on the something unchangeable that has been underlying all the poems. Above the poem, a grim cartoon of the moment before death – combined – they can elicit a flash of the Deathless!

“The Sun (still) shines
  in a bucket of water
  and doesn’t

The insight in the Blondin poems of Everyman’s one step after another (one breath after the other) across the tightrope of Life – is into the Unconditioned State. Everywhere is the contrast between the teeming multiplicity of life and the utter freedom of the Unconditioned State that runs like a crack through the Universe.

Brian Taylor’s collection of poems in Blondin: Collected Poems is a rare work of Art and Insight and serves as a good friend and wise companion on the journey of life to Everyman and the serious truth seeker. Each poem is as fresh to read again and there is joy in awakening to the truth that the poems point to.

Linden Brough, July 2019



(1) To find out about the different centres in your body see Centre: The Truth about Everything 


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Noah'sArk_1In the story God told Noah to build an Ark to keep him safe from the great flood that was coming.

Today, the world is flooded with the great danger of insane behaviour being accepted as the norm in all levels of society. Life in its many forms on Earth is being threatened with extinction unless humans change the way they act. We don’t need a God to tell us what is obvious in the mad world today (yet only seen by a few) and know that the action that needs to be taken is to stop causing suffering to Life before it is too late.

The Ark kept Noah safe.  The Ark could be considered to be what kind of Life one builds for oneself and needs the safety of a moral compass. Basic Ethics – not doing to other living beings what I would not want done to me.

This enables a direct route back to the Centre[1]. The Centre does not harm its tentacles[2]. With this understanding one is in a position to see that the cause of madness in the world is separatism (Ego). Desire fades to explore going further out into the labyrinthine world and one looks inwards to free the mind from identification with its human form and feelings (non-self, impermanent and unsatisfactory) and the cause of rebirth in unsatisfactory realms.

One is now free to choose to mould thoughts, speech and actions from seeing the Truth and by awareness and investigation develop understanding that changes one! One could enter the Centre forever.

The safety of an Ark with a moral compass is what is needed in the world and is the foundation to escape from the world.

“Who would purify their world first purifies their mind,
  As the mind becomes pure, their world becomes pure.”



[1] See Centre: The Truth about Everything by Brian Taylor

[2] Tentacles: See Universal Octopus


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poppies-on-crossesThe idea for a memorial emblem of the red poppy came in a moment of revelation to an American teacher, Moina Belle Michael. It was the Saturday morning of the 11th November, 1918 —the day the Armistice was signed. A young soldier had placed a copy of the Ladies Home Journal on her desk where she was on duty for a Conference of the Overseas YMCA at Columbia University in New York City.  She found time to read it and discovered the marked page which carried John Macrae’s poem ‘In Flanders Fields’:

“I read the poem…  The last verse transfixed me:    

‘To you from failing hands we throw
The Torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields’.

This was followed by a spiritual experience. It seemed as though she heard the silent voices of the dead, whispering and sighing in anxiety and anguish. In a moment of high resolve she pledged to KEEP FAITH WITH THEM and wear a red poppy as a sign of remembrance with all who had died.  She felt impelled to make a note of her pledge and, as she was hastily scribbling it down on the blank side of a used envelope, three men from the conference approached her with a gift of ten dollars to buy some flowers in appreciation of her work for the conference.  Looking up from her intense reverie of dedication and noting the coincidence, she had replied:

“How strange. I shall buy red poppies —twenty-five red poppies. I shall always wear red poppies of Flanders Field! Do you know why?”

Moina then showed them the poem by John Macrae and shared her inspiration. They were duly impressed and took the poem back with them to the Conference room. The conference were equally pleased and the men returned asking for red poppies to wear.

That Saturday afternoon Moina went poppy hunting in New York City and eventually found twenty five small silk red four-petaled poppies, fashioned after the wild poppies of Flanders. On her return to the university the men came crowding round for poppies to wear. She pinned one on her cloak collar and gave out the others.  This was the first group ever to ask for poppies to wear in memory of their soldier dead.

As a result of ‘The Poppy Lady’s’ tireless campaigning, her dedication to the cause and the inspiration her idea gave to others, the red field poppy has become an internationally recognized symbol of Remembrance and continues to draw heart-felt public support as a fund raiser to relieve distress among war veterans and their families.

Yet the revelation that came to Moina was that the ‘war dead’ were not dead. They communicated that they were in a state of “anxiety and anguish”.  Generating money from poppy sales gives much needed practical help to those who survived.  But can we help the ‘war dead’ who are trapped in the mental torment of violent deaths and the grief of unfulfilled lives? The poppy represents the sacrifice associated with two world wars and today many think of the lives lost in Vietnam, The Falklands, Northern Ireland, Iran, Afghanistan and Syria…

Moina’s heart had been stirred by a poem written from the heart of a poet. This opened an access point to the ‘war dead’ and she spiritually heard their grief and suffering.  We too can feel the heart open on reading the old war poems, or on hearing current war news (and not being entertained by sensationalism and human tragedy). On Remembrance Day (Memorial Day in May in America) the poppy can remind us of those who died in battle and is a point in time which can be used for heart communion with the ‘war dead’.

There is a recorded personal story of a soldier killed in 1918, ‘Private Dowding’, which describes his experience of ‘death’ in the battle-field. He had been sure death would mean extinction and he knew that many believed this. It was because extinction did not come to him that he was drawn to communicate his experience hoping that it would prove useful to some.

He did in fact ‘move on’ and describes inhabiting heaven worlds. The writer of this article mentions ‘Private Dowding’ because of a coincidence that happened one November morning. She had been reading this book when the Poet-philosopher and author of ‘Centre’ happened to visit. She told him about Private Dowding’s story and how Centre understanding had opened the way to make sense of the soldier’s afterlife story. As Brian Taylor listened he had looked at his watch and quietly observed that it was exactly 11am – it was Remembrance Sunday (2012).

The ‘war dead’ have their suffering to wake up from; the living can recognise them when they come. We can share their Communion and unlock the meaning of that wonderful word.

Further Reading:

Flanders Field (11.11.12)

Centre: The Truth about Everything

Private Dowding

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Passing by a butcher’s shop in an indoor market I was stopped in my tracks by the sight105218753
in a low-level window. The full-length body of a dead pig cut perfectly in half from nostril to tail. The one nostril oozing congealed blood, the one eye shut, white eye lashes curled, the one front leg and foot stiff, the one back leg the same.

A father wearing jeans and a t-shirt with tattooed arms had stopped with his two children to look. He said, “It’s good to see this, it shows you what sausages and bacon come from. You won’t see this in the supermarket.”

One child asked, “How was it killed?”

“Electrocuted,” the father answered.

He then said passionately, “When you see where your food comes from you will know for yourself what to eat and what not to eat.”

“Well said!” I exclaimed.

He turned around to see who had spoken and said, “I only eat organic meat because then I know where it has come from.”

“Really?” My astonished reply was lost on the father who had moved on to keep up with his children.

Whether a pig is “organic” or not, the pig is a living being and does not want to be killed. Knowing where the pig came from is not the point. It’s knowing the pig will suffer. We can consciously choose to live an ethical life that leads to the welfare and happiness of all beings by simply “not doing to any other living being what we would not like done to ourselves.”

Organic or not, the death trip to the slaughter house is the same nightmare of fear, dread, betrayal, suffering and violent loss of life.

To see with compassion the men who are paid to kill the pigs (and other animals) in the slaughter house. Because of human greed, such brutalising and dehumanising work is done and carries dire consequences for those who do the killing (as well as for those who perpetuate the suffering and killing of pigs).

The scale of suffering is formidable!

PIGS are unfinished business in the conscience of humanity. SEE suffering with compassion and understanding. STOP eating pigs (and any other animal).

Look and See.
Until you See, Look occupies the Present.
As soon as you See, Look occupies the Past.
See occupies the Present.


VIVA Vegan is a state of kind. Be kind to all kind. https://www.viva.orhg.uk/sentenced-death/part-one-inside-slaughterhouse

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Looking at the image of the Universal Octopus and seeing everything: humans, birds, butterflies, fish, trees, mushrooms… emerging from the Centre, the Source of consciousness – I wondered about trees, “Do trees feel pain when they are cut down?


I recalled visiting the Findhorn Community in Scotland many years ago and being at a gathering in their Community Hall to meet an esteemed Tibetan Buddhist Lama. He and eight monks had been flown in by helicopter as invited guests for the afternoon.

This friendly looking Lama gave a talk on loving kindness and compassion. He then invited questions from the audience and someone asked “Do carrots feel pain when pulled from the ground?

He had answered simply “I don’t know” and then asked the questioner whether this was her own experience. She had replied enthusiastically quoting someone else who could hear carrots and cabbages scream! The Lama had smiled with good humour shining from dark oriental eyes and had encouraged the lady to investigate for herself and to let him know when she found the answer.

I have never heard distress sounds from vegetables or trees and was curious about whether there was any truth to such stories. I asked Brian Taylor, the author of ‘Centre The Truth about Everything‘ if indeed trees and plant life could feel pain when cut down or dug up.

“Though there is livingness there, it’s not the same as for example in a centipede, or a worm, or a cat, or a bird,” he had replied. “It’s more mechanical. You can cut off a branch and stick it in the ground and it will grow roots and make a new plant or tree. You can take a part of a leaf and culture it to grow. Similarly you can cut off someone’s hair which has a sort of livingness in it, or their nails and there is no pain. Plants and trees are the same.”

He went on to say “Plants and trees are the dwelling places of devas…”

This was awe inspiring to hear. It gave credence to the countless folk and fairy tales involving Nature Spirits that go back as far as can be remembered in the story telling traditions in all cultures on Earth.

In the book Centre the description of “Devas” is understood to cover all beings with bodies of mental construction – gods, angels, guardian angels and household gods (what the Romans called lares and penates). The gods and angels are described as inhabiting specific heaven worlds, though not confined there. The household gods remain in a particular dwelling place.

Other devas are described as spirit beings which move around quite freely in the parallel worlds of astral and material form. They inhabit trees, plants, streams, rivers, even flowers. Most of the English names familiar to us for this kind of deva derive from the Graeco-Roman culture: Naiads, nymphs of fountains, springs, wells and brooks. Dryads, the nymphs of trees. Anthoussai, nymphs of flowers.

Every spot on Earth is thought to be alive and imbued with a spiritual element that is accessible to a developed human consciousness. These are invisible beings. They can know what we think and feel. Our thoughts and feelings are part of their habitat.

In Centre an example is given of how in Buddhist Southeast Asia it is not bodhi-tree-with-deva-wrapunusual for tree devas to be seen. When seen a brightly coloured muslin-type cloth is wrapped round the trunk of the tree to indicate that it should not be cut down. Offerings are made to the tree deva such as lighted joss sticks, rice and fruit.

The effect of destroying the trees and bushes in which these devas live is that they simply lose their home, just as humans do if their houses burn down and they escape the fire. The devas are not destroyed. However, they can and do experience loss and sorrow. They can also experience anger. This may result in hostile actions aimed at those responsible but, as the author of Centre writes, they cannot normally impinge upon the physical human form directly. However, they can reach the mind and cause dreams and nightmares.

There is a story about a group of monks in the Buddha’s time who had taken up residence in a cave to meditate and were disturbed by ‘dreams and nightmares’. The Buddha instructed them to radiate loving kindness to the devas of the cave. This solved the problem.

So there may be some truth after all to the story of a sensitive who can hear a carrot scream but if it cannot be disturbed plant life they are hearing – might it be sounds from the “deva” world?

The Buddha’s advice to send out thoughts of loving kindness to all beings, seen and unseen, is as applicable now as it was over two thousand years ago. It is a reminder of the powerful effect of human thoughts and feelings. Flowers, plants and trees give us an opportunity to recollect this optimum response – here and now.

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