Archive for March 21, 2010


Deepak Chopra defines meditation, performs a healing meditation and demonstrates the law of attraction and meditation. Rediscover the purpose of meditation and get tips from one of the world’s most respected authors and spiritual guides.
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“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
~ Einstein

I would like to offer the following ideas on the Future of God: A New Theory of the Divine.

“It would be very difficult to explain why the Universe would have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.”
~Steven Hawking

A theology that contradicts the known facts of science including the laws of physics, chemistry, biology, cosmo-genesis and evolution is obsolete and rightfully so. A science that reduces the rich inner life of consciousness to raw data is absurd and also obsolete.” ~Deepak Chopra

1. God is Infinite Consciousness. Consciousness is awareness, before thinking starts, before perception happens, before neural activity, before there is relationship with space-time, before there is subject-object split.

2. God is the agent of downward causation.

3. God is the consciousness that differentiates into space, time, energy information and matter.

4. Cosmogenesis, Biopoesis Evolution : The principle of parsimony ( Occam’s razor) dictates that God is the author of the Big Bang (neither big nor noisy) a moment where a point of infinite density and zero volume starts creation in an instant. For the first 10 – 43 seconds of this moment of creation, the laws of creation do not exist and are essentially unknowable. At 10-43 seconds universal constants are arbitrarily assigned. These are about 20, including the mass of the neutron, speed of light, gravitational constant, charge of the electron, strong and weak force etc.

From then on cosmogenesis proceeds automatically obeying the universal laws that have been set in motion. 10 billion years later our sun appears and starts to fragment pieces of itself to create its own solar system, including planet earth 30 million years after the formation of the sun.

Because of conditions already set in motion, a biosphere is created and soon abiogenesis or biopoesis happens, an unknown and possibly unknowable process by which inanimate matter becomes DNA. From then on, microorganisms(chemolithoautotrophic hyperthermophiles) start to differentiate into the teeming diversity of life through gene variation and natural selection.

Photosynthesis develops around 2.5 billion years ago. Evolution proceeds naturally once set in motion through gene variation and natural selection. The current state of this process is Homo Sapiens and an exquisite nervous system through which consciousness becomes conscious of itself through us.

5. Each moment of time a new universe is created. Fundamentally the universe is a discontinuity. In each moment of time the universe is not only recreated but also evolves. This recreation happens in the Gap where consciousness resides. The Gap is
(a) a super position of possibilities
(b) a field of infinite non local correlation, dynamic and kinematic
(c) a field of quantum creativity
(d) an intention field, (the observer effect)–where consciousness collapses its possibility waves into space- time events, which are measured out as motion, energy, information and matter.

All this happens in the unified field — the mind of God.

Related Articles at http://www.intent.com/deepakchopra/blog/play-creation
* The Play of Creation
* Does Time Exist? Part 4: Physicality of Eternity, Consciousness, and Awareness
* Universal or Non-Local Consciousness vs. Local Mind
* “Big Bang” Versus Consciousness and Spirituality; Understanding the Universe from Human Perspective: Part 3
* Does God Have a Future?


The author makes it clear from the outset that for a healthy planet, any attempt at spiritual awakening and practices must be holistic and go beyond each person’s individual self-concern.

That each person pursues their inner opening path is a good thing; but part of the issue is that human greed, corruption, and “darkness” obscures the light energy that comes to the planet and at those roots is often ego-selfishness. So to awaken the world, there must be a global dimension, an unselfish commitment to a larger all-embracing vision.

Vaughan-Lee makes his point with clarity (page 111) when he proposes that the “world spins on an axis of love.” The axis of love encircles the earth “at a very high frequency” and thus is almost undetectable. It nourishes and nurtures life more than most people are aware of. It can be tapped into but in order to do so, we must open and cultivate the heart.

These principles represent a Sufi perspective, but there are wise and penetrating insights that are distinctly Vaughan-Lee’s. An example: “much of our present insecurity comes from a deep knowing that our governments and culture s are planning for a future that will never happen” (p. 45).

From social security to the apparent dead-end of having mobilized the industrialized countries to fight a “war on terrorism,” it is clear that the evolving future is hardly couched in certainty. The author is working hard to substantiate his main point that we must choose spiritual ways to integrate our individual path with the planetary influences of love. It is inarguable that such a perspective can only have salutary effects.

There is a note of darkness in the author’s writing: “since the Golden Age, eras have come and gone…the most recent has focused on (the) masculine which has emphasized the separation between worlds…this veil has become almost impenetrable…due to our rational culture and pursuit of materialism” (p. 64). Hope exists, of course, because the “the world is a living spiritual being” (p. 73) and as such the awakening of the soul of the world (the ancient belief in Anima Mundi) can and is occurring. Even within dark matter there are particles of light. These are wonderful insights and they are expressed with considerable sensitivity.

Like a genuinely enlightened person, he reminds the reader, “every breath is a remembrance of God” (p. xv). If we wish to stop the merry-go-round of our material world preoccupied with power and addicted to influence, we can do so by focusing on each breath in/out, which is a universal meditation of all true spiritual paths.

Finally, it is useful to consider the essential focus of the author in his own words: “the real work of the path is to be able to live the energy and higher consciousness of the self in everyday life.”

Coupled with Vaughan-Lee’s espousal of love as the critical element in global awakening, it becomes clear how these forces can be encouraged or “called”: through the open heart. “The wonder of the heart is that because it contains our higher spiritual intelligence…the energy needed by the world…” is the same for the individual self as it is for the earth as a whole (p. 104-6).

To paraphrase a misguided world figure, it is love which is the uniter, not a divider. The author does a great service by making it clear that the answer rests with unqualified love.

This book is a well-organized succinct statement organized into 7 chapters, a brief Epilogue, 5 concise pages of Notes, a 2 page Bibliography, and a short Index. With its bright cover, we should stock this book in our Spirituality, Religion, and Psychology sections.
Table of Contents

Introduction

1. The First Step
2. Spiritual Maturity
3. Colliding Forces
4. The Relationship Between the Worlds
5. Anima Mundi: Awakening the Soul of the World
6. The Light of the Heart
7. The Axis of Love
Book Review By Thomas Peter von Bahr


At the request of Steven Vedro, author of Digital Dharma: Metaphors of Consciousness in the Infosphere, I am posting the following article which appeared on his blogsite.

Twitter, Ambient Awareness and Spiritual Practice
Our new IP-based communications systems and forms – the Internet, digital media, pervasive wireless networks and embedded communicating microprocessors – are not only changing our ways of seeing the world, they have pushed us, like it or not, into a new psychic environment of hyper-connectivity. The coupling of electricity with our nervous system over a century ago started the process of (in Marshal McLuhan’s words) “outering” our neurons. From the telephone to radio and television, and now from the internet to the distributed intelligence of peer-to-peer and social networks, we continue to grow more connected, more accessible, more stimulated.

From MySpace and Facebook, and the “twittered” thoughts that fly through one’s mind during the course of the day, our minds are always online, and our personal life is now part of the public record. On the web nothing is protected from our eyes and ears. We have opened every “closet,” short-circuited all the old modes of denial. We are all “data naked” when every transaction, every credit card purchase, every trip through the grocery store, and every phone call (and its originating location) is now “on the record.” Even once-expunged court records (the “clean slate” granted by a judge for minor convictions years ago) are finding their way on to the Web, as records once held only in paper now routinely digitized.

Infection and contagion are the health metaphors of the day. Idea fragments flow from brain to brain, reproducing like viruses; the net’s constant chatter perfectly reflecting the distraction of our planetary “monkey mind.” Pushed into the Infosphere — all of our secrets revealed, our every thought accessible, connected to the planet’s very intelligence — we are challenged to define our boundaries. Who am I and who do I pretend to be? Where am I, and where do I end and you begin? Who do I let into my space, and how can I trust that you say who you are? In critic John Lahr’s words, “we know too much and too little; the world is at once too close and too far away.” For many, addiction to email and texting, Twitter and the Blackberry, are all too real.

Much has been written about this new state of affairs – and much of it is deeply troubling! This wired distopia is a place where global corporations extend their control to the most remote corners of the planet; where the smallest personal action is tracked in giant marketing and “homeland security” databases; a world where physical nature and human love are replaced by computer simulations; where endless distractions keep us moving along, without ever being truly moved. However, while this future is indeed possible, I believe that the emerging metaphor of ambient awareness offers a way out of the shadow land and into deeper connection with our fellow beings and the very physical world that virtual reality seems to abandon.

As the internet exposed us to the dangers of connectivity without boundaries – exposure, infection, and false identities, it also gave us a new freedom to speak truth, to see beyond the masks of the ego-self, corporate and government posturing, and build our own “peer networks.” Social networking allows for addictive connection, personal posturing and closed-minded self-referential “friends circles.” It also offers the possibility of experiencing self as part of a larger web – of friends, of communities of interest and of place, of creation itself. The path of conscious web awareness is not a new invention. It is what all the great mystical traditions have been teaching for millennia. Learning how to navigate a world where everyone and everything is connected, where every object has a voice (if not IP address), where all things can be found, and all that was hidden is seen, where reality comes into being based on what coding scheme is chosen, is at the core of shamanic journeying and magical sight. Perhaps it is time to take some of these esoteric practices into the real world challenges of living in the Infosphere.

FINDING GROUNDEDNESS AND PLACE

In many ways the Infosphere is “placeless.” Our communities are defined by interest, not local geography. We email, text, talk and share video with friends anywhere and at any time: communications taking place without the need for transportation, communication without embodiment. Yet being disconnected from the physical solidity of the body, and from the grounding power of the earth, is something no shaman would allow. Even while traversing the astral realms, he or she maintains the silver cord anchored in this dimension, for without a reference ground, one has no way to decode binary information, to determine a one from a zero. All that remains is noise.

Without a connection to the earth and to the physical body, all signals become static.

We instinctively know this. So many of our technologies involve helping us find our location. Text messages and twits are often simply about place: where I am, what am I doing here, and where am I going. GPS-equipped phones can point the believer to Mecca or search the web for a nearby mosque, or on a more mundane plane, find a particular type of restaurant and tell you how to walk there. GPS tracking allows parents to keep an eye on their children’s driving habits or their pet’s whereabouts. Satellite images of any structure on the planet are now available for all to see – often over the objections of the building owner or the local government. Our technologies are empowering physical locations to tell their stories: cellphone-guided neighborhood tours and local living histories are being developed in many communities, one New York artist has recruited his neighbors to record stories about the love life in their building; another uses stickers with text-messaging numbers to alert passer-bys that something of interest lies nearby.

But, beyond personal awareness of place, the web has given a voice to Gaia herself. We are building grids of network sensors that will crisscross our world. From interactive underwater observatories, connected to each other and to land-based research laboratories, to atmospheric carbon and ozone monitoring stations on the tops of mountains; from stress sensors embedded in roads and bridges, to the emergence of the “smart electrical grid,” data will be pouring in from so many places in our everyday environment: each sensor with its own IP address, each adding its own signal to our collective nervous system.

Like the incessant chatter of our Facebook news feeds and Twitter accounts, we must learn to synthesize and integrate the messages from these extended neurons without becoming overwhelmed or overly thick skinned. The technology of “ambient devices” provides one tool – and a core metaphor – for coping with information overload. These devices track myriads of complex data inputs, synthesize their impact and display them in easy-to-understand interfaces such as a “personal dashboard” or a cyber-pet whose tail changes color as electrical consumption increases and whose purr is replace with a sad grumble as more carbon-based power is added to the mix.

As we learn to monitor our physical and social environments through such intermediaries, we will be challenged to pick data inputs that represent our highest selves. What if we demand that our signaling technologies send us easy-to-understand messages about the planet’s true health as opposed to just the rise and fall of the financial markets? What if we insisted that we use this planetary ambient awareness to electronically track and share the conditions of our environment, the encroachment of the deserts, the thinning of the Ozone Layer, the decline of the ocean’s diversity? Not just the condition of our investment portfolio, but the number of malnourished children in the world?

And, just as we expand awareness to the outer reaches of our environment, we use our sensitized consciousness to tune inwards – to listen to the “cellular tweets” of our own bodies? Imagine receiving a twit from an “awareness partner” asking you to stop and center, to take a deep breath and reflect on one’s inner state. Imagine doing this four or five times a day!

DATA DISCERNMENT AND FILTERING
In an environment where everyone is connected and sharing their every experience, learning how to observe incoming data without reacting to every stimulus is a critical cyber-survival tool. Too heavy a shield (firewall) is as bad as no shield at all. The challenge is to create and flex filters appropriate to the level of protection needed. Knowing whom to trust is the key, and the best filter is a trusted reference. We do this naturally when we decide whom we add to our social network – who will be an acquaintance, and who will be an intimate. Our web networks reflect the same levels of trust that we bring to face-to-face relationships: wide circles of loose friends, and tight sacred circles such as recovery groups, prayer and meditation sanghas, and ad-hoc dance and celebration communities.

Beyond conscious boundary setting, the other lesson of mystic practice that is embedded in digital life, is the recognition that our consciousness is shaped by how we choose to process the signals of our senses. Ambient awareness need not be unconscious. It is a skill that can be cultivated into a powerful tool for not only coping with electronic overload, but also a doorway to greater compassion, peace and personal power. Our flood of tweets and emails can inundate and overwhelm, or like the stick of the Zen master, invite us to pay attention to where we habitually put our attention. The shaman’s skill is in cultivating a wider-seeing vision that takes in all vibrations, and the shield of discernment, that allows her to know what signals require action, and which ones are part of the background symphony of existence.

The mystic sees all reality as a stream of compressed data that most of us decode using habitual, consensual algorithms. Many forms of spiritual practice involve stilling the busy mind and being present to, without being hooked by, these incoming data streams. Awareness meditation is, in effect, a process of observing the instruction codes of reality without processing them into thoughts, emotions and suffering. In Buddhism this is called mindfulness; in Sufi practice it is called Vairagya, watching the codes go by, “indifferent” to one story over another, but still very much connected to the experience of life. Sri Aurobindo called it “seeing with the eye of complete union” – seeing the point of view of each separate thing, while at the same time remembering that all the points are in fact the same – processing the reality of the outer world in full consciousness that one is in fact, data processing.

EXTENDING THE PRACTICE
Without the cultivation of discernment (in whatever form), our technologies of connection will continue to overwhelm us with “data smog” – drawing our attention to every stimulus, resulting in either debilitating hypersensitivity or protective numbness. With practices that expand consciousness and teach appropriate filtering, we can extend the web metaphor into all dimensions, seeing in all of our tweets, texts, emails and videos, the raw data that we use to create personal and consensual “stories” through patterns of prediction based on (intentionally) limited data. Stopping the processor that Joseph Chilton Pearce calls our over-eager “reflective memory,” gives us a moment, however brief, to be in the Now.

I believe that the “ambient awareness” that is emerging within Twitter circles can be extended beyond the subconscious knowledge of what one’s friends are up to, into an actual mindfulness practice. Beyond receiving a tweet to “stop and center” and reflect on one’s inner state, one can set aside time to listen to (and write down or draw) the tweets of one’s heart, of one’s cells, of the water and the rocks, of the sun and stars that surround us – each sending us its own pulse of aliveness. We only need to commit to stop and listen.

As we become more adept at taking in all the signals of our various networks, we may find ourselves reaching beyond the equanimity that comes from awareness practice to something even more powerful: the “seeing-everything-all-at-once” consciousness where one is a node on the network, and simultaneously the entire web itself – an individual data packet traveling outward over a specific radio channel, and the entire spread spectrum symphony of frequencies, part of a joyously noisy communicating system.

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