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Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 11: The Glassblower)

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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.

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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.

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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.”

11. The Glassblower

One day the restaurant chef was taking her afternoon walk down the main street of the village on the island of Allandon when the glassblower popped out of his glassware shop and waved her over with excitement.

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“Come in here for a minute,” he said. “I have something I know you will want.”

The chef followed as the glassblower took her into the back room, where he unveiled a set of wine glasses inlayed in a velvet box.

“These are perhaps the finest wine glasses our shop has ever produced,” he said.

“They look wonderful,” replied the chef. “But the real test would be with some wine.”

“An excellent idea,” said the glassblower. He went down into the cellar and soon emerged with a fine bottle of red wine. He uncorked the bottle, carefully took two wine glasses out of the box, and poured each glass half-full.

As soon as the chef picked up the glass and gently circled the wine around she proclaimed, “Yes, they are exquisite. You are to be congratulated.”

“I didn’t do it. I have gotten too old to blow glass,” he said. “You can congratulate my youngest son. It is his care and love of the craft that produces a work of art such as this.”

“Really? And what about your other sons?”

“Bah! I spent years with my first son, taking him into the shop every day when he was young and training him on all the minute details of glass blowing. But when I tried to get him to take over on his own, it was a disaster. He had no self-confidence. He would get nervous and either blow too hard or too softly, creating monstrous shapes.”

“That is a pity.”

“Yes, so I decided that with my second son I would not make the same mistake. I forbid him to come into the workshop when he was young. But when he came of age and I tried to train him, he was very obstinate and tried to do things his own way. He surely would have put us out of business.”

“So what is it that you did with your youngest son?”

“Nothing!” he said laughing. “I’d given up by then!”

“Given up? Do you mean you sent him away as well?”

The glassblower thought for a moment. “Not really. I suppose whenever he wanted to come in the shop, I let him in, and if he stayed away, I paid no mind.”

“But you never tried to train him?”

“Well—not exactly. If he wanted some instruction, I gave it to him, and if he just wanted to watch me work, that was all right as well.”

“I see,” the chef said. “And he makes all the glasses now?”

“That’s right.”

The chef raised her glass. “Well then, I would like to propose a toast, and give credit where credit is due. Raise your glass with me.”

“Here, here! To my youngest son,” the glassblower said.

“Oh, no,” said the chef smiling. “Not just to your youngest son, but to all three!”

In an earlier time in our history, most learning was fundamentally the acquiring of knowledge from those who had come before. Elders who knew something like a family trade or a secret recipe would pass the information down to younger members who did not know. These interactions were one-directional: the wise teacher would go into a closed ‘teaching’ mode to impart knowledge to the ignorant student who assumed a more open ‘learning’ mode.

While there may always be teachers and students, this model of learning alone is no longer enough for the lessons that are presenting themselves to us today. It is not the kind of model that is going to take us forward, to help us evolve, to move us to new heights of consciousness. No matter the nature of the relationship, the new conversation requires that all participants enter into the learning mode, and remain wholeheartedly open to what comes of the experience.

To be in the learning mode is to be open, curious, and ready to suspend all that we think we know in order to tune into the clues that can lead to a new awareness. Whenever we are teaching something, it is fully beneficial to be in the learning mode ourselves because then we model the very behavior that would help the student to be most receptive to learning. When we ourselves are actively open and ready to embrace whatever comes, to accept what is and to learn something from it, this cannot help but serve as an invitation to the student to let down their defenses, open up and participate in the learning process.

However at the same time, we need to be careful not to get attached to whether the teaching actually gets learned. If we have this attachment, we end up taking the role of teacher too seriously, and we lose an authentic connection with our student. When we are not one with a student, we will get so caught up in implementing our lesson plan that we will be oblivious to the lesson that is there for us.

My first serious romance actually showed me a lot about this, because it mimicked this teacher-student dynamic. In our seven years together I was the teacher, the authority, and in my mind, my younger girlfriend and I would stay on the right track if she just followed my lead. I didn’t feel that she had anything to teach me, and this was only reinforced in our first few years together as she treated me like a savior. But then, as she gained confidence in herself and tried to have a say in our relationship, she started to resent my closed mind. She made efforts to assert herself but I was unwilling to let go of control. I gave little regard to what she had to say, for after all I was the expert on relationships and she was just the stubborn student. If she said she was unhappy, I labeled her a complainer. If she seemed unmotivated, I told her she wasn’t being committed. And so, unwilling to consider my own role in why things weren’t working, our relationship continued to slide. Finally, I tried to revive our emotional attachment to each other in a most desperate way: I proposed to her. I somehow convinced myself that a new commitment would put me back in control and would empower me to lead us out of our problems.

Fortunately it didn’t work out. In fact, asking her to marry me only pushed things to the point of no return. Not only did she refuse to give me an answer, she in fact confessed to me that her eyes had already started to turn elsewhere. When I heard that, I was confronted with the most frightening of truths: I could no longer dictate what happened in the relationship. I had completely lost control. And losing control was the beginning of finding myself, and learning the lessons that this relationship and this person were there to teach me.

Only when I began to accept the fact that the relationship had ended, and there was nothing I could do, did I feel a calm coming over me. From this place it became possible to enter into the learning mode, which, I think, saved me from a prolonged stretch of bitterness. I could see the happiness she had with her new boyfriend, who she eventually married, and could admit to myself that she and I had never experienced that kind of happiness together. My blame turned to gratitude, my fear into relief. Now that we were apart, I was actually more open to what she had to say, and she in turn became more willing to speak freely with me. I was able to examine who I had been in the relationship: controlling, condescending, and painfully serious. I saw that I had endured a relationship that was less than fulfilling—and I was even pushing to continue it—because of my fear of being alone.

It is ironic that it is those situations where we resist looking at ourselves and are convinced we know better that can provide us with the greatest learning. It is precisely our avoidance of the truth of who we are being that we need to shed light on and uncover. Only then can we really step closer to fulfillment, to wholeness, to becoming who we really are. Only after I was forced to surrender and drop my self-image of the wise teacher was real learning able to come to me. In the aftermath of our breakup I started to really listen to her and take her opinion to heart. And once out of the power struggle that was our relationship we developed a deeper friendship, one where we both became more open to what we could learn from each other.

Since this time I am happy to have changed my ways. I am aware of what my life would be like if I had remained the way I was. I have let go of much of my need to control, and have experienced far greater enjoyment in my relationships as a result. And so I hold my first major break-up as one of the greatest gifts I have ever received in my life, despite how difficult it was at the time. Being challenged with some difficulty is more the rule of profound learning than the exception. Richard Bach said there is always a gift waiting for us behind all problems. We can all reap great benefits from our difficult and painful events, every single one. The learning is always sitting there, waiting for us to pluck it, but it requires us to relinquish control. When we let go and remain ready to learn and evolve, then we are in flow with life itself.

So entering the learning mode is not easy. It is a call to courage because the unknown can be scary. For most of us, growing up has meant becoming suspicious and fearful of the unknown. But the learning that we deeply long for, which moves us into the realm of the Dao Self, is founded on the bridge we build across the unknown. When we always cling to ‘going with what we know,’ we are actually cutting ourselves off from the vast expanse of experiences that life offers. Life in the known eventually becomes stale and ordinary. But what’s worse, we become more and more convinced that this is the only life that is available to us. Our Ego Self will allow us to learn some things, but within safe boundaries, with fairly predictable results. If we follow this we usually only learn things that confirm our limited beliefs. When we try to learn on our terms rather than on life’s terms, we have not relinquished control. Our Ego Self tries to convince us that we need to be saved from the unknown. It promotes a world that is familiar, that we are competent in, that we have control over. It is easy to be tempted by this, but in truth this is a great disservice to our lives because it keeps us living in fear.

Instead of getting saved from the unknown, I believe what we truly need is to be saved from the known, from the prison that we have trapped ourselves in, our own limited way of looking at ourselves. And let us make no mistake, we all have a limited way of looking at ourselves. It is a condition of being human. When we begin to loosen up and free ourselves from the known, from certainty, that is when life begins to get magical, and when learning really dazzles us. It’s not possible to reach mastery until we first acknowledge mystery. To have the courage to say “I don’t know” opens up the vastness of what there is still to learn. And the more we learn in this way, the bigger becomes the body of what we don’t know, until we see the whole universe as a treasure chest of mysteries to endlessly excite our curiosity.

Whenever we escape from the known, some sensation of fear is inevitable while we get our bearings within the unfamiliar. For what is growth except expanding oneself into unfamiliar territory? And while I believe we can get a bit more comfortable with our fear, we never really get used to unfamiliarity. If we were used to it, it would have ceased to be unfamiliar.

Living life as a daring adventure is to actually seek out unfamiliarity, understanding that any suffering we experience is of our own making. As we let go of the habit of blaming external events or people for our suffering, peace comes more quickly, and we go straight to explore what we have to learn. Surrender is no longer simply giving up and quitting, but rather migrating to an expanded version of ourselves.

And if we are not prepared to seek out unfamiliarity, life itself will give us a nudge now and then. If our resistance is strong, the current of life will twist and turn us, and eventually we will be thrown overboard. For this we should be thankful, because if life always played out the way we thought it should, we probably wouldn’t learn very much. It’s only when we are made to come to grips with a world that does not conform to our restricted vision that real learning and growth are made possible.

Of course we have a choice. We can always refuse the gift of learning. We can choose to stay in the jail cell of our attachments and blame, gripped by our own need to control, and serve a bit more time. But when we don’t take the gift, when we resist the lesson, it will keep showing up in our lives until we stop resisting what it is trying to tell us. It is fascinating to look back on our lives and see how some patterns repeat themselves over and over and over again. When the lesson is not learned, and we blame circumstances or other people for our suffering, it is inevitably going to recur. When we have had enough and finally decide to get it, we can move on to the next lesson.

This is the flow of life. The current of the river brings us forward into new adventures, and we navigate on our raft with the oar of resistance. All learning is letting go of resistance, of fear, and becoming more skillful at going with the flow. One would think that this would soon become easy for us. But it does not. Rapids and whitewater appear as our Ego Self constantly confounds our attempts to let go of control, employing new tricks to address each new situation. We are vulnerable at any point in our evolution to falling back or getting stuck. This is because our Ego Self is skilled at fooling us into thinking that it represents our true self, even though we learn time and again that it does not.

And so in a way life comes down to learning, and learning comes back to discovering who we are. It’s a perpetual fearing and overcoming, doing and reflecting, closing and opening. The new conversation follows this flow of action and reflection. We are encouraged to reflect on the actions we have taken in the world, and are inspired to act on these reflections. In the space of trust we are able to provide each other with an honest perspective on who we are being, one that is often exceptionally difficult to see on our own. This is what really helps us to move more quickly along the path towards an ever-expanding vision of our self.

 We reach the end of this path when we find ourselves completely open to everyone and everything around us, when everything that is has become fully acceptable and we can find no resistance within ourselves, even if we actively seek it out. How will you know for sure when you have reached the end of your path, and you can finally retire from the trials and tribulations of learning and rest on your laurels? No need for concern. If your heart is still beating, then you can be sure that there’s still another transformative lesson out there waiting for you.

Move on to Chapter 12…

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Researchers Outline Reality of Psychic Ability & Explore Whether It May ‘Run In The Family’

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    It is commonly believed that psychic ability, like many mental and physical traits, runs in families. This suggests the presence of a genetic component. Researchers recently decided to search for one among people with psychic abilities.

  • Reflect On:

    Can special abilities, or psychic abilities be passed down? Are these abilities innate and lying dormant within all of us?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

‘Psychic ability’ comes in many different forms, from telepathy to clairvoyance or remote viewing, there are a number of phenomena that have been demonstrated under strict scientific controls that have yielded statistically significant and repeatable results. There are also multiple declassified documents that have been archived by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) via their electronic reading room, for example, pertaining to individuals with “special abilities” who are able to perform feats like telekinesis, or healing at a distance. You can access a few examples of that here, and here where I go more into depth.

The literature in this area, from peer-reviewed research all the way to examples from the within the defense departments of  multiple countries, is quite robust. It’s another subject seen as fringe and in-credible yet has more than enough evidence to for a reasonable person to deem these abilities as possible.

The researchers of a recent study published in EXPLORE titled “Genetics of psychic ability – A pilot case-control exome sequencing study” decided to search for some sort of genetic link among people with psychic abilities. They explain:

Many cognitive and perceptual abilities are associated with genetic factors. An open question is whether or not extraordinary “psychic” abilities such as mind-to-mind communication (in the vernacular, telepathy), knowledge of future events before they occur (precognition), and perception of hidden or remote events (clairvoyance), might also be associated with genetic factors. Evidence of the reality of such extraordinary abilities has been offered by multiple meta-analysis of experiments conducted over the past century, which demonstrate independent repeatability and robust statistical significance.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that extraordinary manifestations of these abilities run in families.. Few formal studies have evaluated the genetics of psychic abilities. Telepathy studies with identical and non-identical twins have found mixed evidence for greater concordance among identical versus nonidentical twins on telepathy task performanceOther case studies of families with data on up to four generations have been conducted. The pattern of familial transmission in second sighthas also been examined. This capacity is defined as “a special psychic ability believed to be a natural faculty of mind, regarded as an inborn gift by some andan affliction by others…Second sight implies that there are two forms of sight. One is normal sight and the other is the ability to have prophetic visions which occur spontaneously and arrarely directed at will.” Second sight is considered hereditary within the Scottish tradition. A formal pedigree analysis of second sight found an autosomal dominant pattern f inheritance. Other studies have evaluated the relationships between psychic abilities and the temporal lobe. However, to our knowledge, no similar investigations have been conducted using modern genetics techniques.

Interesting stuff, isn’t it? For the study, more than 3,000 candidates from around the world were selected and screened through two online surveys. This was done to locate people who claimed that they, as well as other family members, had some form of psychic ability. Eligible candidates were then selected as the final “psychic cases,” and then age, sex, and ethnicity-matched individuals, with no claims of psychic ability, were selected as the controls.

DNA from the saliva of the 23 participants were subjected to “whole-exome sequencing.” This is a test that looks at most of the genes within an individual. After this, two independent bioinformatics analyses were blindly applied to the sequenced data. This means the ones doing the analyses had no idea about the results the other lab was getting. They were completely separate.The analyses focused on protein-coding sequences and another one included some adjacent noncoding sequences.

According to the researchers:

Sequencing data were obtained for all samples, except for one in the control group that did not pass the quality controls and was not included in further analyses. After unblinding the datasets, none of the protein-coding sequences (i.e., exons) showed any variation that discriminated between cases and controls. However, a difference was observed in the intron (i.e., non-protein-coding region) adjacent to an exon in the TNRC18 gene (Trinucleotide Repeat-Containing Gene 18 Protein) on chromosome 7. This variation, an alteration of GG to GA, was found in 7 of 9 controls and was absent from all psychic cases.

You can access the full study here.

This means the study did not find any significant markers suggesting that these abilities may be genetic, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t. We already know through epigenetic studies that various traits are passed down to offspring, be it physical or even emotional. It is interesting that the study did however identify a noncoding variant that was largely restricted to non-psychic controls.

The most conservative interpretation of these results is that they result from random population sampling. However, when the results are considered in relation to other lines of evidence, the results are more provocative. Further research is justified to replicate and extend these findings.

Keep in mind, the researchers did test those who claimed to have psychic ability and overall they scored better on the tests than those who did not. There were many limitations to this study, and a big one was the size of the number of people used for the study.

Given the fact that, in the researchers experience and based on my research and examples that I’ve written about, these abilities are undoubtedly real, so looking for some sort of genetic component is quite reasonable and would have tremendous implications.

The researchers explain:

The identification of genes involved in psychic abilities has the potential to yield clues about their distribution within the general population and also their evolutionary origins. Such a finding may also have clinical value because it may help inform the development of pharmacological or environmental interventions to enhance or suppress such abilities, and clinical performance applications could be used. Enhancing these abilities could augment decision-making in many contexts, stimulate creativity in art and science, and improve diagnosis of disease, insofar as these faculties and activities may be partly dependent on, or enhanced by, psychic ability.

For example, perhaps telepathic communications could be developed for individuals living with communication disabilities, such as aphasia or cerebral palsy. On the other hand, suppressing these abilities might alleviate psychotic symptoms in some individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, insofar as “disordered” psychic manifestations may be at risk factor in these individuals.

The Takeaway: Studies within the realm of parapsychology, which encompasses the study of various psychic abilities mentioned in this article, are abundant. Many show eye-opening repeatable results. Remote viewing is one of many great examples, showing “successful replication” by yielding “significant scientific evidence.” (source)

The methodology and the controls on these experiments are tighter than any other area of science where I’ve worked. Dr. Dr. Jessica Utts, former Chair of the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Irvine (source)

Again, there are also documented real world examples that defy belief linked earlier within this article, which brings me to my next point. Much of the science produced today, in my opinion, isn’t really following the scientific method. By that I mean discoveries that challenge what we once thought we knew, and ones that have paradigm shifting implications for humanity, are often ignored and unacknowledged. We see this all the time in the field of parapsychology.

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

Why do we fail to properly confront new concepts and ideas that don’t fit within the frame? Studies and results from these realms truly call into question what we think we know about the nature of reality and human potential. They will force humanity to open up to a broader view of reality that currently may not fit within the accepted framework of knowledge in the minds of many. But if there’s one thing that’s constant, it’s change.

Discoveries in this field, I believe, will lead to the realization that love, compassion, thoughts, emotions and service to others are key for humanity to move forward. It’s more than likely that this is the true nature of human beings, not competition and separation.

These must be our priority, we have to change the way we think here on planet Earth. If we continue to operate from a place of greed, ego, and have a lust for power, control and material wealth, which are cultural learnings, not necessarily our nature, we will not move forward to a thriving world. Non-material science has the potential to change the way we perceive the world, and ask the deeper questions like, why do we live the way we do when we can create a human experience where everybody can thrive? How can a race that is so intelligent and technologically advanced be so politically and morally corrupt?

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Consciousness

New Moon In Aries: Taking Bold Action

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are having a New Moon in Aries during the later hours of April 11th in the Americas and on the 12th everywhere else in the world. This is initiating a 29.5 day lunar cycle and new wave of energy for the coming month; however, the astrological configurations mentioned throughout this article will be more prominent over the following two weeks. This cycle will include a Full Moon in Scorpio on April 26th/27th.

Aries season began at the Equinox (on March 20th globally this year) as it always does, as per the framework of the Tropical Zodiac. Being the first of twelve signs, and initiator of a transitional season, it begins the Astrological New Year. However with this New Moon actually occurring in Aries as well, it will crank up the energies of this sign even more so in comparison to the previous weeks that were part of a lunar cycle initiated by a New Moon in Pisces.

Aries is the domain of self, independence, and individual needs. As a Cardinal Fire sign ruled by Mars, it is assertive, courageous, direct, pioneering, and leading. It is initiating, quick, bold, energetic, and warrior-like. Negatively, this energy can be inconsiderate, selfish,  hot tempered, combative, restless, impatient, aggressive, and overly competitive. Aries lacks thoroughness due to its quick forward energy.

New Moon Conjunct Mercury & Venus In Aries

This New Moon is close to both Mercury and Venus. This can reflect a period in which our social interactions and engagement with others can be more lively. Both Mercury and Aries have a busy moving type of energy and we may feel more active, physically and/or mentally, as a result.

The conjunction of both of these planets with this New Moon also means it is tied into cycles that each of those planets have with the Sun. Venus recently joined the Sun in the last week of March and it is now travelling ahead of it in zodiacal position.

In recent weeks this has been a time in which we experienced shifts, developments, endings, beginnings, or more clarity around Venus areas of friends, love, social dynamics, values, worth, or financial matters in some cases. This New Moon and the weeks following can continue this process, especially when it comes to beginnings or newer ways of expressing ourselves in these areas.

Mercury is now approaching the Sun as they will make their conjunction on April 18th/19th. At that time we may experience developments, which may be significant, connected to what has transpired during its previous retrograde in February and how things have unfolded since then. From there, these things may develop further with a better perception, or circumstances may indicate lack of sufficiency, not what was anticipated, or that something needs to change.

Planets In Aries Square Pluto & Sextile Mars Trine Jupiter

This New Moon, along with Venus and Mercury, are in a square with Pluto and sextile with Mars and Jupiter. Pluto combined with Aries and Mars energy can reflect a period of intensity. However, it can also play out as issues around power, control, manipulation, jealousy, insubordination, or subversion.  It can also be revealing, psychological, compulsive, transforming, and purging.

The sextile with Mars in Gemini adds to the lively, assertive, instinctual, and energetic expressions of Aries. The Aries’ planets sextile to Jupiter, which is also trine Mars, can be good for applying ourselves in a way that is expansive, optimistic, educational, philosophical, explorative, freedom seeking, or centered around beliefs. New doors may open up and it can even be lucky for some people.

Uranus square Saturn (mentioned here in a previous article) is still in the backdrop as it will be throughout the year. Although it’s not in one of its strong periods, themes of ‘freedom/rebellion/revolution being at odds restrictions/limitations/traditions are still playing out. This may get activated in different ways by this new lunar cycle and the Aries energy that has already been present over the previous weeks following the Astrological New Year.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

How would you like to grow and expand and what do you need to change to get there? In what areas do you need to be more bold or courageous? What have your relationships shown you in recent weeks? What is important for your individuality? What are your personal needs? What do you stand for and should you be fighting for it? Do you need to be a leader in any aspects of your life? Are there any new things that you want to explore?

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 2:31am Universal Time on April 12th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Consciousness

A Symbiosis of Humans & Technology – Changing The Conversation

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Have you ever noticed that discussions about transhumanism tend to focus on technology more than humanism? The journey to reaching our highest potential as a species is usually focused externally on the technology rather than internally on our conscious evolution. This is probably because people assume that conscious evolution is more about spirituality whereas technology is more having to do with the things humans create. The two paths are interdependent so we need more conversations between experts in each of these fields. It will only be through a recognition of the symbiotic nature between humans, their technology, and the environment that we will avert self-destruction.

trans·hu·man·ism (n.) 1. A belief that humans should strive to transcend the physical limitations of the mind and body by technological means. 2. A movement of people who espouse such a belief.

Standing at a Crossroads: The influence that technology has on society and culture is called, technodeterminism. Most of us carry mini supercomputers in our pockets called smartphones. These devices act as external brains which seamlessly integrate into most aspects of our life. Most of us are completely dependent on them for travel, work, communication, entertainment, and beyond. Take a moment to consider the future implications of augmented reality, artificial intelligence, machine-learning, mass surveillance, automation, genome editing, nanotechnology, and their potential influences on society, culture, and our environment.

When I think about these things, I can’t help but ask:

Why aren’t people like the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Andrew Weil conversing more with people like Ray Kurzweil, Elon Musk, and Steve Mann?

Ancient Futures: It will become increasingly imperative for our most advanced technologies to be informed by the natural ethos of indigenous people blended with the emotional-intelligence of our enlightened spiritual masters. We must remember that the first humans who captured fire to light their cave, stay warm on a cold night, or cook their food were using technology. Anthropologists proudly call us humans “tool-makers” as one of the attributes that make us distinct from most species.

Paradigm Shift: Conscious evolution will require a concerted effort to communicate across silos and disciplines. Cooperation and collaboration towards collective goals will need to take the place of competition for personal gain. What are we hoping to accomplish, and at what cost? We are a risk-taking species and that drives us to exceed all our limitations. Let’s make these be calculated risks because with our technology also comes a great responsibility.

Start Within: Even our most sophisticated technology does not possess the complexities of organic systems. Computers and machines can do many things for us but they will never be able to feel for us. The realm of emotion is central and unique to our human experience yet it is only now starting to be recognized as a valuable form of intelligence.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.” -Andrew Coleman A Dictionary of Psychology

Research in multiple fields of study shows that curiosity, creativity, taking initiative, multi-disciplinary thinking, and empathy are skills that will redefine traditional beliefs about intelligence. The ability to accommodate new information requires a certain level of mental flexibility, humility, and ultimately character. It is through our ability to feel and process our emotions that our higher intelligence flourishes.

SuperHumans: Any sports fan knows that there are individuals who possess superhuman gifts. Think of popular sports stars like Michael Jordan, or any of the various extreme sports heroes who somehow manage the seemingly impossible. We also have the various musical or art prodigies who express the skills of a master before the age of 10. We have seen humans walk on red-hot coals with bare feet, walk a tightrope between skyscrapers, and exhibit mind-boggling feats of mental-focus, and will-power. Did you know that Wim Hof ran a half marathon barefoot on ice and snow, with a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 34 seconds? Humans are capable of amazing things when they channel discipline, practice, creative brilliance, fearlessness and focus. We have barely scratched the surface of what is possible!

Global Meditation: This simple practice of quieting the mind, and bringing presence to one’s breathing has a long list of documented benefits that include enhanced neural connections, deep feelings of connection and well-being, as well as a strengthened immune system. When we compound this focused intention to include tens of thousands of people all over the world, we begin to literally shift planetary magnetic resonance. The science does not lie, we are potent electrical beings with the ability to focus consciousness and create beyond our wildest imaginations.

Everything technology offers is a reflection of the technology that we, as humans are. Learning to laugh at ourselves a little while delving into our emotions and to make room for possibilities beyond our currently held beliefs is essential for this journey. In order for us to create technology that is aligned with all of life and our planet, we must first become aligned with ourselves and each other. Global meditation is where we practice together!

We can no longer claim that a technology is advanced if it is destroying our skies and rivers or perpetuating harmful practices like war and domination. These are examples of misguided technologies. Our DNA has been informed by countless generations of evolution. It is time that we focus our consciousness towards the natural wisdom kept by indigenous people, while embracing the presence of enlightened spiritual masters. This will allow us to infuse our science and highest technological advancements with ecological and emotional intelligence for the benefit of all life.

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