being natural, human being, natural, simplicity, Taoist, Uncategorized

A Unique Contribution

Advised by good people, I am hearing two main schools of thought – “give them what they want” and “just do your own thing”. Needless to say, I have tried to reconcile the two. I have tried to do my own thing – offer my unique contribution – in ways that people seem to want. I don’t think I have been successful in this. So, I have decided to focus solely on writing and broadcasting my unique contribution. If some people want this and find it useful, then that is a bonus.

Confusingly, my unique contribution seems to be a mixture of things. Yet, perhaps this is the key. Perhaps it is the mixture that is unique, rather than the individual ingredients. What follows is me thinking aloud.

At the heart of my thinking are three core ideas: we are spiritual beings; we inhabit a spiritual universe; and we and the universe are mirror images of each other. Everything I write about – spiritual wealth, being natural, the New Economics, an expanded science, the “inner senses”, unusual abilities, intelligent simplicity, being a 21st Century Taoist – all of this can be traced back eventually to the three core ideas. But I suppose I need to explain what I mean by “spiritual”.

For me, “spiritual” means “transcending the physical”. If this feels disappointing, it is only because I do not wish to give the word “spiritual” more meaning than it needs to have. For example, I do not want to suggest that spiritual means “good” or “highly evolved” or anything like that. While it is true that these qualities may follow from being a spiritual being, they are not the essence, The essence is, as I said, that it transcends the physical. I suppose that this, too, needs a little explanation.

Although many people seem to confuse “physical” with “material”, it simply means that which is accessible to one of more of our five physical senses (hearing, sight etc.), and to extensions to these senses. So, although we cannot see all the moons of Saturn or a bacterium with the naked eye, we can see them with a telescope or microscope respectively. Similarly, although we cannot hear anything beyond the range of 20 – 20000 Hertz with the unaided ear, we can detect sound well outside this spectrum with sensitive instruments, which are, in effect, extensions to our ears. And so it is for each of our five senses. Scientific instruments enable us to experience much more of the physical world than we would normally experience with our unaided five senses. As I have written elsewhere, science officially believes that the universe is wholly physical, that there can be nothing apart from the physical. Although an increasing number of individual scientists believe otherwise, science as a whole does not accept that the “spiritual” (i.e. beyond the physical) is real. And, just to complete the circle, science believes that the universe is physical, and only physical, because it uses only the physical mode of perception to explore the world. The world responds accordingly, by giving the mistaken impression that it is wholly physical.

Perhaps, then, I should have said that at the heart of all my thinking and beliefs is my own personal experience that we human beings need not be limited to the physical mode of perception. We have other senses (I call them “inner senses”) that enable to perceive and experience the non-physical aspects of the world and ourselves. Although these inner senses are dormant in most people, they can be awakened and trained to the point where they are just as useful as our familiar physical senses. When this happens, the world and the human being look very different. Because they transcend the physical, they look spiritual!

More to come!

being natural, global change, human being, Intelligence, natural, simplicity, Taoist, Uncategorized

Being a Taoist Today

Taoism began about 2500 years ago, with a short book, the Tao Te Ching, written by an unknown author (in Chinese Lao Tze just means “the old guy”). That was a very different world. Today we have unprecedented problems. The list is alarmingly long: climate change; serious decline of all natural life-support systems: rapid species extinction: the threat of nuclear war; gross inequalities; and overpopulation.

We therefore need unprecedented solutions. This means several things: taking our problems much more seriously; acting with urgency; addressing the deeper underlying malaise of materialism; and approach our problems at all levels.

If we were all 21st Century Taoists, we would not have any of these problems. Why? Because we would be fully human, fully who we are capable of being. And we would act naturally, in accordance the the timeless principles of Nature. Unlike a Taoist 25 centuries ago, we would also be planetary, because we would be conscious of the planet as a whole, and of the global interconnectedness of everyone and everything.

I have today decided to write a book about this, about what it means to be a 21st Century Taoist

 

 

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.

 

christhomson1000@gmail.com

being natural, Intelligence, natural, simplicity, Taoist, Uncategorized

FULL OF AWE

I spent my honeymoon in 1970 on the banks of Loch Awe in Scotland. At the time I wondered whether its name had any relationship to “awe”, meaning “wonder, marvel”. It was only recently, when the word “awesome” became ubiquitous, that my mind went back to original meaning of this word.

As you may know, “awesome” is now used in virtually any situation to mean “the best, the greatest”, often when the thing being described is far from the greatest, far from the best. Whereas in Scotland, we might say “that’s not bad”, Americans (and many others) would say “awesome!!!”

Indeed, “awesome” seems to the word of choice in a world of permanent hyperbole. Nothing is ordinary any more!

It may interest you to know that “awesome” and awful” used to mean the opposite of what they mean today. Awful meant “full of awe” – therefore, wonderful, marvellous. Awesome, as the word suggests, meant “some awe” – therefore, not quite so wonderful.

I have no idea when the change occurred, but I can speculate why. I believe it is mainly because we live in a world of topsy-turvy values…where footballers get paid much more than nurses, and where people become overnight celebrities because they say something rude or stupid on Twitter or YouTube.

I had this cultural decline in mind when I organised and chaired a conference in Scotland in 2000 – entitled “Thinking Allowed”. The strapline was “Bring Back Thinking – All is Forgiven”. Of course, this was partly tongue in cheek, but the serious intent was to demonstrate that the quality and range of thinking has deteriorated markedly these last few decades.

A few years later, when I was living in New Mexico, I used to watch a programme called “Thinking Allowed” on Sunday mornings. As its host, Jeffrey Mishlove, pointed out, this was a play on words. He also pointed out that it was difficult to find people who could really think, and whose language reflected this. The fact that he was able to find a few was, of course, awesome!

being natural, natural, simplicity, Taoist

MAN AND NATURE

The Chinese characters Tao Te Ching mean “Nature’s way”, “human virtue”, and “book”. The book itself is a highly condensed attempt to reconcile Man and Nature. In other words, Taoism seeks to marry the best of being human with the best of being natural. Clearly, this presupposes that we know what we mean by “being human” and “being natural”.

A useful starting point is to look at all other creatures, because in their own ways they are all Taoists! They qualify on both counts. They are natural, and they are fully who they are – fully eagle, fully wolf, fully dolphin, and so on. We have much to learn from them, because few of us qualify on both counts. We are neither natural nor are we fully human. Indeed, we think it is human nature to be imperfect!

It need not be this way. We could, if we chose, be both fully human and fully natural. Man and Nature need not be in opposition to each other. More than any other philosophy and practice I know, Taoism points the way to this much-needed reconciliation. It shows that, by being more natural, we become more fully human. It does this by showing us to be like Nature, think like Nature, tune into Nature, and trust in Nature. When we learn to do this, our true humanity illuminates the world.

Taoist

Introducing Chris Thomson

Introducing Chris Thomson – A Catalan Scot

Perhaps I should say a few words about me

I am Scottish, from Glasgow, and I live in the Pyrenees in northern Catalunya. Although still part of Spain, the people here are keen to have their freedom and independence. It’s not unlike Scotland. The countryside is rugged and beautiful, and the people reflect this. They are not easy to get to know, but they are worth getting to know!

I have had an eccentric career, and this no doubt reflects who I am. I spent a short while trying to be an economist at the Bank of England, often wondering what my role was. As much to escape London as anything else, I moved north to do research in scientific Chinese. By this time I had a young family and this is why I looked for something that seemed more stable…so I became a lawyer in Scotland. I never really felt comfortable doing this, so it came as little surprise when, in 1985, I found myself Chair of the Natural Medicines Commission. That changed a lot, because I was able to explore “new” initiatives, such as the New Economics and the New Physics. I even trained as a psychotherapist!

Arguably the biggest change came in 1998 when I was invited to join a new think tank in Scotland. In theory, it was about new thinking and new ideas. In practice, people are resistant to most things new, and I discovered this painfully. Although a lot of people talk about change, very few actually do it. There are a host of reasons for this, and I am sure we will encounter some of them as this blog develops.

I find it hard to describe myself these days. In fact, I prefer not to be categorised. I would rather be thought of as just a human being. I realise that this probably goes against the tide, but again this is who I am.

What interests me most these days? Many things…primarily the people I love…my daughter and my son, my three grandchildren, and my partner Ana. And I love flying down the mountains on my skis.

Am I interested in world affairs…Trump, climate change, grotesque inequality, and so on? Of course I am, but I don’t let it get to me. The main thing, I believe, is to try to live wisely and well, to be as fully human as possible, and to have a lot of laughs.