Is it possible that the human mind has the ability to create strange forms of life that can act independently of the creator? It's an intriguing question. For those who are unaware of the concept, it goes as follows. We all possess the powers and skills to imagine something into life. Providing we learn how to do so, of course. This gets to the heart of what are known as thought-forms.
Imagine, for example, focusing your mind on a large, marauding werewolf with glowing red eyes. Across days, weeks, and even months, you visualize it - in your mind - getting stronger, and more and more "real" by the day. Finally, the monster becomes so powerful that it breaks free of your mind. In a strange and still-poorly-understood fashion the chains of the mind are gone and the beast suddenly materializes in the real world. Your werewolf - admittedly, in an odd state of what passes for reality - is now on the loose, and possibly even out of your control. There are numerous such reports of people creating thought-forms and later wishing they had left matters well alone.
One of the most fascinating examples of what can happen when one tries to create a mind-monster, and then duly unleash it, comes from Richard Freeman, a former head-curator at England's Twycross Zoo. In 1997, Freeman was studying for a degree in zoology at the University of Leeds, England. He and a group of fellow students decided to try and create a thought-form version of Atlach-Nacha. It's a monstrous spider-like thing spawned by the imagination of horror/fantasy writer Clark Ashton Smith.
To try and ensure that the extensive ritual went as well as it could, Freeman and his friends decided to do all they could to create an appropriate setting. That included constructing an altar to Atlach-Nacha in the cellar of the building in which they were all living at the time. They adorned the altar with various occult-based items, and erected a huge cloth - colored to make it look like a vast spider's web - which was then hung over the altar.
To a degree, it was a bit of harmless fun. Maybe. Freeman, however, viewed it as a good opportunity to see if it really was feasible to think something into existence. He followed all the rules and focused on the image of a monstrous spider. For hours. For days. And, then, for weeks. As did the rest of the group. For a while nothing out of the ordinary happened. Yes, for a while. But, finally, something did happen.
The day came when Freeman - alone at the time - took a walk down to the old cellar and was both amazed and concerned by what he saw before him. It was - Freeman told me, when we first spoke about this in the late 1990s - the silhouetted form of a huge spider. It very much resembled "a photographic negative" and filled one of the walls of the cellar. As Freeman slowly scanned the room, so the head of the mind-monster did likewise.
Freeman took what was probably a very wise approach: he slowly edged up the stairs, exited the cellar and slammed the door shut. The monster - perhaps ultimately reabsorbed into the minds of its creators - was never seen again. It was a dicey way to learn that, yes, the power of the mind just might have the ability to create life. The problem, however, surfaces when that life decides to demonstrate its independence. Richard Freeman came out of the situation unscathed. Should you, one day, try something similar, you may not be so lucky.