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Consciousness

The Anatomy Of God: Of Eros & Ideas

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This is part 3 in an occasional series. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

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If I were to try to put into words the essential truth revealed in the mystic experience, it would be that our minds are not apart from the world, and the feelings that we have of gladness and melancholy and our yet deeper feelings are not of ourselves alone, but are glimpses of a reality transcending the narrow limits of our particular consciousness – that the harmony and beauty of the face of Nature is, at root, one with the gladness that transfigures the face of man.

Sir Arthur Eddington (1882-1944), “Mind Stuff”

Is there a deeper transcendent reality than the normal world around us? If there is, can we know it in any meaningful way? The first two parts of this series delved into the Source and Summit as the twin ultimates that enfold our world of normal experience between them. The Source, the ground of being, is the metaphysical soil from which all actuality grows. The Summit is the more speculative type of divinity, the ultimate mind of God. This third part in my series on the Anatomy of God will delve further into the notion of God as Source and examines how Eros, the creativity of the universe, meshes with the Source.

Is there really a hidden reality, a Source, behind the world of sensible experience? Let’s start by looking to modern physics, keeping in mind that my goal here in these essays is to craft a coherent marriage between science and spirituality. Brian Greene’s 2013 book, The Hidden Reality, examines many contemporary notions of the multiverse and argues for a new and expanded notion of how science should be conducted. The “multiverse” is a term that captures various notions of reality that go beyond the traditional observable universe, including additional universes existing in space beyond our ability to observe them or in different dimensions beyond our own.

tamhunt-solarGreene argues that even if we cannot ever directly measure other universes, we may infer their reality from various lines of reasoning. He argues, therefore, against a strict observational and falsificationist notion of proper science, which has held sway for many decades now, at least rhetorically if not always in practice.

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Greene does not, however, include in his survey of multiverse theories any discussion of what has been a pervasive and constant debate in both the West and East: the notion that there is a hidden reality beneath our feet, or above our heads, or just to the side of our vision — which is what I have called the Source. This isn’t “just” a spiritual or religious debate. It’s also a straightforward philosophical and scientific debate about the nature of reality.

What I’m getting at is the idea that there is a realm that produces everything that we can detect, which is not directly detectable. Yet we can reasonably infer its existence by its effects. This realm, which I’ve called in these essays the Source, Brahman, ether, etc., is the very ground of being, or ocean of being if we prefer a watery metaphor over an earthy one. Whereas the actual universe comprised of what we currently call matter and energy is directly detectable, the ground of being can’t be directly detected in a traditional manner. It can, however, be detected indirectly.

Plato’s Cave

In the Western world, this debate finds its earliest and perhaps still best exemplification with Plato’s allegory of the cave. Plato described in his book, The Republic (which is an extended discussion about the nature of government, the state, and leadership), reflections about the nature of reality. Plato asks us to imagine a person who is forced to live in a cave all of his life and is completely tied down, to the point where his eyes are forced to look ahead at all times. This unfortunate person must watch the back of the cave, on which shadows are produced from a fire’s bright light behind the prisoner. The captors perform their routine activities behind the prisoner and their shadows are cast on the wall. The prisoner, knowing no other reality, mistakes the shadows for reality, not realizing they are shadows cast by the captors behind him.

This is, for Plato, an allegory about our real lives: we mistake the world around us for primary reality when there is a deeper reality that we can infer through properly applied reason.

The deeper reality was, for Plato, the realm of Forms, or Ideas (the terms are synonymous in this context). Forms are the true reality behind the sensible forms we can detect directly. As strange as it sounds to modern ears, Plato believed that a table is only a table insofar as it participates in, and is a shadow of, the archetypal Form of ‘tableness,’ and so on for everything we witness around us, from trees, to rivers, up to and including abstractions like truth, goodness, and beauty.

When we find something to be beautiful it is because it participates in the archetypal Beauty. The highest Form was, for Plato, the Good, and The Republic is an extended discussion of how individuals and the state can work toward realizing the Good in our shadow realm that we call everyday reality.

Plato’s most direct argument for the existence of Forms is in the Cratylus dialogue (389):

Socrates
What has the carpenter in view when he makes a shuttle? Is it not something the nature of which is to weave?

Hermogenes
Certainly.

Socrates
Well, then, if the shuttle breaks while he is making it, will he make another with his mind fixed on that which is broken, or on that form with reference to which he was making the one which he broke?

Hermogenes
On that form, in my opinion.

Socrates
Then we should very properly call that the absolute or real shuttle?

Hermogenes
Yes, I think so.

From our modern perspective, it seems that Plato went too far with his theory of Forms. To imagine that there is literally an archetypal and eternal shuttle Form in a timeless realm sounds, frankly, a bit silly to our modern ears. The manifest task of science and philosophy is to explain how simplicity produces complexity. And to posit complex archetypes as eternally existing objects in a parallel realm fails in this task, for many reasons. Nevertheless, there are some ways in which Plato’s ideas still have some relevance.

We can, with a more modern twist, think of the realm of Forms as, collectively, the ground of being that produces sensible reality. This process begins with the subatomic particles that appear and disappear in uncountable hordes in every part of space, according to modern quantum theory. This process leads, through many levels of complexification, up to the rarefied heights of stars and humans. And it wouldn’t happen without the ground to make it grow.

Modern physics has, over the last century, gone to great lengths to deny this hidden reality beneath our feet. While Einstein did not begin this trend, he is well-known for dismissing the “ether” (which was thought to be the carrier of light waves, among other things) as “superfluous” in his 1905 paper on special relativity. While Einstein himself quickly reversed course and embraced a “new ether” concept from 1916 onward, most physicists and philosophers relished the notion of being able to simplify our physical theories by denying the reality of the ether.

A New Ether?

Whatever we prefer to call the ether/ground of being, however, it is certainly making a comeback in recent years. Greene, writing about the recent efforts to detect the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, states:

Roughly speaking, the mass of a particle, much like the mass of a truck, is the resistance you’d feel were you to push on it. The question is, where does this resistance come from? The answer, according to Higgs’s idea, is that all of space is filled with an invisible substance — the Higgs field — which acts kind of like a pervasive molasses, exerting a drag force as particles try to accelerate through it. The “stickier” a particle is, the more the molasses-like Higgs field affects it, and the more massive the particle appears. The emptiest of empty space, vacuumed clean of matter and radiation, would still be permeated by the Higgs field.

An “invisible substance,” a “pervasive molasses,” a field that permeates the “emptiest of empty space.” This sounds like an ether to me, but it doesn’t really matter what we call this underlying reality. I would modify Greene’s description only to state that rather than the Higgs field permeating empty space, empty space is more accurately conceived as the manifestation of the Source, the ground of being, the ether. In both Greene’s framing and my framing, there is not really any “empty space.” Rather, what we think of as empty isn’t empty at all when we consider the properties that we know space has, such as the ability to produce virtual particles.

Stephen Hawking writes, in discussing our modern theory of gravity, general relativity, that the theory proposes that “gravity gives rise to the structure of space itself. To put this plainly, gravity is defined even in ‘empty’ space, and thus, there must be something” even in empty space. He adds: “That ‘something’ is the ether, or, in modern language, a field. … In many respects, this is one of the most important contributions of relativity to physics. In the modern view, all forces arise from fields. In quantum theory … the particles themselves arise from the field.”

Frank Wilczek, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist at MIT, writes in his 2008 book The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether and the Unification of Forces:

No presently known form of matter has the right properties [to play the role of the ether]. So we don’t really know what this new material ether is. We know its name: the Higgs condensate [or Higgs field], after Peter Higgs, a Scots physicist who pioneered some of these ideas. The simplest possibility … is that it’s made from one new particle, the so-called Higgs particle. But the [ether] could be a mixture of several materials. … [T]here are good reasons to suspect that a whole new world of particles is ripe for discovery, and that several of them chip in to the cosmic superconductor, a.k.a the Higgs condensate.

As the title of Wilczek’s book suggests: he argues from many lines of evidence that there is in fact an ether that undergirds space, which he calls alternately the ether, the Grid, or the “cosmic superconductor.” The recent work detecting the Higgs field certainly supports Wilczek’s ideas.

This discussion may convince even skeptics that modern physics finds a great deal of support for the existence of a realm deeper than what we can observe directly.

Fields of folly?

I suggested in Part I of this series that the Source is not itself conscious, so again we are in no way violating physical principles by equating today’s notion of the sum of fields with the spiritual notion of Source. However, even if we are convinced that there is a hidden physical reality behind or below manifest reality, we should not rely on a facile argument that God as Source lies in these hidden fields. Rather, we can and should rely on the realization that all of reality does, under the updated worldview of today’s physics, indeed grow from these hidden fields and this is the same idea as the Source, ground of being, ocean of being, akashic field, apeiron, ether, etc., in various spiritual traditions. The creative advance in each moment is this Source expressing itself, a process that we can describe as the Eros of the universe. We are all contributing our own vision to Eros and our collective human efforts are an increasingly important part of this unfolding creativity.

There is some risk in tying timeless spiritual concepts to modern physics because we know that modern physics is always changing, and will continue to change. My feeling, however, is that modern physics is now at a point where it is catching on to the broader truths that logic and spiritual experience have revealed to philosophers and spiritual explorers over the millennia. While we’ll never have a perfect match between science and spirituality, it is gratifying to see these often conflicting domains coming closer together in terms of their descriptions of deep reality.

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Consciousness

Notable Scientist Publishes A Book About ‘Real Magic’ That Nobel Laureates Are Endorsing

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dean Radin, chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, has published a book called "Real Magic." It has received praise from multiple scientists, including Nobel Laureates.

  • Reflect On:

    Despite the fact that controlled scientific experiments have produced significant results, this type of study is still labelled as pseudoscience by many academics, simply because it challenges what they've been trained to believe.

Is magic real? That depends on how you define it, but yes, I believe ‘magic’ is definitely real, and I’m clearly not the only one. Cases of ‘supernormal’ powers and ‘magic’ of all kinds have been reported throughout history and across almost all cultures–at least until religion was invented and these topics were ushered into the realm of the ‘demonic.’

Proponents of what we now call ‘magic’  include nearly all ancient literature from all parts of the world, from the Vedic texts and the yoga sutras, all the way to Moses, Jesus, Milarepa and Mohammed. Donald Lopez Jr., a professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies and the University of Michigan provides a great example in describing the Buddha:

With this enlightenment, he was believed to possess all manner of supernormal powers, including full knowledge of each of his own past lives and those of other beings, the ability to know others’ thoughts, the ability to create doubles of himself, the ability to rise into the air and simultaneously shoot fire and water from his body…Although he passed into nirvana at the age of eighty-one, he could have lived “for an aeon or until the end of the aeon” if only he had been asked to do so. (source)

The crazy thing is there are also modern day examples, but they mostly come from the black budget government programs. In 2016, I published a well-sourced article providing multiple examples from a CIA document that confirms the existence of humans with ‘special abilities’ who are able to do ‘impossible’ things. You can access that here.

‘Real Magic’

A book recently published by the Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Dean Radin, entitled “Real Magic” has received some great reviews. The main premise is the idea that a hidden power resides within every single human being, a power tied to our consciousness, a power that makes phenomena like psychokinesis, remote viewing, and precognition not only possible but something that will perhaps one day be a normal part of all our lives. The book offers a vision of a scientifically informed magic and explains why magic will play a key role in the frontiers of science.

This falls into the realm of a field of study called non-material science. Nikola Tesla was a huge proponent of this, as he had said that the day humanity begins to study this subject matter is the day that humanity will advance at an exponential rate.

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Far From “Pseudoscience”

Dr. Carl Jung once stated, “I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.” This is something we should all hold in our minds as we examine this or other claims that are not part of our current perception.

The amount of statistically significant results when it comes to this reality, usually dubbed as “parapsychology,” is very significant. We are talking about hundreds, if not thousands of studies that have been conducted worldwide for decades.

There seems to be a deep concern that the whole field will be tarnished by studying a phenomenon that is tainted by its association with superstition, spiritualism and magic. Protecting against this possibility sometimes seems more important than encouraging scientific exploration or protecting academic freedom. But this may be changing. Cassandra Vieten, PhD and President/CEO at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (source)

A lot of the statistical results for parapsychology are just as strong, if not in some cases more significant, than a lot of the results which emerge from hard sciences, like physics and mechanical engineering. The Department of Defense has stated that results in this area are a clear sign that these phenomena are real, despite the fact that they are still somewhat unexplainable. As far back as 1999, a statistics professor even published a paper showing the results dealing with parapsychology and mind-body connection are a lot stronger than the results used to approve some of our medications. That study was done by Dr. Jessica Utts, as statistics professor in California who had this to say about Radin’s book:

Real Magic illustrates the limitations of 20th century science and proposes a more comprehensive view that incorporates ideas that have been associated with magic throughout the ages. Blending history, humor, and plausible hypotheses, Dean Radin illustrates that there is a staggering amount of evidence for a broader view of science that offers hope for the future of humanity.” 

Another review:

“A thought-provoking book. The author makes a convincing case for the reality and significance of magic.” —Brian Josephson, Nobel Laureate in Physics and Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge

Today, hundreds of scientists are coming together to emphasize that matter is not the only reality. They’ve created a manifesto, and you can find links and access more information about this initiative, which started a few years ago, in an article we published here.

“Some scientists are confident that we already know what is and is not possible. But the truth is that science is very much in its infancy. To advance our understanding requires bold excursions into domains some might consider heretical, including esoteric legends about magic that have persisted for thousands of years. This is what Dean Radin sets out to do with Real Magic. In my judgment, it succeeds in blazing new trails. Well worth the read.”  Kary Mullis PhD, Nobel Laureate (Chemistry)

The Global Elite Use Magic

While talking about magic in this sense, it’s also important to mention the global elite, and the idea that they also use metaphysical/magical ‘knowing’ and concepts. Unfortunately, they do so not for the joy of discovery, or from a place of good intention, but from a selfish, egoic place, a place that is in service to self, and not in service to others. This is a big point to consider when discussing whether humanity needs to take down the global elite in order to evolve. You can read more about my thoughts regarding magic and the global elite in the article ‘How Some of The World’s Elite Use Black Magic Rituals To Conjure Up Entities For More Power.’

I believe that as human consciousness evolves and we become more aware of who we are, and our capabilities, we will also realize that love, compassion, and empathy are all needed for us to thrive. Once we completely grasp this, I believe, these ‘abilities’ that lay dormant within us will begin to show themselves more and more.

The Takeaway

The takeaway here is to keep in open mind, and to recognize that what we think we know is always subject to change. Sometimes these things take a while, even if a sufficient amount of evidence has been provided. This type of study opens up new understandings about the nature of our reality, and would change ‘science’ and the current laws that govern it forever. Non-material science truly represents the next scientific revolution.

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Consciousness

Note To Selfie: Drop The Mask

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    On social media, it's common to see pictures that don't truly represent us or the situations we are capturing. In many cases, we photograph ourselves 10 - 15 times before selecting the 'accurate' photo we will use.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we spend so much time creating an image of ourselves, even if it is not accurate?

What if we all put down our masks? What if we agreed, that there would be no more disguises? What if we allowed each other to be our authentic self? Imagine the effect on Instagram. It boggles the mind.

Too many people believe the content uploaded on social media is actually showing us truth. Far from it. The material chosen to be uploaded to Facebook, or liked on Instagram, bears little resemblance to true life. Each photo has been carefully chosen after taking a mind-numbing series of retakes.

Each photo must be meticulously studied to ensure the subject looks nothing like the real thing. After all, the real thing isn’t going to garner followers. No one uploads pictures of themselves returning bottles to the beer store in their slippers, or cleaning out the kitty litter. Followers equate to love. More follower = more love.

We are terrified that people will see our true self and our mundane lives won’t be nearly glamorous enough. So we take 12 pictures before deciding one is good enough.

Note to selfie: Make sure you extend your arms and snap the picture from above. You must be looking up. You will look younger. Social media doesn’t like wrinkles … bad skin … or skinny lips.

“Before I started being body positive on Instagram I would’ve posted the photo on the left (sucking in my tummy as much as possible) and said something along the lines of ‘gained a bit of fat this week’ when in reality, what I look relaxed currently is like the photo on the right.”

The harm that has been done to our psyche is profound. Apparently, the psyche is quite gullible. It does believe the stories shown on social media are true. So our psyche starts putting on some pretty outlandish masks to keep up with the Jones’ psyche. It is a constant challenge to keep up with the Joneses. The Joneses can’t even keep up with Joneses. No one can. It’s a sucker’s game.

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What is the result of wearing a mask? – depression, anxiety, frustration, shame. The “Mask-Wearer” knows it’s not true. And they are terrified of being found out. Imagine the fear of being outed as a fraud. And more unsettling is this; if someone falls for that mask you’ve been wearing, don’t believe they’ve fallen for you. They are enamoured with the mask: the image. And the image isn’t real.

Let’s bring a Revolution of Real. Put down the mask. And promise yourself that you will never be anything other than your most authentic self. Masks wear very thin, very fast. Authentic beauty lasts forever.

recommended Read: Instagram User Reveals The Truth Behind Those Fitness Photos

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The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Consciousness

7 Thought-Provoking Short Films You Can Watch Now For Free Online

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Film has the ability to capture our emotions and move us in what are sometimes very productive ways. We'll show you 7 thought-provoking short films you might love watching.

  • Reflect On:

    How do these films make you feel from watching them? How do they relate to your own life? What action can you take after watching these?

The world of film has always captivated me. Whether it be its ability to present a supernatural reality I’ll never get to experience, or its ability to accurately depict an emotion I can relate to, there really is something surreal about going to or staying in to watch a movie.

And while the subscription numbers to popular film and television streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime certainly suggest that I likely don’t need to sell you on choosing to watch them, I do believe that a pitch needs to be made for the particular variety of them that I’m suggesting within this article.

That variety of course, is short films. The unofficial younger sibling to feature-length films that aside from those that happen to play before a popular Pixar film, or those that are nominated for an Academy Award, often go largely unnoticed by the masses. So I’d like to present a list of 7 thought-provoking independently made short films that you can watch for free online now as part of the Spirit Film Festival until the end of October.

1. Uncaptured

How often do you consciously choose to sit in silence? And better yet, is it even readily available to you? The short film Uncaptured explores the emotional and physical impact that setting aside conscious time to be in silence can have on the thoughts, programs and belief systems we have stored within us.

Through a series of interviews we are given insight in alignment with the famous Thomas Carlyle quote the film presents just after its title card: “Silence is as deep as eternity; Speech is as shallow as time.” WATCH UNCAPTURED

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2. The Nine Billion Names of God

Based on the book by Arthur C. Clarke -most infamously known as to co-writer of 2001: A Space Odyssey with Stanley Kubrick –The Nine Billion Names of God tells the story of a Tibetan monk who seeks to list all of the names of God with the help an automatic sequence computer.

Based in 1957, the short film is beautifully shot and is carried from start to finish by a beautiful score, perfectly setting the stage for a thought-provoking adventure. WATCH THE NINE BILLIONS NAMES OF GOD

3. Leave Of Presence

If you were asked to list what would make you happy in life, a well-paying job and vibrant social life would likely make the list. Yet the presence of both of those elements didn’t stop Sudha Suthanthiram from dropping everything to head to India in search of her true calling.

This short narrative film runs less than 5 minutes in length yet it offers great food for thought for all of us questioning our purpose in life. WATCH LEAVE OF PRESENCE

4. Nectar of Devotion

Nectar of Devotion shares the fascinating transition made by the one-time frontman for an acid rock band into GuruGanesha Singh Khalsa. While his former life offered much of the surface-level pleasures that so many of us fantasize about, GuruGanesha delves into how his new life has created a happiness unlike ever before.

The short film runs under 7 minutes in length and goes into detail on the difficulties associated with making the transition and how his new kirtan rock band is making the type of impact he always desired having on others. WATCH NECTAR OF DEVOTION

5. Graham: A Dog’s Story

Whether or not you consider yourself a dog lover, Graham: A Dog’s Story is a funny and touching short film told from the perspective of a dog. From being introduced into the family, to “letting go” we’re led through so many of the stages that owners and their favorite pets often go through in life without much attention.

While the short film is carried by a comedic voiceover, it delves into many unexpected stages of a dog’s life including the impact that they have on us even long after they are gone. WATCH GRAHAM: A DOG’S STORY

6. Bekia

In just 6 minutes, Bekia powerfully shares the story of Hamdy, a seller of used goods doing everything he can to make a living on the streets of Cairo. Director Alia Adel effectively takes us into a world that most of us would never have otherwise known about.

The short is beautifully shot and well worth 6 minutes of your life. WATCH BEKIA

7. I Am Here

I Am Here is a unique short put together by the National Film Board of Canada that follows a mysterious animated travellers journey to discover the origin of life. Carried by a riveting score by composer duo Menalon, the film delves into themes and subject matter we would all benefit from pondering on.

Running just over 5 minutes in length, I Am Here manages to take a look at a lot of the questions so many of us have buried within us. WATCH I AM HERE

A Quick Important Notice:

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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