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Leading Neuroscientists & Buddhists Agree: “Consciousness is Everywhere”

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“Broadly speaking, although there are some differences, I think Buddhist philosophy and Quantum Mechanics can shake hands on their view of the world. We can see in these great examples the fruits of human thinking. Regardless of the admiration we feel for these great thinkers, we should not lose sight of the fact that they were human beings just as we are.”

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– the Dalai Lama

-->Listened to our latest podcast episode yet? Joe speaks with journalist Derrick Broze about the need for journalistic standards, Qanon, and agorism. Click here to listen!

Scientists and Buddhists from all over the world are starting to see the similarities between their disciplines, and the research which is emerging as a result is truly exciting. A classic example of a scientist diving into ancient wisdom is Nikola Tesla, whose work was heavily influenced by Vedic philosophy. You can read more about that here.

Here is a great clip of world renowned quantum physicist Dr. John Hagelin at an event discussing transcendental meditation.

Findings within neuroscience, dealing with things like past lives and reincarnation, also correlate with Buddhist philosophy; perhaps this is why Carl Sagan said that reincarnation deserves serious study, and since his passing, it has received some. In 2008 University of Virginia psychiatrist Jim Tucker, for example, published a review of cases suggestive of reincarnation in the journal Explore. You can read that  study and find out more about it here.

Without a doubt, various ancient Eastern traditions are closely tied with certain aspects of modern day science. Though it may seem counterintuitive to some, it seems as though science is actually working to catch up to the teachings of ancient philosophy and mysticism rather than the other way around.

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Leading Neuroscientists & Buddhists Agree: “Consciousness Is Everywhere”

“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

– Max Planck, theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918

It’s great to see that in today’s day and age, multiple prominent scientists from all over the world have started to study non-physical phenomena and human consciousness.

Christof Koch, the Chief Scientific Officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science and a leading American neuroscientist, has illustrated how new theories in neuroscience suggest that consciousness is present in all things. A couple of years ago he took a trip to India to discuss the topic with a group of Buddhist monks and ended up debating with the Dalai Lama for an entire day.

During his conversation with the Dalai Lama, Koch was most struck by his ideas about ‘panpsychism’: the belief that consciousness is everywhere, “and that we have to reduce the suffering of all conscious creatures.”

Sam Littlefair Wallace from Lion’s Roar offers some insight into Koch’s background and views:

Koch, who became interested in Buddhism in college, says that his personal worldview has come to overlap with the Buddhist teachings on non-self, impermanence, atheism, and panpsychism. His interest in Buddhism, he says, represents a significant shift from his Roman Catholic upbringing. When he started studying consciousness — working with Nobel Prize winner Francis Crick — Koch believed that the only explanation for experience would have to invoke God. But, instead of affirming religion, Koch and Crick together established consciousness as a respected branch of neuroscience and invited Buddhist teachers into the discussion.

Below is the video of Koch at the event in India:

Integrated Information Theory (IIT)

IIT is a theoretical framework for understanding consciousness which was developed by Giulio Tononi, MD, PhD, from the Center for Sleep and Consciousness at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Koch collaborates with Tononi on a regular basis, and believes ITT to be the only truly promising fundamental theory of consciousness.

The theory states that physical systems all contain consciousness, and that this consciousness can be measured as a theoretical quantity, which they are calling phi.

Tononi has developed a measuring system for phi in the human brain, where scientists send a magnetic pulse into a human brain and observe the pulse echo through the neurons. The idea is that the longer and clearer the reverberation, the higher the tested subject’s level of consciousness. The test can be used to tell whether a patient is awake, asleep, or anesthetized.

What Tononi and his team are trying to do is measure consciousness. The fact that it has yet to be measured explains why a large portion of mainstream academia rejects the notion of consciousness existing as a separate entity, outside of the brain.

Tononi and Koch recently published a paper in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, emphasizing that consciousness is a fundamental aspect of reality, like other aspects that we can see and perceive with our senses.

The theory states that any object with a phi greater than zero possesses consciousness. This would mean that even protons are conscious beings, which wouldn’t be too far off considering that when you observe them at the quantum level, their behaviour changes, almost as if they know they are being watched.

In the video, Koch describes how Buddhist teachings led him to study consciousness scientifically:

I was confronted with the Buddhist teaching that sentience is probably everywhere at varying levels, and that inspired me to take the consequences of this theory seriously . . . When I see insects in my home, I don’t kill them.

It’s fantastic to see this merging of science and philosophy, even if determining the source of consciousness remains a task beyond our grasp. Scientific theories like IIT help to further push the much-needed study of consciousness into mainstream academia.

At the end of the nineteenth century, physicists discovered empirical phenomena that could not be explained by classical physics. This led to the development, during the 1920s and early 1930s, of a revolutionary new branch of physics called quantum mechanics (QM). QM has questioned the material foundations of the world by showing that atoms and subatomic particles are not really solid objects—they do not exist with certainty at definite spatial locations and definite times. Most importantly, QM explicitly introduced the mind into its basic conceptual structure since it was found that particles being observed and the observer—the physicist and the method used for observation—are linked. These results suggest that the physical world is no longer the primary or sole component of reality, and that it cannot be fully understood without making reference to the mind.

– Dr. Gary Schwartz, Professor of Psychology, Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry and Surgery at the University of Arizona (source)

Below is a great video from Dr. Gary Schwartz (quoted above) in which he discusses whether consciousness is the product of the brain or a receiver of it. It’s a fantastic and short overview  of an immense amount of research; this subject has tons of peer-reviewed  scientific research behind it which not many people have the time to go through themselves, and he has thoughtfully condensed that research to allow more people access to it.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Consciousness

COVID From A Spiritual Perspective

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In a riveting discussion Wayne Morris interviews CE founder Joe Martino on the Breathing Deep podcast. They explore making sense of our current world through a spiritual perspective. In the episode, you’ll  explore what Collective Evolution is about, its history and objectives of investigating current events and the world via personal transformation and expanding consciousness. They discuss the power of curiosity, belief vs. knowing, what is truth, and how the failures of modern science dogma are contributing to public confusion. We talk about the pitfalls of navigating “conspiracies”, confirmation bias, the polarization of the public discussion around Covid and how we can individually and collectively determine truth in a media landscape of deceit. What is the role of spirituality in this process of sense-making? Click here to listen to or download the episode

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Consciousness

Intuition Is A “Superpower” Representing One of The Highest Forms of Intelligence

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A number of experiments have shown that human intuition is quite real and in some cases can be measurable.

  • Reflect On:

    How often do you use your intuition when it comes to decision making in your life? How often do you trust your gut instinct and follow your heart?

Mainstream science has been catching on to the fact that non-physical aspects of the human being are not only real, but they can be grown and developed into powerful tools for personal development and use. Non physical phenomena, like intuition, remote viewing, telepathy, and precognition (to name a few) for example, have been studied at the highest levels of government for decades. Various nations have poured millions if not billions of dollars into these programs for with demonstrated repeated success, but despite this fact these findings remain heavily unacknowledged, ridiculed, “classified” and in many cases chucked in the “pseudoscience” bucket.

It’s understandable, new information and discoveries have always been heavily opposed and “scoffed” at by intellectual authorities, especially if these discoveries don’t fit within the accepted framework of knowledge. There’s a general tendency to dismiss ideas that go against the grain and conflict what we’ve previously convinced ourselves is truth.

So, what exactly is intuition? A good way to describe it is a gut feeling, a sense, or a feeling about something. It’s arriving to some sort of truth about something, an event or experience without using any type of analytic reasoning. Intuition has been measured, which is why the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) admitted to developing methods to develop and measure this phenomenon for their soldiers.

We have to understand what gives rise to this so-called ‘sixth sense,’ says Peter Squire, a program officer in ONR’s Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism department. Today’s Navy scientists place less emphasis on trying to understand the phenomena theoretically and more on using technology to examine the mysterious process, which Navy scientists assure the public is not based on superstition. “If the researchers understand the process, there may be ways to accelerate it — and possibly spread the powers of intuition throughout military units,” says Dr. Squire. The Pentagon’s focus is to maximize the power of the sixth sense for operational use. 

As mentioned before, many interesting abilities that go beyond the conscious mind and utilize what some would call metaphysical aspects have long been used by governments and intelligence agencies. Perhaps one day the human race will use these abilities for progress and to better the human experience. It’s like technology, do we use it for the good of humanity or do we use it to build more powerful and destructive bombs and weaponry? This is why we here at Collective Evolution always emphasize that humanity needs a shift in consciousness. Our discoveries and developments don’t really matter, it’s more so the consciousness behind those discoveries that do. This is why we believe that the greatest and most potent form of change comes from within.

Dr. Judith Orloff, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA told Forbes that, “In my my private practice, I work with women executives who come to me to develop their intuition. They see it as a ‘superpower’ to use in all decisions at work as well as a guide for how to be good leaders and organizers” According to Dr. Orloff, scientists believe intuition operates through the entire right side of our brain, the brain’s hippocampus and through our gut (digestive system has neurons as well).

Alexandra Mysoor, the writer of the Forbes article goes on to explain:

When the neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in your gut fire up, you may be feeling either “butterflies” or queasy sensations. Pay attention to those. It’s no accident we use the term intuition and gut feeling interchangeably because science has now shown us that our gut has a brain of its own, a second brain so to speak. In fact, our gut has an entire network of neurotransmitters called the enteric nervous system.

The body is truly an amazing puzzle, and we probably haven’t moved beyond the tip of the iceberg when it comes to discovering what we are actually capable of.  For example, a study (meta analysis) in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience titled “Predicting the unpredictable: critical analysis and practical implications of predictive anticipatory activity” examined a number of experiments regarding precognition. These experiments indicate that the human body can actually detect randomly delivered stimuli that occur 1-10 seconds in advance. In other words, the human body seems to know of an event and reacts to an event that has yet to occur. What occurs in the human body before these events are physiological changes that are measured in the cardiopulmonary, the skin, and the nervous system.

Pretty cool, isn’t it? Another article written for Forbes written by Bruce Kasanoff by explains,

Intuition, argues Gerd Gigerenzer, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, is less about suddenly “knowing” the right answer and more about instinctively understanding what information is unimportant and can thus be discarded.

Gigerenzer, author of the book Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, says that he is both intuitive and rational. “In my scientific work, I have hunches. I can’t explain always why I think a certain path is the right way, but I need to trust it and go ahead. I also have the ability to check these hunches and find out what they are about. That’s the science part. Now, in private life, I rely on instinct. For instance, when I first met my wife, I didn’t do computations. Nor did she.”

A paper published in 2008 by Dean Radin, Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) explains,

Intuition is widely regarded as a key source of inspiration in medical diagnosis, technological innovation,business decisions, artistic achievement, and scientific discovery. Based upon an analysis of the lives of numerous scientific icons, Root-Bernstein concluded that “Virtually without exception, the greatest mathematicians and scientists assert that the development of this pictorial, visual, kinesthetic, or generally sensual algorithm (associated with intuition) is the basis for scientific thinking. But what is intuition? Given its central role in advancing science and civilization, one might expect that this topic has been a keen subject of inquiry, especially within academic psychology, for many decades. Surprisingly, until recently it has been studiously ignored. This may be because the quasi-magical, non-rational nature of intuition presents an embarrassing challenge to science, which prides itself on the power of rational knowing. Intuitive knowledge does not appear to function like the methodical interferences associated with rational thought.It arises “in a flash,” or “out of the blue,” sometimes with correct answers to thorny scientific and technical problems, elegant solutions to complex mathematical theorems, and complete scores for intricate musical compositions.

The Institute of HeartMath alongside Radin conducted an interesting experiment a few years ago. They explain,

Twenty-six adults experienced in using HeartMath techniques and who could sustain a heart-coherent state completed two rounds of study protocols approximately two weeks apart. Half of the participants completed the protocols after they intentionally achieved a heart-coherent state for 10 minutes. The other half completed the same procedures without first achieving heart coherence. Then they reversed the process for the second round of monitoring, with the first group not becoming heart-coherent before completing the protocols and the second group becoming heart-coherent before. The point was to test whether heart coherence affected the results of the experiment.

Participants were told the study’s purpose was to test stress reactions and were unaware of its actual purpose. (This practice meets institutional-review-board standards.) Each participant sat at a computer and was instructed to click a mouse when ready to begin.

The screen stayed blank for six seconds. The participant’s physiological data was recorded by a special software program, and then, one by one, a series of 45 pictures was displayed on the screen. Each picture, displayed for 3 seconds, evoked either a strong emotional reaction or a calm state. After each picture, the screen went blank for 10 seconds. Participants repeated this process for all 45 pictures, 30 of which were known to evoke a calm response and 15 a strong emotional response.

The results of the experiment were fascinating to say the least. The participants’ brains and hearts responded to information about the emotional quality of the pictures before the computer flashed them (random selection). This means that the heart and brain were both responding to future events. The results indicated that the responses happened, on average, 4.8 seconds before the computer selected the pictures.

How mind-altering is that?

Even more profound, perhaps, was data showing the heart received information before the brain. “It is first registered from the heart,” Rollin McCraty Ph.D. explained, “then up to the brain (emotional and pre-frontal cortex), where we can logically relate what we are intuiting, then finally down to the gut (or where something stirs).”

This study showed that the heart, alongside the brain, has some sort of intuitive intelligence.

The Takeaway: We are living in a day and age where new information and evidence are constantly emerging, challenging what we once thought was real or what we think we know about ourselves as human beings.  It’s best to keep an open mind. Perhaps there are aspects of ourselves and our consciousness that have yet to be discovered. Perhaps if we learn from this information it can help us better ourselves and others.

We live our lives constantly thinking and analyzing, we grow up in school memorizing and we are not really taught anything about our feelings, emotions and intuition. Imagine the difference it would make in our individual and collective lives if we grew up learning how to trust our intuition, how to follow it and what it is? It begs the question, how many of us truly follow our heart? We seem to be thrust into a system that encourages us to find the best job and really think about our future. There’s nothing wrong with that but we have to ask ourselves, what impact does it have on us mentally if we do not follow our heart, our intuition? Are we seeing a big rise in drug use, depression and other mental issues because society forces us to in a direction we really don’t desire to go? Are we unhappy because we are not engaging in things that our heart desires to engage in? Are we not doing enough of what we love? Something to think about. Never ignore the voice of your gut, your heart, your intuition. It’s always telling us something and it’s time we ‘listen.’ This applies to all experiences, from deciphering information and truth to determining what path it is you want to take in life.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

Consciousness

New Moon In Capricorn: Power Struggles, Intensity & Renewal

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We are having a New Moon in Capricorn on January 13th throughout most of the world and on the night of the 12th in Central to Western North America. This is initiating a 29.5 day lunar cycle and new wave of energy for the coming month; however, the astrological configurations mentioned in this article will be more prominent over the following two weeks. This cycle will include a Full Moon in Leo on January 28th/29th.

Capricorn season began on the December 21st solstice, just over three weeks prior to this lunation, and will end on January 19th/20th when Aquarius season begins. However, this New Moon will carry some of the Capricorn energies into the earlier part of Aquarius season.

This is a good period of working with and co-creating with the energies of this sign. Capricorn is associated with structure, ambitions, achieving goals, mastery, business, career, social status, responsibilities, duty, authority, governance, and hard work. It is cautious, worldly, conservative, and pragmatic. As an Earth sign, it has the qualities of practicality, reliability, solidity and being grounded. This element is very much orientated around the physical and material world. Negatively, Capricorn energy can be too serious, cynical, cold, controlling, and unrelenting.

New Moon Conjunct Pluto

This New Moon is aligned with Pluto which is also in Capricorn. This energy can be strong willed, focused, calculated, strategic, secretive, transformational, probing, deep, regenerating, sexual, cleansing, purging, and evolutionary. It can also be destructive, heavy, controlling, intense, subversive, obsessive, compulsive, jealous, power seeking, authoritarian, abusive, violent, manipulative, and dark.

Pluto rules investments, taboos, transmutation, hidden matters, repressed feelings, shadows, psychoanalysis, and the underworld. It is associated with power struggles, conspiracies, viruses, death, fears as well as fearlessness. This Plutonian energy will be strongly felt during the New Moon and in the two days following it, but it will still affect the entire Lunar Cycle.

Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008 and will be there until 2024. Collectively, this is a period of major changes affecting government, financial structures, and business in a big way. This has been more obvious in recent years as Saturn, the Lunar South Node, and Jupiter have all joined Pluto in the same sign. This will continue to be a big theme over the remaining years of Pluto in Capricorn and beyond. We also recently had a Great Conjunction in Aquarius on December 21st which also reflects changes affecting society in a big way over a long period.

This Lunar Cycle can really trigger the collective impact of this energy especially considering the current landscape. To learn more about all of this, I recommend reading my Pluto in Capricorn article from 2017 here and my more recent Great Conjunction article here.

Mars Conjunct Uranus In Taurus Square Jupiter & Saturn in Aquarius

The action oriented Mars recently changed signs into Taurus on January 6th/7th and has since been approaching Uranus, the planet of surprises and rebellion, in the same sign. They are both applying squares to Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius which are still in close proximity with each other.

During this New Moon, from January 12th-14th, Mars is in a square with Saturn which is the first exact aspect made between these four planets. Our actions can be faced with obstacles, delays, resistance, or limitations. Conflicts around boundaries or restrictions can play out. Doing tasks may require extra patience and caution.

As this is finishing, Jupiter will be going into an exact square with Uranus from January 14th to the 19th. This energy can be freedom seeking, rebellious, scattered, idealistic, or even risk taking. It could be good for exploring, learning, education, or expansiveness around things that are new to us, unconventional, technological, scientific, progressive, or metaphysical.

Mars then makes its exact conjunction with Uranus from the 19th to the 21st while it is finishing its square Jupiter. It can really crank up the energies mentioned above and this energy can also be impulsive, erratic, experimental, disruptive, surprising, irritable, and quick tempered.

From the 21st until the 24th, Mars will then be in exact square with Jupiter. We may feel like doing things in a big way but it’s important to be cautious around what we do because we can more easily apply ourselves in a way that is overextending, overestimating, or overlooking of important things. Conflicts around beliefs, opinions, judgements, and principles can play out.

During the later part of this period, the Sun will be in a conjunction with Saturn from the 23rd to 24th. This can have a serious tone, and perhaps the need to be realistic, cautious, orderly, disciplined, committed, or responsible, may come up. Following this, the Sun will be making aspects to Jupiter, Uranus, and Mars in the last week of January and into the first few days of February which can trigger some of the energies mentioned earlier in this section.

The combination of all of these planets in close proximity to aspects with each other throughout January can be good for applying ourselves in new ways that are congruent with changes that are happening personally or collectively. However, it can also be a time of anger, impulsiveness, and rebelliousness towards obstacles, restrictions, opinions, beliefs, authority figures, as well as other recent or upcoming developments, circumstances, or changes.

Venus Square Chiron &  Trine Uranus, Mercury Entering pre-Retrograde Shadow

Venus in Capricorn is in a square with Chiron in Aries at the time of this New Moon and in the day leading up to it.  This can bring up wounds, blockages, negative patterns, or can reflect themes around healing, holistic perception, or perhaps solutions when it comes to love, our social life, friends, pleasures, values, or monetary issues.

Venus is also in a trine with Uranus in Taurus which is strongest in the day and half following this New Moon. It can bring a new, stimulating, unusual, exciting, inspiring, liberating, unexpected, or unique energy around our relations with others.  This can also reflect surprises, positive changes, or freeing type of developments around financial matters. In some cases it can be good for exploring new ways of making money that can be innovative, online, metaphysical, or technologically oriented.

On January 15th, Mercury in Aquarius will be entering the shadow period of its retrograde that will be beginning on January 30th/31st and last until February 20th/21st. It can increasingly start to feel like it’s retrograde during these weeks leading up to it as delays, technological/mechanical problems, mistakes, miscommunications, misunderstandings, or other complications can be more probable than in the previous six weeks.

Certain developments, interactions, connections, or issues that occur at this time can be connected to how this retrograde will affect us in February through its adjusting and perceptive changing qualities. There can be something we are not seeing clearly that needs to unfold throughout the upcoming retrograde and post-retrograde process. I will be writing a separate article on this, you can join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

What changes do you need to make when it comes to your ambitions, career, structures, or business matters? What can you do to make your profession more congruent with a changing world? What are you fighting for and what can you do to be more calculated, effective, and persuasive? What kind of strategies can you employ to help you achieve your goals? Do you need to be more innovative when it comes to making money? What area of your life is calling for some sort of purging, cleansing, empowerment, and/or transformation?

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 5:00am Universal Time on January 13th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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