“Is a man in Unity Consciousness ever in a hurry?” – Maharishi explains enlightenment

In the seventh and highest state of consciousness, which Maharishi (1972) calls unity consciousness, one experiences Being as the basis of and permeating all aspects of life: everything is perceived as nothing but expressions of Being. Even though the diversity of life is still appreciated, what dominates in unity consciousness is the experience that all aspects of life, from the most refined to the most manifest levels, are nothing but the self-interacting dynamics of Being, pure consciousness, the substance of our own transcendental consciousness.

For this reason, one is capable of appreciating all objects of perception in terms of the Self (pp. 23-8?23-9). The Vedic literature describes this experience: I am That (pure transcendental consciousness), thou art That, all this is That (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 1.4.10).

Recall that the Upanishads also declared that all fear is born of duality. Although a state of inner nonduality, or inner unity of the Self, is permanently achieved in cosmic consciousness in this first stable state of enlightenment, the inner Self stood separate from the outer, constantly changing, highly diversified world. Hence the outer world is still experienced as fragmented and completely different from the Self.

Only in unity consciousness is the gap between inner and outer reality, between subjective and objective existence fully bridged. As proclaimed in the Bhagavad Gita, in the highest state of enlightenment, one sees the Self in all beings, and all beings in the Self (His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1967, p. 441). Thus all creation becomes as dear to one as the Self, and one experiences in the most profound sense, The world is my family (Maha Upanishad, 6.71). In this state, not only is fear unthinkable, one becomes maximally nourishing, harmonizing, and enriching toward all of creation.

Heart Yoga: The Sacred Marriage of Yoga and Mysticism

Andrew Harvey, renowned spiritual writer, and Karuna Erickson, long-time yoga teacher and psychotherapist, have been working together for many years to birth a revolutionary approach to yoga. Heart Yoga fuses at the most passionate depth the ancient traditions of yoga with the wisdom of the mystical traditions concerning the sacred heart and the divine light. Their intention is to inspire the yoga community to become the crucible for the divinization of the body and the birth of the divine human. Heart Yoga is grounded in the universal mystical vision of the Sacred Marriage, the marriage of transcendence and immanence that is continually birthing the cosmos and irradiating it on every level with compassion, joy, sacred passion and sacred peace.

In their book, Heart Yoga: The Sacred Marriage of Yoga and Mysticism, Andrew and Karuna ground the splendor of the vision of the marriage in an unfolding of the five great joys that radiate from it: the joys of transcendence, creation, love for all beings, Tantra, and service. For each of these joys, Andrew and Karuna offer precise and beautiful combinations of classical asanas with sacred poetry, meditations, and visualizations drawn from the classical mystical traditions. These enable each joy to be experienced simultaneously in the illumined mind, ecstatic heart, and increasingly conscious and spiritualized body.

What they have discovered over their years of practice and study is that when yoga practice is infused with the inspiration of sacred texts and poetry, and with precisely tailored mystical meditations on the heart center and on the chakra system, yoga becomes a holy way of experiencing the greatest mystery of all—that of the embodiment of the divine in the human.

Andrew Harvey and Karuna Erickson are both longtime devoted Sacred Activists who believe deeply that the challenges of our times call for a fusion between profound spiritual wisdom and compassion with clear focused radical action in the world. They also believe that in order to act from sacred consciousness in the demanding circumstances of our world crisis we will need not only illumined minds, passionately compassionate hearts, and wills surrendered to the Beloved, but also bodies that have been opened tenderly to the all-empowering energies of the Divine. Heart Yoga is a yoga that can tremendously help this creation in a human being of a unified force-field of embodied divine energy and love.

Andrew and Karuna have already taught this yoga in Canada, the US, and Europe, to mystics, activists, and yoga students of all levels, and have been awed and humbled by its power. It both grounds and inspires the kind of living faith and radiant energy that we are all going to need to co-create with the Divine a new world out of the ashes of the old one. They have also been awed and humbled by the extraordinary response to their new book from many of the world’s major spiritual teachers and leading teachers of yoga. What they have created is an embodied prayer for all human beings to enter into the fullness of the birth of the divine human.

Please join Andrew and Karuna for an experience of Heart Yoga that will deepen and inspire your yoga practice, fill your mind with the wisdom of the Divine, open your heart to the compassion of the Beloved ,and strengthen and infuse your body with the radiance of the Mother’s all-transforming shakti.
Andrew Harvey is a renowned and distinguished mystical scholar, Rumi translator and explicator, poet, novelist, spiritual teacher and writer, and architect of Sacred Activism.

What Quantum Physics Tells Us About Consciousness – Deepak Chopra

Since the recent debate at Caltech on the Future of God , many productive conversations have emerged and developed. During the debate I was often criticized for bringing quantum physics into the discussion of consciousness.

When I referenced the work of Sir Roger Penrose, Sam Harris dismissed it by saying I was quoting it out of context, and that the hall at Caltech could easily be filled with people who disagreed with Penrose’s theories. During the questions phase of the debate, there was a moment of lively but friendly exchange with Caltech physicist Leonard Mlodinow. A fuller account of the interaction can be found at this article at Digital Journal. However, here is a brief excerpt from our exchange about consciousness:

Moderator: What is it about Deepak’s use of quantum physics that bothers you?

Mlodinow: The term nonlocal, the use was not correct with the pacemaker and all the electrical…

Chopra: I happen to disagree by the way.

Mlodinow: I assume you did since you said that.

Chopra: I think consciousness is nonlocal.

Mlodinow: You know, I have never really come across a definition of consciousness that I understood, so maybe you can teach me something.

Chopra: a field, a superposition of possibilities.

Mlodinow: OK, well, alright, I know what each of those words mean, I still don’t think that…

Chopra: Right now, I’m speaking to a conscious being.

Mlodinow: I hope so.

Since the debate, Leonard Mlodinow and I have corresponded at length about these ideas and have even become good friends. We are considering a collaborative work on these ideas.
After the debate, looking more deeply into the theories of Penrose on quantum physics and consciousness, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Dr. Stuart Hameroff, of quantumconsciousness.org, who has worked extensively with Penrose in developing the Orchestrated Objective Reduction (ORCH-OR) theory of consciousness.

I interviewed Dr. Hameroff last week on my radio show Sirius/XM 102. I will publish that interview as soon as the transcripts are complete. Meanwhile, here is a segment of an email from Stuart about the relationship of quantum physics and consciousness that suggests I was not wrong in my understanding of Penrose’s theories, or that Penrose isn’t a credible physicist.

Dear Deepak,

1) Penrose-Hameroff quantum theory of consciousness includes Penrose who was Stephen Hawkings thesis adviser.

2) The ORCH-OR definition of consciousness is a self-collapse of the wave function, including superposition and non-local entanglement.

3) Reductionists say near death and out-of-body experiences can be induced by brain stimulation. This is not true. What those experiments show is a distortion of body perception which is nothing like the consistent reports of calm, white light, tunnel, and floating. And other comments that such states are caused by hypoxia are similarly flawed because hypoxia causes agitation and confusion, not clarity and peacefulness.

Your plans sound fantastic, I will do whatever I can to help.

This is an exciting time in the development of the understanding of consciousness and the deepest knowledge of physics. I am delighted to be engaged in this discussion with such eminent minds.

Not reacting to content – Eckhart Tolle

Author of a world best seller book “The Power of Now” 1999 Eckhart Tolle points toward the “spaciousness” that surounds every object and every eventin our lives. It must be obvious, but maybe to many of us unnoticed.

Does God has a future? – The Nightline face-off

The “Face-Off” is a recurring series where opposing sides debate hot topics. In the sixth installment of the series, Deepak Chopra, a physician and best-selling author of “How to Know God,” and prominent scholar, philosopher and writer Jean Houston, will face-off against Michael Shermer, founding publisher of “Skeptic” magazine, and Sam Harris, author of “The End of Faith” on the tension between God and science.

In 2007, the first “Face-Off” tackled the existence of God and pitted actor and evangelical Kirk Cameron and his partner at “The Way of the Master” evangelism ministry against two self-proclaimed atheists. Other past topics include America’s addiction to porn, adultery, Satan, and whether it’s OK to be fat.

Science of Consciousness – An interview with Stuart Hameroff.

Consciousness and brain function are discussed in layman’s terms. Hameroff has worked with mathematician Roger Penrose to map neurological brain function to the world of quantum mechanics.

THE Rapture of BEING with Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

The Intuition Network, A Thinking Allowed Television Underwriter, presents the following transcript from the series Thinking Allowed, Conversations On the Leading Edge of Knowledge and Discovery, with Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove.

JEFFREY MISHLOVE, Ph.D.: Hello and welcome. I’m Jeffrey Mishlove. Today we’re going to explore unfurling the potential of being. With me is Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, initiate of an Indian Sufi order. Pir Vilayat is the author of numerous books including Toward the One, The Message in Our Time, The Call of the Dervish, and Introducing Spirituality into Counseling and Therapy. Welcome.


MISHLOVE: It’s really a pleasure to be with you. You know, in your writings you often describe the struggle, the conflict that we humans engage in as we’re caught in between our dual nature. We’re locked into a finite body, each with our own life story and melodrama, and yet simultaneously we’re like God; we partake of the entire cosmos.

KHAN: Yes. I call that reconciliation of irreconcilables. It’s very difficult for our minds to accept this dual nature of identity, and I think we’re cutting right into the main problem of psychology. I think most people have a bad self-image, or overcompensate, or don’t know how to assess their value in any way. Because it’s very difficult to accept what my father calls “the aristocracy of the soul, together with the democracy of the ego”; or he calls it “the greatest pride in one’s divine inheritance, and humility about one’s inadequacy in bringing it through, and yet still accepting the divinity of one’s being” — I think as Christ said, “Be perfect as your Father.”

MISHLOVE: Somehow, listening to you talk about this peculiar dilemma that we humans are in is making me feel that the whole thing is very humorous.

KHAN: Yes, I think there’s some point about laughing about things we don’t understand.

MISHLOVE: But it’s almost ironic somehow, and maybe quite ridiculous, that as cosmic beings we’re always finding ourselves in such dilemmas.

KHAN: Yes. Well, the Sufis say, “Oh, man, if you only knew that you’re free. It’s your ignorance of your freedom that is your captivity.” And I would add, if only you knew what the potentials in your being are, you would realize that it’s your ignorance of those potentials that limit you to the inadequate sense of your self-image, or your inadequate self-esteem — denigrating yourself.

MISHLOVE: As I look through your writings, I get a sense that there’s just vast almost infinitudes, when we talk about human potential and the levels of being. In a sense what you seem to do is look at the spiritual writings of every religion and tradition, and somehow assemble them all together so that it’s as if we have choirs of angels and layers and layers of spiritual vibrations interpenetrating us, and that’s who we are, rather than these tiny people living out their lives.

KHAN: Well, you’re interpreting my teaching better than I could do. You’re saying it very beautifully indeed, and that is how I feel. I also include not just the religions but the teachings of, for example, C.J. Jung.

MISHLOVE: Carl Jung, the great Swiss psychiatrist.

KHAN: Yes. Because what we are doing is really to individuate the unconscious, the collective unconscious. That’s what we really are talking about — getting in touch with what I call cosmic and transcendental dimensions of our being of which we are not aware; and we only identify ourselves with, let’s say, the apex of the cone that’s upside down, whereas we belong to the whole cone, or our being extends to the whole cone. And so it’s just a matter of gaining awareness of other dimensions of one’s being beyond the commonplace ones.

MISHLOVE: It’s almost as if anything wonderful about ourselves that we can imagine, that we are.

KHAN: Yes. Well, there’s a great power in creative imagination. Now of course there’s a difference between creative imagination and fantasy, and I try to get as clear as possible about the difference. I think creative imagination is somehow monitoring the programming of the universe, and fantasizing is getting alienated from the overall order. And when I talk about an order, I don’t mean a static one; I’m talking about the dynamic order.

MISHLOVE: It’s almost as if perhaps fantasy is only the first stage of creative imagination at best.

KHAN: I think that it probably does play a part in the active imagination, because, as you probably know, Dr. Prigogine, who is one of the leading scientists of our time, in Brussels, calls creativity a fluctuation from sclerosed equilibrium. So the order of the universe could be looked upon as it could be static, if were not continually being fluctuated away from its equilibrium. And that is what we’re doing in our creativity. I call it exploring “What if?” How would it look if we looked at this problem in a different way than we’ve been looking at it so far? That’s creative imagination.

MISHLOVE: Isn’t there a sense, in the work of the Sufis, that it’s a question of filling those mental images with a level of being? I’m reminded of a line from a song by the Sufi Choir, I think a line that is attributed to you in fact, which is, “Sing a song of glory, and you will be the glory.”

Oh yes. Well, that’s absolutely right on. That’s exactly how — you see, I feel mentation is an act of glorification. But one can only glorify if one is willing to accept the wonder of the divine inheritance in one’s being, and we’re always seeking outside ourselves that which is already in us. I think it was Plotinus, the neo-Platonic philosopher of the third century, who said, “That which we fail to discover in contemplation we try to experience in our relationship with the outer world.” And of course actually, as a matter of fact, many years ago when I was on the guru hunt in the Himalayas, I came across a rishi sitting in a cave in the snow, and the first thing he said to me was, “Why have you come so far to see what you should be?”

MISHLOVE: Why have you come so far to see —

KHAN: What you should be. And actually, of course, the answer is, to become what one is, one needs to see oneself in another oneself who’s better able to manifest what one is than oneself.

MISHLOVE: You referred earlier to the scientific work of Prigogine, and if I can come around back to that, there’s always the movement from equilibrium to a new equilibrium. There’s this sense that I get from the Sufis and the dancing, the turning, the movement, it’s everything is always happening; we always have to go inside and outside and to the next level and to unfold and unfurl level after level of being.

Yes, yes. I’m always seeking new horizons, and I don’t like to simply convey dogmatic kind of teaching. I’m more or less trying to explore new ways of helping the human being to unfurl. The methods that I’m using now are typical to be found amongst the visionary experiences of some of the Sufi mystics in a state of reverie.

So I think we’re coming very close to what you were saying about the relationship between the collective unconscious and personal conscious. So in a state of reverie, the door is open. One is suspended at the threshold between day consciousness and sleep with dreams.

So the mind is projecting forms surreptitiously; there’s no way of controlling it when it is really in a state of reverie. We’re not using our will. On the other hand, I find that one can monitor that experience — not with one’s will but with one’s emotion; but with one’s attunement rather than one’s will.

MISHLOVE: A very delicate state, isn’t it?

A very delicate state. And the reason why I say that is because one could easily slip into the dark unconscious and get swallowed up by it. So of course I’m trying to monitor it myself in group meditations, to keep people attuned to their highest aspirations, so that they don’t have bad, traumatic experiences, which might be very disturbing.

MISHLOVE: But this level of being awake inside of the dream must be a very important level in uniting the individual consciousness with the divine consciousness.

Yes, yes. That’s several levels, of course, because, you see, divine consciousness — and this is the basic motto of Sufism — it’s all one. I mean, we don’t think of God as other than ourselves, but as the totality of which we are not a fraction, but rather according to the holistic paradigm, every so-called fraction includes the whole, potentially the whole.

So it’s a whole new way of thinking of God, instead of thinking of God as other than oneself and up there somewhere and kind of projecting a personality upon God that’s anthropomorphic. Actually, one of the Sufi dervishes said, “Why do you look for God up there? He is here.”

MISHLOVE: There is a sense in your teachings in which you encourage people to sort of step out of themselves, and simultaneously see themselves as a larger and larger being, bit by bit, until they can hold it all in the mind.

KHAN: Yes.

MISHLOVE: It must take some discipline to be able to maintain these states for longer and longer periods.

KHAN: Yes. Well, of course there are techniques that are helpful — for example, breathing techniques, associated with a change in the focus of one’s consciousness. There are four different dimensions, as a matter of fact. For example, one can expand one’s consciousness, have this wonderful, oceanic feeling of being part of all things; it’s called participation mystique. And I find that the best way of doing it is instead of identifying with one’s physical body, to identify with one’s electromagnetic field, and eventually with one’s aura, neither of which have a boundary. So it’s very much in line with what Ken Wilber says — no boundary, you know.

MISHLOVE: Ken Wilber is the author of a book called No Boundary. Let me take you back a minute, because you used a term I’d like you to define — aura.

: Aura, yes. Well, yes, of course I wish I had a lot of time to do so. Let’s say the physical counterpart of the aura would be simply the radiance of photons, what one calls in science bioluminescence, where plants radiate a certain amount of photons, and so does the human body, and of course electrons that are being photographed in Kirlian photography.

The curious thing is that one can increase the amount of photons that one radiates purely by an act of visual representation. If you imagine that you are surrounded with light, and you enjoy looking in light, as we’re doing now, then somehow the cells of your body start dividing more rapidly, their energy is enhanced, and as a consequence one’s whole body radiates more light. Now, that is something that can be observed in the laboratory.

MISHLOVE: I’ve never heard of any research to that effect.

Oh yes, oh yes. Dr. Motoyama, for example, in Tokyo. But there was a team of Hungarian-Romanian physicists who were measuring the photons radiated by the body.

MISHLOVE: I’d want to look at that kind of research carefully. But I think what you’re suggesting is something on a more metaphorical level.

Well, as I said, that’s only the physical counterpart of what we understand about the aura. In fact I came to grief once when I was giving a talk in Oxford, and there were some scientists there who said, Pir Vilayat, you’re using a word which for us has a very specific meaning — light. And you’re using it in a metaphorical sense.

So I said, “Well, I don’t think physicists have a monopoly on the word light; it’s been used before in a sense that you wouldn’t use yourself.” But since that time, of course, I came across Dr. David Bohm, who said that what we know of physical reality is only a ripple on the ocean of reality, and therefore what we know of light in physics is only one very small dimension of the phenomenon of light in general.

MISHLOVE: And the Sufis use a term that I find quite interesting. I’ve come across it in your writings — the uncreated light.

Yes. But that is a word that’s also used by the early Christian fathers. Actually, the Sufis make a difference between the light that sees and the light that is seen. And so if you ask me now to define the aura, well, I suppose that is the light that could be seen, and in certain circumstances one can even actually see.

For example, St. Elmo’s light — you know, that’s seen around ships; and then the photograph around the lunar module when it landed on the moon. There was some thought it could be explained by dust, but I don’t know. That’s very controversial.

MISHLOVE: Well, perhaps we shouldn’t get too much into these details. As we talk about unfurling the potentials of being, what you’re suggesting is that there are these realms that we hear of in folklore and on what are sometimes the fringes of science, and these are very real to you in your experience, and important for us to acknowledge, I gather, in our understanding of our being.

Yes. Well, what we do is taking specific qualities, and working with those qualities, rather like a composer would work with a musical theme and make variations on it and try to explore all the potentialities within that theme. So basically we do have these qualities; that’s what we call the divine inheritance. But how do we actuate them in our personality? That is a creative process, which is, as I say, very similar to that of composing or writing or painting.

MISHLOVE: You know, since you’ve referred to music, I’m reminded of a story that you wrote about, of a time when you were very depressed and cured yourself of this depression by listening to Bach.

Yes. Well, I had an accident, and my fiance was killed, and I was really very broken and I couldn’t understand how such a thing could happen. And it is true, I didn’t want to live. I mean, I went through a very bad crisis. I was an officer in the British Navy at the time.

I asked if I could be posted somewhere far away, and I was posted in India. Fortunately I was on an easy assignment, just care and maintenance of a flotilla. So every night I played the whole B Minor Mass of Bach, every night for about three months. And that is what cured me, because this tremendous glorification of heaven seems to me to be the only thing that will help one overcome one’s personal pain. I remember words of Buddha, who said, “One misses the glory by being caught up in one’s personal emotions.”

MISHLOVE: There’s a sense also in which Bach’s Mass in B Minor has very, very sad moments, and perhaps to reach the glory one has to go right into the pain.

Yes. But then Bach has that wonderful ability to make the quantum leap from pain to extreme joy, from one moment to the other — for example, from the Contritio right into the Sanctus, the Hosannah. Or from the Crucifixus to the Resurrexit. The transit is fantastic, of course.

And I suppose that’s what it is. I think that one needs to get in touch with one’s anger and one’s pain, instead of being heroic about it or not acknowledging it, and then use these impulses, harness these impulses in a positive way. In fact that is basically the Sufi teaching about mastery. Instead of repressing desire, we consider that our positive desires — to be creative in some way, build a beautiful house or compose a symphony or whatever our objective is — expressions of the divine nostalgia.

MISHLOVE: The divine nostalgia.

KHAN: The divine nostalgia. That’s a word that we use all the time, the divine nostalgia. So it’s not the way of desirelessness of Buddhism, or detachment, or living in a cave. No, it’s that joie de vivre, the joy of life, that we’re really experiencing the divine joy and the creativity of the universe, the way that the divine intention manifests in a concrete way. And also the extraordinary feat of generosity whereby the divine will multiplies itself by the gift of free will.

MISHLOVE: It’s almost as if you’re suggesting that these very human melodramas that we all go through, that we described in the beginning of this program as somehow being irreconcilable with the divine nature, that these things are the very food that brings us to the divine as we work through the emotions of our life.

KHAN: Well, we don’t like to make too much of a distinction between divine emotion and human emotion. We would say that we tried to monitor the divine emotion into our personal emotions, so that there’s no cleavage between the two. In other words, we need to experience divine joy in our humanness, which is very different from the whole idea of beatitude. It’s bringing joy into our daily lives, instead of opening one drawer and then closing another, being in a beatific state and then being back in life again — making it one, you see.

MISHLOVE: So the path that you teach is not one of simply withdrawing from the world and contemplating and entering into a very high state. That would be incomplete.

KHAN: Yes. I still feel that it’s good to be able to do that from time to time, for a short while, or just even for a split second, because I find that most people react to the challenge of situations rather than act. And if you react, you’re not using all the potentialities of being. It’s like a short circuit, like a reflex action, for example. Therefore I think there is some value in facing the battle between the challenge in oneself and being able to learn how to turn within.

Psychology is trying to do this, get in touch with your feelings and your emotions. But what I’m talking about is much deeper. It’s getting in touch with your thinking rather than your thoughts, or your feeling rather than your emotions. A deeper reality.

MISHLOVE: I recall that in one of your writings you suggest that we could think of ourselves as the eyes through which God sees, or we could think of ourselves as the divine glance.

Yes, that’s right. You got that. Well, yes, that’s absolutely crucial. I think that makes all the difference. I’m trying to practice it, of course, because I like to practice what I preach.

For example, walking the streets you realize that even the focus of your glance gets conditioned by what you see, and what we’re trying to do, then, is to offset your glance so that you grasp that which transpires behind that which appears. Now, that sounds very metaphysical, doesn’t it?

But a very good example of that which transpires behind that which appears is, for example, what happens in photographing flowers in ultraviolet light. They look very different; they’re much more beautiful, translucent.

MISHLOVE: Iridescent, yes.


MISHLOVE: And there’s that sense, I suppose, behind the mundane reality, the dullness of our lives from time to time, that there’s really a brilliance, a radiance, if we could only awaken to it.

: Well, then, actually you get to a point when you start seeing what I call the inner face emerging through the outer face — or let us say the countenance emerging through the face.

MISHLOVE: The countenance emerging through the face. Yes.

KHAN: So it doesn’t have an outline, it doesn’t have a borderline. It’s just like those flowers that are photographed in ultraviolet light.

MISHLOVE: That’s quite — it’s giving me cause to pause just a moment, and just take that insight in. Being with you has been such a rich experience —

KHAN: Thank you very much.

MISHLOVE: — that we could listen to each thought and pause on it for a long time. But we’re out of time now, so Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, thank you very much for being with me.

KHAN: Thank you for inviting me.


Experiencing the Next World Now – By Michael Grosso

From the scientific underground of psychic research comes a stunning report on the evidence for life after death. But all the proof in the world is nothing when compared to actual experience with the place beyond.

This book takes the reader to the next level — and offers a more personal kind of journey. If there is a “next world,” it must be nearby, and the path leads through the gateways of our own minds. Philosopher Michael Grosso shows us how to open these passages — or at least peek through a keyhole — and glimpse what may lie beyond. This is the guidebook for an adventure that nobody can refuse.

Posted by Greg

Michael Grosso is a teacher, author, and painter, whose interests span psychical research, metaphysical art, the parapsychology of religion, and, primarily, philosophy. [Michael Grosso] He received his Ph.D. in philosophy, and studied classical Greek, at Columbia University, and has taught at City University of New York, Marymount Manhattan College, and City University of New Jersey. He is currently affiliated with the Division of Personality Studies of the University of Virginia.

Michael has published books on topics ranging from life after death to the mythologies of endtime – some titles include The Millennium Myth, Soulmaking, and Frontiers of the Soul. His most recent book, Experiencing the Next World Now (Amazon US and UK), presents the best current evidence for life after death, but also offers the reader practical methods for ‘peeking through the keyhole’ at what may lie beyond.

GT: Hi Michael, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Could you begin by introducing yourself to readers with a short history of how and why you began your research into the idea of ‘the afterlife’?

MG: Probably what first got me going was realizing one day I was going to die. ‘So what does this mean?’, I thought. But there was something else. I kept having experiences that contradicted the mainline materialism dished up in the schools–especially graduate school in which belief in spirits was sheer heresy.

What I experienced and what the standard view of reality was, were at odds. That got me to study psychical research: what was really going on?

GT: Could you describe in more detail these experiences which led you to re-evaluate the standard view of reality?

MG: I actually had a variety of paranormal experiences. One of the most striking was a series of three dreams in which I saw Ronald Reagan being shot. [Soulmaking] From the images I could see he was shot in the shoulder (he was), and the last dream was symbolic, in which I saw the President naked from the waist up and beaming with health. I inferred he would survive any attack (correct).

I reported these dreams to my students who were duly astonished when the man was actually shot. I’ve seen apparitions of dead people that conveyed veridical information, for example, a dead great aunt I had never met but whom I later identified in a photo I’d never seen. I also projected my tangible double across the Atlantic ocean to my girlfriend. For details, see my book Soulmaking (1997) Hampton Roads Publishing (available from Amazon US and UK).

GT: Your latest book, Experiencing the Next World Now contains a broad review of the evidence for the survival of consciousness after death, to this point. Could you share with readers which cases you would consider the ‘best of the best’? And, to provide some balance, what do you see as the main arguments against the survival hypothesis?

MG: The whole pattern of survival-related stories–not individual startling cases–is what persuades me that some people continue to be conscious after they shed their bodies. There are types of case, certain features of cases, that suggest survival.

For example, if there is verified intelligence from a deceased person, like when a lost will is found through a deceased agent. Or suppose a stranger intrudes on a mediumistic performance, and correctly identifies himself.

There are records of known deceased researchers communicating through several mediums at a time. Numerous, detailed reports of reincarnation memories, behaviors, and related birth marks and birth deffects, strengthen the survival hypothesis. The near-death experience is suggestive. Parts of the brain go out of commission during cardiac arrest and general anaesthesia.

Without these parts, conscious experience is believed to be impossible. But under these conditiuons, in the famous near-death experience, people not only have conscious experiences, they have enhanced experiences. And then there are those excursions out of the body, verified objectively, which point to the separability of consciousness from the body. It’s really the detailed pattern that convinces me something very interesting is going on.

GT: The book goes beyond the idea of simply serving up evidence from others on ‘survival’ though, and encourages readers toward personal experience through methods of altering consciousness.

Now we all know that the ‘New Age’/’Metaphysical’ section at the local bookstore is filled with titles by self-appointed experts on such ideas – how do we sort the wheat from the chaff and find the genuine methods which might provide something worthwhile?

To my mind, perhaps the best idea is to trust those with a history – for example, shamanic methods of altering consciousness and other ancient rites. Would you agree with this, or do you believe we need to formulate new methods for our modern lifestyle?

MG: I think there is a wealth of traditiional materials we can draw upon to guide us to “experience the next world now.” We could model ourselves after native vision questers, Tibetan dreamers, Sufi color enthusiasts, or Chinese foetal breathers.

I try to understand the psychology at work in a given system, and to adapt that understanding to my practical life. The idea is to reconstitute myself in such a way that I become more transparent, more porous to trans- or sub-liminal impressions, images, energies. The Kingdom of Heaven is within us; it’s another state of consciousness.

GT: Having said that, do you think it is necessary that people have guidance in this sort of exploration? Despite the ‘gnostic dream’ of doing it all yourself – away from the rigidity of organised religion – many of the ancient systems employed ‘superiors’ to help the neophyte understand and integrate their experiences.

MG: Of course it’s always wise to allow oneself to be guided by those more knowledgeable in any field of endeavor. Trouble is, there are few clear and unequivocal experts in this realm of experience, which depends on luck, context, and inspiration–a little like art or any creative venture. There is bound to be an element of risk in stepping beyond the enchanted boundary and fools and the foolhardy should beware. But how can we legislate against self-exploration?

GT: In your essay “The Flatliner Paradigm”, you explain your own feelings about the possibility of survival of consciousness: [The Millennium Myth] “When I look closely within myself, what I feel constraining me toward belief in probable extinction is the sense that I do not inhabit the kind of universe where the leap into a new mode of existence after biological death is possible or, at any rate, probable.”

Do you think this is based on valid reasoning, or is your concern perhaps a result of inculcation in the materialist paradigm? I’d appreciate hearing more of your ‘inner dialogue’ on this subject.

MG: Thanks for that question. There is no doubt about the hypnotic spell of the materialist paradigm. In spite of direct experiences of my own, my views on survival remain in skeptical suspense.

On the other hand, there’s nothing we know about the universe that forbids the idea of conscious survival. After all, against the miracle of there being a universe in the first place, and of dumb matter evolving into an Einstein or Nicole Kidman, and then consciousness appearing on the scene, it seems like just another evolutionary lift-off into novelty for consciousness to slip away from its neural substrate..

GT: Do you think that quantum physics might play a role in allowing humanity to accept better some of these models? Some of the concepts in modern physics surely throw our whole concept of reality into doubt?

MG: I think concepts of modern physics could play a role in two ways. First, they show that our naive mechanistic and materialistic views of the world are a misleading facade for what ultimate reality may really consist of.

Next to quantum realities, nonlocality, etc., what’s the big deal about the paranormal? Second, on some interpretations of quantum physics mind proves to be an integral feature of our description of reality.

GT: Nevertheless, the scientific paradigm is still very much grounded in Newtonian physics. In fact, you have written that “thanks to scientific materialism, the dominant metaphysical conceit of the age, anything supporting the reality of minds as substances…tends to be ignored, if not repressed, by the watchdogs of mainstream culture.”

Could you say who you regard as the ‘watchdogs’, and can you cite examples of the repression of evidence?

MG: The watchdogs are embedded in all layers of the culture, the press, the scientific establishment, the university, the religious establishment, etc. The repression takes the form of negative hallucinations; the evidence is not noticed, discussed, regarded. Here’s an amusing example. I gave a copy of Alan Gauld’s Mediumship and Survival to a fellow philosopher; he refused to look at it. “It’s just a book,” he said.

GT: So, with the materialist paradigm as entrenched as it is, one would think that it would require some ‘shock’ to move towards contemplation of the survival hypothesis rather than simple accumulation of experimental data. While veridical out-of-body experiences (OBEs) are not in themselves proof of survival, do you think solid evidence on this front could be used an ‘assault’ on the current paradigm?

MG: Why just veridical OBEs? I believe there’s a huge amount of data, normal, abnormal, and supernormal, from hypnotic reversals of congenital disease (icthyosis) and placebos that invert physiological responses to Joseph of Copertino’s levitations that assaults the paradigm. Then there’s strictly normal stuff like subjective consciousness, its unity, memory, dreams, free voluntary acts, etc. that can’t be digested by physicalism. Very few are willing to look at all this with a cool comprehensive eye.

GT: Well, I was thinking more in terms of what it would take to win over your CSICOPs out there – and I think it would have to be something very straightforward to remove room for doubting.

I would say positive results in viewing hidden symbols or numbers through out-of-body experience would constitute extremely strong evidence. Having said that, scientists such as Dean Radin might argue that we’re already at that point with the mass of positive results over the past decade in related fields (remote viewing, precognition etc).

MG: I agree with Dean and believe there is ample data out there already, experimental and spontaneous cases, that suffice to prove to any rational and open-minded person that psi is a fact of nature and that a decent case can be made for postmortem survival. I often tell diehard disbelievers to read the first ten or fifteen volumes of the English Proceedings for Psychical Research and then come back for a chat.

GT: Lastly, I’d like to cover the question of whether we are seeing a core mechanism at work behind many seemingly different experiences. Ken Ring has written about the integration of near-death experience (NDE) study with other areas such as shamanism and abductions. [Experiencing the Next World Now] Jacques Vallee and John Keel have long espoused a psychical aspect to the UFO question.

John Mack has now brought a similar question to bear in abduction research, and of late research into entheogens (for example, Rick Strassman with DMT and Karl Jansen with Ketamine) has contemplated the same areas. Your book covers these topics as well. Are we seeing some great awakening to the unity of these experiences, and perhaps a validation of Henri Corbin’s ideas of the imaginal realms (versus the imaginary or utopian)?

MG: I could add to that list of names. It would be nice if someone made an anthology of theoretical papers on the unity you allude to. We could use a good general theory of psi-mediated anomalies; I think it would shed light on certain points in religious studies.

As for the imaginal world, surcharged and undergirded by the psychokinetic and extrasensorial properties of psi, it’s a potent theoretical construct. We could use it to corral all manner of mind-monster and metaphysical wild bunch.

GT: Sounds like a good project for the weekend at the very least, Michael! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us here at the Daily Grail, and best wishes for the success of your book.

Table of Contents

PART ONE: Experiences
Chapter 1: Ecstatic Journeys
Chapter 2: Of Ghosts & Spirits
Chapter 3: The Medium and the Message
Chapter 4: One Self, Many Bodies

PART TWO: Challenges
Chapter 5: Explanations
Chapter 6: Imagining the Next World

PART THREE: Connections
Chapter 7: Evolution
Chapter 8: Mental Bridges
Chapter 9: The Otherworld Nearby

PART FOUR: Practice
Chapter 10: Flatliner Models
Chapter 11: Changing Our Way of Life

Andrew Harvey – The Seven Headed Beasts of the Apocalypse & the Seven Stars

Andrew Harvey, Oxford scholar and visionary, believes that our survival depends on Sacred Activism, a fusion of profound mystical awareness, passion, clarity and sacred practice with wise, dedicated, radical action. This fusion, he warns, may be the sole key to preservation of man and nature.

Harvey envisions what he calls The Seven Heads of the Beast of the Apocalypse as:

1. population explosion
2. environmental pollution
3. religious fundamentalism
4. proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
5. separation from nature through technology
6. corrupt conglomerations that own and create mass media
7. societies that multitask, which makes it “impossible to concentrate on our divine nature.”

A grim list, until Harvey counters with the Seven Stars:

1. the current world crisis that compels us to strip away false agendas and “to look deeply into the shadow of humanity”
2. the emerging technologies of wind, solar and hydrogen power
3. the birth of the Internet, a popular, affordable global means of communication
4. the mystical revolution of the past 20 years
5. the rise of compassionate non-violence as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, and evidenced in the collapse of the Berlin wall
6. the return of the “Divine Feminine,” which is reflected in the growing recognition of mankind’s interconnectedness
7. the birth of “divine humanity,” or the growing belief that God is within each of us.

Harvey counsels as he dances from theme to theme that the five ways to become a “mystical activist” are:

* to serve the divine, to make a space for God in your life
* to serve yourself, so that you will be grounded in reality
* to serve others
* to serve your local community
* to serve your global community.

He believes that each individual can become a mystical activist by “becoming conscious at every level and conscious of all choices.”

In turn eloquent, threatening, exuberant, enlightening and spiritual, Andrew Harvey draws the audience in through his fervent belief in the “Divine Mother,” the mother of all beings, and he calls on each individual to “burn like her with meaning, strength, joy and sacred passion.”

Glenn Beck on Martin Luther King and Gandhi By Jim Wallis

Given Glenn Beck’s threat that “the hammer is coming,” I have been keeping my eyes and ears open to see and hear what attacks he might next make on us or the growing movement of Christians who share with us the call to faith-based social justice. Well, imagine my delight when I heard Glenn offer words of praise on his show last night for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi! For people like me, who first felt drawn to the struggle for social justice over the sins of racism, Dr. King remains more than a mentor. He was deeply committed to the transformation (one of Glenn Beck’s bad words) of unjust societal structures, recognizing that love also marches for justice. For Dr. King, as for me, engaging the struggle for social justice was not something we add to the gospel of Jesus, but rather is integral to what it means to follow Christ.

I was heartened to hear Beck affirm the nonviolence of King, but I would also like to remind him of King’s tireless commitment to social justice. Dr. King was the archetypal “social justice Christian,” and the one from whom most of the rest of us have drawn inspiration. So then, what’s so wrong with “social justice Christians?” King inspired me to build movements for change, not to build big and tyrannical governments as Beck has been charging us as wanting to do. King clearly called for more than private charity: he called for the changing of structures and yes, for using the “government” to end racial segregation and establish voting rights for our African-American citizens. And it was King acting in what he believed to be obedience to God, not a preference for totalitarian governments, that led to remarkable achievements of helping to realize a more just society.

But Beck should remember that the primary attack on Dr. King in the fifties and sixties was that he was a “Marxist” and a “Communist.” Billboards throughout the South depicted King at a “communist training camp,” which, of course, wasn’t true. So Glenn, you should be much more careful whom you label as communist, Marxist, socialist; or whom you accuse of using the term “progressive” as just a clever guise for hiding totalitarian communist intentions. Dr. King was the leading “progressive” in our nation’s history, and a progressive Christian at that. So thank you for lifting him up as a model, but be careful whom you call a communist.

Perhaps you should stop throwing all those words around on your show every night, against whomever you disagree with, even the president. Wouldn’t it be better to actually look at what people really think and say (not the doctored and edited clips you keep using)? And by the way, my offer of a civil and respectful conversation with you on the meaning of social justice still stands.

Beck went on to praise the work of Gandhi, another of my heroes. It was Dr. King who once said that the gospel of Jesus gave him the motivation for his work, and Gandhi who gave him the method — nonviolent resistance. For my whole ministry, I have shared with King and Gandhi that dual commitment–both to resist unjust social structures and to use nonviolence as the means of change. When I was a young activist in the 1960s — the people and the period that Beck criticized tonight — I was a disciple of King and strongly opposed the violence of those in groups like the Weather Underground. By the way Glenn, I was never a member of SDS (Students for Democratic Society — another Fox research fact that should have been checked!), but I did indeed march for civil rights and against the war in Vietnam–just as King did.

So, I offer a hearty amen to Beck’s praise for these two giants of social justice. In fact, I can go a step further. Glenn encouraged his listeners to refrain from the use of violence, no matter how high their frustrations may get. I second that. To all on both sides of contentious issues, let us never be so bereft of ideas, creativity, courage, and civility (remember that word that both King and Gandhi always demonstrated), and never resort to violence in the attempt to make our points. And given that violent threats against Members of Congress who voted for the health care bill are now being reported–that message of non-violence and civility couldn’t be more timely.

Jim Wallis is the author of Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street — A Moral Compass for the New Economy, CEO of Sojourners and blogs at http://www.godspolitics.com.

Paul Brunton – A Hermit in The Himalayas

Paul Brunton (1898 – 1981) was a British philosopher, mystic, traveler, and guru. He left a journalistic career to live among yogis, mystics, and holy men, and studied a wide variety of Eastern and Western esoteric teachings.

It was during the early 1980s immediately after the initiation into Transcendental Meditation, the ‘restlessness of the seeker’ had begun lighting our spiritual spark amongst few friends of us who gathered together in the fringes of the jungle discoursing on the philosophies as expounded by Dr. Paul Brunton. We were deeply inspired by his writings in some of the books that we bought.

The Facebook of Dr. Paul Brunton By Andrew Sanderson
Dedicating his life to an inward and spiritual quest, Brunton felt charged to communicate his experiences about what he learned in the east to others. His works had a major influence on the spread of Eastern mysticism to the West.

Taking pains to express his thoughts in layperson’s terms, Brunton was able to present what he learned from the Orient and from ancient tradition as a living wisdom.
His writings express his view that meditation and the inward quest are not exclusively for monks and hermits, but will also support those living normal, active lives in the Western world.

Brunton wrote A Search in Secret India and A Search in Secret Egypt. In the former he met Ramana Maharshi, Meher Baba and other great yogis.

I haven’t read all his books, but those I have read – especially his notebooks – have been excellent. He is a talented writer and teacher.

Paul Brunton, an English philosopher and mystic is widely credited with introducing Yoga to the West after his travels in India in the 1930s and the 1940s. This is an account of his solitary meditations in the Himalayas.

Review at Amazon:

One of the great classics of spiritual literature brought back into print. Paul Brunton was one of a very small number of his generation to travel so extensively throughout India and Tibet at a time when very few were doing so with such insight and discernment. His journalistic skills produced magnificent descriptions of the snowy peaks and high-desert landscapes of the Himalayan region but it was the lessons he learned from the holy men he met on his journey that transformed him into one of the great interpreters of the East.

In this magnificent classic he explains that we all need ‘oases of calm in a world of storm’, no matter what era we are living in, and that to retreat from our everyday lives for a while is not weakness but strength. By taking the trouble to discover the deep silence within us we will find the benefits of being linked to an ‘infinite power, an infinite wisdom, an infinite goodness’. A Hermit In The Himalayas is a fascinating blend of travel narrative and profound spiritual experience.

As we accompany the author on his journey through the vast Himalayas ranges towards Mount Kailas in Tibet, he also shows us an even more remarkable – and timeless – inner path which will help us cope with the ups and downs of our contemporary world.

The great sage Paul Brunton gives us some words of wisdom regarding the higher purpose of man’s existence: what life on Earth is all about. The quotes on the Quest are taken from the first 2 pages of volume 1 of Brunton’s amazing Notebooks

The Quantum Brain, Spirituality, And The Mind Of God – Ervin Laszlo

When our brain (“a quantum computer” as I said in my previous posts) connects us to the world, that experience of connection is the same source from which artists and even scientists draw inspiration and creativity. The quantum connection of our brain can serve us as a subtle but trustworthy compass — one long known to traditional peoples and cultures but largely ignored in the modern world.

The experience of connection is also a source of spirituality. The great teachers entered a deeply altered state, had a spiritual experience, and when they returned to their waking state, they endeavored to capture it in words. Their words became the scriptures venerated by their followers.

The spiritual/religious experience has been basically the same in all epochs and cultures. It has always been an experience of oneness and belonging. William James described it as the sense of entering into union with something deeper and larger than oneself. The experience of people in all epochs and walks of life confirms that James was right: we are like islands on the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.

Although the basic substance of the spiritual experience has always been the same, teachers expressed it in different ways because they were only able to approximate their experience through the words and symbols of their time and place. In each time, and in each place, these symbols and expressions were unique and different.

Over the centuries these differences intensified. Groups and communities of followers, intent on maintaining their identity and ensuring their coherence, froze the original pronouncements into sacred doctrines, and made the doctrines into holy dogmas, sometimes further honed to serve their followers’ social and political aims and ambitions.

In the final count the differences between the doctrines, religions, and the insights of spiritual traditions are not differences in the substance of the experience that inspired them. They are only the differences in the way that substance has been expressed and communicated.

But how does the spiritual experience itself come about? Today we have a better answer to this question than we ever had before. A spiritual/religious experience can happen at any time and in any place, but it usually occurs in an altered state of consciousness. In that state, as psychiatrist Stanislav Grof notes, we can apprehend anything that exists in the universe. We can even apprehend universal archetypes and mythical beings.

The altered states that give rise to the spiritual experience can be purposefully induced. As traditional cultures have known and practiced for millennia, the experience can be triggered by dancing, drumming, rhythmic breathing, and also by the use of psychedelic substances (although these can be dangerous to health). Prayer and meditation is the royal road, and their depth and efficacy can be enhanced when practiced on altered-state-conducive “sacred” sites.

Churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues were built to facilitate the spiritual experience of the faithful. Traditional people have often gone further: they have sought spiritual transformation even through “temple sleep.” This meant spending a night in a venerated location, trying to incubate dreams for initiation, divination, or healing.

Dynastic Egypt had special temples for suppliants who would fast and recite prayers immediately before going to sleep, and Jewish seers would spend the night in a grave or sepulchral vault, hoping that the spirit of the deceased would appear in their dream and offer guidance. In Greece there were over 300 dream temples dedicated to Aesculapius, the god of healing, and in China the temples where state officials sought guidance were active until the 16th century.

The spiritual experience usually comes about in altered states, but what does the recurring substance of the experience signify? What is that “something deeper and larger than ourselves” to which the experience seems to connect us?

An answer to this question is given by every religion, and today it can also be given by science, if only hypothetically. Science suggests that the spiritual experience opens the brain, with which our consciousness is associated, to an extended range of information. This information is real, but it’s not always received. Here by “information” I don’t mean the information we produce when we talk, write, or act. I mean the kind of information that scientists now discover underlies everything in the universe.

Information is entirely basic in the universe. In the latest conception the universe doesn’t consist of matter and space; it consists of energy and information. Energy exists in the form of wave-patterns and wave-propagations in the quantum vacuum that fills space; in its various forms, energy is the “hardware” of the universe. The “software” is information. The universe is not an assemblage of bits of inert matter moving passively in empty space: it’s a dynamic and coherent whole.

The energy that constitutes its hardware is always and everywhere “in-formed.” It’s in-formed by what David Bohm called the implicate order and physicists now regard as the quantum vacuum or zero-point field (also called physical spacetime, universal field, or nuether). This is the “in-formation” that structures the physical world, the information we grasp as the laws of nature. Without information the energy-waves and patterns of the universe would be as random and unstructured as the behavior of a computer without its software.

But the universe is not random and unstructured; it’s precisely “in-formed.” Would it be any the less precisely informed, complex systems could not have emerged in it, and we would not be here to ask how this on first sight highly improbable development could have come about.

Science’s answer to the “what” question refers to an entangled, holographic, non-locally connecting in-formation field in the cosmos. In my books, in greatest detail in Science and the Akashic Field, I discuss the evidence for this field and note that the Hindu seers referred to it as Akasha, the fundamental element of the cosmos. In recognition of this feat of insight, I am now calling the information field of the universe the Akashic Field.

But how does science’s answer to the question regarding the fundamental significance of the spiritual experience relate to the answer given by religion?

For the world’s religions the larger and deeper reality to which the spiritual experience connects us is a numinous, divine reality. It’s either a spirit or consciousness that infuses the natural world (the “immanentist” view), or a spirit or consciousness that’s above and beyond it (the “transcendentalist” claim). Traditional polytheistic religions were leaning toward the former, while the Abrahamic monotheistic religions (with some exceptions) embraced the latter.

The difference between a divine intelligence immanent in the world and one that transcends it is not negligible, but it is still only a difference in interpretation. The “raw data” for both positions is the same: it’s the spiritual experience, a quantum communion with universal oneness.

In the Western religious perspective this is communion with the spirit that infuses the cosmos, identified as God. Deepak Chopra writes, “Spirituality is the experience of that domain of awareness where we experience our universality. This domain of awareness is a core consciousness that is beyond our mind, intellect, and ego. In religious traditions this core consciousness is referred to as the soul which is part of a collective soul or collective consciousness, which in turn is part of a more universal domain of consciousness referred to in religions as God.”

Our experience of the core consciousness of the world is ultimately an experience of the universal domain of consciousness Western religions call God. The experience itself, if not its interpretation, is the same in all religions, and in all religions it inspires a sense of oneness and belonging.

Michael Beckwith affirms that “when you strip away the culture, history, and dogma of every religion, the teachers of those religions were teaching very similar principles and practices that led to a sense of oneness, that ended a sense of separation from the Whole.”

Science’s answer to the question of what the spiritual experience connects us to is immanentist. The information that underlies the universe, the Akashic Field, is part of the universe. This doesn’t mean that the immanentist position necessarily states the ultimate truth; it only means that science can only take an immanentist position. Scientists are limited to speaking about the natural world; they must leave speculation about transcendent realities to poets, philosophers, and spiritual masters.

It’s time to conclude. If the substance of the spiritual experience is always and everywhere the same, differences in its expression and interpretation are secondary and not a valid cause for conflict and intolerance.

The world to which our quantum brain connects us is fundamentally one, whether its oneness is due to an information field within the natural world or the work of a divine transcendent intelligence. To enter into communion with this oneness has been the quest of all the great teachers and spiritual masters.

And to understand the nature of this oneness has been, and is, the ultimate quest of all great scientists. Still today, physicists seek the one equation that would anchor their famous “Theory of Everything,” the theory that would account for all the laws of nature and explain everything that ever happened in our integrally whole universe. Einstein said that knowing this equation would be reading the mind of God.

Eckankar – What’s It Really All About? Soul/Reincarnation/Past lives explained

Eckankar: Discovering Who You Really Are – Soul

Learn how past lives may be the source of fears and problems in your life today. Harold Klemp talks about exploring past lives as a key to improving your life.

Healing Quest: David Simon on Ayurvedic Principles

Dr. David Simon, Medical Director of the Chopra Center, talks about Ayurvedic guidelines for wellbeing.

The first topic is the principle of achieving well-being through conscious use of all our senses. Our internal healing chemistry is activated by sounds, sights, tastes, scents and touch. We should all seek experiences that nourish all of our senses on a daily basis.

The second Ayurvedic principle is that of being present by connecting with the five basic elements: earth, water, fire, air and space. Connect with the earth by walking barefoot. Connect to water by going in or near a natural body of water. Connect with fire by becoming aware of the sun on your body. Connect with air by getting close to plants, our “botanical friends.” Connect with space by letting your awareness expand into the sky.

The third topic is the possibility of letting go of detrimental patterns of behavior, or bad addictions, while embracing good addictions. Meditation, yoga and exercising are all good addictions.

Singh Kaur Crimson Yoga Music – Guru Ram Das

The yoga music you are hearing can be purchased at http://invinciblemusic.com This healing sound current brings you inner guidance and protection from the negativity of the world. In the ancient yogic technologies, this was used to call on the power which can take you from darkness to inner light. Inspiring you on that journey is the majestic, orchestral quality you will experience in this composition, with the vocal line and Celtic harp accentuated by a rich diversity of instruments, such as French horns and plucked strings. This is the most instrumentally rich of the Crimson Collection.

Dr. Joan Borysenko on: What is Transformation? Part 1 – Part 4

In this segment, Dr. Borysenko defines success as feeling a sense of peace in each moment. She describes a connectedness and a kindness toward all, as transformation.

Psychologist and medical scientist, Joan Borysenko, PhD explores transformation through her healing experience. She is the co-founder of the Mind/Body clinical programs at Boston’s Beth Israel/Deaconess Medical Center and taught at Harvard Medical School. This interview was conducted at IONS as part of the transformation project research.

Joan Borysenko on Transformation – Part 2
The language used to describe “transformation” varies in traditions and situations. In business language you could ‘access that flow state’ or in Christian traditions you could ‘find the kingdom of heaven.’ In this segment Joan discusses the transformative experience, its opposite and the language used to describe it.

Joan Borysenko on Transformation – Part 3:The Dark Night of the Soul
St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila in the 15th Century described the “dark night of the soul” and how it’s a place of grace. Joan explores that concept in this segment and identifies pitfalls. She says the darkness of ‘don’t know’ is frightening to most people, but it stops the ego in its tracks and something new has to happen.
In this segment Joan talks about the transformative state, which can be a gradual awakening, a sudden awareness or a temporary occurrence. She discusses the authentic traits of those who have integrated consciousness into their every day lives and the importance of being aware of synchronistic events as methods of transformation.

Joan Borysenko on Transformation – Part 4:From a State to a Trait
In this segment Joan talks about the transformative state, which can be a gradual awakening, a sudden awareness or a temporary occurrence. She discusses the authentic traits of those who have integrated consciousness into their every day lives and the importance of being aware of synchronistic events as methods of transformation.

Which Is Real, the Moon or God? – Deepak Chopra

March 23, 2010

Most people have spent at least a few minutes pondering a famous riddle, although they may not know that it originated in Zen Buddhism: If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Strangely, this turns out to be a pivotal question if you want to prove that God exists, or doesn’t.

I want to explain the whole issue in detail, but if you want to view a vigorous and often contentious debate about God and whether He has a future, ABC Nightline is running Tuesday (March 23). The Nightline episode contains only excerpts, but the full debate will be available online at http://www.abcnews.com. The location was at Cal Tech, where God probably isn’t a pressing topic compared to quantum physics. Yet as it turns out, the two are vitally linked. What you think about reality depends on quantum physics, and since God is the ultimate reality, His existence hinges on such things as waves and particles.

This wasn’t a crude argument between believers and non-believers. It was an attempt to see if the most up-to-date science made God’s existence unlikely, which is what atheists led by Richard Dawkins believe. Taking that position in the debate was Dr. Michael Shermer, the editor of Skeptics magazine, and Sam Harris, author of Letter to a Christian Nation. As staunch materialists, they offered a simple attack on God — nothing is scientifically valid unless it can be seen and measured. Since God has no physical presence in the world, there can be no measurement of His existence. Without a physical presence, the deity is reduced to being subjective. Millions of people were taught to believe in a supreme being. If they paid attention to science, they’d realized that their faith has no real basis.

On the other side, I and my partner, the noted philosopher and writer Jean Houston, rejected materialism. We held that science is about objective data, but human beings have rich internal experiences that are valid. These experiences give rise to art, morality, psychology, and everyday things like love, truth, honor, and so on. Is science really in a position to call human experience itself wrong if it cannot be seen and measured? Our opponents of course argue that ethics, values, meaning, and purpose are all reducible to brain phenomena. While we hold that brain phenomena are merely representations of consciousness and not the experience itself.

Yet it was obvious to me and Jean that God has been greatly undermined by materialist science, and also by organized religion, with its simplistic Sunday school lessons about a bearded patriarch sitting on His throne above the clouds. (The very notion that God is referred to as He implies gender, which a supreme being couldn’t have if such a being is beyond time and space.) No, God can’t have a future until the arguments against Him are discredited, and as it happens, rank materialism has been dismantled by science itself, and in particular by quantum physics.

Here, the discussion gets rather technical, but let’s venture forward on a basic question. Does the moon exist if no one is there to see it? This was the last topic our debate arrived at, and afterwards Dr. Shermer and I continued to discuss it, not as adversaries in a heated debate but in hopes of reaching some kind of understanding or common ground. (Shermer’s summary of our discussion can be found here )

The common sense notion is that of course the moon exists without human beings to look at it. It existed long before life on Earth; it will be around if human folly wipes out our species in some possible future. People aren’t going to be argued out of common sense, no matter how tricky your science or philosophy. Yet, surprisingly, physics starts to fall apart if you cling too stubbornly to common sense.

One of the most famous quips about quantum physics is that it isn’t stranger than you imagine — it’s stranger than you can imagine. This is because quantum physics disposed of raw materialism long ago, showing that solid objects are made up of invisible waves of energy, and those waves themselves disappear into clouds of mere possibilities. Every rock, tree, and cloud is made up of molecules, which in turn are made up of atoms, and they in turn are made up of elementary particles like electrons, protons, and neutrons.

It would be consistent with common sense if these particles, and the subatomic particles that they can be broken down into, were solid and stable in spacetime. But they aren’t. Thanks to two breakthrough ideas — the Uncertainty Principle and the Observer Effect — nothing in Nature can be seen as solid and fixed in spacetime. The Uncertainty Principle says, in its simplest terms, that you cannot know the position of a particle and its momentum at the same time. The observer effect says that particles are only a superposition of possibility waves until a non-material observer causes them to collapse from one state, a wave, into another, a particle.

Already I can see readers glazing over, but these are important points for the existence of God and also for our existence. All solid objects exist, in essence, as invisible waves that extend infinitely in all directions. When an observer enters the picture, the wave collapses into a point, and that point is a spacetime event — or a particle — that you can measure. So it turns out that looking at a virtual electron (waves) causes it to appear as an actual electron (particle).

Is the same true of the moon? Does it appear because consciousness is collapsing possibility waves as the moon?

On the side of materialism, Shermer and many others say no. Quantum behavior, or as Shermer calls it “Quantum weirdness,” is confined to the microscopic world. It doesn’t leak into the macroscopic world of rocks, trees, clouds — and the moon. But there are three weaknesses in this argument:

1. Recent discoveries have produced quantum weirdness on the macroscopic level. See this article about “supersizing” quantum mechanics

2. Quantum physics is behind all kinds of technologies used in the big everyday world: transistors, superconductors, experiments with superfluids. There are even cutting-edge experiments with time travel and teleportation, very Star Trek, although so far the results are on the level of light beams, not Scottie and Captain Kirk.

3. Most crucial of all, if you don’t allow quantum phenomenon to interact with the big world, you run into a huge problem with physics itself. Quantum physics is the basis of our macroscopic physical world, so there has to be an interaction, even if that interaction is not fully understood.

Now we are getting somewhere in undermining the certainty that makes materialists too stubborn and certain of themselves. If you don’t admit that the moon is behaving in a quantum fashion, that’s a bit like saying that red blood cells absorb oxygen but the human body as a whole doesn’t. The part and the whole must conform to each other. Having kicked a few rungs out of the materialist position, it’s now possible to see what the alternative may be.

The basic understanding of the collapse of the wave function is called the Copenhagen Interpretation, in which a non-material observer is involved in quantum measurement. John von Neumann demonstrated that an understanding of the collapse of the wave function requires consciousness. Without an observer, there is no collapse, no particle, no matter, no measurement. Alternative quantum theories such as transactional interpretation and many-worlds theory try to get around the need of consciousness or an observer, but fail in the end. Essentially they don’t fulfill the requirements of quantum physics because any quantum measuring device still must be physical and ultimately exist as quantum wave probabilities. One set of measuring waves superimposed on other waves to be measured, only leaves more waves, not particles, not a quantified measurement. And as Niels Bohr makes clear, in quantum mechanics, if it isn’t measureable it isn’t real. So in spite of these newer quantum speculations, no one has been able to successfully dispense with a non-material observer.

Physics says that the observer causes the collapse of the wave function, the vital step that turns invisible, infinitely expanding probabilities into real events. But the word “cause” leads to trouble. It cannot be that human beings literally cause the moon to appear, for the simple reason that it was here before us. Common sense doesn’t seem wrong about that. We can escape this difficulty rather easily, however, by proposing that the observer effect isn’t about individual human beings, or even biological sentience. It’s about non-local consciousness, because what the observer adds to the equation is that human beings are conscious of the events they participate in. Non-local consciousness localizes through our nervous system. The observer is non-local consciousness, and that consciousness collapses its own possibility waves into a measurable event.

Materialists say “who cares?” They fail to realize that without consciousness, you cannot have the universe. But we aren’t talking about you and me as conscious people. We are talking about a field of consciousness that creates, maintains, and deconstructs all things. In other words, God. The moon exists as an invisible wave function because consciousness has that property. Whenever and wherever non-local consciousness interacts with the wave function we call the moon, the wave function collapses and the wave reality of the “moon” becomes the localized moon. Non-local consciousness can collapse the wave function and create matter whether it is mediated through a biological organism or not.

Right now you possess a vocabulary, either large or small. It is invisible, and no one knows where it exists. Your brain isn’t using any energy to hold your vocabulary, yet at any time you want, you can pluck a word out of its invisible state and cause a tangible event: you say the word, or think it or choreograph it into a sentence. Every time we think and say something, we experience our non-local consciousness collapsing a spacetime event out of an abstract field of potential expressions.

Likewise, consciousness produces visible events from invisible possibilities. Physics knows that such transformations exist. Indeed, the entire universe, at the subatomic level, is winking in and out of existence thousands of times a second. Where does the universe go when it blinks out of sight? Into the superposition of possibility waves, the quantum realm. And when it comes back from this invisible sojourn, guess what? The universe has changed. It isn’t the same as before it disappeared. Which means that all change in space and time — the blooming of a rose, the sudden desire to eat chocolate, the birth of a star, or the birth of a work of art — actually occurs out of sight.

Now we arrive at the moment when the rabbit can be pulled out of the hat. God is the rabbit. If there is infinite consciousness upholding the physical universe, if that consciousness is intelligent and creative, God has a future. Only He isn’t a he. He isn’t a person sitting above the clouds. Instead, God is the field of consciousness that creates, governs, and controls the manifest world. This consciousness has an invisible aspect beyond space and time. We can posit that because there was no space or time before the Big Bang, yet there had to be something that allowed the universe and the laws of nature to coalesce with such amazing orderliness than with the slightest deviation, life could not have evolved.

Consciousness, or God, also permeates creation once it appeared. We know this because we partake of consciousness, creativity, and intelligence. Where could we get those qualities if God, the source of consciousness, were gone? To give God a future, you must give consciousness a place in the universe as a primary ingredient, not an element that appeared by chance when the human brain evolved.

And the moon? It exists as an event in consciousness, first and foremost. Because you are also conscious, you not only see the moon, but you participate in the field from which the moon arises. At the core of existence, consciousness operates with no separation of observer, observed, and the process of observation. They come as a three-in-one package. The fallacy all along was to assume that the observer could be erased from the picture. He can’t. Consciousness observes itself, and it observes its creations. God does the same thing, which is why sages have wondered if everything doesn’t take place in God’s mind. Ultimately, it does. But you have to adopt a new model of God that is consciousness-based. Once you do, a host of issues becomes clear. Not just about the moon, but about human beings and what our own future will be like.

Deepak Chopra on Intent.com

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee: The Grace of God

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Ph.D., is a sheikh in the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Order of Sufism. He has specialized in the area of dreamwork, integrating the ancient Sufi approach to dreams with the insights of modern psychology. In recent years the focus of his writing and teaching has been on spiritual responsibility in our present time of transition, and the emerging global consciousness of oneness. Author of several books on the subject, Llewellyn has lectured extensively throughout the United States…

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee: The Grace of God @ Yahoo! Video

The Divine Feminine -Reclaiming the Feminine Mystery of Creation by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Then creation recognized its Creator in its own forms and appearances. For in the beginning, when God said, “Let it be!” and it came to pass, the means and the Matrix of creation was Love, because all creation was formed through Her as in the twinkling of an eye. – The Holy Spirit as Sapientia St. Hildegard von Bingen


The feminine is the matrix of creation. This truth is something profound and elemental, and every woman knows it in the cells of her body, in her instinctual depths. Out of the substance of her very being life comes forth. She can conceive and give birth, participate in the greatest mystery of bringing a soul into life.

And yet we have forgotten, or been denied, the depths of this mystery, of how the divine light of the soul creates a body in the womb of a woman, and how the mother shares in this wonder, giving her own blood, her own body, to what will be born. Our culture’s focus on a disembodied, transcendent God has left women bereft, denying them the sacredness of this simple mystery of divine love.

What we do not realize is that this patriarchal denial affects not only every woman, but also life itself. When we deny the divine mystery of the feminine we also deny something fundamental to life. We separate life from its sacred core, from the matrix that nourishes all of creation.

We cut our world off from the source that alone can heal, nourish and transform it. The same sacred source that gave birth to each of us is needed to give meaning to our life, to nourish it with what is real, and to reveal to us the mystery, the divine purpose to being alive.

Because humanity has a central function in the whole of creation, what we deny to ourself we deny to all of life. In denying the feminine her sacred power and purpose we have impoverished life in ways we do not understand.

We have denied life its sacred source of meaning and divine purpose, which was understood by the ancient priestesses. We may think that their fertility rites and other ceremonies belonged only to the need for procreation or a successful harvest.

In our contemporary culture we cannot understand how a deeper mystery was enacted, one that consciously connected life to its source in the inner worlds, a source that held the wholeness of life as an embodiment of the divine, allowing the wonder of the divine to be present in every moment.

The days of the priestesses, their temples and ceremonies are over, and because the wisdom of the feminine was not written down but transmitted orally (logos is a masculine principle), this sacred knowledge is lost.

We cannot reclaim the past, but we can witness a world without her presence, a world which we exploit for greed and power, which we rape and pollute without real concern. And then we can begin the work of welcoming her back, of reconnecting with the divine that is at the core of creation, and learning once again how to work with the sacred principles of life. Without the intercession of the divine feminine we will remain in this physical and spiritual wasteland we have created, passing on to our children a diseased and desecrated world.

The choice is simple. Can we remember the wholeness that is within us, the wholeness that unites spirit and matter? Or will we continue walking down this road that has abandoned the divine feminine, that has cut women off from their sacred power and knowledge?

If we choose the former we can begin to reclaim the world, not with masculine plans, but with the wisdom of the feminine, the wisdom that belongs to life itself. If we choose the latter we may attempt some surface solutions with new technology. We may combat global warming and pollution with scientific plans. But there will be no real change. A world that is not connected to its soul cannot heal. Without the participation of the divine feminine nothing new can be born.


If the knowledge of the sacred feminine has been lost how can we know what to do? Part of the wisdom of the feminine is to wait, to listen, to be receptive. A woman does not consciously know how to bring the light of a soul into her womb and help it to form a body.

And yet this mystery takes place within her. Nor does she consciously know how to nourish this light with her own light, in the same way that she gives her blood to help the body to grow. She is the mystery of light being born into matter, and her pregnancy is a time of receptivity, waiting, listening and feeling what is happening within her. She and the Great Mother are one being, and if she listens within she is given the knowledge she needs.

We may have forsaken this simple feminine wisdom of listening, and in this information age awash with so many words it is easy to undervalue an instinctual knowledge that comes from within. But the sacred principles of life have never been written down: they belong to the heartbeat, to the rhythm of the breath and the flow of blood.

They are alive like the rain and the rivers, the waxing and waning of the moon. If we learn to listen we will discover that life, the Great Mother, is speaking to us, telling us what we need to know.

We are present at a time when the world is dying and waiting to be reborn, and all the words in our libraries and on the internet will not tell us what to do. But the sacred feminine can share with us her secrets, tell us how to be, how to midwife her rebirth. And because we are her children she can speak to each of us, if we have the humility to listen.

How can we listen to what we do not know? How can we reclaim what we have lost so long ago? Every moment is new. The present moment is not just a progression of past moments, but is alive in its own way, complete and perfect. And it is the moment that demands our attention.

Only in the moment can we be fully awake and respond to the real need. Only in the present moment can we be fully attentive. Only in the present moment can the divine come into existence. Men may make plans, but a mother attentive to her children knows the real need of the moment.

She feels in her being the interconnectedness of all of life in a way that is veiled from the masculine. She knows one cannot make plans when there are so many variables, but one can respond with the wisdom that includes the whole and all of its connections. The divine feminine is asking us to be present in life in all of its wholeness, without judgment or plans. Then she can speak to us, reveal the mystery of her rebirth.

And because this is a birth, the feminine has to be present, not just as an idea but as a living presence within us, within both men and women; because although woman most fully embodies the divine feminine, part of her secret is also shared with men, just as a son carries part of his mother in a way hidden from her daughters.

Yet to live the feminine is something we have almost forgotten: our patriarchal culture has denied her power and real wisdom, has sanitized her as much as it has divorced her from her magic that belongs to the rhythms of creation. But we need her, more than we dare realize.

However, to fully encounter the divine feminine, the creative principle of life, we must be prepared for her anger, for the pain that has come from her abuse. For centuries our masculine culture has repressed her natural power, has burnt her temples, killed her priestesses.

Through his drive for mastery, and his fear of the feminine, of what he cannot understand or control, the patriarchy has not just neglected her, but deliberately tortured and destroyed. He has not just raped her, but torn the very fabric of life, the primal wholeness of which she is always the guardian. And the feminine is angry, even if her anger has been repressed along with her magic.

To welcome the feminine is to acknowledge and accept her pain and anger, and the part we have played in this desecration. Women too have often colluded with the masculine, denied their own power and natural magic, instead accepted masculine values, ways of thinking. They have betrayed their own deepest self. But we must also be careful not to become caught in this darkness, in the dynamics of abuse, the anger and betrayal.

It is especially easy for women to become identified with the suffering of the feminine, her treatment by the masculine, to project one’s own pain and anger onto men. Then we are caught even more securely in this web that denies us any transformation.

If we identify with the pain of the feminine we easily become an agent of her anger, rather than going deeper into the mystery of suffering, into the light that is always hidden in the darkness. Because in the depths of the feminine there is a deep knowledge that the abuse is also part of the cycle of creation. The Great Mother embodies a wholeness that contains even the denial of herself, and we need her wholeness if we are to survive and be reborn.

Real transformation, like any birth, needs the darkness as much as the light. We know that the feminine has been abused, just as the planet continues to be polluted. But the woman who has experienced the pain of childbirth, who knows the blood that belongs to birth, is always initiated in the darkness; she knows the cycles of creation in ways that are hidden to the masculine.

She needs to give herself and her knowing to this present cycle of death and rebirth, and in so doing honor the pain she has suffered. Then she will discover that her magic and power is also being reborn in a new way, is being returned to her in ways that can no longer be contaminated by the masculine and its power drive. But without her full participation there is the danger of a still birth; then this present cycle of creation will not realize its potential.

First we need to acknowledge the suffering of the feminine, of the earth itself, or the light within the feminine will be hidden from us. We have to pay the price of our desires to dominate nature, of our acts of hubris. We are not separate from life, from the winds and the weather.

We are a part of creation and we have to ask her forgiveness, to take responsibility for our attitudes and actions. We need to go consciously into the next era, recognizing our mistakes. Only then can we fully honor and hear her. But there is always the possibility that we will not take this step.

That like defiant children we will not acknowledge the pain we have done to our mother, and will not reclaim the wholeness that she embodies. Then we will remain within the darkness that is beginning to devour our souls: the empty promises of materialism, the fractured world of fanaticism. To take a step into maturity is always to acknowledge our mistakes, the wrongs we have done.


It is a real challenge to step into this matrix of the feminine, to honor something so sacred and simple as the real wisdom of life. But as we stand at the edge of our present global abyss we need this wisdom more than we realize.

How many times has this world been brought to the edge of extinction, how many times in its millions of years has it faced disaster? Now we have created our own disaster with our ignorance and greed, and the first step is to ask for the help of our mother and to listen to her wisdom. Then we will find ourselves in a very different environment than that which we presently imagine.

We will discover that there are changes happening in the depths of creation of which we are a part, and that the pollution and pain we have caused are part of a cycle of life that involves its own apparent destruction. We are not isolated, even in our mistakes. We are part of the whole of creation even as we have denied the whole. In our hubris we have separated ourselves from life, and yet we can never be separate. That is just an illusion of masculine thinking. There is no such thing as separation. It is just a myth created by the ego.

Everything is part of the whole, even in its mistakes and disasters. Once we return to this simple awareness we will discover that there are changes taking place that demand our participation, that need us to be present.

We will see that the axis of creation is shifting and something is coming alive in a new way. We are being reborn, not in any separate sense but as a complete whole. We do not have images in our masculine consciousness to think what this could be like, but this does not mean it is not happening.

Something within us knows that the present era is over, that our time of separation is coming to an end. At present we sense it most apparently in the negative, knowing that the images of life no longer sustain us, that consumerism is killing our soul as well as the planet. And yet there is also something just beyond the horizon, like a dawn that we can sense even if we cannot see.

And this dawn carries a light, and this light is calling to us, calling to our souls if not yet to our minds. And it is asking for us to welcome it, to bring it into being. And if we dare to do this, to say “yes” to this dawn, we will discover that this light is within us, and that something within each of us is being brought into being. We are part of a shared mystery: we are the light hidden within matter that is being awakened.

For too many centuries we have been caught in the myth of separation, until we have become isolated from each other and from the energies of creation that sustain us. But now there is a growing light that carries the knowing of oneness, the oneness that is alive with the imprint of the divine.

This is what is being given back to us. This is the light that is awakening. The light of oneness is a reflection of the divine oneness of life, and we are each a direct expression of this oneness. And this oneness is not a metaphysical idea but something so simple and ordinary. It is in every breath, in the wing beat of every butterfly, in every piece of garbage left on city streets.

This oneness is life, life no longer experienced solely through the fragmented vision of the ego, but known within the heart, felt in the soul. This oneness is the heartbeat of life. It is creation’s recognition of its Creator. In this oneness life celebrates itself and its divine origin.

The feminine knows this oneness. She feels it in her body, in her instinctual wisdom. She knows its interconnectedness just as she knows how to nourish her own children. And yet until now this knowing has not carried the bright light of masculine consciousness.

It has remained hidden within her, in the darkness of her instinctual self. And part of her pain has been that she has not known how to use her knowing in the rational and scientific world we inhabit. Instead of valuing her own knowledge she has played the games of the masculine, imitating his thinking, putting aside her knowledge of relationships and her sense of the patterns that belong to creation.

Now it is time for this wisdom of the feminine to be combined with masculine consciousness, so that a new understanding of the wholeness of life can be used to help us to heal our world.

Our present scientific solutions come from the masculine tools of analysis, the very mind set of separation that has caused the problems. We cannot afford to isolate ourself from the whole any more, and the fact that our problems are global illustrate this. Global warming is not just a scientific image but a dramatic reality.

Combining masculine and feminine wisdom we can come to understand the relationships between the parts and the whole, and if we listen we can hear life telling us how to redress this imbalance.

There is a light within life, known to the alchemists as the lumen naturae, that can speak to us, speak to the light of our own awareness. There is a primal dialogue of light to light, which is known to every healer as she listens to the body of her patient and allows it to communicate with her, allows its light to speak to the light within her.

Through this dialogue of light she comes to know where to place her hands, the herbs that are needed, the pressure points to be touched. This direct communication is combined with the knowledge of healing she has learned, allowing an alchemy to take place that can reawaken energy within the patient, realign the body and soul.

This is how real healing happens, and what is true for the individual is also true for the world, except that we are both the patient and the healer. The world’s wounds and imbalance are our wounds and imbalance, and we have within us the knowledge and understanding to realign ourselves and the world. This is part of the mystery of life’s wholeness.

The feminine can give us an understanding of how all the diverse parts of life relate together, their patterns of relationship, the interconnections that nourish life. She can help us to see consciously what she knows instinctively, that all is part of a living, organic whole, in which all the parts of creation communicate together, and how each cell of creation expresses the whole in a unique way.

An understanding of the organic wholeness of life belongs to the instinctual knowing of the feminine, but combined with masculine consciousness this can be communicated in words, not just feelings. We can combine the science of the mind and the senses with inner knowing. We can be given a blueprint of the planet that will enable us to live in creative harmony with all of life.


What does it mean to reclaim the feminine? It means to honor our sacred connection to life that is present in every moment. It means to realize that life is one whole and begin to recognize the interconnections that form the web of life. It means to realize that everything, every act, even every thought, affects the whole.

And it also means to allow life to speak to us. We are constantly bombarded by so many impressions, by so much media and advertising, that it is not easy to hear the simple voice of life itself. But it is present, even within the mirage of our fears and desires, our anxieties and expectations. And life is waiting for us to listen: it just needs us to be present and attentive. It is trying to communicate to us the secrets of creation so that we can participate in the wonder that is being born.

We have been exiled from our own home, sold a barren landscape full of soulless fantasies. It is time to return home, to claim what belongs to us, the sacred life of which we are a part.

This is what is waiting for us, and its signs are appearing around us. They are not just in our discontent, in our sense that we have been exploited and lied to. They are in a quality of magic that is beginning to appear, like the wing beats of angels we cannot see but can feel.

We are being reminded of what we really are, of the divine presence that is within ourself and within life. We long for this magic, for a life that unites the inner and outer worlds. And this other is already with us in ways we would not expect.

We just have to be open and receptive, to say yes to what we cannot see or touch, but can feel and respond to. And for each of us this meeting of the worlds will be different, unique, because we are each different, unique. It is the sacred within life speaking to us in our own language.

Maybe for the gardener it speaks in the magic of plants, for the mother in something unexpected in the ways of her children—always it is something glimpsed but not yet known—a promise we know we have been waiting for. Children themselves feel it first, but for them it is not so unusual; it is part of the air they breathe, the light they live in. They have not yet been completely banished, and maybe they will grow into a world in which this magic remains.

The mystery of the divine feminine speaks to us from within her creation. She is not a distant god in heaven, but a presence that is here with us, needing our response. She is the divine returning to claim her creation, the real wonder of what it means to be alive.

We have forgotten her, just as we have forgotten so much of what is sacred, and yet she is always part of us. But now she needs to be known again, not just as a myth, as a spiritual image, but as something that belongs to the blood and the breath. She can awaken us to an expectancy in the air, to an ancient memory coming alive in a new way. She can help us to give birth to the divine that is within us, to the oneness that is all around us. She can help us to remember our real nature.

How can we participate in welcoming the divine back into the world?
Excerpted from a talk by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, “Oneness and the World Soul”

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee is a Sufi teacher and author. In recent years the focus of his writing and teaching has been on spiritual responsibility in our present time of transition, and the emerging global consciousness of oneness (see http://www.workingwithoneness.org). He has also specialized in the area of dreamwork, integrating the ancient Sufi approach to dreams with the insights of modern psychology. Llewellyn is the founder of The Golden Sufi Center (http://www.goldensufi.org/). His most recent books are Alchemy of Light, Working with the Primal Energies of Life, and Spiritual Power, How It Works.

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