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Consciousness

SAND 2016: On the Edge of the (Un)Known

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I feel so blessed to have been able to now attend four sessions of the Science and Nonduality conference in San Jose.

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Once again, Deepak Chopra spoke on opening night and made a powerful case for the fundamental reality of consciousness within any findings of science.

With respect to mathematics, he noted that there is a palpable omission in terms of noticing the obvious reality that mathematical precision is at the heart of nature, and that many in the field are content to simply “shut up and calculate.”

In fact, the scientific paradigm is hanging on by a thread since we have discovered that Dark Matter has no atoms and can’t comprehend how that is possible, and he noted that strange philosophical constructs like the “Cosmic Casino theory” have no empirical evidence and yet are still discussed as viable “truths.”

Deepak talked about “Math mythology” – the ability to somehow simply ignore consciousness – and brought up the famous conversation between Einstein and the philosopher Tagore in which it was asked, “is there a moon without observer?” – a conundrum that Einstein was unable to truly solve.

Deepak uses the acronym “SIFT” – referring to:

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Sensation

Images

Feelings and

Thought

He inquires how these can be accounted for or “explained” in materialistic terms. It seems that they cannot. Science has no explanation for “qualia” – or the quality of experiences, like the taste of wine or the emotions triggered by a beautiful sunset.

In fact, Deepak suggested there is actually “no such ‘thing’ as mind” in a material sense and really, “there is no explanation for anything.”

Everything is ultimately a concept. A dog does not know “dog” – perhaps the sound of his name but not the idea behind it.

Deepak and physicist Menas Kafatos also had sessions discussing their new book, which will be out in early 2017 – You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters by Deepak Chopra and Menas C. Kafatos Ph.D.

The following morning I attended a fascinating conversation with Donald HoffmanJulia MossbridgeEdward Frenkel, Anthony AguirreFederico Faggin, facilitated by Deepak Chopra, dealing with how or if there can be a science of consciousness.

Aguirre, who is a renowned physicist, said that “there were no galaxies before us. Galaxy is a human contract.” His view is that everything is information and information is the opposite of entropy.

Mathematician Edward Frenkel suggested that any science of consciousness must address what it is not and let go of any “why explanations.” He admitted that this raises fears and uncertainty of not knowing, but that the ultimate experience of life is the only “answer.”

Frenkel believes that “description” (of phenomena) is a better role for science than proffering an explanation.

Mathematician Hoffman said that it is vital that we “talk with precision” and understand that any viable scientific notion of consciousness must be “species specific.” For example, we cannot even imagine “being a bat” and experiencing the world as sound.

For Foggini, “consciousness is comprehension and gives context to the information field and gives meaning to existence.” The problem for physics is that we can assume “no privileged position of judgment.”

It would be nice to have an “organization or hierarchy of consciousness,” but we learn through reflection into symbols we create, which means that we need to understand the symbolic versus semantic context within experience has meaning.

For Deepak, even DNA is a construct and symbol; he asked whether math is also species specific.

Psychologist Julia Mossbridge suggested that science is “designed to build useful stories about reality,” but that there can only be direct knowing through experience and verification.”

In the spirit of “Neti Neti” – not this not that, she suggested that being a scientist of consciousness involves “being a good plumber” to “get clear of the gunk – cleaning is the way” by getting rid of false notions of what is the illusive “self.”

Rupert Spira gave another enlightening and clear presentation that even mentioned the Presdiential election, wondering at the lack of civility during the debates, where both candidates were totally trapped by thoughts. He said, “shaking hands is a moment between two thoughts when we stand as one,” and lamented the way communication is taking place.

He quoted Rumi:

“I searched for God and found myself

I searched for myself and found God.”

He also lamented the current “religion of scientific materialism where we suffer inside and have conflicts outside.”

Regarding consciousness, he pointed to the ineffable knowledge that we all have of Being – and asked “is anything other than knowing ever known?”

He said that awareness is the “stretching of attention” and that “the body is object not the subject of awareness.”  Using the analogy of consciousness being the screen on which all phenomena appear he said, “you cannot peel the image off the screen. The movie is modulation of the screen and no thought stands apart.”

In a dream, he added that reality is known only by the dreamed separate character who is fooled by division – and yet when the dreamer awakens he realizes that it was all within her.

As usual there was comic relief. J. P. Sears shared his highly enlightened perspective to end the evening activities. He announced his candidacy for president –

I was also very interested in the presentation by philosopher Ken Wilber, whom I have long admired and who appeared via video feed.

Wilber asserted that there are essentially two spiritualities possible – “scientific spirituality,” which he said is a very recent development, and “awakened spirituality” – or the realization of the oneness of consciousness, which has been known occasionally since ancient times.

With scientific spirituality or intelligence there are common patterns which have been studied since the early 20th century, and they parallel the stages of an individual growing up, and actually encompass up to 12 separate intelligences or lines of development.

Wilber said that the stages of scientific spirituality mirror the progression in grammar of letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, and pages, and you “can’t go from atoms to cells and skip molecules” – each stage frames a different worldview and must be experienced and then transcended.

He also pointed out that there are gender differences to be taken into account.

For men the emphasis is on economy and rules.

Women tend to focus on care and responsibility.

Some of the stages of Scientific Spirituality are:

  1. Egocentric primary narcissism – the toddler stage
  2. Family and Tribal – where care and identification are only afforded by the family or nation. This stage arrests development of 60 percent of humans
  3. Universal – care extended to all groups world centric treats all fairly
  4. Integrated or Cosmic – masculine and feminine expanding care to all sentient being

Awakening, or a “Jesus moment,” can be interpreted at each level, but in the lower levels this religious experience or awakened spirituality is used to justify war, conquest and an attitude of “us versus them.”  Only when integrated into the higher levels of scientific spirituality does the direct experience of consciousness lead to true human evolution, which is necessary to save our species.

He said that it is worth noting that awakening to the advanced stages has been found within certain traditions like Sufism, Mystical Christianity, and Kabbalah and that the stages of direct experiences have been known esoterically for centuries and are remarkably similar among different religions and traditions.

He said that the stages of scientific spirituality are also apparent in human evolution:

“Archaic” primitive apes to human (infant)

“Magic” non-differentiated voodoo snake charmers (toddler)

“Mythic” deeply ethnocentric – fundamentalist and literal not metaphorical 10,000 yrs ago (age 5 to ten)

“Rational” means capable of third person perspective; “Buddha” was rational; said that he could not describe awakening rationally (adolescent)

“Pluralistic”- relativistic diversity (young adulthood)

“Integral Cosmo-centric” (adult)

This theory has been tested in forty cultures and the problem is that anyone can stop (stall out) at every level, stranding a spiritual awakening in a lower state of understanding from a rational perspective.

Wilber said that only about five percent of the current population has reached a state of integration of a spiritual awakening within a scientific context and of course that most political and social decisions are made by individuals in arrested, lower stages of development.

He emphasized that scientific spirituality is relatively recent but vital for the survival of mankind.

Finally, I am always interested in sponsors, especially at SAND, and I was intrigued by Apeiron, a company expanding nationally in the area of age regression and human potential whose “approach assists clients to achieve optimal health and limitless potential through optimizing all aspects of health: sleep, stress, nutrition, human movement, hormonal optimization, cognition and inner balance.”

I had a fascinating discussion with Daniel Stickler, Apeiron’s CEO about the “Singularity” – or the widely held belief that artificial intelligence will one day become “conscious” or sentient. When I expressed my belief in reaction to films like Ex Machina, that organic life is an intelligent energy that cannot be simulated or created artificially, Daniel asked me whether that might not be a deeply held “bias.”

I have to consider that once again more deeply because indeed it takes us to the “edge of the unknown.”

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Consciousness

New Moon In Aries: Pursuing Wholeness

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We are having a New Moon in Aries on March 24th. This is initiating a new 29.5-day lunar cycle and a new wave of energy for the coming month. However, the astrological configurations mentioned in this article will be more prominent over the coming two weeks. This cycle will include a Full Moon in Libra on April 7th/8th.

Before getting into the astrology of this New Moon, a lot of people have been asking me about the current coronavirus pandemic and my perspectives on it. It is very much connected to the previous Lunar Eclipse, Solar Eclipse, and the Saturn-Pluto conjunction (which happened at the same time) that I wrote about. The energies of eclipses can play out at different times in the 6 month period after they occur.

The recent Mercury Retrograde in Pisces/Aquarius (and its post shadow period) reflected the escalation and increased awareness of this situation along with some further confusion. In the days after the Mercury Retrograde ended (during the last Full Moon period in Virgo), we gained some more clarity (or perceived clarity) around the seriousness (or perceived seriousness) of the situation which lead to the majority of the world beginning to take extreme precautions and the financial markets going haywire. All of this fits like clockwork with the astrological weather. Check out my video below in which I talk about it more.

New Moon In Aries Conjunct Chiron

Aries season began at the Equinox as it always does per the Tropical Zodiac. Being the first of twelve signs and initiator of a transitional season (following the transitional sign of Pisces) it initiates the Astrological New Year.

Aries is the domain of self, independence, and individual needs. As a Cardinal Fire sign ruled by Mars, it is associated with assertiveness, courage, directness, pioneering, and leading. It is quick, bold, and energetic. Negatively, this energy can be inconsiderate, selfish,  hot tempered, combative, restless, impatient, aggressive, and overly competitive.

This New Moon is applying a conjunction to Chiron (also in Aries) which makes its themes very strong throughout this lunar cycle, but more so over the following two weeks. Chiron is associated with healing, wholeness, cleansing, spiritual growth, gifted abilities, innovative solutions/ideas, shamanism, self-awareness, discovery, teaching, and indigenous people.

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It is holistic, maverick, bridging, integrating, creative, unorthodox, paradoxical, and about bringing things together that are quite different from each other and wouldn’t be expected to mesh well. Chiron also reflects dilemmas, spiritual or physical wounds, blockages, negative patterns, disease, pain, suffering, and parts of the whole which have been fragmented.

Chiron related issues (as mentioned above) can be getting in the way (or we may perceive it like that) of us reaching our potential. With it being in Aries, these challenges may be connected to the themes and qualities of that sign. Chiron related issues want to be overcome or handled more positively which can help to open other doors. They can be transmuted into gifts, abilities, awareness, and further spiritual embodiment.

New Moon and Chiron Square The Lunar Nodes

The New Moon and Chiron are also in a square with the Lunar Nodes. Chiron has also recently transitioned from being closer to the South Node in Capricorn to now being closer to the North Node in Cancer as it moves in that direction. This configuration with the Nodes can reflect being at a crossroads with the energies of these opposing signs as well as between the past and the future.

Ultimately this is helping to push us to focus more on the Cancerian qualities and areas of life, while reducing Capricorn areas and/or letting go of its negative qualities. More beneficial developments and growth can occur when we do this and it may also help us to tap more into Chiron’s positive traits and healing potential.

When we focus on the Capricorn side we may face more challenges and may also be inhibited by Chiron’s negative expressions which can be getting in the way of our potential. However, this can also call for some sort of positive (or win-win) integration between both sides of this polarity. If so, then the emphasis is to be on Cancerian themes while expressions of Capricorn are fulfilling the Cancer focal point.

Cancer is about home, security, protection, emotion, instinct, family, nurturing, caring, emotional support, sensitivity, and other domestic aspects of life. Capricorn is associated with goals, ambitions, career, duty, productivity, business, government, critical thinking, banking, orderliness, structure, consolidation, conservation, and determination. Negatively expressed, it can be cold, aloof, pessimistic, overly concerned with social standing, or flaunt status and achievement.

This can also be a good time to reflect on the wounds of our past to help us in how to proceed into a more empowering future. Be open towards any sort of modalities, practices, information/media, journaling, people, situations, or anything else that can help to facilitate this process.

Saturn Just Entered Aquarius, In A Sextile With This New Moon

Saturn, the planet of restrictions, boundaries, limitations, responsibilities, commitments, discipline, maturity, and the elderly, recently moved into Aquarius, the social sign of groups, the collective, humanity, intellect, technology, and innovation. It is in a connecting aspect to this New Moon in the self-oriented sign of Aries conjunct the healing, impairing, and maverick Chiron.

Saturn literally entered Aquarius just over two days prior to this New Moon after being in Capricorn since late December 2017. However, Saturn will re-enter Capricorn in early July after it goes retrograde in the 2nd week of May. It will then re-enter Aquarius in mid-December where it will stay until early 2023. By that point it will be fully in that sign instead of back and forth between two signs. We will then notice its exclusive energy even more strongly and likely in different ways than we are currently.

With Saturn getting its first taste of Aquarius, perhaps certain things that are going on now, in these coming months, and especially late in the year can be seeding something pertaining to how this process will play out until early 2023.  I will be covering more about this energy and its significant upcoming astrological configurations in my future content. Join my mailing list here to get notified when my work gets released.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

How can you use this period to overcome old wounds, blockages, and your negative expressions to assist you in reaching your potential and achieving wholeness? Do you have issues around independence, individual needs, or sense of self that need to be addressed? What can you do to be more caring and nurturing without sacrificing while still considering and acting on your personal needs and self-development? Are there any aspects of your ambitions, career, social status, that are getting in your way of emotional fulfillment?

These are just some examples of what to consider or focus your intentions on at this time. However, it is good to reflect on anything else that is coming up for you. It is generally best to make any intentions within the first 24 hours following a New Moon. The exact moment it will occur is 9:28am Universal Time on March 24th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

Follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and YOUTUBE for more astrology-related content.

astrology, astrology readings, carmen di luccio

I’m doing a BIG DISCOUNT during the pandemic period with 40-50% off personal readings.  Gain more astrological insight into what is going on in your life and have a better understanding of your individual potentials. Get a personalized astrology reading with Carmen (author of this article) specific to you based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for the discounted rate.

 

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Consciousness

Conscious Truth Behind Coronavirus Lockdown

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Now is a time for deep reflection on the state of our world and how we wish to shift the way we live our lives on this planet. Society has an opportunity to change, are we paying attention?

  • Reflect On:

    Do we simply want to go back to 'normal life' after this? Or is this giving us a chance to see things differently?

I have seen an unprecedented amount of perspectives about what is going on with this global event. Typically, there are a few theories that emerge with something like this. A mainstream narrative, perhaps a couple political narratives, then a few alternative narratives. But in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have seen narratives from virtually anyone with a voice. This has created an incredibly confusing landscape, but I hope to shift that a bit with the video I want to share with you below.

Perhaps the people that I believe should most take a breath are those that are angry, hateful and upset that some people are not terrified about this pandemic and choosing not to stay inside. Instead, some people are going for a walk outdoors to get fresh air, and this is enraging a certain part of the population. This group also seems to be asking their government for martial law and to take control of the food supply. My reflections towards these people are why are you feeling so angry and fearful? Why are you forgoing all of your power to the government? When have they given you a reason to trust them?

In fear, we will not have a good immune system. In fear, we will not have clarity. Take a breath, enjoy what independent media is sharing as the narratives are not riddled in fear like the mainstream media’s is.

As always, I feel these massive global events come down to consciousness and how we think about our world. We are in an unprecedented time right now where we have an incredible opportunity to break up the status quo and begin looking at what our world truly is at the moment. For those that are fearful of a totalitarian state, one question to consider is, do you truly feel that with how much more aware people are now than during 9/11, is a totalitarian state actually possible? I personally don’t think so as I don’t think enough people will stand for it.

Over the last 11 years I have seen so many people wake up to what’s going on. People you might not expect would change. At this point, even if the Deep State tried to pull something, I don’t think people would let it happen. Our collective consciousness is also truly asking for something different of our world, of our everyday life. It’s time for a great change, shift, and upheaval in and of our current systems and structures within society.

The main message of the video below is that it’s time for us to get back to dreaming, wondering, exploring and envisioning what world we wish to create. This can be the main focus of our conversations during this time, and it may serve the best to do so. My feeling is that now is a time to engage in practices of dreaming, imagining, and talking about what we could change and create, as opposed to just waiting for things to go back to normal, or just waiting for something to happen. This is an opportunity for us to collectively talk about and take action on creating a different world, as opposed to having someone else created for us.

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Enjoy the video below as it goes into much greater detail as to what I’m wishing to share.

I will be continuing to post regular thoughts and updates on Instagram, as well as go live. You can follow me on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/joemartino29/

*Note, the first minute has bad sound.

What You Can Do

Below are three important links to help you in potentially preventing coronavirus infection and perhaps even treating it. It also includes how you can stay calm and present during this time, as this is one of the most important things we can do.

How To Take Vitamin C Orally. It MAY Help Protect Against Viruses

Enjoy This Free Conscious Breathing Course To Bring Peace & Heightened Immunity

Foods That Weaken Your Immune System

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You can stream conscious media 24/7 and enjoy mind-expanding interviews, original shows, and documentaries and guided programs.

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Consciousness

Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 31: The Fisherman)

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The following is a chapter from my book ‘Parables For The New Conversation.’ One chapter will be published every Sunday for 36 weeks here on Collective Evolution. (I would recommend you start with Chapter 1 if you haven’t already read it.) I hope my words are a source of enjoyment and inspiration for you, the reader. If perchance you would like to purchase a signed paperback copy of the book, you can do so on my production company website Pandora’s Box Office.

From the back cover: “Imagine a conversation that centers around possibility—the possibility that we can be more accepting of our own judgments, that we can find unity through our diversity, that we can shed the light of our love on the things we fear most. Imagine a conversation where our greatest polarities are coming together, a meeting place of East and West, of spirituality and materialism, of religion and science, where the stage is being set for a collective leap in consciousness more magnificent than any we have known in our history.

Now imagine that this conversation honors your uniqueness and frees you to speak from your heart, helping you to navigate your way more deliberately along your distinct path. Imagine that this conversation puts you squarely into the seat of creator—of your fortunes, your relationships, your life—thereby putting the fulfillment of your deepest personal desires well within your grasp.

‘Parables for the New Conversation’ is a spellbinding odyssey through metaphor and prose, personal sagas and historic events, where together author and reader explore the proposal that at its most profound level, life is about learning to consciously manifest the experiences we desire–and thus having fun. The conversation touches on many diverse themes but always circles back to who we are and how our purposes are intertwined, for it is only when we see that our personal desires are perfectly aligned with the destiny of humanity as a whole that we will give ourselves full permission to enjoy the most exquisite experiences life has to offer.”

31. The Fisherman

Around noon on the East beach on the island of Allandon, the fisherman sat at a makeshift table gutting and cleaning his morning catch. He was so focused on his task that he took a while to notice his dog standing beside him patiently, wagging his tail with a large stick in his mouth.

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“I don’t suppose you came here to help me prepare the fish for market,” he said playfully. The dog continued looking up at the fisherman, eyes full of anticipation.

“No you just came to play,” he said as he scruffed the dog’s head briskly. “Play, eat and sleep, that’s your life, isn’t it?”

He put down his boning knife and wiped his hands off with a nearby cloth. “Well, I suppose I could take a break,” he said to his dog. He took the stick from his dog’s mouth and ran along the beach, leading the eager dog with the stick. Then he threw the stick far down the shoreline, and his dog ran after it at full speed and retrieved it for him.

After a while they returned, and the fisherman put out some of his dog’s favorite food, which the dog dove right into.

“Sometimes I wish I had your life,” said the fisherman as he picked up the next fish to work on. “I mean, you seem to have it all.”

The fisherman looked over to the dog, as if he was expecting a response. Of course the dog paid no attention to the fisherman, and kept on eating.

“Well there is one thing I have that you don’t, even though it probably causes more trouble than it’s worth,” said the fisherman, raising his boning knife with mock pride. “At least I can wish for a different life!”

What differentiates us from the animals that grace our planet is our self-awareness. We recognize ourselves as separate and distinct from our environment. More than any other we are the species that has traveled furthest from the Dao and have forged deep into the darkness of the universe. This is what puts us on the leading edge of consciousness, and what actually makes the discovery of who we really are all the more exciting and magical. If we identified solely with the source, the act of creation might be felt as something happening outside of us, rather than through the prism of our individuality.

Since animals are closer to the Dao than we are, they are more or less in flow with life all the time. They don’t have much of an Ego Self holding them back, and so they cannot help but live in the moment, grounds for occasional envy amongst us humans. And yet, even if it were possible to do, few of us would honestly want to trade places with them. Down deep we sense that the greatest experiences life has to offer are predicated on awareness, and the more conscious we become, the more sublime our experience of being inspired becomes. This inspiration has grown with the growth of our consciousness, and today is moving us towards the penultimate revelation: that we create our reality by the way we think.

Kernels of the idea that our mental state actually has some creative impact on our world and what happens in it have been circulating in our society for quite some time. In recent years, the conversation has intensified around the power of positive thinking, the value of visualization, the influence of intention. The full extent of the effect of our thoughts and the role they play in our endeavor to fulfill our deepest desires is something that I believe we are just coming to grips with today.

It is not a matter of much debate that we will be able to more easily ‘win friends and influence people’ if we think and act confidently and positively in their company. And with the power to draw strength from our relationships it is no big stretch to see how we can directly improve upon our esteem, our career and monetary success, and our overall enjoyment of life. The idea of visualization is a bit more amorphous, but it has certainly penetrated many aspects of our lives in relation to the outcome of our performance. My own experience in sports like golf, for example, has made me a solid believer in the assertion that we have to visualize a good result in order to ensure a good result. The clearer our vision is of what is to come, the more likely the intended outcome will occur. Be the ball, a conscientious golfer may remind himself.

In general, the idea that we will be successful if we believe we will be successful is not so hard to accept when we can make a direct link between our attitude and our own behavior, and then see that our behavior has a direct effect on our environment in terms of the way in which people and circumstances react to us. However it is entirely another thing to suggest that the way we think can affect the world around us at a distance as it were, with no visible ties to what we are affecting. Can we really believe that positive thinking can attract the right person into our lives at the right time? That visualization can bring us abundance from an unexpected source? That intention can actually affect the weather?

Actually, in some sense, it is only modern Western societies that have been skeptical about these possibilities. In earlier times these ideas were not only accepted, they were the foundations of tribal rituals and religious practices of all kinds. These practices ranged from carrying out personal vendettas to bringing much-needed rain to the communal crops. Perhaps the only difference is that rather than believing the power to be within the minds of each individual in their culture, they vested it in the particular deity that they were devoted to. There was no doubt in their minds, however, about the invisible connection between discreet things in their environment, and the ability to tap into this ever-present web of influence through prayer and other acts of devotion.

The advent of science, which ushered in the mechanistic world view, has made it difficult for us to give credence to these invisible connections between our thoughts and what actually happens in the world. More than ever in human history, our attention has been focused on the material connections between things, because it has been seen as the only way to gain the power to get what we want in our world. This in part explains the all-consuming supremacy of money in our modern world which, for all intents and purposes, we have made into a material ‘thing’ that is the main source of acquiring the other ‘things’ that are supposed to fulfill our desires.

When a claim is made that someone has brought something material into being and fulfilled a desire by their thoughts alone, the inclination of our materialist mindset is to write it off as superstition, voodoo, or the opiate of religious fervor, maintaining that we have evolved beyond such mysticism. When uncanny events occur that seem to present us with exactly what we want, need, or have been asking for, and no clear cause-and-effect relationship can be found in the visible world, our habit of thought has been to simply attribute it to coincidence and haphazard randomness.

Like many habits, this habit of thought has been hard to break. But we have begun to do just that. The evidence to the contrary has started to become too overwhelming. And more and more this evidence has been coming from an unlikely source—science itself. Contemporary research in physics and other scientific fields demonstrates that the mechanistic world view itself may be one of the greatest superstitions in human history. Mechanism has no choice but to maintain that our thoughts are simply random offshoots of physical processes in the brain, without transcendent design or purpose. The notion that we have any intelligence outside of the domain of our physical bodies, and that this intelligence can actually have an effect on matter, is untenable in a mechanistic world. However the discoveries of modern physics beg to differ. They are actually demonstrating that it has become more reasonable to assert that mind creates matter rather than matter creating mind.

It is no surprise that Albert Einstein, whose driving ambition in his scientific pursuits was to ‘understand the mind of God’, was a key player in the modern revolution of scientific thought, and of thought in general. In his seminal 1906 paper On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, Einstein essentially put our idea of objective reality on the shelf forever. He showed that both time and space—the underpinnings of objective measurements—were themselves subject to the conditions by which they were being observed and experienced. In other words, the actual passage of time and measurement of space are relative to the perspective of the observer. With relativity, the nature of things breaks away from the cold calculations of pure objectivity and suddenly becomes subjective. Relative is how things REALLY ARE, meaning that there is no absolute or objective reality as such.

While it has taken quite some time for us to catch on to this fundamental idea—over a century, to be precise—our way of thinking and living is starting to come around. We are beginning to discern that what we used to consider to be objective truths are simply unconscious agreements, collective habits of perception that are so ingrained that we consider them unchangeable objective facts. Now certainly we need many of these agreements in order to live and relate to each other, but that is not the same as saying they exist independent of us. In other words, they need an observing consciousness to become ‘real’. The proverbial tree that falls in the forest with nobody around, then, actually does not make a sound—although it is debatable as to whether there could ever be ‘nobody around’.

The discoveries of quantum physics, which studies the behavior of sub-atomic particles, have only further refined Einstein’s notion, showing that the objective world is not so ‘objective’ after all. Let us take for example any experiment conducted by a scientist, purportedly an unattached and objective observer who desires to report on exactly what he sees and draw conclusions from it. This seems all well and good for ‘traditional’ observation in which a scientist can stay unobtrusively a safe distance away.

The only problem is that with sub-atomic physics, the physicist cannot stay a safe distance away because he cannot escape an intimate relationship to that which he is observing, influencing its behavior just by observing it. In fact, it has been shown now that some kind of exchange goes on between the observer and the observed in every act of observation. Its effects are simply more noticeable at a sub-atomic level. Heisenberg’s famous uncertainty principle confirms this very fact. Electrons exist around a nucleus not as ‘things’ as such but rather as ‘probability clouds’ that necessarily wait for the attention of an observer to bring the electron to an actual position in space. Without that attention, the electron is actually and truly nowhere in particular.

Now in the broader phenomenal world that we live in every day, the effects of observation are not so instantaneous. There is much more to do than to position a single electron. However, while the processes might be more complex, science is starting to prove that consciousness is a participant at all levels of activity. As Lynn McTaggert says in The Intention Experiment,

The implication of these early experimental findings [of quantum physics] were profound: living consciousness somehow was the influence that turned the possibility of something into something real…living consciousness is somehow central to the process of transforming the unconstructed quantum world into something resembling everyday reality.

The study of sub-atomic particles, the building blocks of life as we know it, has brought scientists to the unavoidable conclusion that consciousness affects matter by way of a unified energy matrix that orders the universe and weaves an intelligent design throughout the largest and smallest of entities, and all those in between. The long search of science for a unified field is now being conceived as an energy storehouse of all possible events in space and time. All things material originate in an energy state, as potential, waiting for consciousness to put sufficient attention on one possibility to bring it into material existence. In other words, material events don’t just happen, they all originate from the focused attention of an observing intelligence on a given possibility.

The next big step science is in the process of taking is determining whether we are restricted to the role of observer, of passive consciousness, or if we can actually affect the world of our everyday lives with our consciousness in ways that we actually want. What spiritual traditions have been claiming all along—that we can shape our world and our lives with our intentions—has become the subject of rigorous scientific inquiry. Ground-breaking work done by people like biologist Rupert Sheldrake is opening up a vast new field of possibilities. His explorations demonstrate that not only can intention intervene in the bringing-into-being of matter, it is actually the foundation of such processes.

There’s a kind of intention, a kind of goal-directedness inherent in the very nature of life in the most fundamental processes that enable embryos to grow and even protein molecules to form. And I think that the kind of conscious intention we experience as part of our mental life has its background in this goal-directedness which is inherent in all living creatures, and is an essential part of the nature of life and an essential part of the nature of the organizing fields that organize living organisms.

At the height of scientific materialism in the West, large numbers of people were skeptical of all things immaterial and came to doubt that there was any purpose to our being created at all. But purpose, goal-directedness, and intention are being seen more and more as the foundations of material life. As science gets turned on its ear, it shifts from being the strongest proponent of a universe devoid of meaning and conscious design to validating the role of consciousness and the existence of an invisible world of spirit out of which the visible world emerges.

It was not long ago that science took pride in its orderly mechanistic vision, one which had us living in an unspeakably beautiful, highly sophisticated and fully functioning natural world and yet seriously doubting that there was an intelligent design behind it and a purpose to our own existence. Today, no longer is science strictly the domain of the visible and religion the domain of the invisible. The line in the sand has been crossed, and the tacit agreement between the two camps has begun to dissolve. The result is that we are starting to feel whole again.

This did not all happen by accident. For me, this is the master stroke of Creation itself. It was intended that the illusion of materialism become so powerful that we could doubt there was an intelligence behind it—because this doubt itself had a highly transcendent purpose. With this doubt, born of the emergence of the Western paradigm, of the aggrandizement of rationality over intuition, of the separation of science and spirituality, we have been brought to greater heights of individual self-consciousness. We have been propelled into a complexity that distinguishes us even more from our source and yet holds the possibility that we can feel ever more of its power.

In the universe consciousness cannot contract, it can only expand. Expanding consciousness is the flow of life and the inherent mandate of all living things. Our capacity as human beings to be conscious of ourselves brings us to the brink of a great epiphany about our purpose here: we were created to experience being creators ourselves. We have begun our ascent into a higher level of complexity, one that empowers us to create our world anew out of our conscious intentions, grounded in our deepest personal and collective desires.

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