An Interview with Anthony Peake:
Déjà vu, Precognition, Quantum Physics, the Daemon, and Philip K. Dick
by Brent Raynes
ANTHONY PEAKE is taking the world by storm with his “Cheating The Ferryman” theory which addresses the peculiar anomalies that happen to human consciousness at the point of death. The author of Is There Life After Death?: The Extraordinary Science of What Happens When We Die, and his most recent second book, The Daemon: A Guide To Your Extraordinary Secret Self, both books take you beyond the grand illusion of life that the ancient Hindus called maya, or that modern scientists call quantum physics.
Check out Anthony’s website: www.anthonypeake.com.
Also his blogsite: http://cheatingtheferryman.blogspot.com/
Editor: Tony, back in the December 2007 issue of Alternate Perceptions we posted an interview with you regarding your fascinating “Daemon-Eidolon Dyad” theories of a dual human personality and how untold numbers of people worldwide have described truly astounding, mind-boggling experiences wherein a peculiar, often very inexplicable form of awareness and perception interrupts the normal daily stream of consciousness. The very direction of your first book on all of this got its nudge as a result of an impressive precognitive type dream followed by a déjà vu event in the real world. You had long felt that you were going to write a book. Now you’re wondering, did your daemon make you do it? Please bring our readers in an abbreviated form, as best as possible (I realize that may not be easy!) an outline of your theory and share with us how you feel you have perhaps been directed along this path?
Anthony Peake: Basically my theory, termed “Cheating the Ferryman”, suggests that something very curious takes place at that at the final moments of life. It has been discovered that in times of extreme stress … and I suggest that dying is singularly the most stressful event possible … the subject’s brain is flooded by a neurotransmitter known as Glutamate. Neurologists are further aware that this chemical brings about some curious perceptual changes. These include a slowing down of time perception and the evocation of long forgotten memories. Indeed these memories can be perceived as a literal re-living of events in the subject’s past. Neurologists are aware of this from the many reports of the phenomenon known as the Near-Death Experience (NDE).
I suggest that in what I term the Real-Death Experience (RDE) the dying person experiences all the perceptions reported in the classical NDE but to greater extremes. I propose that their subjective time perception becomes so fast that they literally fall out of “clock time” (time as it is perceived by others such as an external observer watching the subject die) and suddenly find themselves in a mind-forged zone of timelessness. Within this timeless state between life and death (a state that has been long acknowledged by many religions, for example it is known as “Bardo” by Tibetan Buddhists and “Limbo” by Christians). In this virtually timeless state the “panoramic life review”, as NDE researchers call it, is experienced. However unlike the NDE reports that state “my life flashed in front of my eyes” I suggest that in an RDE that life is experienced in ‘real time’ – a literal minute-by-minute reliving of one’s whole life. The inner-universe that this takes place I term “The Bohmian IMAX” (BIMAX).
This past life review is so real that it cannot be differentiated from the real thing. Indeed many parallels with this and the situation described in the movie “The Matrix” may be made. However this virtual world is an inwardly generated, totally personal, experience.
This is not a new idea. It has been long suggested by philosophers and theologians and it is called “The Eternal Recurrence”. Indeed the concept has been suggested many times by such great minds as the ancient Greek Stoics, the Gnostics, and much later Peter Ouspensky, Wilhelm Goethe, Arthur Schopenhauer and, of course, Friedrich Nietzsche. Even in recent times this idea is curiously beguiling. Modern writers such as Milan Kundera (in The Unbearable Lightness of Being), Stephen King (in The Dark Tower) and in his classic novel Finnegan’s Wake James Joyce has the last line mirror the first.
But I go further. I suggest that the Bohmian IMAX is not a static like a movie DVD of ones life. That would involve one in re-living the story of one’s life as an actor in a strongly plotted, and totally rigid, screenplay. It was this idea of the rigidity an endless run of lives all exactly the same that made Nietzsche consider committing suicide to avoid giving the world such a soul-destroying philosophy. I suggest that by applying the latest findings of particle physics that within the Bohmian IMAX the dying person can follow any possible life- road.
Within the “Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Physics” (and the more recent “Many Minds”) physicists such as Professor Max Tegmark of MIT and Professor David Deutsch of Oxford University suggest that within the “Multiverse” there are trillions and trillions of versions of every human being that has lived and will live, and that between them they will have lived every possible permutation that that life could have followed. What is more, these alternative lives all exist concurrently in a timeless universe.
I add to this the implications of the theories of by Dr. Stuart Hameroff of Arizona University and mathematical physicist Professor Roger Penrose, also of Oxford University. Hameroff and Penrose suggest that the wonderful world of quantum weirdness interfaces with the ‘real world’ within the human brain – specifically in structures termed ‘microtubules’. So it is consciousness that “collapses the wave function” as it is termed. What this somewhat innocuous term really means is that the act of observation by a conscious being ‘creates’ reality! If this is then the case the mind itself can seamlessly move from one universe to another. In other words my Bohmian IMAX is not a linear movie but a super-sophisticated, non-linear ‘first person view’ computer game in which each alternative can be followed through.
So there you have it. Cheating The Ferryman suggests that at the moment of death we will all fall out of time, enter my “BIMAX” and in doing so be catapulted back to the moment of our birth, start our lives again, and follow the same path until something knocks us off that path, and sends us along a different route.
That catalyst, the thing that brings about a change in the simulation, is a being I term “the Daemon”. This being shares your consciousness within the BIMAX, probably existing within in the temporal lobes of the non-dominant hemisphere of your brain. This being is the real you, the part of you that is immortal. The everyday awareness that exists within the BIMAX, the being that is unaware of the real nature of life, I term the “Eidolon”. Most of us are Eidolons and we are guided by our Higher Self, the Daemon. This part of us remembers the original life and all the subsequent ones. As such it is, in a very real sense, precognitive. It is this being that I write about in great detail in my latest book.
My philosophy is a simple one. I agree with the words of the late, and great Carl Sagan who stated that “extraordinary claims need extraordinary proofs”. All I describe and write about is supported by references to the papers and documents. My readers can check for themselves the credibility of my theory and, in turn, they can come to their own conclusions as to whether my interpretation is correct or not.
Editor: Your theory is a virtual Theory of Everything (TOE) incorporating components of many different worldwide spiritual traditions and belief systems, and it seems to effectively lend an explanatory inference toward many historical and documented psychic and spiritual encounter stories, and it even seems to mesh together with and integrate quite well with the modern fields of neuroscience and quantum physics. Care to explain further and elaborate on the feedback as well that you’re getting from many men and women from all over, and from many different fields and backgrounds of spiritual traditions and science?
Anthony Peake: I am interested that you use the term “Theory of Everything” (TOE). Since writing the first book I have been working with a guy called “Karl L LeMarcs”. Karl has suggested a new version of this acronym. He calls it BIGTOE (“The Bohmian IMAX Theory of Everything”). This will join together my Cheating the Ferryman theory with Karl’s own iteration, called “Collapsing the Consciousness Wave” or CtCw. Believe me when this gets published a lot of people will really take notice!
I am really amazed at the response that the first book has received. I have been contacted from people across the globe and, as you say, from many seemingly conflicting traditions. In January last year a Buddhist monk wrote to me from Australia. He traveled over to the UK and we met in a monastery in the English Midlands. We spent three hours discussing the implications of my theory with regard to esoteric Buddhist belief. He stated that he considered that I had given a scientific basis to Buddhism. A few weeks before a Sufi Shayak attended one of my lectures. Since then he has sent me many Sufi books showing how my theory can be applied to this mystical form of Islam. One of the strangest events was when a group of Mormons turned up at one of my lectures clearly spoiling for a confrontation. By the end of the lecture they were fully in agreement with what I had presented. Indeed the group leader went out and gave me a copy of The Book of Mormon that he had hastily annotated showing the sections that supported “Cheating the Ferryman”.
I am surprised and delighted as to how attractive the theory is proving to be to the more esoteric mystic occult traditions. I have now been invited back to lecture twice to the senior lodge leaders of the world’s largest occult organization, The Servants of the Light (SOL). Indeed the “Domina” of the SOL (Baroness Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki) is so taken with my theory that she has made it “suggested reading” for all members. Indeed my theory has now been picked up by another occult tradition, the Theosophists. I have been invited to a lodge meeting in the New Year and copies of my book have been requested by senior members of this organization.
But it is the scientists that have really amazed me. Out of the blue I received an email from Dr. Jason Brown, retired professor of Neurology of New York University Medical School. Jason had read the book and felt motivated to write to congratulate me on my grasp of neurology, stating that I had shown him things about neurology that even he had not considered. Also involved on my FORUM is Dr. Art Funkhouser, recognised as one of the world’s top experts on Déjà vu. Interestingly enough, the other world expert is Dr. Vernon Neppe who joined my FORUM last week. Both are fascinated by the new angle I have taken with regard to the whole deja phenomenon.
As you may also be aware, Dr. Bruce Greyson, professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia honoured me by writing the foreword to my first book. In this Bruce states that me theory on immortality is “the most innovative and provocative argument I have seen”. This is praise indeed from the man who devised “The Greyson Scale” – the tool used by physicians round the world to evaluate Near-Death Experiences.
The number of particle physicists, surgeons, neurologists, psychiatrists and psychologists who have contacted me has simply amazed me. These people are really fascinated by the theory, and even more intrigued by its implications.
Editor: In your wonderful new book, The Daemon: A Guide To Your Extraordinary Secret Self, you devote an entire chapter to the late American science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. You also spoke a great deal about this gentleman in your recent appearance on KUCI radio’s “Out of the Rabbit Hole” program out of California. You describe how in real life Philip K. Dick had virtually all of the experiences (which he incorporated into his mind blowing sci fi novels) experienced by people encountering their Daemon.
Anthony Peake: In my opinion Philip K Dick was one of the greatest writers of the late twentieth century. I am sure that in time his contribution to literature will be fully recognised. However for me it is not just his writing that fascinates me, it is also the man behind the writing. I am convinced that many of his plots were based upon his own experiences. As you may be aware he wrote an as-of-yet unpublished work called “Exegesis”. In this Dick explains his philosophy on life and in doing so opens up some fascinating clues into what was going on inside his head. Indeed much of this writing found its way into two of his more enigmatic novels, UBIK and VALIS. It was only after writing the initial version of my first book that I read these two amazing works. My amazement turned to shock when I found that Dick had, in a very indirect way, fictionalized my “Cheating the Ferryman” theory. In UBIK the central characters are all existing in a psychological state Dick calls “Half Life”. This is virtually identical to my “CTF” in that they are all living in the final seconds of their lives and communicating with others from this place by manipulating reality using such clues as synchronicity and coincidences.
VALIS is even stranger. This book is a fictionalized account of the events experienced by Dick in March 1974. Dick termed this his “theophany”. In simple terms Dick realized that he was not one, but two, beings. He encountered his “Daemon”. This higher being he gave many names to including “Sophia” and “AI”. In the novel based upon these events he settles on calling it VALIS (“The title is an acronym for “Vast Active Living Intelligence System”. I strongly advise anybody interested in my theory and how it can apply in real life I suggest that they read my first book then work there way through VALIS. Believe me, it will stun them!
Editor: You even suspect that Mr. Dick may have foreseen his own death?
Anthony Peake: I certainly do. And if in the last years of his life his Daemon was super-active in his life (and the narrative in Exegesis certainly suggests this to be the case) then this being would have had future knowledge of the death circumstances of its Eidolon. Indeed I argue that this is why one of the re-occurring themes of Dick’s novels and short stories involve beings that he terms “PreCogs”.These people are profoundly autistic and yet they can see the future. The stories always then apply the idea of whether the future can be changed by a known precognition. For example can you arrest somebody for a crime that they are about to commit but you stop them before you do it (as in Minority Report). Of course Dick was aware of the Many-Worlds Interpretation and he would argue that the crime was still committed in another universe even though it was stopped in this one.
The evidence that Phil forsaw his own death can be found in a letter that was recently placed on Ebay for auction. In this letter to his Alaskan pen-friend Claudia Krenz, dated February 25 1975 Dick wrote the following:
“I was up at 5 am on this last night. I did something I never did before. I commanded the entity to show itself to me – the entity which has been guiding me internally since March. A sort of dream-like period passed, then, of hypnogogic images of underwater cities, very nice, and then a stark single horrifying scene, inert but not still, a man lay dead, on his face, in a living room between the coffee table and the couch.”
On February 18th 1982 Dick was found, by his neighbours, unconscious in the middle of his living room. Although not dead he was to do die a few weeks later without regaining full consciousness. I have been unable to prove this fully but the layout of most living rooms are fairly standard. As such it is not unreasonable to assume that Dick was found in exactly the position described in his Daemon-evoked dream of almost exactly seven years before. It would be great to be able to confirm this, so if any of your readers can help with this I would be delighted to hear from them.
Anthony Peake: You even say that a new theory has been put forth that Philip Dick may have foreseen you, as he describes a character in one of his books by the name of Arnak Peak (very close to Anthony Peake) who influences a lot of people with his spiritual insights. That’s a pretty incredible sounding “coincidence”, isn’t it?
I do find this really odd. I was unaware of this link until it was pointed out to me by somebody who attended a lecture I did in Bolton over here in the North West of England. I was told that in his novel “Counter Clock World” Phil wrote about a character called “Anarch Peak”. In fact the link is even weirder because Anarch was an honorific title. Peak’s actual first name was Thomas. Indeed it is even stranger. My grandfather was called Thomas Peake and there was a big debate as to whether to call me after him (he had died literally two weeks before I was born). Tom Peake and Tony Peake (the name by which most people know me, indeed for years I was known as “Tone” which is even closer) do sound phonetically similar. But stranger again is that I now write as Anthony Peake just as Tom Peak changed his name to Anarch Peak when he became a religious leader. So the first two letters are the same in our respective first names and are surnames are phonetically identical. If Dick’s Daemon had whispered this name in his ear could Dick’s Eidolon misheard it?
Now what is really odd is that the central theme of the book is, youi guest it, a new theory regarding “Life After Death”! This is called by Dick “The Hobart Phase” and it involves a peculiar time reversal at the moment of death!
So this character, invented by Dick in 1967 seems to have been involved in a theory disturbingly similar to mine.
I do find it very odd indeed.
Editor: It seems that normally with déjà vu, the precognitive flashes are just moments, perhaps seconds or minutes before physical manifestation. Although in rare instances long-range precognitive flashes occur, possibly as with this Arnak Peak vs Anthony Peake coincidence, or the lady described in your latest book who had a near death experience in which she heard the name Raymond Moody, and then quite sometime later as I recall it’s Halloween and she’s giving out candy to the kids and she asks them their names and hears “Moody” and, well she pursues it and ends up meeting Raymond Moody who in fact is studying NDE’s. Or how about the 19-year-old gentleman I told you about recently who I was at a metaphysical gathering and he stated that he suddenly remembered a dream of myself and others present that had occurred some ten years before! But he swears it was us, and the room too that we were in.
Anthony Peake: This is possible. It may be that this link between Philip K Dick and I will develop in the future. If this is the case then Phil was precognitive to a degree even greater than my books suggest.
The problem is that Phil is dead now and as such he is already within his own Bohmian IMAX – a recording that started many years ago in external time. In my theory I propose that precognition is possible … but only with regard to events that your own future self will experience. In this universe Phil, or more accurately, his Daemon, could never know of me and my writings.
Of course, there may be an alternative universe where Phil survived and is still alive now and that somehow his Daemon is aware of things happening in this universe. All mind-blowing stuff isn’t it!
Editor: As posted on my website recently, I have come upon two different Native American medicine people who describe this dual consciousness thing, or as Priscilla Wolf described it in the title of her article, “Living In Two Worlds.” It does indeed seem that many spiritual and shamanic traditions and accounts contain the components of your theory.
Anthony Peake: This is very true. I am in contact with a handful of individuals who have had shamanic training and they are fascinated by the implications. I am told that Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan Matus had very similar teachings to those I suggest in my books – particularly in relation to conscious duality. In fact another area of Shamanism is of particular interest to me, that of the Huna belief systems of Hawaii. These are even closer to my Daemon-Eidolon Dyad.
Editor: What does it look like 2009 holds in store for you and your evolving work?
Anthony Peake: It is a very exciting time. The second book has now been out for four months and is selling well already. Next year will see my first book appear in Spanish, Russian and Czech language editions with more under negotiation. These will follow the Polish and Dutch editions that were published recently. Indeed it looks as if The Daemon will quickly appear in both Dutch and Spanish.
The theory is slowly becoming known by more and more people. I am of the strong opinion that all this theory needs is some major media exposure in the UK or USA and it will take on a life of its own. I compare the theory to phenomena like “The Celestine Prophesy” or “Conversations With God” … but the major difference is that I try to prove what I write with hard science … something that has never been attempted before.
I have been approached by the webmaster of the Graham Hancock site. It seems that Graham would like me to be his Author of the Month for March 2009. With over a million hits a month this will certainly expose my ideas to many more people.
I have also been contacted by the Managing Editor of influential UK magazine Fortean Times. It seems that my books will now be reviewed in there early next year. This again will help greatly in the dissemination of the ideas.
Indeed many have said to me that “Cheating The Ferryman” has the power to unify people more than anything else at the moment. It is attractive to many seemingly disparate groups and in the world the way it is at the moment what is needed is something to build bridges not fences.
Others have said that this book is, in some way, linked to 2012 and that it is profoundly important. Maybe it is their Daemon’s communicating because if the world is about to enter a very dark phase the Daemons will most definitely remember it from last time and try and bring about changes before it is too late.
For me I simply do not know. But my Daemon has certainly placed me at this place and at this time … Maybe that is the point of “Cheating The Ferryman”