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Finding The Science Of Consciousness: SAND 2015

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If the number of cars in the parking lot at the Dolce Hayes Mansion were any indication, the SAND community is exploding exponentially. With a warm welcome video from Zaya and Maurizio this year’s amazing conference got underway with a talk by Peter Russell on What is Nonduality?

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Peter “defined” nonduality as its name suggests – “not two” and went through both scientific and philosophical bases to make the case that consciousness must be primary.  Everything knowable is within consciousness–even science.

What sets this conference apart, besides the incredible vibe, is the confluence of top scientists along with nondual and Eastern philosophers in a lively dialogue. And with this year’s title, the unstated aim of the conference was another attempt at coming to a “Science of Consciousness.”

A major contributor to this endeavor is Stuart Hameroff of the Center for Consciousness Study at the University of Arizona who has done extensive research into the very tiniest of organisms and their components in order to find “Where’s the Bing?”  The Bing being essentially BEING – the energetic and presumably intelligent first cause that leads to life.

Stuart makes the point eloquently that “computation and information storage is not consciousness.” His research has discovered the presence of Pyramidal neurons and Microtubules within cellular structures of even one celled organisms that seem to behave consciously albeit on a very basic level. From his famous Microtubules, Stuart has found that the universe wants to feel good – hence Life.

Just as bacteria in a petri dish will move toward nutrients and away from toxins even without a nervous system to guide them, Stuart’s discoveries have led him to conclude that the impetus behind Evolution is a move toward the experience of pleasure, on whatever level that unfolds.

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How Close Is Science To Understanding Consciousness?

He also participated in the essential panel of the first morning: How Close is Science to Understanding Consciousness? The panel included Hameroff, Julia Mossbridge, Chris FieldsHenry Stapp and Donald Hoffman, facilitated by A.H. Almaas.

This incredibly stellar panel of scientists from various fields including physics, mathematics and neuroscience were familiar with one another’s work and engaged in a lively dialogue over whether science is the right way to understand consciousness.

If they were attorneys several of them might have concluded with a “Demurrer” that for science the “hard problem of consciousness” is simply not the issue (so what?) but they gamely tackled this topic.

Chris Fields made the point that science needs to accept certain concepts as undefined – like “energy” and proceed from those assumptions because by its nature it cannot define more deeply.

The very language of Science leads to uncertainty (Heisenberg aside) because everything we know or can know is the phenomenal awareness of something or other.

In studying awareness, Chris suggests that science focus on the less known senses like raw touch and taste as opposed to vision and hearing to discern the working of consciousness.

Ultimately Chris said that “We have no theory as to why there is awareness.” All scientific theory is for predictions based on initial assumptions and postulates with no ontological implications (that is, why something is the way it is). Science, as practiced currently, has nothing to do with being beyond the fact that we understand conditions required for consciousness and its study, but no organization of material objects explain consciousness.

He went further to maintain that no concept of a “boundary” conforms to our best science – all such constructs are artificial overlays of our minds and that any science of consciousness would require us to change our perspective in what awareness is doing, presumably from our materialist predispositions.

Julia Mossbridge was perhaps the most skeptical of the entire endeavor to deal with consciousness in a scientific way because of her belief that there must be a “My” consciousness to be scientific.  What happens to this “me” in deep sleep?  And once there is a me, there is apparently a “not me.”  There is that sense of separation which leads to the apparent but elusive objectivity of scientific inquiry.

Julia also said that the manner of inquiry also depends completely on the specific field of science conducting the work. “Math people want math” and so on.  Her contention was that Science doesn’t (need or intend to) answer why questions, just how questions, echoing Chris Fields’ initial suggestion that science only “works” once certain assumptions or ground rules are set.

Julia said that any scientific inquiry into mind (she is a neuroscientist):

  • Must understand the idea of causality
  • Must understand time

Aspects of consciousness that suggest that A comes after B violate any such notion of causality.

Demurring on “the hard problem” she asked scientists like Stuart Hameroff whether the issue of how consciousness functions scientifically is soluble and more important, and if it is necessarily even an interesting or significant question?  [From a scientific rather than philosophical or metaphysical perspective.]

From her perspective she concentrates on discerning the relationship between the “my experience” and everything else (and presumably is not concerned with who or what this “my” fundamentally is).  For Julia, consciousness is all we got, and not all that there is.  She insists on focusing on what is empirically and objectively knowable.

Quantum physicist Henry Stapp also challenged Hameroff saying that there is simply “no history of ‘Bing” (as something definable). The quantum state is a state of universe and the role of observer is choice without prior rules or definitions. According to Stapp all math explains dualistically. His conclusion: “Matter behaves like an idea. We have an idea-like universe and the one fundamental fact is that consciousness exists.” Science properly focuses on not why consciousness exists but why is it needed scientifically to understand reality.

Stuart Hameroff reiterated and defended his work with Roger Penrose that suggests that it is a pleasurable feedback function that suggests how life originated.

When pressed on the ultimate origin of this function, Stuart more or less went ethereal in a very interesting way – he said that “Space/Time is based on fundamental [immaterial] Platonic values” (or forms?) This resonates with other theories that say that mathematical constants like Pi and Phi are universal values (perhaps forming the basis for the assumptions grounding science that are necessary for thinkers like Chris Fields?)

But ultimately Stuart says that the nature of understanding is non-computable and presumably impersonal.  “Hitler happened, evil exists.”

The Brain As An Orchestra Rather Than Computer

In a wonderful analogy he went beyond the hard problem of “qualia” (the qualities of experience which we all know) to describe reality or consciousness not in computational but orchestral terms so that “like the painter orchestrates dabs of color into a Mona Lisa via the “agency” of consciousness as it were, the orchestral warmup emerges as “music”.

“The brain is more like an orchestra than a computer.”

Don Hoffman took almost a nondual position by zeroing in on the key aspect Qualia or Agency – experience and activity – and asked the core question “take action by whom?”

Don challenges the critical assumption that consciousness has structure that can be objectively known or defined and maintains that “space and time is a format for human experience” and not fundamental.

No scientific theory explains everything according to Hoffman, who said that everybody assumes something and “Consciousness is my given.” Start with consciousness, and physics is not a mystery. If you start with a math model you can make new predictions that turn out valid.

When asked whether consciousness is algorithmic, Hoffman replied simply, “No. Models are not reality. [One can construct an] abstract math model that best models consciousness but the model IS not consciousness.”  The mathematical model still requires a “ground” to work.

Moderator Almaas had his hands full trying to establish a definition of consciousness among the scientists who mainly demurred. His contention was that consciousness is not a thing but an activity or agency (verb) — a point that was reiterated later by Rupert Spira and Deepak Chopra who referred to it as an “activity.”

In terms of qualia, Almaas contends that Consciousness makes feelings possible and is fundamental.  Scientists we can rightly only talk about what it does. When he challenged Stuart Hameroff if he had worked out the math of every experience, Stuart remarked, “You’re being hard on me.”

What makes this conference so unique is the presence of the nondualists like Joan Tollifson who eschew a need for scientific validation entirely with the recognition that [All] “Thought leads to a sense of separation.” Separation cannot be sustained through a deeper inquiry.

According to Joan, life is simple – “When we bring attention to the present moment, everything shifts.”  It is our inner talk that makes it seem that we are separate things; through direct inquiry we can find we’re inseparable from other “objects”.

She inquires as follows:

Is there any place in the sensation where chair and body meet? – Can we find the “me”.  Is it really there? – We can find stories, thought, mental images but where is me? – Consciousness is dividing Wholeness into fragments (sound bites) – Deeply in any sensation there is nothing. – Me in the body is a thought – Reality is undivided – Awakening is just Noticing and being interested in what is happening. – What is going on is simply what’s happening.

This reminded me of Michael Jeffreys’ wonderful description of being moved by watching a video of a boy singing “Amazing Grace” on television and suddenly realizing that all of the emotion was overlaid by his own being – what was “really” happening was simply pixels moving on the screen.

Ultimately for the nondualists it’s not personal. Just a thought or the movement of conditioned patterns.

“This ‘awaring’ presence is our true nature. We cannot doubt being here now. We can doubt an interpretation but not the experience,” Joan said.

Comparing Eastern & Western Wisdom

I have written extensively about philosopher Bernardo Kastrup, and we were fortunate to interview him for Collective Evolution (interview to be featured in an article soon). One thing I found fascinating was his description of the wisdom of East and West. Science or the quest to understand has three components according to Bernardo:

  1. Introspection
  2. Empiricism
  3. Intellect

But the West only uses the last two, while the East focuses on the first two. According to Bernardo the truth must encapsulate all three.

Nondualist Rupert Spira was typically uncompromising in his understated but methodical presentation, maintaining that the ultimate science is the science of mind and the deconstruction of the subject/object nature of language that results in our conditioned perception of separation.

His questions (without answers):

  • What is the irreducible aspect of mind?
  • What is the nature of knowing and who or what could know the nature of consciousness?
  • How can the sun shine on itself?

This type of inquiry leaves no room for a method.  It results in a deep knowing that what one “is” is “without dimension”.  Not in time or space.

The finite mind is the activity of consciousness vibrating itself to know objective experience. The finite mind is an activity; an agency thru which consciousness is able to know itself as one.

Rupert provided an amazing analogy in which he said first, let’s call consciousness a woman named “Mary” who lives in Los Angeles. Mary goes to sleep and begins to dream that she is Jane in New York. To do this she needs to overlook “her own mind” and assumes she is Jane.   Jane’s experience is now that she is “mind inside and all else is matter outside.” She is separate. Jane believes her knowing is located behind her eyes.

Suffering is the price of her separation and she tries to ease her suffering through more matter – things.  Finally a friend she meets invites her mind inward. Her mind sinks into its source divested of its own limitations. Jane falls asleep.  Mary wakes up. Jane was never an entity but an activity (“Mary” = Consciousness = One = Everything).

“Like a spider who spins her world from herself and loses herself in the web.”

Your Body Is A Metaphor For Experiencing Reality

The formal presentations climaxed with who else – Deepak Chopra.  I have watched Deepak with appreciation since his days as the “weird guy on Larry King” I am always enchanted by his style and clarity. He began his presentation with a story of an encounter with a young boy who asked where the ocean came from and similar questions and Deepak turned these around and finally he asked the boy where did the Universe come from?

The reply:  another dimension  The audience laughed and Deepak said he asked the boy where he had gained this wisdom. The reply: Pokemon.

Deepak then outlined the two fundamental mysteries:

  1. What’s universe made of? (We don’t know)
  2. What is the biological basis of consciousness?  (We have no answer).

According to Deepak there is simply no explanation for perceptional or mental experience or “Qualia” without somehow addressing the question of precisely “Who is having experience?” — which is precisely the question he poses to conventional scientists that inevitably bring them to what Deepak said was simply a “dead end.”

He asks, “Where is the I?”  The reality is that the I center of experience cannot be found. Deepak said, echoing Rupert Spira with whom he shared the stage later that evening, that consciousness has “no dimension” – as his colleague Eckhart Tolle says, it is “no thing.”

Deepak continued with an amazing Prezi presentation of the history of scientific theories about reality culminating in the fact that Wikipedia has at least 15-20 current “explanations” of quantum mechanics. ‘’Nobody knows what’s going on.  The math works but no one knows.”

He smirked as he summarized some theories like an “infinite casino infinity of universes,” which made me happy I moved to Las Vegas. For Deepak, Science has become a “math guessing game leading nowhere.”  He went on to describe his own and his colleagues’ work in Qualia which now includes 40 scientific principles of this mysterious phenomenon.

The mysteries of cosmos do not end, they expand –Deepak provided the mind blowing fact that the visible universe is 0.1% of everything that our math tells us exists.  There is also dark matter which is 40% (and we don’t really understand it) and then there is the rest, which is (?) space?

Deepak said,  “Your body is a metaphor for experiencing reality.”

Deepak’s new book which goes into more detail about the latest scientific advances is  Super Genes: Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being by Deepak Chopra M.D. and Rudolph E. Tanzi.  Rudolph Tanzi is a renowned neuroscientist specializing in Alzheimer’s (Deepak also was kind enough to sit for an interview with CE which will be posted shortly).

Everything Offered Something Of Great Value

Much of the conference goes to the community that exists from Wednesday until Sunday and the exchange of ideas. Here are some other participants of note:

Scott Kiloby, a renowned nondual teacher has an addiction recovery program in Palm Desert and spoke on the topic. On a personal level I discussed my own challenges in this area as a result of moving to Las Vegas with its many temptations. Scott confirmed my own experience that many people “on the path” become enamoured of “allowing everything” which results in the surfacing of many unresolved traumas that are stored in the body.

Exacerbated by a new self identification with “being enlightened” the subject cannot understand his or her sudden weaknesses and lapses into depression and self hate. Scott was kind enough to spend a few minutes discussing this issue with me and I suspect that his program is helping many many people.

Om Orgasmic Meditation from OneTaste had a nearby table. “Orgasmic Meditation (OM) is a wellness practice (like yoga and pilates) that is designed for singles and couples to experience more connection, vitality, pleasure, and meaning in every aspect of their lives.”

CE has covered virtual reality and CoreReboot has a new VR app from Dorote Lucci that provides experiences of deep rest and relaxation.

Those who feel the urge to follow their breath inward will be fascinated by the Spire app.  As beautiful as it is functional the Spire is no ordinary stone –it provides information on your breath and stress levels to lead to a harmonious and fulfilling experience.

Another app from  Kathleen of Lockwood United Divine Intentions is intended to promote healing vibrational energy to world and local leaders for transformation (a la Lynn McTaggart).  The app and website “present evidence that Subtle Activism can create positive social and environmental change. As spiritual beings we enact change through our thoughts – our prayers and intentions. The human experience – the physical world – responds to this energy.”

Ex-model and yoga teacher Kristen Eykel presented her Attunement Chakra Meditation. Kristen has founded Sacred Circle Teachings- a physical & spiritual Yoga, Hypnosis & Reiki training academy devoted to empowering the teachers of tomorrow with the sacred knowledge of all time. And Kristen just published her 6-week planner incorporating her teaching.

I’d like to close my review of this wonderful event by sharing an exclusive interview that we at Collective Evolution had with one of the event’s co-founders Maurizio Benazzo. Maurizio’s passion is an inspiration to many and an integral part to why the SAND Conference continues to be as successful as it is. Check it out:

Stay tuned for our interviews with Deepak Chopra, Bernardo Kastrup, Peter Russell and More.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Consciousness

The Hero’s Adventure: What Movies Can Teach Us About Facing Our Shadow

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Hero's Journey is a multi-staged adventure whereby the 'hero' grows to become a new version of themselves, one that is evolved and at a 'higher level' per se.

  • Reflect On:

    Movies can be viewed in many ways. Some see it as programming others as inspiration. How can we use what we see in movies in our own lives? To grow and evolve as people? To recognize our true callings vs those of Hollywood?

The hero’s adventure is a term popularised by Joseph Campbell based upon his 1949 work “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. The late Campbell was an American Professor of Literature and a philosopher who described the adventure one must embark upon to fully realise who he/she is.

A simple explanation from Campbell:

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

Campbell uses the word monomyth to describe this adventure which was taken from James Joyce’s book Finnegans Wake.

According to Campbell the monomyth contains 3 stages, with 17 subsections. Not all journeys contain all sections and no two adventures are the same, yet the hero’s adventure follows a surprisingly similar pattern. The 3 stages are 1. A call to seek out some kind of adventure. 2. A trial or initiatory period where the hero must face an obstacle or series of obstacles. 3. The return back home with that which you were seeking to find. This often repeats in a number of ways, with various steps being repeated, but this is the idea.

The 17 Steps Of The Heroes Adventure:

The Call:

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  1. The call to adventure
  2. Refusal of the call
  3. Supernatural aid
  4. Crossing the threshold
  5. Belly of the whale

The Initiation:

  1. The road of trials
  2. The meeting with the goddess
  3. Woman as temptress
  4. Atonement with the father
  5. Apotheosis
  6. The ultimate boon

The Return:

  1. Refusal of the return
  2. The magic flight
  3. Rescue from without
  4. The crossing of the return threshold
  5. Master of two worlds
  6. Freedom to live

When you look to Hollywood movies and best selling fiction books they all follow the same pattern. Star Wars writer, George Lucas, was a friend of Joseph Campbell and famously said that without Campbell there would have been no Star Wars.

Star Wars

If you take Star Wars, it is the perfect example of the Hero’s Journey:

The Call: Luke Skywalker is living a mundane existence, and then while cleaning R2D2 he is shown a holographic recording seeking help from Princess Leia.

The Initiation: Obi-Wan becomes a mentor to Luke, and teaches him to “use the force”. Along the way he meets Han Solo, Chewbacca and other unsuspecting helpers until he completes his apprentice (which he does not know is taking place). Finally after much fighting, Luke is able to rescue Princess Leia and destroy the death star.

The Return: Then he returns home a new man where Leia awards Luke with medals for his heroism.

The Matrix

The Matrix is another example.

The Call: Thomas Anderson is fed up with life at a dead end job and knows there is more to his existence. He has a dream in which his computer types “follow the white rabbit” when someone comes to buy illegal computer programmes from him they ask him to join them on a night out. He declines, but when one of the group turns, she has a tattoo of a white rabbit, so he decides to follow.

The Initiation: Thomas Anderson becomes his computer alias Neo. He meets Trinity, and later Morpheus and is offered to be shown the truth in the form of the red pill (truth) or blue pill (fantasy). He opts for the truth pill and is initiated into a mysterious world where reality as he knew it is actually a computer programme. He gets to download multiple skills, thinks he is The One, but then realises he is not The One. Morpheus gets taken by the agents and he decides to save him.

The Return: Upon trying to save Morpheus he realises he is The One, saves him and defeats the agents. This is him returning with the realisation he is The One, although the return and initiation cross over a little.

This is the same structure you see in Harry Potter, The Wizard Of Oz, Alice In Wonderland, The Alchemist and just about every story based movie there is.

But how is this helpful?

This is the same story we can use as a metaphorical representation of who and where we are in our lives.

If you think life is meaningless and mundane, this means you should be on the lookout for synchronicities and clues of how to break free.

If you have just had a strong urge to go and do something very far removed from your comfort zone that has the potential to change your circumstances, then you probably should.

If you are stuck in a painful situation that seems to have no end, this means you are in an initiation. Being in an initiation does not guarantee you will pass “the test” but at some point you will be given an opportunity to break a cycle or take an opportunity.

If you have just been through an ordeal and conquered your inner (and sometimes outer) demons, bask in the glory, but remember there was 9 Star Wars movies, 4 Matrix movies and 8 Harry Potter books. Your Heroes Adventure may have many chapters, so strap in and try to enjoy the journey.

Much love, Luke.


If you would like to download my free eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control YOU CAN DO SO HERE

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Consciousness

On Taking Life Too Seriously

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Much of the time in life, we allow ourselves to take situations VERY seriously. This will sometimes turn pain into suffering, or prolong the challenges we face for growth. It also stops us from truly finding peace in life.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you feel a constant sense of anxiety in your life? Underlying everything? Where do you notice you take life or situations too seriously? What do you do to begin connecting back to self, and taking life less seriously?

Do you go through life with constant angst? A feeling deep down that there is always a little bit of stress or a little bit of worry? I’ve been through this. And in some ways, I thought it would never go away. But I focused on self awareness and living in the heart enough to kiss those days goodbye.

We can sure take life too seriously at times can’t we? I mean it’s fair. We have stresses in life that we get caught up in, we go, go, go, go, and often forget to take a moment to breathe. In Western culture, it’s all about obsessing over goals and getting there and telling ourselves sotries about what life will be like when we do finally get there… but what often happens to us when we live this way? We step into unconsciousness. We stop taking time to FEEL.

I want to help us remember to be STILL with this.

Various experiences and events have taken place in my life that have challenged some of my deepest ideals, belief systems and concepts that I felt were a part of me. This has gone on and occurred in my entire 11 year journey of truly changing myself. Whether it had to do with the work I do, friends, the world, relationships or big decisions in life, many things were challenged. It has truly been an incredible ride.

We sometimes might think “when will all the change and ‘chaos’ end?” A good question indeed, but isn’t this what we are here for at this time? To truly look at ourselves, look at all that we hold onto and all that we define our reality with. Literally everything! If you are feeling like you are the only one out there going through this stuff and feel like everything is backwards -that things are constantly being challenged, know that what you are experiencing is perfect, and we must remember to have fun with it!

Not Just A Human Experience

We are not here at this time to simply have ‘a human experience,’ we are here to evolve the human experience. It’s different! Stop looking at the past to tell us what to do, how we should move forward, and what ‘the greats’ did in our past to figure things out. We are not in that time, and the zeitgeist of our time now is not to simply exist but to be present as we deeply evolve the way of life on this planet.

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We hear a lot “but we’re human, just embrace that!” That’s all fine, but what does that mean? What is a human? How should we be? Does being human mean accepting the world as it is? Are we capable of more? Can we redefine what it means to be human and what life should look like? Why do we give up so easily on dreaming big about these things?

I used to accept MANY limitations about myself and what I could do. But eventually, I was faced with the chance to let all that go, and reimagine what was possible. Even when everyone told me I was crazy and I couldn’t do what I was trying to do, I used my connection to self and consciousness to create it. Because I believed I was capable of more, and so is everyone else. This is how Collective Evolution, the site your on, came to be.

Embracing Change

After experiencing the many deep questions and challenges I have thus far, overcoming them and moving forward, I have one very special thing that I have reminded myself about over and over and truly understand to a deep level. We are here to play and evolve! None of what we are experiencing is as serious as we think!!

The mind and ego can make things very real, very dramatic, very frightening. I know! But the highest aspect of who we are is always clear, always neutral, and always sharing with us exactly what we need to hear because IT IS US! We are not the mind or the stories it creates that makes things so serious. They are there because that is our challenge. To go beyond the mind and the stories it creates -so we can experience this sensorial world and remember who we truly are (click to listen to my podcast on this topic.)

So let’s remember, whether it’s life choices, relationships, friends, work, family, sports, or everyday events, know that it’s just an experience! We can spend our whole lives always caught up in the drama and the intensity, saying “oh my gosh things are so tough, the world is so crazy, my life is upside down, and I’m so busy!” but where does this lead us? This is a question we must ask ourselves.

If we remain caught up in these perceptions, repetitive patterns of mind, we will continue to miss out on the entire journey we are on because we are lost and caught up in the mind. We perpetuate our so called “suffering” when we make things serious and make them a big deal. When we can see it for what it is, we allow the emotions to subside, allow back in our full potential and know how to take action forward. This is called finding true peace.

I’m not talking about simply accepting things and saying “well get over it” or “that’s how it is, so deal with it.” No. I’m talking about truly seeing things for what they are. Seeing why we color something in a particular way. Seeing the belief system behind why something is good or bad or right or wrong or even why it’s serious!

I promise you, behind every strong emotion, every serious situation, there is a belief system that makes it that way. One that is held in the mind and made real by the mind. But the mind is not YOU! See the story! Let it go and just play! You will find much peace and joy in flowing through your experience in this way.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading

Consciousness

Have You Realized The Profundity Of Our True Nature?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In life, we typically move about, seeing all material for what we define it as. This makes things convenient in a way, but there is a profoundness to not only seeing beyond these definitions, but also tapping back into full potential.

  • Reflect On:

    Have you ever tried practicing the awareness that you are not your mind nor your body? Why do we identify so strongly with just our physical body, and is it time to begin to remember we are much more than that?

Who we really are has been staring us in the face the whole time.

Take a look at your body, but look at it from a completely impersonal perspective; free of any thought about it at all. Without labels like arms and legs; without any sense of ownership, just as it is. Look in the mirror at your face, your eyes, but look without the thinking mind. This body that you get to use and throw around the joint, is a product of the universe. Conditions were apparently perfect here on Earth for Humans to exist. A magnificent sculpture, carved from stardust, gases, cells, minerals, heat – one of the most complex arrangements of cells and energy you have ever laid your eyes upon.

There is no boundary to the human body; there is no “in here” and “out there.” The body is a constant flow of energy, never a stationary or permanent thing we could pin down. There is a constant flow of air coming in and out, molecules by our skin, bacteria breaking down food in our stomach, there is no boundary between the body and the environment. It’s like a river, never the same body of water in any two moments.

Then, how about all the stuff the body perceives. All the sounds, tastes, smells, visual images and so on. The human body makes the whole world we’re privy to. The brain selects a very narrow band of frequencies and constructs reality according to the bandwidth of what our senses relay for us. The visual spectrum is only a very narrow band, while other sentient beings select out different bands for their viewing pleasure. So reality as we know it, never exists objectively, only subjectively through the being that is observing it. Without an observer what does it exist as? Just a soup of frequencies I suppose.

I find this phenomenal! There are little reality bubbles existing wherever a sentient being is alive. Energy has coalesced into the form of a human being, a giraffe, an ant, a butterfly, a chameleon, an amoeba, and through these configurations, the universe is observing itself. It is having experiences with itself.

1619136_420984308034739_245289130_nSo essentially, the whole world that you exist in – the reality bubble that you spend your entire life in – is entirely made by the human body. Your human body. Everything, all of it. Look at the image your eyes are creating. Look at how immaculate, perfect and impeccably high the resolution is! Check out how infinite the colour palette is. Take another look in the mirror at the wonder of your eyes. Those things stuck in that head, those things that we call eyes are absolutely wondrous biological organs, composed of trillions of living cells; living in harmony, being fed by the fuel you place in your mouth. Those things are taking frequencies of energy, sending it at light speed to your brain, where trillions more cells convert it into a picture. WOW!

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And while I’m on that subject: have you ever wondered how electrical signals in the brain – how realistically an infinite amount of neurons in our brain – can create the conscious experience of sound out of electrical impulses? How does something biological turn electricity into the conscious experience of smell? Into the emotion of love, of anger?

So look around you. Look what you’re part of. You’re on a planet zooming through space at hundreds of kilometres per second, circling around in a gigantic galaxy. You’re amongst animals, forests, bodies of water, lightning, rain, drought, plants and soil. You’re amongst life! You’re seeing it unfold right before your eyes, seeing life in all its animation. I don’t see why it should seem like there’s anything else to do, other than admire what we’re amongst, and create.

Just as the bus motors down the street, so too does the galaxy arms revolve around its core. A child eats breakfast, while an asteroid erupts as it passes through an atmosphere. We are as much an expression of this universe as the plants and galaxies. This universe has arranged itself in such complex ways, in such exquisite patterns, so that it may know itself through our eyes. We have become an aperture for energy to know what it inherently is.

When we look deeper into our own nature, we find that things are even more extraordinary than what exists in the physical realm of bodies, animals, plants and stars.

There is this notion of separation in our society, where we exist separately from the outside world of other stuff. We are separate from the table, our house, other people and the whole cosmos. We feel this too, because we feel that we are the human body, or the thinker somewhere in the head. But this notion is learnt, cultivated, but not all cultures prescribe to this way of being at all.

The whole world is consciousness; it all exists within, not out there somewhere. This is the worldview slowly being ushered in by quantum mechanics and eastern traditions. They’ve arrived now at the same point, but there is obvious resistance because the old system composed of survival-of-the-fittest, authority, institutions and competition rely on our illusory separateness for vitality.

Consciousness is the way in which biological functions of firing neurons in the brain are turned into a conscious experience. Consciousness is something transcendent of the physical world, and is therefore never affected by the  realm of form. It is so perfect and complete already, not needing fulfillment or healing in any way.

The thing is, most of us don’t feel this way though. We still feel separate, small, incomplete and not an integrated part of the whole. We still feel like we are locked up inside a head looking out at separate stuff. But there are ways in which consciousness can shift and identify with something much deeper. The first step is usually quieting the mind through meditation. Our thoughts have run rampant, and we’ve taken this incessant internal monologue to be who we are. But if you do one session of meditation, you’ll see that the mind comes in all by itself, starts up fantasies, conversations, judgments and memories all by itself, while you are trying to focus on your breath. While you’re trying to be silent, the mind has other ideas. Meditation shows us we aren’t the thinker at all; it shows us that we are the witnessing presence OF thought.

A thought is as much a sensation as the taste of ice cream is; we’ve just placed too much emphasis and belief in thought. So rather than identifying consciousness with something superimposed upon it (the mind, the “small self”, the ego) we can shine the light back in on itself via techniques like meditation, and identify as pure consciousness itself. We become not only the witnesser of all sensation, but we merge with it, just as we did with the mind. The feeling of self shifts from the mind with all its thoughts and ideas about the world, to sensation. And sensation is essentially the universe! You become the whole universe.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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