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!

 

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.

 

 

global change, Intelligence, Uncategorized

OUR FUTURE EVOLUTION

When we think of human evolution, we normally think of the past, the history of our evolution. And we may have in mind our evolutionary achievements, such as language, technology, manual dexterity, and the ability to self-reflect. But do we ever think about the future of our evolution? Or do we assume that human evolution has stopped? Given the state of the world today, we can be forgiven for thinking that we have stopped evolving, and that all that remains for us is to constantly try to solve the problems of our own making.

In fact, there is much evidence that we are still evolving, and that we may still have a long way to go. Although we like to think of ourselves as “top of the evolutionary tree”, humanity may still be in its infancy, in evolutionary terms. The evidence is that we are still evolving in five significant respects:

We are evolving physically, and this includes our health and longevity

We are evolving in consciousness and in knowing and understanding. Many of us are more conscious, and as a species we know and understand much more

We are evolving in intelligence – defined as “behaving wisely and well”. It often does not seem so, when we look around us or watch the news, but the overall trend is positive

We are evolving in character and maturity. This means many things, such as our ethics and morality. In practice, it means we are becoming kinder, stronger, more disciplined

We are evolving in ability, in two senses: we can do current things better; and we can do completely new things, including that considered by some to be “paranormal”

An important part of the evidence that we are still evolving is that large numbers of people are working on their own evolution (although they probably do not use this term). Under headings such as “personal development” or “therapy” or “spiritual practice, they are working on their health, their consciousness, their intelligence, their character, or their abilities – any or all of these.

Given the existential threats that just one species – ourselves – pose to this planet, there is clearly an urgent need for we human beings to evolve as much as possible, so that we can become what we are capable of being – wise and kind, with the will and capacity to care for each other and this planet as they are meant to be cared for. I hope that it goes without saying that this will involve work, much of it. That said, if you work regularly on yourself, you will almost certainly evolve. And as you evolve as an individual, humanity as a whole will somehow reflect your personal evolution.

being natural, Intelligence, less is better, natural, simplicity

FULLER AND FASTER

The world is fuller and faster. In fact, it’s more than that. The world is also noisier, busier and, by all accounts, more anxious.

The world is fuller, in the sense that there are more things in it, more things to do, and more of us. Just think of the word “shopping” and you will know what I mean. Never have we had so much choice, and never have we had so many pressures to acquire things.

The world is getting faster by the day. We can travel at speed, and we can communicate instantaneously with virtually anyone, anywhere. We have never experienced such speed and “instantness” before. We are not sure what to do with it.

The world is noisier. We say much more – on phones, email, texts, chat shows, and so many other ways. Much of this counts as noise, defined as “unwanted sound”. This is not all. Muzak is everywhere – in shops and shopping centres, and in trains and planes. To call this irritating is to be kind! And then there is the sound of traffic…and so on. We have made a very noisy world. Is this what we really want?

The world is busier – indeed people these days think being busy is a virtue! Many of us are constantly active, often doing more than one thing at a time…such as driving and texting and drinking coffee. If we are not actually doing something, we are probably planning the next activity. Sitting quietly, doing nothing has become so rare that people run courses in it under various banners, such as Zen and “mindfulness”.

And the world is more anxious, with good reason. The climate is changing dangerously. Sociopaths are in power. Inequality has reached Victorian levels. And there is no sign that we human beings have renounced war. Good cause indeed to be worried, and the anxiety is evident in many ways – retail therapy; “space-filling” activities, such as eating, drinking, sex and drugs; and the fact that we have become ludicrously risk-averse.

Need it be this way? Clearly not! One can easily envisage a world that is emptier, with more space, literally and metaphorically. It is slower, more leisurely. People are not rushing towards the end of their lives! They have time to stop and stare. It is a quieter, more peaceful world. People still talk, of course, and there is good music. But there is much less unwanted sound. It is a less busy world. People still do things, but they do fewer of them. They value the quality of what they do, rather than the quantity. And, yes, people are still anxious. That’s just part of being human. But I suspect that in an emptier, slower, quieter, less busy world, we would not have sociopaths in power, the climate would be in its natural state, gross inequality would be a thing of the past, and that we would use peaceful means to settle disputes. In short, we would be less anxious!

being natural, Intelligence, less is better, simplicity

JUST A PIECE OF STRING

In the Sixties, when Boeing produced the first Jumbo jets, the Federal Aviation Authority refused to grant a licence to carry passengers. Why? Because they required to know the weight of the plane. Boeing had spent a lot of time, money and energy trying to work out a way to weigh this unusually large aircraft, but without success.

As it happened, a visiting salesman heard about the problem, and said that he thought he could help. At first, he was not taken seriously. However, he insisted, so the engineers and executives thought they could lose nothing by letting him try. So, they asked him if he needed anything. He said: “Just a piece of strong, a measuring tape, and a tyre pressure gauge.” Needless, to say, there were a lot of raised eyebrows.

The salesman walked up to one of the planes sitting on the tarmac and did a few very simple things. First, he wound the string tightly around the base of a tyre, where it touched the ground. He then measured that length. He did this with several tyres, just to get an average. He then took the pressure of each of those tyres, again just to get an average. Next, he counted the total number of tyres. Finally, he did a quick calculation on a piece of paper and turned to Boeing’s and announced the weight of the plane. There were more than a few red faces, but Boeing got its licence, and the salesman got his contract!

This story is just one of countless examples of intelligent simplicity – where you do something that looks too simple, yet is very intelligent. In complete contrast to the very expensive, complicated, time-consuming methods that Boeing had tried, the salesman’s method cost nothing, took almost no time, and was the opposite of complicated. Yet it was far more intelligent, because it worked!