consciousness, human being, inner cosmos, Uncategorized

The Modern Mystery School

I have just completed the first draft of my book. The working title is “Matter and Consciousness”, because it is an exploration of the relationship between the external world “out there” and our internal world, our individual experience. I am not giving much away when I say that the outer world of matter and the inner world of consciousness are more alike than we might imagine. Indeed, they have so much in common that they can usefully be considered as two sides of the same coin.

Now, if this is true, as I believe it is, then it has far- reaching implications. It implies, for example, that the world acts as a mirror. It reflects back to us, very accurately, who we are, our state of mind, our belief-system, and our level of consciousness. It also implies that each of us is a miniature of the universe – microcosms of the Cosmos. Conversely, it implies that the universe is Man on a gigantic scale.

It can be no coincidence that, as I was writing the book, I set in motion a process designed to create a “modern mystery school” (MMS). A number of people are now involved in this. One way of capturing the essence of the school is that it is the whole person exploring the whole world. This suggests that the school has two main components – a whole person education, and a whole person exploration. At the heart of this is the fact that, in today’s world, the vast majority of people experience only parts of themselves. As a consequence, they experience only the corresponding parts of the world. In essence, these are the physical parts. Our prevailing way of exploring the world – science – reflects this. It, too, explores only the physical aspects of the world and the human being. Indeed, science insists that these are the only possible aspects.

In contrast, the MMS will educate its students to experience and use all parts of themselves, including the non-physical parts. This will enable them to use additional forms of perception and consciousness to explore the non-physical aspects of the world.

That’s it in nutshell!

consciousness, human being, inner cosmos, natural, Uncategorized

Matter and Consciousness

Consciousness can know only itself. It could not be otherwise! This is because being conscious is a form of resonance. Something inside us resonates with something in the world around us. And resonance is possible only between two things that are basically the same. They are on the same wavelength, if you like. In other words, we are able to be conscious of the world around us only because we are very similar to it. We are essentially microcosms of the Macrocosm. To turn this the other way around, the universe is Man on a gigantic scale!

OK, then. If it is true that consciousness can only know itself, this strongly suggests that the world around us – indeed the whole universe – is consciousness itself. This enables us to define consciousness as “experience, and that which is experienced.” Consciousness is both the observer and the observed.

I have always found this idea very helpful. But of course, it flies in the face of the “science story”, which tells us that the universe is just made of dead, unconscious, meaningless, matter and electromagnetic radiation. Science tells us that everything, including ourselves, is wholly physical. This suggests that, if we want to understand the universe as consciousness, we have to find ways to go beyond the physical.

In my forthcoming book (working title is “Matter and Consciousness”), I describe two  road maps to get us beyond the physical. They are Changing Lenses, and Redefining Energy.

Changing Lenses means using forms of perception that do not rely on our five physical senses. The best analogy is changing spectacles. If we wear red glasses, the whole world appears to be red. When we wear blue glasses, the whole world appears to be blue. Similarly, when we use our physical senses to view the world – the normal for most people today – then the world appears to be wholly physical. Modern science is based on using only the physical senses. If we used our non-physical “inner senses”, then the world appears to be non-physical. I go into detail about this in my book.

Redefining Energy takes us to the point where we see energy as “ordered movement”. (In fact, quantum physics basically agrees with this idea). The important point is that there is nothing inherently physical about this. Physicality is very subjective. It all depends on us, and on what we use to perceive the world.

One more thing – consciousness is not passive. At its best, consciousness reaches out and grabs the world! (We do this by paying attention) In other words, it reaches out, and grabs itself!

 

human being, Uncategorized

WHAT IS A HUMAN BEING?

My colleague Keith and I have had conversations about the meaning of the term “human being”. If I understand Keith correctly, he means the people who inhabit this particular planet, and possibly only this planet. Although Keith has conventional wisdom, and science, on his side, I take a different view. My view reflects Wordsworth in his well-known poem:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:

The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar:

Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds glory do we come

From God, who is our home:

Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

Expressing these lines more prosaically, I believe that we human beings are spiritual beings who, from time to time, incorporate in physical form. When we do, we take forms that reflect local conditions. Our physical bodies here on this planet are, very evidently, a product of this planet. They reflect exactly planet Earth’s unique combination of gravitational strength, atmosphere, levels of radiation, availability of chemicals, and so on. When we incarnate on other places, our physical forms reflect the unique conditions of those places. Thus, we look very different (so different that we would say “alien”!), but we are still human beings, because at the spiritual level, we are the same, regardless of our physical forms.

I fully accept that this is not the “science story”. But I do believe that it is an important part of the human story. We human beings who happen to be here at this particular time on this planet live in very materialistic times, with very materialistic beliefs, values and behaviours. This is why we know little, if anything, about the fuller human story. That fuller story is to be found not in science, but in “esoteric knowledge”. As the term suggests, this is “knowledge for the few.” Not many people know of its existence, and even fewer know what it means. There are some good reasons for this.

Primarily, and unlike science, there is no fully comprehensive, widely agreed, accessible body of esoteric knowledge (I really wish there were). It exists in many fragments, in many languages, and many of these are contradictory. As if this were not enough, many of these fragments are intellectually inaccessible. Even when esoteric knowledge is expressed in the modern idiom (e.g. Steiner’s Occult Science; Bailey’s Treatise on Cosmic Fire; Blavatsky’s Isis Unveiled), this too can be a difficult read. Arguably, the most accessible for the modern mind is The Cosmic Doctrine by Dion Fortune, but even this can be heavy going. It is hardly surprising that, given there are so many alien ideas and concepts, much esoteric knowledge is expressed in metaphor and symbolism. Two good examples of this are the Rg Veda and the Book of Revelation. Both are packed with information about the spiritual nature and history of the human being and the Cosmos, yet very few people are able to access this information from these works. It is a riddle, but you can only access sources of esoteric knowledge if you already know more or less what it is! That said, it clearly does not help to keep saying that esoteric knowledge is in fragments, often contradictory and mainly inaccessible. What does help, I think, is to have a very concise over view of the fuller human story, and thus a fuller understanding of what a “human being” is.

As I said, we are primarily spiritual beings who “touch down” from time to time on the physical plane. We do this for a number or reasons, but mainly to experience differently. It is as if we are sense organs of the Cosmos! And the Cosmos seems to want to know and experience in as much variety and detail as possible. In this way, it gets to know itself! It should be obvious, but perhaps it needs to be stated that the physical experience is very different from the non-physical experience. One big difference is that physical experience is more varied, and more detailed. Experiencing a sunset or the dawn chorus are good examples of this. Another difference is that on the physical plane, time and space have boundaries. This is strongly reflected in our lives and in the fact that our physical incarnations inevitably have endings. In contrast, non-physical (“spiritual”) experience knows no limits.

I could go on at length, but I simply want to point out that, although our physical manifestation and experiences are clearly an important part of the human story, they are by no means the only part.

 

being natural, consciousness, inner cosmos, natural, Uncategorized

WE ARE MICROCOSMS

It has been over three months since I last wrote about the “inner cosmos”, and over a month since I last wrote about anything! Put it down to two broken legs. Mine came first, when skiing in March. And then Ana broke hers climbing some big rocks in the garden. There is nothing like a broken leg to play havoc with one’s routine. Two broken legs is havoc squared!

While recovering, I have been giving a lot of thought to the inner cosmos. If I had to define it, I would say that it is the reflection of the Cosmos within us. We are similar to the Cosmos in more ways than you might imagine. I believe that this is very significant.

First, it is a new way of saying that “God is within us”, meaning that we somehow contain the Universe inside us. This in turn gives us a fresh perspective on religion and spirituality.

Second, it helps to explain why we just know things about the Cosmos and about its various “levels” (planets, stars, etc.), without any apparent reason for knowing. We know because we resonate  with the Cosmos and with its levels, and we resonate because we are like them! We are on the same wavelength, if you like.

Third, as I will show in future blogs, it provides a very effective basis for developing our consciousness. In essence, this involves “unpeeling” successively deeper layers of our inner cosmos. Once they are revealed, they can resonate with their external counterparts, and we experience this resonance as consciousness and knowing.

Fourth, it gives us a new way of understanding what it means to be human, to be natural, to be earthly (i.e. of this planet), and to be Cosmic. I will say much more about this later.

Fifth, perhaps most controversially, the fact of our inner cosmos strongly suggests that we are not alone. It is conventional wisdom to believe that life happened here by chance, and that we human beings evolved out of that chance happening, and only on this one planet. I believe differently. I believe that the existence of our inner cosmos, and the immense holarchy that it reflects, suggest that we human beings are integral parts of the universe and that, as such, we are to be found all over it. That said, our appearance will vary widely, according to local conditions.

Although I could list many more far-reaching implications of our inner cosmos, I will just mention one more today. Since we are microcosms of the Cosmos, it flows that it is a macrocosm of us! This surely means, does it not, that if we want to understand the Universe, we should first understand ourselves. And that if we want to understand ourselves more fully and more deeply, we should study the Universe more fully and more deeply.

In my next blog, I will outline what our inner cosmos looks like, and how it functions.

 

 

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!