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Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 20: The Character)

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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.”

20. The Character

Every summer the playwright provided a day of entertaining outdoor drama for the villagers of the island of Allandon. As he stood on this day under a bright blue sky on the stage in the village square, the large gathering of villagers were buzzing as to why no set had been put up on the stage and the players were nowhere to be seen.

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“I have a surprise for you,” said the playwright. “This year, instead of seeing a rehearsed play, this one will be improvisational. And the best part is, all of you will be the players!”

The villagers reacted with laughter and enthusiasm. As the playwright explained how it would work they appeared eager to participate. He told them that each person would be required to volunteer to play a role after he had described the character.

“The first character is a ruthless merchant,” he said. “He does everything to kill off his competition, but is surprisingly gentle with children, even though he has none of his own. His main life lesson is to learn to cooperate and have compassion for others.”

A few men and women raised their hands, and the playwright in fact chose one of the women.

“The next character is a single mother living in poverty who struggles to overcome her deep loneliness. She has a particular talent with music that she is not yet aware of. She is destined to enter into a relationship that will be difficult but will help to cultivate her courage.”

Several of the villagers volunteered, and again he chose one. This continued until the playwright came to one character in particular. “This next role is of a man who has fully actualized himself. He is tall, handsome, intelligent and completely at peace with himself and his surroundings.” When he looked out, he was surprised to see that no villager had raised a hand.

“Don’t all be so humble!” he said laughing. He looked around but still saw no volunteers. When he pointed to people they simply shook their heads. Then he looked over to his friend the director, and implored him to take on the role.

“Pass,” said the director with a smile and a brief wave of his hand.

The playwright looked around and asked, “Why will no one choose this character?”

“You of all people should not be surprised,” said the director.

“Why? Doesn’t this character represent who we all strive to be?”

“Exactly, he’s already arrived,” the director retorted. “Where’s the fun in that?”

One image we find over and over again in our media is the image of the perfect woman or man. The message, while not always overt, comes through pretty clear: ‘This is perfection. This is how you need to be to have a fun and exciting life.’ It is motivation of a distorted kind, for it tells us we are not good enough the way we are. It leads us to believe that only once we have conquered all our imperfections and are beyond reproach can we relax and enjoy our lives. Problem is, we have largely gone along with this.

Without being fully aware of it, we push one another to feel shame for our personal limitations and weaknesses. If it isn’t someone else quietly judging us for being too fat, too insecure, or too stupid, it is ourselves. So instead of just learning to feel good about who we are, we walk around with the belief that we desperately need to improve ourselves. And when we try, and find that our imperfections don’t go away fast enough, we bury them deeper inside of us, so we can hide them from others and especially ourselves.

This is not growth. This is being reactive. Whenever we bury our imperfections we also suppress the passion of our true desires. In their place our attention is drawn to the prudent security goals that our society guides us towards. As we conform to this set of counterfeit desires, we get ever further from who we are and what we really want. And so when we succeed in fulfilling these counterfeit desires, it should come as no surprise to us when it does not bring the pure joy or sublime peace that we were really hoping for. “Is that it?” we may ask in a moment of self-awareness. “Now what?” If we are truly afraid to admit to ourselves that we are not really living our life, we may go back into our routine and think that the next prized possession on our list will bring us that rapture that justifies being alive.

The problem is that we’ve become too smart for that. We are awakening to the fact that we are not being honest with ourselves or being authentic in the world. We are becoming impatient with our own excuses that the pressure, the coercion, the demands of our lives have forced us away from the path of our deepest desires. We know that at the end of the day life always offers the choice to be authentic, albeit at a cost: being authentic could bring about disapproval, ridicule, or financial loss. Some even have to risk their lives for it. It is up to each one of us to decide what we are willing to pay for the blissful experience of being who we are in the world. As Emilia Earhart said, “Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.”

When we are not being ourselves, it is hard to resist being judgmental of others. We become especially critical of those who are different, those who don’t seem to feel the need to follow the party line when we do. They make us uncomfortable because they remind us that we, too, long for freedom of expression and action. And so in their presence we are presented with the challenge to be ourselves. Instead of continuing to bury our shadowy side, we are called to simply put all our imperfections out in the world for all to see, and deal with whatever consequences ensue. That is how we recapture our passion and our energy, and start to regain respect and confidence for who we really are. In showing the world that we think we are all right as we are, we help others believe they are all right as they are as well.

But how can we have pride and confidence in our fallible selves? We aren’t all tall, dark and handsome. We don’t all have the natural ability to play professional sports, or the talent to be a concert pianist, or the intellect to be a quantum physicist. We have our fears and insecurities, our moods and our tempers, our blind spots and our baggage.

So what. When we step back and look at the bigger picture, I believe we can truly see ourselves as perfect just the way we are. Being human in itself makes us brave pioneers worthy of the highest praise. We chose a set of circumstances to live in and a character to enact in this drama called human life, all in the interest of our own growth and evolution. So while we have to play the hand we’re dealt, it is when we realize that each one of us has stacked our own deck that it becomes possible to see the perfection in our ‘imperfect’ selves and lives. This idea is a powerful beacon out of the dark confines of judgment and into a clearing of appreciation and wonder.

The new conversation does not dwell in the ‘wrong’ and ‘imperfect’. It only sees learning opportunities and points of departure for great adventures. In fact these so-called ‘imperfections’ are what forge our uniqueness, and make it possible for us to play an important role in the drama that is human life. When we hear the oft-quoted words of Shakespeare that ‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,’ it resonates deep inside us. At birth we enter the stage and at death we exit. Although to say that we are merely players—perhaps on this point I would take exception. Is there a more important or worthier task at hand for men and women than to play?

Our Ego Self would have us believe that life is not play at all but work, the serious work of survival. It could never endorse a life that was built for fun. Indeed, life for the Ego Self consists in hiding our fears from everyone and trying to meet with their approval. But if we could look behind the stage curtains and beyond the illusions created by the Ego Self, we would see that the entire production was created for our benefit, so that we could strut and fret upon the stage, and in so doing, slowly come to an ever-increasing awareness of who we are and what this play is really all about. An actor who steps on stage has a life much vaster than the character he breathes life into, and in a similar way, we are much vaster than the individual selves we typically identify with in our lives. Moving towards identifying with this vaster self, our Dao Self, enables us to see that the world is meant to be a stage that allows us to experience the joy of engaging, of participating, of playing.

Playing is the flow of life. It moves us forward along our path. And each individual’s path, no matter how misguided or self-defeating it might seem by our standards, is ultimately on its way back to the Dao. It is interesting to note that the word ‘Dao’ in Chinese also means the Way. Even if we become powerfully transformed along our own path, that does not give us one iota of authority to judge the path of another. In fact, when we transform ourselves we are naturally brought into a greater appreciation of the unique ways of others.

At any given time our starting point is exactly where we are. There is no other place we should be. What difference does it make where we are on a path that stretches to infinity in both directions? To say we should be further along the path by now, that we shouldn’t be making the same mistakes, we should be nicer, smarter, and more evolved is really just letting our Ego Self speak for us. If we are perfect the way we are, then ‘evolving’ is not something we need to do. We are free to stay in one place all our lives if that’s what we want. However, I believe that making our way along our path is something that we naturally gravitate towards once we realize that that’s where all the fun is.

Though we have all had moments when this resonates, we also have doubts. We will point to the suffering we experience and hold it as proof that life is not fun. And there is no question, from where we currently stand the suffering is real. There is loss, disappointment, and sorrow. How can life be fun with such suffering?

The point here is—how can life be fun without it? We all experience suffering because of the growing pains that tell us that we are stretching into a grander version of ourselves. Experiencing those pains need not invalidate our life or make us feel that we are going in the wrong direction. They are as much a part of our life as the joy that is our birthright. As William Blake reminds us in Auguries of Innocence,

The World was made for joy and woe

And when this we rightly know

Through the world we safely go

Joy and woe are woven fine

A clothing for the soul divine.

Let us consider, in a brief sparkling moment of clarity, what life would be like if all pain, suffering, and fear were removed from the equation. Let us say a human body no longer needed food or drink to maintain itself. No consumption, digestion, or elimination functions necessary. Then, let us suppose that we did not need to breathe to sustain ourselves. And finally, that we could not possibly feel pain of any kind, that we could not become sore, tired, in fact would not even need to sleep. Our bodies would not age and would become impervious to any changes.

I imagine if that happened to me, I would at first feel a euphoria, being able to move around freely, without worry, without restriction. And then, slowly, I would start to wonder what there was to do. And, perhaps after thinking a long time and consulting with like-minded beings, we would try to invent a game in which there were actually some risks, some rewards, some pleasure, some pain, something at stake and something to care about. And this game we could play with passion and energy, taking pleasure equally in the joys and the sorrows. A game that sparks our interest at first, and then grows as we grow, changes as we change, and continues to challenge us at exactly the level we can handle in a given moment. Now that would be quite a game!

And if we heard about a game in progress that had a brilliant stage already set, a spherical stage spinning around a star, with mountains and oceans, plants and animals, risks and rewards, smells, sights, sounds and a panoply of emotions, and always providing new insights and discoveries, we would willingly stand in a long queue like crazy kids lining up to try the latest and greatest super roller-coaster at the amusement park. It would give a new meaning to the experience of being alive. Does this game sound familiar?

One of the reasons that life doesn’t always present itself to us as a game is that we get bored or jaded with experiences that once gave us some excitement. It seems that the luster wears off many of our experiences as time goes on, and we can’t seem to recapture our youthful enthusiasm. But that is exactly the point: when we follow our Ego Self, we try to recapture some feeling that we had in the past by recreating the event, whereas when we are living from our Dao Self, we desire only to create new events, to give us a fresh sense of what is possible.

It is just like an actor going on stage, doing the same play every day for months. The great actors know that the only way they will stay at their best, and continue to be fresh and vibrant, is not to try to imitate what they did to be successful in past performances. They need to let go of what they did in the past and create something new. The temptation is very strong to just ‘do what worked’ in the past. But this is not the true craft of acting. Acting is not about faking, it is about playing a character to the depth of your being. This is what it means to be authentic and live life to the fullest. After a particularly brilliant performance of Hamlet, Sir Lawrence Olivier was told by friends and critics alike that it may have been the best performance of the Danish prince ever in history. He accepted the compliments graciously but not without a hint of rue, knowing that while they might expect to see that kind of performance for the rest of the run, he knew that it was unlikely that he would ever be able to recreate it.

Life presents itself to us not as an opportunity to redo what works, but to create anew. Each of us is unique, and we can always be looking to bring something new to the stage. We are actors, not re-actors! In life, no playwright will tell us what words to utter, for we write our own script. No director will tell us where to go, for we direct ourselves. Actor, director, playwright, we have all we need within. And we are called upon to create ourselves in every moment. Let us create ourselves in the highest vision we can imagine, for this is what it means to flow along our path towards the Dao.

Move on to Chapter 21…

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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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