By Andrew Cohen Interview with Peter Ragner
Aug 5, 2007, 13:30
Candace: I really liked this piece. Ron posted this piece to AHS, and this is his comment preceding the piece, and I like it, so I am adding it in here:
Nothing is, but thinking makes it so.
Here is one man's testimony about achieving super consciousness.
Or as Rene Descartes might have said: '[AS] I think, therefore I AM'.
We are all blessed, though laggards we may be. Ron from AHS.
My own comment to future readers. You don't die, because you are conscious. However, this man in this piece will at some point leave his current physical body, and take up another challenging experience somewhere else, some other time, for that's how it works, in another incarnation/form. One always looks to more horizons and learning. But this is a wonderful read of this man's journey into the oneness, the realization that we are all sourced from the same stuff. Enjoy his stories of his experience with "wild" animals in his area.
'If You're Conscious, How Can You Die?
An Interview with a Modern-Day Taoist Wizard Peter Ragnar
by Andrew Cohen
I've often wondered how it would look if someone like Jack LaLanne or
Anthony Robbinswhom I've always admired for their indomitable spirit,
incredible self-discipline, and joie de vivrebecame enlightened. When
I discovered Peter Ragnar, I think I found out.
The amazing Peter Ragnar is a modern-day shaman, Taoist wizard,
natural life scientist, and self-master par excellence. He lives in
the Tennessee mountains with his wife, and he claims to be a "senior
citizen" but refuses to give away his age because he "doesn't believe
in it." He does strenuous two-hour strength-training workouts seven
days a week and performs record-breaking feats. He's been a martial
arts practitioner for over fifty years, and he has developed his own
version of Taoist energy practice called "Magnetic Qi Gong," which he
claims is the key to immortality. He has healing powers and is
renowned for his clairvoyant and telepathic abilities. He lives on a
strict diet of raw foods and juices and has spent a lifetime studying
the relationship between the body and the mind at all levels. And his
most remarkable attainment is his profound awakening to the energetic
dimension, or "bio-electric-magnetic" field, of life. While this
dimension of reality and experience is one that many have heard of,
it's a world that Peter actually lives in.
All this being said, Peter's most compelling and inspiring message is
his steadfast and passionate call to self-mastery based upon the
relentless cultivation of intention. This foundational element of his
teaching is clearly a contemporary expression of the great American
New Thought tradition, championed in the early twentieth century by
Napoleon Hill, author of the all-time bestseller Think and Grow
Rich,and later by Norman Vincent Peale, known for his widely
acclaimed, inspirational classic The Power of Positive Thinking. Hill
wrote in 1937, "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it
can achieve." At the beginning of the new millennium, Peter Ragnar is
proving that it's still true!
ANDREW COHEN: Peter, why is it that you declare that there is no
explainable reason why a person should die, other than his or her
belief in death?
PETER RAGNAR: Because I feel that we have ultimate control to the
degree that we're conscious. If we are conscious enough, we can make
anything happen in our body. We can preserve this body or we can kill
It's very simple to see how people kill their bodies with their
thoughtsit's a product of their unconsciousness of causes and
effects. If we're conscious of our thoughtsI mean luminously
conscious of our thoughtsthose thoughts then impregnate the cellular
structure of our body in a way that is very, very difficult to
explain. When you have an abundance of life force inside you, it pours
out of your eyes. It comes out of the palms of your hands as heat, as
healing heat. It radiates as if you swallowed the sun, and you are
different. Now, with that type of dynamic and powerful energy inside
of you, how can you die?
COHEN: Interesting question!
RAGNAR: It's a working hypothesis, of course. But the more life we
have running through our body's energy system, the more alive we are.
Life is not death, life is the opposite of death. So embracing life is
the situation. How many people embrace life with every thought and
every action and every decision they make? Only a very, very rare few.
You see, we've been conditioned to believe in death. Right from the
very first breath we take, we feel like life is a march between the
womb and the tomb.
COHEN: (laughs) Well, it does seem that everything in the universe
that is born and takes on physical form goes through a maturation
process and ultimately degenerates and falls away.
RAGNAR: That's true. But let's look at it from the standpoint of a
caterpillar in the process of becoming a butterfly. Andrew, do
butterflies come out of deformed cocoons, or do they come out of
cocoons that are fully perfected?
COHEN: Cocoons that are fully perfected.
RAGNAR: Exactly. So I feel that we should endeavor with every ounce of
strength that we have to create a perfect life, to become fully
perfected as human beings, and then see if we fly. Now, we may not. I
may be wrong. But the quest is to be a perfect human.
That may sound rather egotistic. People might say, "Oh no, just give
up, don't do anything. You're efforting too much." But it's not
effortit's our evolution. Our evolution is to get better and better
and better at every single thing that we do. For example, I'm well
past my athletic prime, according to the experts, and yet I keep
breaking my own personal records. I don't believe in age; I'm ageless.
But I will say that I'm a senior citizen, a pre-baby boomer. And I
continue to break records I couldn't have done when I was in my
twenties and thirties. Why? Because I don't believe in limitations.
And because I don't believe in them, I'm free. I'm free to do anything
I want to do. If I want to break world records, I can break world
records, if that's what's important.
COHEN: What you seem to be saying is, "Let's make the effort to
transcend all of our self-limiting thoughts, all of our convictions of
emotional, psychological, spiritual, and physical limitation. Let's
first try to discover, at least as far as we can humanly imagine, what
a perfectly full and absolutely positive embrace of the human
experience is. And then let's see what the result is going to be on
every level, including the physical." Is that what you mean?
RAGNAR: Absolutely. You put it as good as it can be put.
COHEN: So therefore, you don't actually mean that if you strive to
live a perfect life, you will live forever. But that if you strive to
live a perfect life, you don't exactly know how long you're going to
live, but let's find out. That kind of thing?
RAGNAR: Exactly, let's find out. It's a working hypothesis. Let's find
out if this life is a definite one of eighty to ninety years, or
seventy to eighty years, however gerontologists might want to estimate
itor whether it's an indefinite life that you can go on living as
long as you stay in that space. If you can live the "perfect life,"
how long would that life span be?
COHEN: What would it mean, then, to live a perfect life?
RAGNAR: Well, first, it would be free of all limiting beliefs, because
we are not limited creatures unless we believe we're limited. And how
do we drop all limitations? By becoming more conscious. By adding more
conscious energy and life force to our physical organism until we
literally see it glowing; we see it glowing in the dark.
COHEN: Peter, what is the life force? Where does it come from?
RAGNAR: I wish I knew that. The Chinese Taoists call it chi, and a lot
of people refer to it. But these are just words. It's an oscillation
that is absolutely physically measurable. To the degree that your body
oscillates with its vibration, it can be measured. But what it is . .
. they're still arguing about what electricity is! We know how to
create it, but we don't know what it is.
Every time you have an electrical field, you also have a magnetic
field, so you can't really talk about electricity without bringing
magnetism into it. But what's beyond that? They've discovered that
maybe the smallest quantum of energy is actually what is defined as
chi. It's an oscillation of something that gives off a
bio-electric-magnetic field. The stronger that bio-electric-magnetic
field is, the more vitality the individual has, the more life force.
And of course, you'll see it in the electricity in the eyes; you'll
hear it in the voice; you'll see it in the way the body flows without
hesitation; you'll see it in the posture. I don't know what it is; all
I know is that I am that.
COHEN: You make a distinction, I think, between prenatal and postnatal
chi. Could you explain what the difference is?
RAGNAR: Basically, we come into this life with a battery that has a
certain amount of juice in it. I call this prenatal chi. If you don't
do a thing and you just continue to run with your lights on and the
radio blaring, eventually the battery will wear out, depending upon
how much demand you put on it. And that's generally seventy to eighty
years. So we've got a battery that is meant to last at least that
long. However, if you plug the battery in at night and you charge it,
there's no end in sightthat's postnatal chi. I have a concept that
says: If you go to bed with more energy than you woke up with, then
all night long, you've got the battery charger on. And that's the
secret to life. It's that simple.
COHEN: How do you go to bed with more energy than you woke up with? Is
it because you're building it during the day?
RAGNAR: Right. This is why I do what I call Magnetic Qi Gong. I've
discovered a way to go to bed with my body buzzing. And the buzz is
basically the battery charger. We tested this just last week with a
chiropractic acupuncture clinic. They brought their electro-meridian
imaging equipment up here, and after I did some chi gong, they tested
me. The unit can't even measure past where the life force in my
kidneys reached; they said they'd never seen anything like that
before. The Chinese say that the life force is in the kidneys, and
there are some reasons for that, but nevertheless, they couldn't
believe the readings. The readings were off the chart.
And it's not just the kidneysit's all the organs. If you do certain
practices, you can enhance the voltage in all the organs and meridians
of the body. Basically, we're buzzing power plants. We're nuclear
COHEN: And you believe that human life expectancy should be between
160 and 200 years?
RAGNAR: If you look at the rate of maturation of any animalin other
words, the ratio of the length of time it takes an animal to mature to
the length of its life spanfor most animals it's ten to twenty times.
A horse, for example, will mature in two years and live for
twenty-five to thirty years. Same thing with chimpanzees, dogs,
catswith all animals, it's at least ten to twenty times. The only
exception to this rule is the human species. Even if you take ten
times human maturity, which is a low figure, that gives you 180 years.
If it's twenty times, then double that.
You've got to get sick in order to die. Nobody dies healthy. I've
heard people say, "They just died of old age." And I say, "No, they
had so many diseases, they didn't know which one killed them!" To get
sick, you have to get into some type of negativity that damages one or
more particular organs.
I'm probably out there by myself on this one, but I feel that we do
have ultimate control of our body, because our body is a thought. It's
filled with frozen memoriesmemories that are formed by our
experiences that we have already reached conclusions about, and we've
emotionalized those conclusions and frozen them into our flesh.
Therefore, only when we thaw it out and release, and stop holding on
for dear life, can we have dear life.
COHEN: What you're saying is that a lot of the ideas and beliefs that
we have about who we are, about the nature of life, and about how long
it's possible to live are subconscious and unquestioned. So in this
sense, I understand what you mean about them being frozen in our body.
And unless they are released, since we are not aware of them, they are
likely to determine our destiny.
COHEN: Okay. That's clear. But when you said that our body is a
thought, did you mean that literally?
RAGNAR: Yes, I meant that literally. Actually, I should have said that
many, many trillions of thoughts form our body. And it's really the
health of our overall life view or worldview that determines our
COHEN: You seem to have awakened to a perspective where you see the
nondifference between the physical, the psychological, the emotional,
the spiritual, and the energeticwhere you're able to see all these as
literally one process. And of course, most of us are in the habit of
relating to our experience in a way that is very conceptual and
completely divorced from the integrity of the process itself. The way
we see our experience is often only a small fraction of the totality
of what's really happening. And I suppose that unless one actually
gets to the point where one directly experiences this insight into the
ultimate nondifference between spirit and matter, there will still be
some kind of fundamental separation between what one is doing and how
one is thinking about the process, some fundamental duality in terms
RAGNAR: You're describing it so well, Andrew, because there is no
COHEN: Some people would say that this insight into the fact that
there is a much deeper relationship between the mind and the body than
we had previously thought is true up to a point, but that there are
certain processes that really won't be affected by what we think,
certain processes that are, in fact, unconscious. And you're basically
defying that. You're saying that it's possible to become so conscious
of these physical processes that we would be able to have absolute
control over the whole system.
RAGNAR: Absolutely. There are so many people, for example, who have
had spontaneous remissions of cancer. The medical researchers scratch
their heads and say they don't know why it goes away. But the reason
it goes away is that the intention to live is so powerful, so strong,
that it overrides any other negative programming that might be in the
A classic example that is cited in psychology texts is the Krebiozen
story. A cancer patient, Mr. Wright, got this worthless placeboat
least that's what the AMA eventually said about the drug Krebiozen. He
went to a doctor and said, "Look, I'm dying." He had tumors so big
they had to milk them. And the doctor said, "What's it going to hurt
to give the guy Krebiozen? He's going to be dead in a weekend anyway.
It's an inoperable cancer, the worst of the worst." After he got the
worthless drug, the journals stated, "His tumors melted like snowballs
on a hot stove." He totally recovered from his cancer in ten days'
time. No one could explain it. Unfortunately, the story has a bad
ending because later, when Mr. Wright read the AMA report revealing
that Krebiozen was worthless, he said, "Oh, it was worthless," and his
cancer came back, and he died.
Here you have a classic example of the power of intention. His intent
was to stay alive, and when he saw that he had an opportunity, the
body said, "Yes sir, what do you want us to do?" All the immune
soldiers lined up and saluted him and said, "Whatever you want; you're
the commander." And we are the commander.
COHEN: What do you think happened to the cancer? If it went into total
remission, theoretically, it wouldn't be there anymore, so it wouldn't
be able to come back. Are you saying that the cancer that was
originally present was also a thought?
RAGNAR: Yes, I believe that. Look at how many people die after
receiving a diagnosis saying they've got six weeks to live. And sure
enough, in six weeks they're dead. Yet what if it was a misdiagnosis,
as it has been in some cases?
COHEN: Yes. But one could live next to a chemical plant and get
poisoned, or live next to Chernobyl and get cancer from radiation, and
that wouldn't necessarily have anything to do with any negative
RAGNAR: It's a hard question to answer because people get very
sensitive when you say anything about personal responsibility. But I
think that if I had been living in the Ukraine, there would have been
something inside me that said, "Get out of here, boy; get out of
here." You know, whenever a severe storm comes, if you look around
here, the animals are gone. They disappear; they know. All you have to
do is listen to nature, and it tells you everything and anything you
need to know about life. The animals know without knowing all the
time. Not some of the time, not part of the time, but all of the time.
And we do too.
COHEN: But there were thousands of people who would have had no
warning. I mean, that has to be part of the equation, doesn't it?
RAGNAR: When do we have no warning? I've said this so many times, and
I know it bugs people. It irritates them when I say, "Look, you never
have an accident without being warned at least three times in advance.
It's just that you fail to hear or see or perceive the very warning
that's before you." Nothing happens to us without us first being told
about it. It's like the tsunami. Where did the animals go? They
COHEN: Yes, that was amazing.
RAGNAR: Well, we have the same faculty.
COHEN: But let's say you're driving through a town where the water has
been completely polluted, and you don't know it. And you happen to go
to a diner and drink a cup of tea or something, and then eventually,
you get cancer as a result.
RAGNAR: You'd know it. You'd know it ahead of time.
COHEN: But how would you know?
RAGNAR: Are you familiar with behavioral kinesiology, or muscle testing?
RAGNAR: Okay. How is it that certain things weaken us and certain
things strengthen us? Our body tells us. Our body sends us a signal,
and that signal either weakens or strengthens us. The other day,
someone was asking me about some testing equipment for kinesiology.
And I said, "I don't need the testing equipment. I've already got it;
it's inside me." I can look at something or think of something, and I
know the feedback loop. I know whether it comes back "this is good" or
"this is bad." It's the same feedback loop that all animals have.
COHEN: So, in other words, you're saying that when you become more and
more conscious, you become more sensitive to what you should do and
what you shouldn't do, a direction to go in or a direction not to go
in, a place to eat or a place you shouldn't eat, that kind of thing?
That your intuition will evolve in leaps and bounds, and you will
experience a level of sensitivity and intuitive knowing that most
people would ordinarily be unaware of, or wouldn't even be able to
RAGNAR: Precisely. Now, I know people will say, "You're making me feel
guilty now. You're making me feel uncomfortable because I don't have
that." And I say, "But you can. It's something that develops in time.
It's all called consciousness." Some of us have been at it longer,
that's all. Some of us have grown up faster. It's just a part of our
evolution. We grow more conscious if we work at it, and if you make a
commitment to work at it, then you have the ultimate protection.
You're always in the right place at the right time for the right
reasonyou are never not. Nothing can happen to you that you do not
designate if you are that conscious.
Now, let's say my belief is wrong. Okay, we'll find out. But the neat
thing is that your confidence is bolstered once you realize that the
process works. It works in little ways, and if one is conscious enough
to see it working in little ways, then you will see it working in
dramatic ways. I choose to believe that everything works because you
are more conscious. If you're conscious, everything works in your
favor. And if you're unconscious, everything works against you.
COHEN: Is that because if you're more conscious, you're at one with
the life process? So then the process itself opens up within you and
before you and around you?
RAGNAR: I'll give you an example. The other day, a wild coyote came
out of the forest, came right up to me. I was outside, and I opened
the door and said, "Do you want to come in?" It said, "Sure." And it
came in. I said, "Let me fix you a meal." So my wife and I fixed him a
meal. I handed him a cookie, and he said, "Thank you, I really
appreciate that." I said, "Well, I appreciate your visit. It's nice to
meet you, Mr. Coyote." And so now Mr. Coyote comes back and forth. But
this is the relationship we have with all the animals because I see
that as an extension of my own energy. This is life force, just the
flow of life force. It's like I have a kite, and he's on the other
end, and the wind is blowing, so he runs through the forest. And then
when I wind up the kite, here he comes again.
We have deer, a whole bunch of deer, and when we walk out there, they
come up and nose me. We give them apples. I know the wildlife people
in the park would go crazy if they heard me telling this story. But I
say, "Hey, they love me, because I love them, and they have nothing
stopping them from feeling that." We have a wild boarI mean, you
ought to see this thing. He's got a mane like a big black lion and
burning red eyesespecially at nightand these big tusks. It would
scare the hell out of anybody if they saw him. We call him by name; I
call him Rasputin. He comes running up and dances around in a circle
on the deck. He loves us. And this thing is totally wild. If a
stranger came here, they'd never see this happen. They wouldn't see a
bear, they wouldn't see a deer, and they certainly wouldn't see the
coyotes. The birds leave, too, when the vibrations are wrong or off.
Now, what does that tell you about life? All life is one, and if
you're in harmony with it, you can walk out into the middle of a
forest, walk up to a strange deer, and touch it. The first time a mama
bear came, I was out in the woods. I laid down in front of her, and
she came over and sniffed me. And I showed her that I was totally
surrendered, that I wasn't going to hurt her. I have not one ounce of
fear or negativity about these animals. You know, she was pregnant,
and she brought her three cubs. She brought them right to our bedroom
door, and we babysat the cubs while she went off and had some free
time. This is on a regular basis. I've got photographs of this. The
cubs would come in the bedroom, and we'd watch them until she came
back half an hour later. And then off they'd go with their mama,
because there's no disconnect. There is no separation. It's all one
beautiful picture. However, when people with other energies
comepeople with fears and apprehensionsthey don't see a thing. The
world changes. It's a different world. And between the two worlds, I
choose this one.
COHEN: Was there a particular moment in your life when you went
through a transition where these things started to happen, when they
RAGNAR: Yes. I was a spiritual maniac. I would meditate, and I'd sit
cross-legged into the deep hours of the night until my knees and back
hurt like hell. Finally one day, I gave it all up. I said, "This is
nuts; this is totally nuts. I'm not doing this anymore." So I just
went on doing what I usually do, and it sort of became a habit to sit
before the fire. And one day, back in 1977 in MayI remember it, full
moon night, sitting in front of the firesomething happened. I was
never so frightened in all my life. Everything I knew about myself
seemed to be evaporating and dying, spontaneously. I felt like I had
turned into a pillar of stone, and the last vestige of what I knew as
myself was leaking out. Once the fear evaporated and the experience
ended, I was different.
I don't know how you explain that, but I can remember going out to my
outhouse the following morning and sitting there with the moonlight
coming in through the trees. I had the door open, and here a fox comes
running up to me, and sits right before me while I'm sitting in the
outhouse. Right by my knees, looking me in the eyes, and talking to me
without words. Later that day, I went out to my garden. I took a
little lunch with me so I didn't have to go back to the cabin, and
when I sat by a big tree to eat, a crow jumped down, sat on my knee,
and said, "Can I have some of your food?" And I said, "Sure."
From that point on, everything was different. It's the same world, you
know. I get up, I wash, I use the bathroom, I brush my teeth, I do
what everybody else does, I guess, at least to some degree. But it's
different, because my amnesia went away. I don't know if I'm
enlightened. I have no idea what the word means. All I know is that
I'm now different, and I like this different feeling. Nothing has ever
been the same.
COHEN: How long had you been a seeker up until that point?
RAGNAR: My entire life. From the time I was a child, in one form or
another, there was something nagging me, an uncomfortable nagging that
never went away.
COHEN: Peter, in the way that you think about it today, is there any
difference between the quest for enlightenment and the quest for
physical immortality? Because most revered sages and masters have
RAGNAR: I know I go out on a limb when I answer questions like this,
but I have to say, master of what? Master of your thoughts? If you're
a master of your thoughts, you're master of your body, master of your
money, master of your life circumstances. If you have personal
mastery, then it's visible, measurable, and you can demonstrate it.
Right now, at my age, I am master of my body. I'm master of my mind,
my financial world, my emotional world, my personal environment. I
don't know, maybe it won't always be that way. But I doubt it. Why
would I give up now? People say, "You're getting arrogant, you're
getting pompous, and life is going to show you." You know, "Pride
comes before the fall." And I say, "Well, pride is something you've
got to earn." You earn the right to be proud of your accomplishment,
and at the same time, once you realize how hard you had to work,
you're immensely humbled.
COHEN: Right. But in relationship to this question, for example, in
India, maybe even in the last century, there were people such as
Ramakrishna or Ramana Maharshi who were undoubtedly highly enlightened
beings, yet who died painful deaths. They died of cancer.
RAGNAR: Well, I guess there was one thing they didn't have mastery
over, isn't there?
COHEN: The reason I'm asking is because those individuals were
universally considered to be profoundly enlightened beings. The
Buddha, too, seemed to have passed away from food poisoning. And it
seems that the power of their awakening had everything to do with
victory over the mind. Yet they all died painful deaths.
RAGNAR: I don't discount their reputations, and I would never say
anything negative about them. But I immediately have doubts about the
levels of mastery. I don't understand how you can have mastery over
your thoughts and not have mastery over your body, because the body,
at least from my perspective, is your thoughts. Unless you simply
choose to commit suicide. And then I have to wonder, why do you want
to do that? Don't you like the people around you? I mean, have these
disciples absolutely eaten you up? I don't know. But at least I'll go
on this particular track until I'm proven wrong. And when I'm proven
wrong, I'll apologize to them! I'll say to all those dead gurus, "I
apologize to you. You were right; you can't get to keep this body."
I'm lonely. I'm out here by myself, Andrew. But I can say for sure
that the little things give you confidence. If you can do the little
things, you know that by the inch it's a cinch and by the yard it's
hard. So you do the little things, and you keep building, and every
little unit of consciousness that expands, every little breakthrough
that you have, is living a life of victory. And pretty soon, the final
victories, whatever they may be, are there on the horizon and you're
crashing through them. I've often said, "Okay, so you've climbed the
mountain. Now we're standing on the peak. What do you do next? You
step off into space."
If you go to the link, the story is covered in 3 pages.