being natural, human being, Intelligence, less is better, natural, Taoist, Uncategorized

A New Central Purpose

There was a time when I wrote a lot about the importance of having a clear, heartfelt central purpose.  The central purpose of anything – a nation, a business, a colony of ants, a human being – largely determines the nature of that thing, its parts, its processes, as well as its ethics and its qualities. I woke up this morning remembering that I need to apply this to myself!

Recently, I seem to be drifting. Perhaps it is the aftereffect of last year’s double trauma – Ana’s broken leg and mine. Perhaps it is because I am a kind of polymath, with wide-ranging knowledge and too many interests. In any event, it is time I focused. It is time for a clear, heartfelt central purpose. But how will I find it?

I know that I could focus on intelligent simplicity. After all, I have written much about it, and it is a natural sequel to my book Full Spectrum Intelligence. Not only that, it is pregnant with ideas and practises that will be new for many people…such as “being fully human”, the Law of Reverse Effort, “being natural”, and being a 21st Century Taoist. Yes, it would clearly be interesting, and no doubt useful, to produce a book, as well as podcasts and videos. But the question remains: is this my central purpose? Perhaps a better question would be: is this my central purpose for the moment? It could well be. However, this still leaves me wondering whether there is something deeper going on, something even more heartfelt.

Writing these words brings to mind the Galileo Commission, which I initiated in 2016, and in which I was actively involved for a while. Too actively, I think, because it led to a nervous breakdown at the end of 2017, and my leaving the Commission. What I originally intended the project to be was to find practical ways to bridge the immense gap between science and esoteric knowledge. I had felt, even since the early 60s, that this was my life’s mission. That was when I discovered that esoteric knowledge could be accessed directly through one’s “inner senses”. These are organs of perception, dormant in most of us, that enable us to have direct experience of the non-physical aspects of the world/Cosmos and the human being. Some would call these aspects “spiritual”, but this word can be misleading.

I am giving you the highly condensed version when I say that science, as it is currently understood and practised, gives us only parts of the picture, the physical parts. Esoteric knowledge complements this, by giving us the other (non-physical) parts. As it happens, the project (the Commission) quickly morphed in “expanding the range of science”, to include paranormal phenomena and experiences, as well as some aspects of mind and consciousness that science currently struggles with. I was very disappointed that esoteric knowledge was not more explicitly included. I believe that this remains a crucially important bridge to be built, but I wonder whether I have the energy and will to reinitiate it. That said, it does feel like my heartfelt central purpose.

being natural, human being, natural, real magic, Uncategorized

The Return of Magic: Part Four

I said that I would show you how to take the first few steps in real magic- To put this another way, I will show you how to make the paranormal normal.

It may surprise you to hear that you already have these abilities, but only in potential form. They are still asleep, and for most people they will remain asleep all their lives and never be used. Such a waste of human potential! In fact, most human ability remains undiscovered and unused. If you doubt this, then just think about your potential ability to speak, read and write Chinese. If you did not have the potential ability to do this, then no amount of studying and practice would help. But we all know that when you put in time and effort to studying and practising anything, your potential ability comes to the surface, and becomes a useful part of your life. This applies to everything you can do, all your abilities. You are able to do them because you always had the potential to do them.

I speak from experience. It took me four years to master Chinese. My potential ability to do so eventually became actual. The point I want to make here is that what applies to Chinese applies equally to all your other potential abilities. They will remain latent, in state of potential, unless you release them and make them useful by studying, learning and practising. I trust this much is obvious. What may be less obvious is that this principle also applies to magic and paranormal abilities. They too will remain dormant until you start using them. I first discovered this in 1962 when I read Rudolf Steiner’s book “Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and How to Attain it”. I will say a few words about this, because it is very relevant.

Steiner wrote that we all have “organs of supersensible perception.” It’s a clumsy term, so I prefer to say “inner senses”. For nearly all of us, our inner senses are fast asleep, and will probably remain this way all our lives. Most people will never even know they exist, and this is because we live in very materialistic times, focusing almost exclusively on the physical aspects of the world. For a very few people, these senses wake up spontaneously, enabling them to see and experience what most people will never see and experience. We usually call these people “psychic”. The importance of Steiner’s book is that he shows that it need not be this way. All of us can, if we wish, take a conscious decision to “awaken” and train our inner senses, and use them in our daily life. I realised that if this was true, then it changed everything. For example, it would give us direct access to “spiritual dimensions”, the non-physical aspects of the world and ourselves. This in turn would radically change the foundations of our knowledge and what we believe to be true and possible. The world and the human being would no longer be just physical in nature, as claimed by science. Instead, we and the world would be seen to be both physical and non-physical. Both would be true. There would be no dichotomy between the material and the spiritual. Matter and spirit would finally be reconciled! That really would change everything. We would no longer be an exploiting, destructive, stupid species, bringing this planet to the edge of destruction. We would become what we are meant to be – a life-enhancing, truly intelligent species.

To cut a long story short, I confirmed for myself that what Steiner said was true. We do have inner senses. They are dormant. Then can be awakened and trained. And they do give us direct experience of the spiritual, non-physical aspects of ourselves and the world. With the use of my inner senses, I was able to see for myself that magic is possible, that the so-called “paranormal” is normal, and that what esoteric literature said about the world was true. All good and exciting, yes, but there was a downside!

The downside was that I learned the hard way that I could not tell anyone about my experiences. This was because I was trying to communicate things that were totally alien to most people. They did not know what I was talking about. They did not experience these things, so how could I? It was not until 1993, some twenty years later, that I felt able to go public. I gave a lecture at a meeting in France of the Scientific and Medical Network. The talk went down well, and the group set me a challenge. They asked me to design accessible courses, so that more people could learn to use their inner senses. That challenge set the tone for work that continues today.

Arguably, the most important thing to know in magic is that the Universe always responds to our questions and our requests. And I do mean always! This is the good news. The bad news is that the Universe will only respond in the precise terms of our questions and requests. The better the questions and requests, the better the responses! If you are not sure what I mean, then just consider the following question: will it rain tomorrow? If you know the answer, you have already taken your first steps towards magic. If you do not, I can help.

The correct answer is: Yes, it will rain tomorrow. And this is because it rains everyday somewhere on this planet. As you can see, the question did not specify a place! If your questions are ambiguous, then the answer given by the Universe will be equally ambiguous. When the King of Thrace went to the Oracle the day before the battle and asked: will the battle be won? He was happy be cause the Oracle said “Yes”. The next day the King was very surprised when lost the battle. He had forgotten to ask the Oracle who would win the battle!

Scientists do not know that the Universe always responds to their questions. They believe that the Universe is lifeless and that it just consists of unconsciousness matter. So they are surprised that when they ask a “particle” question (i.e. an experiment designed to elicit the presence of particles), they get particles in the answer. When they ask a “wave” question, they get waves in the answer. I sometimes feel that the Universe is playing with them!

Similarly, if your requests are unclear and not fully desired, the Universe will respond accordingly. You will not get what you thought you wanted. For example, when a man helped the Greek Gods, they told him he could have anything he wanted. He said that he wanted eternal life. That was a big mistake. Do you know why? Well, he lived forever, but he kept getting older and more decrepit. What he really meant to ask for was eternal youth, but, as happens so often, he got the request wrong. We need to be very careful what we ask for. I can illustrate this with a story about my friend Martin in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Martin used to run workshops for senior executives. He asked them all to say what they most wanted. One guy said: “a house in Mexico”. My friend told him that he would never get it. When asked to explain this, he said that you need to say exactly what house, in exactly what place. Even this was not enough. Your request also needs to specify exactly when you want the house. This is why visualisations do not usually work. People are not specific enough

One more thing – once you have made you unambiguous, specific request, forget about it! You have done your part. Trust the Universe to do the rest. The Universe will respond, but in its own way and in its own time. If you are doing this properly, you will always get a pleasant surprise when your request is granted. It will come when you least expect it, and it will come in a form you could not have imagined. Just try it!




being natural, human being, natural, real magic, Uncategorized

The Return of Magic: Part Three

In Part Two I suggested that the one big think limiting science is the consciousness of scientists. It was for this reason that, two years ago, I initiated the Galileo Commission. Its purpose is to suggest ways of expanding science, so that it can accommodate phenomena it currently cannot, or will not, accommodate. This includes all paranormal experiences, such as telepathy and distant healing; and higher forms of consciousness, such as those obtained by certain kinds of meditation. It also includes the so-called “hard problem of consciousness” – i.e. the fact that science cannot really explain consciousness. Although these are still early days, the signs are encouraging. A large of number of leading scientists and thinkers have become involved, and the Commission’s first report was published in October. You can download a summary at

In the document that set the Commission in motion, I wrote that “science will expand only when scientists expand. Above all, this means expanding their consciousness, as well as the range and depth of their perception.” I wrote this because, at present, science uses only one form of consciousness and perception to explore the world – the physical form. In other words, science relies almost exclusively on evidence obtained through the five senses, and extension to these senses, such as telescopes and microscopes. All scientific instruments are, in effect, extensions of our physical senses. It should therefore come as no surprise that the world scientists see is wholly physical. Indeed, a fundamental belief in science is that the universe, and everything in it, including ourselves, is physical, and only physical. It follows from this belief that everything, including consciousness, can ultimately be understood and explained in terms of the physical. If it cannot, as in the case of paranormal phenomena, then it usually ignored or denied.

It should be obvious, but perhaps it needs to be stated, that what you think the world is largely depends on the “lens” you use to view it. If you wore red spectacles, then everything would look red. Similarly, if you only wear the “physical lens” – you only see the world through your five physical senses – then, of course, the world appears to be wholly physical. The problem, as you may have guessed, is that most scientists do not accept the existence of other (non-physical) forms of perception. If they did, and if they used other forms of perception to study the world and the human being, then science would change out of all recognition. It would be “science of the whole”, rather than “science of the part” (the physical part!) This is why the Galileo Commission is working to encourage scientist to develop and use additional forms of consciousness and perception, in addition to the physical forms.

If this happened, not only would science itself expand, that expansion would have significant consequences for society as a whole. For example, it would create a strong impulse to move us away from our current obsession with materialism, with all that this implies. And I am sure that it would also help people to accept and understand real magic. This, too, would have significant implications.

I said in Part Two that I would outline how to develop additional forms of perception and consciousness. I see now that this will have to wait until I write a little more!


being natural, human being, natural, real magic, Uncategorized

The Return of Magic: Part Two

In Part One I said that real magicians know the deeper nature of the world and the deeper nature of the human being, as well as the significant relationships between these two deeper natures. From this knowledge, and the “esoteric” training associated with it, their unusual abilities flow. Today I will try to explain what I mean by “deeper nature”.

The physicist David Bohm wrote about this in his groundbreaking book “Wholeness and the Implicate Order” (1980). It was his attempt to find an explanation for the strange, “impossible” phenomena of quantum physics. The best known of these is “non-locality” or “entanglement”. This is instantaneous connection, regardless of distance. Scientists discovered that when two sub-atomic particles interact in some way, they retain an eternal and instantaneous connection, regardless of how separate they become from each other. It could be a million miles or a million light years. The connection is always instantaneous – it takes no time to happen. The normal limitations of the speed of light do not apply. It is very significant that this instantaneous connection also applies to time, as well as space. One particle could be in the distant future, or past, it does not make any difference. The two are still instantaneously connected. If this seems impossible, we need to remind ourselves that Einstein and others showed us that space and time are inextricably connected. So much so, that they are effectively a single entity, “space-time”.  To put this idea on a more general basis, it means that everything in the universe – whatever its size or nature – is intimately connected to everything else. This includes us, because we are part of the universe. It is this fact – of total connectivity through space and through time, that makes magic possible.

What was previously believed to be impossible is now known not only to be possible, but also to be a normal characteristic of the universe. Incidentally, these “strange connections” have been experimentally verified many times ever since John Bell first mooted the idea in 1964. (Non-locality is implied in Bell’s Theorem)

I hope it has not escaped your attention that what has become accepted in science actually forms the basis for magic. If instantaneous connection is possible across great distances in space or time, this surely suggests that telepathy (“feeling at a distance”) and precognition (“knowing something before it happens”) are equally possible. I will return later to this theme – the relationships between magic (the paranormal) and the findings of science, because there are other, equally important, findings. Meanwhile, back to Bohm. In essence, Bohm was saying three things, each of which is relevant to magic:


The Cosmos (the universe) is a unified, undivided whole. It does not have separate “parts”. Of course, it is convenient and practical for us to see things as “parts”, but this is only because our normal waking consciousness is restricted to the physical plane, in which “parts” and separateness feel real.

Everything – and I do mean everything! – is intimately and instantly connected to everything else, through space and through time. This includes us.

Our normal daily reality is the “explicate order”. This is underpinned, and constantly informed by, the invisible “implicate order”. It is here where strange connections and magic happen.


Although not all scientists subscribe to these three beliefs, more and more of them do. However, what’s missing from science, but very present in magic, is the form of consciousness (or perception, if you prefer) that enables one to experience the implicate order directly. Scientists have to speculate about it, and they feel the need to have to prove it exists. Magicians have no need to speculate or to prove it exists. They know it exists, because they can see it, just as when you look in the direction of a tree, you see it for yourself and know that it exists. You don’t feel the need to prove anything!

In Part Three I will explore how to “awaken” the form of consciousness that will enable you to experience the implicate order directly for yourself. In doing so, you will see that magic and the “paranormal”, are not only possible, but actually quite normal!




being natural, human being, natural, real magic, Uncategorized

The Return of Magic: Part One

There is a lot of magic around these days. It comes in several forms. Its best-known form is “magic tricks”. These are designed to entertain us, and some of them really do. I am particularly impressed by “Mago Pop” and Justin Willman. Mago Pop’s real name is Antonio Diaz and he is from here in Catalunya. You can see him on YouTube. Justin Willman recently shot to fame with his Netflix series “Magic for Humans”. I recommend them highly because they do many “impossible” things. They do things that have no rational explanation, which leaves one wondering whether they have unusual powers, as well as excellent manipulative skills. I suspect that, in some respects, they are real magicians. They do real magic. But what do I mean by this?

It is not an easy question to answer, partly because the word “magic” conjures up prejudices and misconceptions, but also because we live in very materialist times, dominated by the worldview of science. As far as science is concerned, magic is impossible. End of argument for many people, because science has decided that only it can say what is true and what is possible. But magic is not impossible, as real magicians demonstrate on a daily basis, and as more and more people are discovering for themselves. Many of us experience magic in the form of “paranormal” experiences. I think it is significant that these experiences seem to be becoming more common.

Perhaps the simplest way to define real magic is: “magic is what real magicians do”. These are the people who, down the ages, have gone by a variety of names, such as “magus”, “wizard”, holy man”, “shaman”, and “initiate” – the list of possible names is surprisingly long. In a few cases, they were born with unusual abilities. In most cases, they had to learn. They learned in a “mystery school” or in an “esoteric university” (such as the one founded by Pythagoras). What they learned was three things: the deeper nature of the world; the deeper nature of the human being; and the important relationships between the two. Once they had learned these three things, they were able to begin to practise the abilities that flowed naturally from this knowledge. In other words, they were able to do magic. To give you a sense of it, these abilities include: reading minds; reading the future and the past; altering situations (such as in distant healing); and bringing things into existence (“manifesting”). There is more, but I think this captures the essence of it. To really understand what magic is, it is important to be aware that these abilities are natural human abilities, because they are part of our deeper nature.

What, you may ask, is the relationship between these abilities, on the one hand, and the deeper natures of the world and the human being, on the other?  Just as important, what is the significance of the fact that these abilities and experiences are becoming much more evident in the world today? These are central questions, which I will address in Part Two. In Part three I will outline how you can begin to unlock these abilities in yourself and start to use them as part of your normal everyday life.

global change, Intelligence, natural, Uncategorized

Order out of Chaos?

This is the title (without the question mark) of Ilya Prigogine’s 1984 book. He made the radical suggestion that order always emerges from chaos, and he noted that it is impossible to predict exactly what kind of order will emerge from chaos. Specifically, he suggested that this happened when systems were in a “far from equilibrium” state. Although he was writing about chemical and physical reactions, I believe that his findings are equally valid for social and political systems.


There can be little doubt that we are living in “far from equilibrium” times. On good days, it feels confusing and dispiriting. On bad days, of which there are many, it feels dangerous. If you doubt this, you have not been paying attention. I will just mention a few items from a very long list. A lying narcissist has direct access to the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal. An extreme right-winger who wants to commercially exploit the Amazon rainforest (“the lungs of the planet”) has just been elected President of Brazil. The UK is committing an act of massive self-harm by exiting the European Union. Economic and social inequalities are now greater than they were in Victorian times. Human behaviour is changing the climate dangerously. As if all this were not enough, all this planet’s life-support systems – yes, all of them – are in serious decline. i.e. clean air, clean water, forests, topsoil, aquifers, fisheries, wetlands, and biodiversity. This is because we human beings (and only we human beings) overuse and abuse them.


In these circumstances, it is a matter of astonishment that we continue to believe that we are the most intelligent species on this planet! Yet I believe that Prigogine’s findings give us cause for hope. There is clearly a strong sense of collapse and chaos. Things are very evidently far from equilibrium.  In the domains of chemical and physical reactions, this situation leads to great change – change that cannot be predicted. I suspect that this is exactly what we are going through now, on a human scale. I believe that we are right on the cusp of global changes that we can barely imagine. Yes, it looks dark outside now. But a new dawn is just about to break. Are we ready for it? It means that we have to be prepared for anything, including things we can barely imagine.






inner cosmos, natural, Uncategorized

Strange Connections

I use the term “strange connections” to refer to connections that do not have rational or scientific explanations. These fall into four main groups:

Coincidences – when two or more things happen at the same time, and this feels very significant for you

Telepathy – this literally means “feeling at a distance”. It does not mean “reading minds”

Precognition – knowing across time…typically knowing some aspects of the future

Non-locality – this is instantaneous reaction, regardless of distance. (One implication is that the speed of light is no longer a limiting factor)

Although Carl Jung wrote about coincidence, calling it “acausal synchronicity”, he offered no convincing explanation for it. He did, however, write extensively about the “collective unconscious”. I have often wondered whether David Bohm had something similar in mind when he coined the term “implicate order”. He assumed that there is an underlying, invisible unity, in which everything is intimately connected to everything else. Out of this invisible order springs the “explicate order”, which is our familiar physical world, in which everything is discrete and separate. Although Bohm, a physicist, could not explain this “total connectedness” at the implicate level, he believed that it existed, and he knew that it was already being verified experimentally.

“Strange connectedness” is today one of the main focuses of quantum physics, and scientists have given it appropriately strange names, such as “entanglement” and “non-locality”. While it is true that they have come up with many theories, they still have no adequate explanation. It remains one of the great mysteries.

You may be wondering whether I am about to offer you a convincing explanation for strange connections. The answer is a tentative yes, because this still very much work in progress of me. As a convenient shorthand, I use the term “inner cosmos” for my thoughts about this question. I will go into more detail in future articles. For the moment, I will just give the “headlines” of my thinking.

At the heart of my work is the idea that everything is part of something bigger. As we shall see, some of this is very obvious, but some of is not. It is obvious, for example, that each of us is part of the human race. Because of this, we all contain the “essential nature” of the human race – i.e. those characteristics that are unique to the human race. (It is an interesting and rewarding exercise to list as many of these as you can think of)  I see this as part of our “inner cosmos”. Another part of our inner cosmos flows from the fact that each of us also part of another bigger thing, Nature, which I define as the totality of all living things. It follows that we all contain the “essential nature” of Nature herself…those characteristics that are unique to Nature. They seem to include the following. Like all other living things:

We are born

We mature

We interact with the rest of Nature and with this planet (e.g. food, shelter) – this is              mainly for survival, but as we become more sophisticated, it is increasingly for                    recreation and creation

We reproduce

We rear our young

We age

We die

All of us are born with the potential to do all of this. That potential is an important part of our inner cosmos.

At this point it becomes less obvious and more controversial. Although it may not seem like at – and most of us never even think about it – each of us is also an integral part of planet Earth. As with all forms of life on this planet, we are products of it, and shaped by it. This may need a little explanation.

It should be obvious, but perhaps it needs to be stated explicitly that our home planet has a unique combination of physical characteristics, which include:

Average surface temperatures

Strength of gravity

Presence, and composition, of atmosphere

Radiation from outside…including heat and other radiation from our Sun

Availability of certain chemicals and compounds – e.g. for food, for fuel, for manufacturing

(You my wish to add to this list)

The list could be continued, but I am sure you get my point. This planet’s uniqueness has shaped us. We look like we do because of this planet. If we had evolved on another planet, we would reflect the uniqueness of that planet, and no doubt look different, and live different lives. In any event, there can be little doubt that we all reflect the uniqueness of this planet. That refection is another part of our inner cosmos.

As we move higher up the Cosmic holarchy, it becomes increasingly difficult to know how this manifests in our inner cosmos. Although it should be self-evident that our home star and our home galaxy are both unique, it is no easy task to describe all their unique characteristics. Of course, it is true that astronomers and cosmologists can tell us many of their unique qualities, but these will only be quantitative and physical. It is at this point that I stretch out my neck and state my strong belief that this planet, our Sun, and our home galaxy all have non-physical (spiritual) qualities, as well as their physical ones. I stretch my neck even further and say that this applies to everything in the Cosmos, including the universe itself. I did warn you that this is work in progress, so I am still exploring what these higher, spiritual qualities might be, and how they might manifest in our inner cosmos.

In any event, I do believe that we all contain the “essential natures” of all the higher “levels” of which we are part, and that the totality of these “essential natures” inside us is our inner cosmos. I find it helpful to visualise it as a kind of onion. The higher the outer “level” is, the more deeply is its essential nature contained inside us. So, at the very core of our inner cosmos is the essential nature of the universe, whatever this turns out to be. Similarly, the essential nature of the Sun is deep inside us, but not as deep as that of the universe.

As I will explain in future articles, I believe that a central component of human evolution is to become fully conscious of successively deeper layers of our inner cosmos. As each deeper layer reveals itself and comes to the surface, so to speak, this enables us to resonate with its external counterpart. We experience this resonance as knowing and consciousness.

Back now to the main theme – strange connections. We have little difficulty in seeing that all the parts of ourselves – the parts and systems of our body, as well as mind, emotions, spirit  – are connected to each other. Our own integrity, or unity, is easy to see. Although it gets more difficult to recognise integrity and unity as we ascend the scale, it still exists. It is just less apparent to us, probably because we are not accustomed to thinking in terms of wholes. It is all a matter of perception. We find it easy to grasp the integrity, the unity, of relatively small things, such as a frog or a watch. This is no doubt because we are able to see the whole of them at once. We even experience ourselves as single units in which all the parts are somehow connected to each other. The problem arises only when we try to adopt a perspective higher than our own and try to see much larger entities – the whole human race, for instance – as single units. As it happens, we can probably stretch our minds far enough to be able to recognise the integrity of the human race as a whole, as a single unit.  And, although it becomes increasingly difficult to do so, this process can be repeated up the scale, so to speak, seeing things from ever higher perspectives. If we do so, the unity and integrity of larger and larger things becomes apparent. We come to recognise that each is, in its own terms, a single entity, a single solid body. The following description of the solar system, seen from the perspective of something much larger than it (a galaxy), beautifully illustrates this:

“There will then appear an extraordinarily complex and beautiful figure. The planetary paths, drawn out into manifold spirals of various tensions and diameters, have now become a series of iridescent sheaths veiling the long white–hot thread of the Sun, each shimmering with its own characteristic colour and sheen, the whole meshed throughout by a gossamer–fine web woven from the eccentric paths of innumerable asteroids and comets, glowing with some sense of living warmth and ringing with an incredibly subtle and harmonious music. This figure is not in one detail fantastic. The width of the planets’ orbits will determine the size of each enveloping sheath: the diameter of the planet the coarseness or fineness of the thread of which it is spun: the planet relative curvature its refractive index or colour: the number and distance of its moons its sheen or luminescence: while the speeds of planetary rotation will the cause the totality of sheaths to emit a magnetic or living emanation.”

(Rodney Collin:  The Theory of Celestial Influence)

Now, try to imagine seeing from the perspective of the universe itself. From its own, inconceivably huge perspective, it is a single, solid, unified, totally interconnected body. All its parts are intimately, and instantaneously, connected to each other. Time and space do not act as limits.

I need hardly add that we inhabit this universe. Perhaps we should not be surprised at “strange connections”!