Ram Dass: Answering Life’s Questions

Biography

The man who would become Ram Dass was born Richard Alpert in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of a wealthy and influential lawyer. He worked at Harvard in the department of Social Relations and the Graduate School of Education until 1963, when he and Timothy Leary were dismissed from the faculty for their work with LSD. The two became active advocates of psychedelic drugs and their mind-expanding abilities, but they slowly went their separate ways.

In 1967, Alpert went to India, where he met the man who was to be his mentor, Neem Karoli Baba. Forsaking psychedelics for the more lasting change of consciousness he found in yoga and meditation, Alpert returned to the United States with a new name given to him by Neem Karoli Baba: Ram Dass, or “servant of God.” His followers quickly added the honorific “Baba” to Ram Dass, a title with which he was never fully comfortable, and one which he would abandon entirely in the 1980s.

Ram Dass’ popularity has waxed and waned throughout the years, but the man himself has remained constant. Less militant and flamboyant that his friend Leary, Ram Dass has founded several foundations, most notably the Hanuman Foundation, from which sprang the Living Dying Project, a system of support to allow the terminally ill to experience inner growth through their own death.
Climb to Fame
Metaphysical and spiritual leader; 1960s psychedelic advocate
Work History
(1974) Co-founds of the Seva Foundation, which works with international public health and social justice issues. It is especially well-known for its work with the impoverished blind.

(1974) Founds the Hanuman Foundation, an organization he uses to create the Prison Ashram Project (a project that encourages prisoners to use their confinement to seek enlightenment, in effect using prison as a substitute for a monastic life). The Living Dying Project, whereby the terminally ill can use their dying as a growth and healing process, also has grown out of the Hanuman Foundation.

(1967) Travels to India and meets his spiritual mentor, Neem Karoli Baba. Returns to America and begins to lecture about his experiences.

(1963) With Timothy Leary, dismissed from Harvard for giving LSD to students (was an advocate of the psychedelic drug movement until 1967).

(1958-1963) Professor, Department of Social Relations and the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University.
Affiliations
The Seva Foundation, the Hanuman Foundation, the Prison Ashram Project and the Dying Project.

Counter-cultural guru Ram Dass provides comforting guidance on life’s most perplexing challenges

Renowned counter-cultural guru Ram Dass, formerly known as Richard Alpert, has led the life of a seeker, traveler, and social activist. In addition to inspiring a generation to open its mind to many Eastern religious practices, Ram Dass created the Prison Ashram Project and the Dying Project, which taught terminally ill individuals about other planes of consciousness, and also co-created the Seva Foundation, which collaborates with doctors and activists in India, Nepal, Guatemala and the US.

In Ram Dass: Answering Life’s Questions Ram Dass provides guidance on life’s most perplexing challenges from the perspective of a journeyman who has finally reached his destination.

Ram Dass: Answering Life’s Questions – Watch the Documentary Film for Free | Watch Free Documentaries Online | SnagFilms.

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Excerpt from the Interviews – Science and Nonduality Anthology 3DVD set


Take twenty one of the finest thinkers in the fields of Neuroscience, Quantum Physics, Psychotherapy, Art, Vedanta, Sufism, Judaism, and Buddhism and ask them some of the toughest questions known to humankind and this is what you get…


Excerpt from the Interview with Kabir Helminski, Science and Nonduality Anthology Vol 1, 3 DVD set.


Excerpt from the interview with Vijay Kapoor, Science and Nonduality Anthology Vol 1, 3 DVD set.


Excerpt from the Interview with Olga Louchakova, Science and Nonduality Anthology Vol 1, 3 DVD set.


Excerpt from the Interview with Peter Russell, Science and Nonduality Anthology Vol 1, 3 DVD set


“Has everything in life led us to this point?”
Excerpt from the Interview with John Prendergast, Science and Nonduality Anthology Vol 1, 3 DVDs set.

Marianne Williamson Speaks About Oneness and Humanity’s Team

Marianne Williamson sat down to speak with us about Oneness and Humanity’s Team’s efforts to awaken the world to this message.

THE ART & SCIENCE OF MINDFULNESS PART I & 2- Shauna Shapiro, Ph.D.

The Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating Mindfulness into Psychology and the Helping Professions
by Shauna Shapiro and Linda Carlson

The integration and incorporation of mindfulness training into the mainstream of mental health may well turn out to be one of the most significant developments of the last ten or fifteen years. The literature has expanded exponentially and has moved in quite substantial ways from the use of Buddhist insights and techniques to a regular adjunct of CBT and especially DBT. This new text from Shapiro and Carlson takes us back to the origins of the concept, but also forward to the practical application of mindfulness in clinical settings. It is clearly and happily situated between the scientific paradigm of research evidence (and the authors show this) and the practical world of the individual experience.

The authors try to show the interweaving of Buddhist teachings that emphasize intentionality and focus on the knowable, and the scientific tradition that looks for evidence of efficacy and generalizability rather than particularity. It is clear from the outset that they want to consider what they call both the art and the science of mindfulness.

The authors detail three different ways in which mindfulness can be integrated into psychotherapy and how it can be applied to direct clinical work: the mindful therapist; mindfulness-informed therapy; and mindfulness-based psychotherapy. These different pathways, as the authors term them, show different ways to integration of the basic precepts, and although there is a great deal of overlap, there are also distinct aspects. There may not, as the authors contend, be an awful lot of differences in the outcome, but the ways and directions of the approach bear some unpacking.

The mindful therapist emphasizes the skills of empathy and being present. The notion that these are skills is central for it assumes that techniques can be learnt and polished, that the doing is sometimes a separate question than the valuing. We may all agree that these qualities are good things, but how to show them in practice may be something else all together. The authors argue that mindfulness in the therapist can be taught and people can be trained, and they give a number of useful exercises that could be undertaken as n individual or as a group training program. Even if some of the reminders they scatter through the chapter, such as asking, “What is your intention? Why are you reading this book?”, could be used as handy prompts to even the most experienced therapist. What is your intention? Where is your attention? are questions that never go out of style and never lose their relevance.

Mindfulness-informed therapy is used to capture therapies that use insights from mindfulness and Buddhist teachings, but incorporate them into a more eclectic presentation rather than actually directly teaching meditation or other practices. This may well be the most influential aspect of the concept of mindfulness in current psychotherapy because although for many practitioners and many clients meditation may be difficult to access (both practically and conceptually), the informal practices refer to implementing and applying the ideas to everyday life and developing open, accepting and discerning attention, in a conscious and intentional manner can effect profound and lasting change.

Mindfulness-based psychotherapy is used to describe the explicit, perhaps pure application of principles to the therapeutic context. It is perhaps rarer and may even be, for some, pushing the argument a little too far. However, the explication of the techniques and programmes in the book are informative and thought-provoking.

There is a model of health that underpins the theorizing (as opposed to a model of ill-health). For the authors the intentional development of non-judgmental attention (focussing clearly on what is) leads, almost inevitably if applied clearly and rigorously, to self-awareness and self-regulation and equally inevitably to greater order and health — and all through internal loci of control rather than some external application of expertise. Mindfulness, in this way, is seen to promote self-efficacy alongside wellness.

It is a feature of the book that it reads as well from a therapist’s viewpoint as it does from a self-help position. Although it seems to have been written with practitioners in mind, it could easily be absorbed by anyone looking to understand themselves a little better. For some, it may appear to be too mystical or quasi-religious — there are certainly many references to Buddhist precepts and aphorisms, and there are meditation exercises which are not just thinking exercises — but for most the simple practices of reflection and action upon reflection may have a deep resonance.

It is a book that will appeal on many levels. It is approachable and not hard to digest. The authors should be congratulated for bringing out and explicating some of the most important and perhaps kindest trends in modern psychotherapy for the benefit of us all.
Review by Mark Welch, Ph.D.

Based on Dr. Shapiro’s recent book, The Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating Mindfulness into Psychotherapy and the Helping Professions; this workshop offers scientific research and meditative practices for therapists interested in awakening the mind and opening the heart. Drawing on current research in psychology, medicine, and cognitive neuroscience, we will investigate the effects of mindfulness meditation on decreasing pathology and increasing positive psychological and physiological states. Further, we will explore the mechanisms of action through which mindfulness meditation has its transformative effects.

This workshop will delve into the potential ways of integrating mindfulness and meditation into psychotherapy and the helping professions. Through didactic presentation, meditation practices and small group activities we will explore ways of applying mindfulness personally and professionally to cultivate greater happiness, health and freedom.

Sacred Places of a Lifetime

500 of the World’s Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations
Written by National Geographic

ABOUT THIS BOOK

This inspirational book showcases 500 of the world’s most powerful and spiritual places–and guides modern-day travelers who wish to visit them.

With eloquent text, hundreds of gorgeous full-color images, and practical visitor information, Sacred Places of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations highlights fascinating icons of many religions around the world and offers an intriguing window into the cultures that created them. From prehistoric burial chambers to modern monuments and sanctuaries, each site’s history, lore, and appeal is evocatively detailed.

Nearly 300 locator maps point out pilgrimage routes, temples, mountains, churches, and holy places, including Mont St.-Michel Abbey in France, founded after a reported vision of the Archangel Michael; the White Horse Temple in China, site of the country’s first Buddhist temple, dating from the first century A.D.; Machu Picchu in Peru, whose origins lie in obscurity; and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, said by many to be the holiest city in the world. A follow-up to the bestselling Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips, this beautiful book answers the call of the spiritual traveler while also appealing to the many readers interested in sites of unique cultural heritage.

Meteorite Collision

A simulation of what a meteorite collision might look like. I added a soundtrack rather than have the Japenese, as in the original. The song is “Casino” from the soundtrack to Run Lola Run.

I believe the other versions of this video have been removed, however there were once versions with English and Japanese voice-overs on YouTube.

The Divine Feminine Fire – Creativity and Your Yearning to Express Your Self – by Teri Degler


This book is about the divine feminine energy, found in everyone, and how it gives creative expression to the innermost depth of our being. It is a book about our desire for creative self-expression, which is connected at the most fundamental level to our desire to live our lives to their fullest potential. Throughout its pages, reference is made to various spiritual traditions and women mystics that have viewed the divine feminine as a great creative force in the universe. It brings these long-forgotten—or more often ignored—gems to light and explains this ancient wisdom so everyone can use it.

CONTENTS
PART 1

CHAPTER ONE: The Call of the Creative Spirit
CHAPTER TWO: I Burn, Desiring What the Heart Desires
CHAPTER THREE: The Great Battle Between Yearning and Fear
CHAPTER FOUR: A Supreme, Fiery, and Feminine Force
CHAPTER FIVE: The Never-setting, Splendorous Sun
CHAPTER SIX: The Breath of Wisdom
CHAPTER SEVEN: The Goddess Hidden in the Body
CHAPTER EIGHT: In Body, In Spirit

PART II

CHAPTER NINE: My Lover, My Longing
CHAPTER TEN: A Fish Doesn’t Drown, A Bird Doesn’t Fall
CHAPTER ELEVEN: I Must Sing, Dance, Hear, Tell!
CHAPTER TWELVE: Love Begin the Song, And Let Me Hear How Well You Sing
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Tantra and the Transmutation of Desire
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Shiva, Shakti, and the Balance of Power
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: The Precious Juice of Grace

An award winning writer, Teri is the author/co-author of ten non-fiction books, including The Fiery Muse: Creativity and the Spiritual Quest (Random House of Canada) and one for young adults, The Canadian Junior Green Guide (McClelland & Stewart). Written in conjunction with the highly respected environmental watchdog, Pollution Probe, it became a Canadian best-seller.

After completing two books on the environment, Teri began to focus much of her writing on topics related to creativity and contemporary spirituality, subjects of deep personal interest to her. Teri first began studying yoga in her twenties in Paris with a teacher who had lived in Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram for more than twenty years. Several years later she traveled to India to meet Gopi Krishna – considered by many to be the world’s leading authority on kundalini. Since then she has been a student of the philosophy behind yoga and has been involved in researching the link between creativity, inspiration, and mystical experience. Both her latest book, The Divine Feminine Fire: Creativity and Your Yearning to Express Your Self (Dreamriver Press), and The Fiery Muse deal with this topic; she has also written a number of articles and spoken widely on the subject.

An experienced public speaker, Teri has made many national television and radio appearances. Her freelance writing has appeared in such widely divergent publications in the United States as Family Circle Magazine and New Age Journal. Her books have been published in the United States, Canada, and Germany and have been translated into both German and French.

Her workshops on creative writing and the link between creativity and spirituality have met with great success, and she now divides her time between leading workshops and writing.

An avid traveler, Teri has lived in Austria, Germany, France and on a sailboat in the Bahamas. Teri is an enthusiastic swimmer and competes with a masters synchronized swimming team. She is an active member of PEN Canada, the Writers’ Union of Canada, and the Institute for Consciousness Research, and she was one of the founders of the Kundalini Research Network in the United States.

Originally from Idaho, she has an MA from the University of New Mexico. She now makes her home in Toronto with her husband and teenage daughter.
After completing two books on the environment, Teri began to focus much of her writing on topics related to creativity and contemporary spirituality, subjects of deep personal interest to her. Teri first began studying yoga in her twenties in Paris with a teacher who had lived in Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram for more than twenty years. Several years later she traveled to India to meet Gopi Krishna – considered by many to be the world’s leading authority on kundalini. Since then she has been a student of the philosophy behind yoga and has been involved in researching the link between creativity, inspiration, and mystical experience. Both her latest book, The Divine Feminine Fire: Creativity and Your Yearning to Express Your Self (Dreamriver Press), and The Fiery Muse deal with this topic; she has also written a number of articles and spoken widely on the subject.

How to unleash our divine creative energy? Teri Degler

Cell-Level Healing: The Bridge from Soul to Cell – Joyce Hawkes, Ph.D.

Description

After a shattering near-death experience, Joyce Whiteley Hawkes left her career as a biophysicist and embarked on a study of indigenous healing practices.

Living and working with priests and shamans in the Philippines, South India, and Bali, she explored the previously uncharted territories that divide biology from spirituality — and discovered that emotional, mental, and spiritual feelings can have a profound and positive impact on our bodies at the cellular level.

Cell-Level Healing shows how our thoughts change the functioning of our cells to repair and renew the body. With profound yet simple exercises, this book provides a guide to tap your innate healing abilities by showing that healing is a basic part of human nature.

Filled with thought-provoking stories and photographs, free of jargon, and thoroughly grounded in Dr. Hawkes’s decades of experience in laboratory science and practical, hands-on healing, Cell-Level Healing invites you to explore your intrinsic powers of transformation and regeneration to attain new levels of spiritual and bodily health.

Questions & Answers
with Joyce Hawkes, Ph.D.

The body is sacred, filled with molecules created in the same sacred way as the universe, according to Joyce Whiteley Hawkes, author of Cell-Level Healing: The Bridge from Soul to Cell. A biophysicist for 15 years, she changed careers in 1984 after a near-death experience opened a bridge to accessing a natural state of compassion.

Q. Society often wants a magic pill to cure illness. But when our body heals naturally, it’s often not a quick cure. Our expectations of healing seem accelerated.

A. There are times in the mystery of all this where healing can occur unexpectedly or instantaneously — I’ve seen it happen. But most of the time, however, it is a healing process that runs with the dimension of time within the body. So cells have certain time dimensions in which they work when they are producing hormones, when they’re creating energy for the cells from breaking down glucose, when it’s time for them to divide for renewal within a particular organ.

And yet, consciousness seems to be without time. So on occasions we touch that quantum level, which also is part of the cell itself and things can happen very quickly.

It is an expectation that we’re going to say the right word, think the right thoughts, wave our hands in the right paths, and all of a sudden everything’s fine and we’re completely healed. I’ve seen a few of those, but mostly my experience has been that it’s a disciplined journey where we have to work with the body, with the timing of the body.

One of the things that’s helpful to know is that your body is healing all the time. In every second you breathe, you have 3 million brand new red blood cells, so the body is geared for healing and it’s natural to it. Some of the work is to relax into the natural tendency of the body to right itself, to come back to that harmonious state.

Q. How are blockages created in the body and how are they released?

A. Blockages occur in lots of ways. There could be a blockage that came with you when you were born, some congenital issue. There are blockages that come from large traumas or the small everyday kind of hurts, pains and difficulties that all of us experience as we grow up and go through life. And those seem to have some kind of a cellular or body memory that keeps people locked in a loop.

So clearing those kinds of blockages at whatever large or small level is really important for healing to penetrate deeply so that you’re not trying to reheal the same thing over and over again.

Blockages can cause specific illness or they can be more systemic where stress is created throughout the body rather than one specific location. You’ve got a generalized response that could be stress related or you might have a specific localized response.

I think in our modern culture, probably many of these are non-localized. They’re general throughout the body because of the many biochemical substances our body creates when we’re stressed.

Q. So if you’re under stress and you’re creating chemicals and hormones, what is the body’s natural response?

A. The response is the classic fight or flight. All of a sudden your blood pressure goes up and you are ready to run, or you’re ready to stop and fight. When we pump ourselves with those kinds molecules day after day, it’s exhausting to the body.

It can lower resistance to illness or it can be as simple as being so focused on what the problem is, you miss the traffic light that’s changed and you inadvertently set yourself up for a car to plow into you because you’re in the wrong place in the intersection.

Our bodies are so resilient and redundant in that they’re created as sustaining and healing temples. It’s repeated problems that bring us to the point where the body suddenly breaks down or it seems sudden. And then we’re ill.

Q. You talk about how most people need a downward flow of energy for good health.

A. You open the crown of your head and invite the universal energy to flow down through your body, down your spine, out your arms, across your hips, down the legs and out the feet. The universe is unlimited and abundant so you don’t have to hang on to the energy. You can let it move through your body and out, and in that sense, it flushes out what you no longer need. It keeps a flow of life consciousness, juice energy for you available all the time.

Simply imagine the spirals of universal energy. Take a deep breath and invite in spirals of universal energy. Imagine it flowing through the whole body and that the body is just soaking it up and embracing it. With the in-breath, invite in the spiral and with the out-breath, sink into your body and into that place. Or take three or four breaths that are focused simply on bringing in the energy.

Q. It’s funny how spiritualism can be very head oriented. Surrendering to the body and tapping into your inner healer is a challenge.

A. The inner healer is not accessed by cranking through the gears of the mind. The inner healer arises somewhere else. It feels like it rises out of the mystery. It feels like it’s deep in the body, somewhere between my heart and my solar plexus. It’s as if the thoughts actually block being closer to it.

Q. Cell-Level Healing shares many tools for healing diseases. Can you recommend a practice for increasing energy and vitality during life’s daily stress?

A. I meditate on the four functions of each cell. First you focus on the information in the cell and ask that all information be encoded correctly. Second is communication between cells, which is crucial to our good health that communication move smoothly.

Third is the power pack of the cell, which creates all of the energy that keeps us alive. Without it, we’re gone. And that’s one of the places that stress hits us the most. It’s in the organelle called the mitochondria. So to work with energy flowing deep inside each cell to these power houses, that they may be working smoothly without damage, is incredibly important. Fourth is the action part of cell where proteins are made for the structure of the cell, for all the enzymes of the cell – focus on that aspect of our cell function not being blocked and moving smoothly.

The biochemistry of stress blocks many of the normal, healthy functions of repair in the cell. We want to clear out whatever those molecules of stress are so that the body can function completely healthy with these four main functions.

Q. You had your brainwaves mapped by neurological researchers. What did they find?

A. They found my brain works weirdly. Most of us run beta waves just walking around – that’s our thinking mind. When we’re peaceful and happy, and we see something beautiful, we run alpha waves. Delta waves occur in the brain of people in deep states of sleep – they’re not usually found in a waking state. My brain runs beta, so it’s alert and aware and thinking, and delta in a waking state at the same time.

That has been found to be the case in Tibetan monks who have meditated 50,000 hours or more. It seems to be a product of compassion meditation. And I live in that state – it’s not just when I’m doing healing work or meditating, but I walk around like that now.

What I experience in myself is a sense of well being and listening. It’s as if my alert mind is listening for guidance or aware of the larger reality all the time. And it’s been consistent – I was tested in 2002, 2005 and 2006 so it’s not an anomaly.

Q. What is your daily meditation practice?

A. I meditate for half-hour to an hour in the morning, and on and off throughout the day. I stop for a minute and I’m so grateful for my life and what I get to do. Then I stop to simply make a connection and allow energy to flow through my body. When I’m working with people, I’m in a constant state of experience of that flow.

We all sit down to have a cup of tea or coffee. In those moments can be a moment of mediation, appreciation and blessings.

Q. If the body could give us a message, what would it be?

A. I have a sacred gift from the creator of the universe. I bring the resources of consciousness to you. You can trust me. I am a natural healer.


Joyce Hawkes, Ph.D.
Joyce Hawkes is a biophysicist and cell-biologist by training. She completed her doctorate in Biophysics at The Pennsylvania State University, and was a postdoctoral Fellow with the National Institutes of Health before settling in Seattle to work in research for the National Marine Fisheries Reseach Center, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. While there, she was honored with a National Achievement Award for her work.

She is currently a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Over the course of 15 years, she has earned an international reputation for her scientific contributions in the field of ultra high-speed laser effects on cells, and the effects of environmental pollutants on cells. She has published 36 peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Following a near-death experience in 1984, Joyce changed careers and embarked on extensive exploration of indigenous spiritual and healing traditions, which she incorporated in her first book: Cell-Level Healing: The Bridge from Soul to Cell. Dr. Hawkes is the founder of Healing Arts Associates and maintains a private practice at her office in Seattle. She keeps a busy schedule of teaching and conference presentations in the Seattle area, across the the US and abroad.

Joyce’s fascinating science, stories and rapport with audiences has made her a popular radio and television guest. She has been a featured guest of Art Bell on Coast to Coast Radio and George Noory. Joyce was featured on a national TV special with Diane Sawyer (seen on Turning Point and on Good Morning America), She was also filmed in Japan in 2005 for a documentary. Her brain wave patterns were tested with EEG recordings during meditation (see image upper right) and while doing healing work (lower right) The results were quite unusual, according to Dr. Akio Mori, of Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan. “I’ve never seen anyone with as highly focused brain patterns as Dr. Hawkes,” he said.

The Biology of Intuition with author Joyce Whitely Hawkes, Ph.D. A scientist turned healer Joyce reveals the tremendous power being generated by the body at the cellular level and offers insight into the nature of intuition, healing, and protection in the human experience. Joyce is the author of Cell-Level Healing: The Bridge from Soul to Cell.

The Quantum Activist : Amit Goswami – Movie Trailer (2) HD


Quantum physics in the form of its famous observer effect (how an observation transforms quantum possibilities into actual experiences in the observer’s consciousness) is forcing us into a paradigm shift away from the primacy-of-matter to a new paradigm: the Primacy of Consciousness. Quantum Activism is the idea of changing ourselves and our societies in accordance with the transformative and revolutionary message of quantum physics. This change is taking its cue from the emergence of a new paradigm within science; the paradigm of a consciousness based reality as articulated by Quantum Physics.

So what are the transformative messages of quantum physics? First, consciousness is the ground of all being, and all objects of our experience (sensing, thinking, feeling, and intuition) are quantum possibilities for consciousness to choose from.

Second, if we choose from what is known, that is to say, what is conditioned in us from prior experiences, we are choosing from our ego-consciousness. But if we choose what is unknown, what is unmanifest in our prior experiences, we are choosing from what spiritual traditions call God-consciousness (in scientific language we call it quantum consciousness). Choosing from God-consciousness requires quantum leaps (movement from point A to point B without going through intermediate steps), nonlocality (signalless communication), and tangled hierarchy (causal relationships of circularity)

The third message of quantum physics is the evolution of consciousness, and it is taking us toward a greater and greater capacity for processing the meaning of our lives and the world around us. The immediate future of evolution is promising to take us from our current preoccupation with the rational mind to an intuitive mind that values the archetypes; such as Good, Beauty, Truth, Justice, and Love, and gives us the ability to process the meaning of our lives through these archetypes.

So the goal of the quantum activist is to explore quantum possibilities and manifest these archetypes—Good, Beauty, Truth, Justice, and Love—in his or her life as intimately and as expressly as one can, and in doing so to help transform the world. The means a quantum activist uses to achieve this goal are threefold—right thinking, right living, and right livelihood.

Right thinking consists of understanding the paradigm shift from a user’s point of view and helping others in our environment to do so. Right living consists of walking the talk, manifesting our understanding in how we live, and becoming guiding examples for the inspiration of others. As such it takes a lot of quantum leaps, openness to being in the nonlocality of God consciousness which informs the doing of the ego’s day to day activities;, and the desire to change hierarchical relationships into tangled ones. Right livelihood consists of earning our living in a way that is congruent with our modes of thinking and living and helping our entire society to achieve this congruence.

It is exciting you say, but is that enough to motivate me? I will tell you my fundamental understanding: if you are reading this column you are already motivated. You know what? Consciousness is already pressuring you to join its evolutionary movement.

So what do we do now? We become Quantum Activists of course!

Be prepared to take a discontinuous leap. There is a revolution going on in science. A genuine paradigm shift. While mainstream science remains materialist, a substantial number of scientists are supporting and developing a paradigm based on the primacy of consciousness. Amit Goswami, a pioneer of this revolutionary new perspective within science, shares with us his vision of the unlimited potential of consciousness as the ground of all being, and how this revelation can actually help us to live better.

Recognized as one of the worlds most brilliant minds, Amit has recently appeared in the movies “What the Bleep Do We Know?”,”The Dalai Lama Renaissance” and authored over a dozen books from textbooks on quantum mechanics to consciousness and the New Science. We trace Goswami from his early years in India… away from the religious teachings of his childhood to seek his path in nuclear physics; and how he has come full circle through quantum insight back to the very religious axioms offered as a youth.

With daring style, the Quantum Activist presents the wisdom and humor of one of our worlds truly influential thinkers… and tells of Amit’s journey, his message, and his insight on what this means to you.

Awakening the Global Mind : A New Philosophy for Healing Ourselves and Our World- Ashok Gangadean

Ashok Gangadean is professor and chairman of philosophy at Haverford College where he has pioneered global philosophy for 40 years. He is founder and director of the Global Dialogue Institute which introduces the technology of deep dialogue for people seeking to communicate across diverse perspectives and between different worldviews. He is also cofounder of the World Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality which brings eminent global visionaries together to facilitate the great planetary awakening.

On six CDs, in seven and one-quarter hours, Gangadean presents his vision of a new global wisdom and a primal holistic field he calls “Logos.” This Sounds True Audio Learning Course is divided into the following sessions:

• An Ultimate Mystery Story: The Quest for Global Wisdom
• We Are as We Mind: The Supreme Technology of Consciousness
• Egomentalism: The Deeper Source of Human, Personal, and Cultural Pathologies
• A Clash of Worlds: The Source of Deep Dualism, Polarization, and Chronic Fragmentation
• Deep Dialogue: The Dimensional Crossing into the Logosphere
• Awakening Global Consciousness: Personal and Cultural Healing

In a world where walls of separation are breaking down and people are feeling more connected with other cultures, the quest for global wisdom is a positive thing. Gangadean challenges us to move beyond what he calls “egomentalism” which leads to divisiveness and dualism. Instead we can move toward the integral space of Logos which awakens the global mind. In this realm, we reap the benefits of the mystery of unity-in-diversity and learn the blessings of deep dialogue, spirituality, and mutual compassion.

Ashok K. Gangadean, Ph.D. is Professor of Philosophy at Haverford College (Haverford, Pennsylvania, USA) where he has taught for the past thirty-six years. He was the first Director of the Margaret Gest Center for the Cross-Cultural Study of Religion at Haverford, and has participated in numerous professional conferences on inter-religious dialogue and East-West comparative philosophy.

His primary concern throughout his career has been to clarify the universal logos or common ground at the heart of human reason and rational life. He is Founder-Director of the Global Dialogue Institute which seeks to embody the dialogical powers of global reason in all aspects of cultural life. His book, Meditative Reason: Toward Universal Grammar attempts to open the way to global reason, and a companion volume, Between Worlds: The Emergence of Global Reason explores the dialogical common ground between diverse worlds. His forthcoming book The Awakening of the Global Mind further develops these themes for the general reader.

Ashok has focused over the past thirty-five years on tapping and clarifying the deeper common ground between diverse cultural, religious, and ideological worlds. In his many published essays and public lectures he has attempted to demonstrate that human reason is essentially global, dialogical, holistic, and intercultural. In his books he has attempted to demonstrate that there is a fundamental Logos or Universal Grammar underlying all cultures, religions, philosophies, and ideologies. This discovery and clarification of the fundamental Logos in human cultures, experience and life has important implications for effectively addressing the most pressing practical problems humans face today.

His Global Dialogue Institute has developed a powerful “Whole Child Education” Pilot Project that has been supported by UNICEF and the Ministry of Education in Indonesia. This integral approach to education and teacher training uses the power of Deep Dialogue to renovate the teaching and learning ecology of education.

While his earlier books attempt to demonstrate that human reason is essentially grounded in the fundamental Logos that is the common ground between diverse worlds, the Awakening attempts to communicate these findings to everyday people who have no background in philosophy and who urgently need to understand and cope with the profound changes we now face in the globalization of our cultures.

He is Co-Convenor of the recently formed World Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality which brings eminent world leaders together in sustained deep dialogue to cultivate global vision and wisdom for the new millennium. This high level Commission has been supported generously by the Breuninger Foundation and has held annual retreats in the past three years at their Wasan Island Retreat.

Ashok has appeared on NBC News (Philadelphia), in interviews for CNN Headline News (Comcast Newsmakers) in the Philadelphia Region, and appeared last year in the national television series Thinking Allowed with Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove. These two interviews on his forthcoming book The Awakening of the Global Mind continue to air in repeating cycles on the national scene.

More recently he was featured in the forthcoming series A Parliament of Minds, produced by Michael Tobias and Patrick Fitzgerald. This series arose from the World Congress of Philosophy in Boston (August 1998) at which Ashok helped convene and inaugurate the newly formed World Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality.

He appears in a half-hour interview on his work and participated in a one-hour dialogue with Karan Singh, Robert Muller and Ewert Cousins. He has also agreed to host a forthcoming television series on “Patterns of the Universe: Bridging Science and Spirituality”, produced by Connecting Links Productions. Ashok became the host of Philly Live: Your International Connection on WYBE TV Public Television (Philadelphia, Ch 35) every Monday night. This live television show seeks to cultivate global dialogue on vital issues of international interest. After four seasons he commenced his new Global Lens show on WYBE in the Fall of 2004.

Ashok recently formed his ((Awakening)) Productions to begin work on producing a six-part series for television on the narrative of his forthcoming book The Awakening of the Global Mind. Also, his book Meditations on Global First Philosophy: Quest for the Missing Grammar of Logos has just been accepted for publication by SUNY Press and will appear in late 2008.

Our World Needs Saints – by Rut Bjõrkman

Raised in a pious Baptist family in Sweden, Rut Bjõrkman praised the mystics in all religions and was an early leader of European ecumenism. Here she writes about the “overriding importance” of those who must eventually become “the Human Norm” — the saints.

Anyone who has attained spiritual consciousness is liberated from the constrictions of our present false existence and participates in the energies and insights of that dimension from which all life derives. He is on the other side of the curtain that still separates us from real life. He has been born again and can see God. That entails being able to perceive the Creator’s presence in everything created.

The human being involved has entered upon oneness of Being, experiencing a vital exchange with all of His manifestations. He experiences both the world and himself from within, and is conscious of his identity with the power that is all in all. He is at peace, redeemed from the unrest of a constant striving for expansion and enrichment of his transient false existence. He has bound the centre out of which he can live and in which he rests, earning only to live in awareness of this power so that he may be illumined by its light and filled with its wisdom, radiating out into the world and thereby fulfilling his creatively purpose.

We call such people saints, mystics, and enlightened ones, knowing that they are of overriding importance for humanity as source of the world’s salvation in accordance with their degree of oneness with what is holy within themselves. Just a few beings who have -— like the Buddha and Jesus of Nazareth — achieved rebirth are sufficient for the upholding across the centuries of hope of man’s redemption from unawareness of what is holy within himself.

These beings’ power to point the way towards the truth of human existence cannot be destroyed or annulled by anything. The redeeming power of the saints cannot even be diminished by the distortions of their teachings, disseminated by men who, ignorant of the mystery of such God-filled existence, found religious institutions and lay claim to power over their fellows. The saints remain the light of the world and the way to the very Source of life for all who awaken to recognition of their union with God, comprehending that they provide an example for us, calling upon us across time to follow them in returning to our lives’ spiritual reality so that we too enter upon. a state of wholeness.

These saints, who have become one with their truth of the Creator Spirit, have been relieved of the transience of time, and that is why their impact extends across the ages. They have discovered eternal life within themselves and draw upon this, and that is why they are bearers of this eternal life, capable of initiating us into it so that we submit to the energies emanating from their living souls.

Loving devotion to the great saints, study of their lives, and subjection of oneself to their constant radiance are the precondition for the awakening of such powers in ourselves. ‘Whosoever loves the saints is brought to holiness by them, and whosoever feels attracted by them already has a living soul since access to the souls of saints is only possible by way of the soul. The saint is not comprehensible to someone who is not yet spiritually awakened. He is viewed as being unworldly and as a person who has not found his way in this world.

And yet the saint is the human being whose existence is closest to the reality of life which is, after all, only to be found in the power of God. Full human development can only get under way after incorporation of this power in our lives. If we fail to do that, we remain stuck in our willful, transient, and false existence, unavoidably harming the entire world. It is only when the saints, when whole men, appear that the hope of redemption from our present state of pseudo-humanity shines forth, which is why we must view the saints as the most necessary of human beings with regard to the salvation of our world.

It is the unholy man, persisting in his willfulness and stubbornness, whom we should view as unworldly and ill-adapted to his creaturely task, as a being we must vanquish if our world is not to be destroyed by him. Our world needs the saint, it needs human beings who submit to God, since only through them can those powers which lead to implementation of God’s Kingdom in this world be released.

`For this is the will of God, even. your sanctification’. ‘Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God. am holy’. ‘Be ye therefore perfect as your Father which. is in heaven is perfect’. These demands make clear that man’s sole task is to become whole within himself, which means that he must seek union with what is holy within himself, striving above all else to become one with his spiritual reality of the Kingdom of Heaven within himself. Only then can full human development as the Creator intended get under way, since what can complete man’s creation except for God’s power from which man derives?

The Necessity and Greatness of the Guru by Abhishiktananda

The French Benedictine monk Henry LeSoux wrote magnificently about the darshan he received from the great Advaitic Sages Ramana Maharshi and Gnanananda. Although he took a traditional Hindu name (Abhishiktananda), LeSoux’s residual commitment to Christianity kept him struggling to reconcile East and West in his own heart and mind. In this excerpt from his extraordinary book “Guru and Disciple”, LeSoux/Abhishiktananda argues that the the deepest link between all religions is their common recognition of the irreducible necessity of the Sat-Guru.

Beyond the experience of things and places, of watching or participating in rites, of reading or meditating on the scriptures, or of attending lectures, there is the experience of meeting with men in whose hearts the Invisible has revealed himself and through whom his light shines in perfect purity-the mystery of the guru.
The ancient title guru is alas, too often sullied by being used lightly, if not sacriligiously. No one should use this word, let alone dare to call someone his guru, if he does not himself have the heart and soul of a disciple.

In fact it is as unusual to meet a real disciple as it is to meet a real guru. The Hindu tradition is right to say that when the disciple is ready, the guru will automatically appear: only those who are not yet worthy spend their time running after gurus.

The guru and the disciple form a couple, a pair of which the two elements attract one another and adhere to one another. As with the two poles they exist only in relationship to one another . . . A pair on the road to unity . . . A non-dual reciprocity in the final realization. . . .

The guru is most certainly not some master or professor, preacher, or spiritual guide, or director of souls who has learned from books or from other men what he, in his turn, is passing on to others. The guru is one who has himself first attained the Real and who knows from personal experience the way that leads there; he is capable of initiating the disciple and of making well up from within the heart of his disciple, the immediate ineffable experience, which is his own-the utterly transparent knowledge, so limpid and pure, that quite simply ‘he is’.

It is not in fact true that the mystery of the guru is the mystery of the depth of the heart? Is not the experience of being face to face with the guru, that of being face to face with ‘oneself’ in the most secret corner, with all pretence gone?

The meeting with the guru is the essential meeting, the decisive turning point in the life of a man. But it is a meeting that can only take place when one has gone beyond, in the fine point of the soul as the mystics say.

Human encounters do not exclude duality. In the deepest of them one can say there is a fusion and the two become one in love and desire, but in the meeting of the guru and disciple there is no longer even fusion, for we are on the plane of the original non-duality. Advaita remains for ever incomprehensible to him who has not first lived it existentially in his meeting with the guru.

What the guru says springs from the very heart of the disciple. It is not that another person is speaking to him. It is not a question of receiving from outside oneself new thoughts which are transmitted through the senses. When the vibrations of the master’s voice reach the disciple’s ear and the master’s eyes look deep into his then from the very depths of his being, from the newly discovered cave of his heart, thoughts well up which reveal him to himself.

What does it matter what words the guru uses? Their whole power lies in the listener’s response to them. Seeing or listening to the guru the disciple comes face to face with his true self in the depth of his being, an experience every man longs for, even if unconsciously.

When all is said and done, the true guru is he who, without the help of words, can enable the attentive soul to hear the “Thou art that”, Tat-tvam-asi of the Vedic rishis; and this true guru will appear in some outward form or other at the very moment when help is needed to leap over the final barrier. In this sense Arunachala was Ramana’s guru.

The only way of authentic spiritual communication is atmabhasha, the inner communication, the language of the atman spoken in the silence from which sprang the Word and audible in that silence alone.

Suddenly Vanya stopped in the midst of his story and, his heart filled with sadness, continued, ‘Do you now see why the word of Western preachers so seldom penetrates the Hindu soul? Yet the Christ whom they proclaim is the guru par excellence. His voice resounds throughout the world for those who have ears to hear and, more important still, he reveals himself in the secret cave of the heart of man! But when will their words and life witness convincingly to the fact that not only have they heard tell of that supreme guru but have themselves met him in the deepest depths of their souls?’

After a moment he said, ‘Such a meeting in depth is generally called darshana.’

Darshana is, etymologically speaking, vision. It is the coming face to face with the Real in a way that is possible to us in spite of our human frailty. There are philosophical darshana, the systems of the Thinkers which aim at making contact with the Real in the form of ideas. There is also the darshana of the sacred places or kshetra (4), of the Temples, and of holy images or murti, where the divinity who transcends all forms is willing to don the numerous forms invented by man’s imagination when set of fire by faith. Above all there is the darshana of holy men, the most meaningful of all for the man who is on the right wave length. The darshana of the guru is the last step on the path to the ultimate darshana, when the final veil is lifted and all duality transcended.

This is the absolute darshana, the one that India has sought since the beginning of time. Here India shows you her secret and, ‘revealing herself to you, reveals you to yourself in the most intimate depths of your being’.

The rishis of the Upanishads had already sung of the mystery of the guru:

Without learning it from another how could one
know that?
But to hear it from just any man is not sufficient,
Even should he repeat it a hundred or a thousand
times . . .
More subtle than the most subtle is that:
out of reach of all discussion . . .
Neither through reasoning, nor through the idea,
nor even through the simple recitation of the
Vedas, can one know it . . .
Worthy of admiration is he who speaks it,
Worthy of admiration is he who hears it,
Worthy of admiration is he who knows it having
been well taught.
(Katha Upanishad, 2)
The Brahmin who has investigated the riddle of the
worlds
Where Law and Rite hold sway,
loses all desire . . .
Nothing transient can lead to the intransient . . .
Renouncing the world and full of faith
he sets out in search of the master
who will reveal to him the secret of Brahman.
With thoughts controlled and his heart at peace
he receives the ultimate wisdom,
which reveals to him the True and Imperishable,
the Man (purusha) within!
(Mundaka Upanishad, 1-2)

Narada came and stood before Sanatkumara and said, ‘Master, teach me’.
‘First tell me what you know; then I shall know what to add.’
‘I know the Vedas, the Puranas and all the sciences. I have mastered the mantras, I am mantravid, but I am not atmavid, I do not know the atman, I do not know myself. Master I have heard tell that those who knew themselves were freed from suffering. I suffer and am restless; help me to pass beyond suffering.’
‘All that you have learned so far is but words.’
And Sanatkumara led Narada to know the secret of the self,
that infinite Fulness which exists only in the self, and is itself present everywhere, on all sides.
He enabled him to know the other side, that lies beyond the darkness.
(Chandogya Upanishad 7, I & 24ff)

All that I know I have imparted to you,
there is nothing more beyond!
-Thanks be to you, Pippalada, thanks be to you!
You truly are our father.
You have enabled us to reach the other side,
beyond ignorance!

(Prasna Upanishad 6)*
* NOTE: The quotations from the Upanishads found in this book are free ones and are not intended to be literally exact.
1 mantravid (knowledgeable of words, sayings, formulae or science)
2 mantravid: ?vid mfn. knowing sacred t?text G?S´rS. … the bounds or limits of morality and propriety, rule or custom, distinct law or definition Mn. MBh. …
3 atmavid’ (the knower of the Self puts an end to the sorrow)
4 Kshetra [kshetra]: temple; in Yoga, field of the body

2013: Raising the Earth to the Next Vibration – Richard Grossinger


For the Earth to move to the next vibration, says Richard Grossinger, consciousness must change in profound ways, and these involve core elements of humanity: evil, grief, bliss, and compassion. “2013 “locates these elements in often unlikely places and seeks their nature and capacity for change. With playfulness and precision, “2013 “tackles the questions of creation and existence in their twenty-first-century incarnation.

In these intellectual field notes, the author’s absorbing style combines memoir with scientific deconstruction, metaphysical ontology, and experimental prose that recalls the Black Mountain school to draw transcendental insight from the ephemeral space-time we call daily life. Moving with equal ease between matters cosmic and earthly, Grossinger details existence as an exhilarating adventure always pushing us toward a higher state in this wide-ranging, humorous, and heartfelt book. Including an informal course in psychic development, “2013 “sheds light on the ephemera of planets and iPods, politics and Zen, Buddy Holly and road trips in its study of the elements of psychic development that could transform humankind and the Earth.

Author Biography:
Richard Grossinger is the author of more than two dozen books, including On the Integration of Nature, The Bardo of Waking Life, The Night Sky, Planet Medicine, Out of Babylon, Book of the Earth and Sky, and Mars: A Science Fiction Vision. The publisher of North Atlantic Books, he lives in Berkeley, CA.

Reviews/Endorsements:
“Richard Grossinger is one of the most original spiritual writers of our time. Gifted with an extraordinary range of knowledge, a passionately idiosyncratic mind, and a style whose electric elegance married with profound wisdom challenges all of us to go deeper into the adventure of transformation that our time is demanding. This book will open up the essential questions of the Earth to all those who are lucky enough to read it and will raise the level of conversation about them to a new height of complexity, passion, and action. All of Richard’s work is fascinating and inspired; but this book is his most important yet. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism and The Way of Passion: A Celebration of Rumi

“Deep within everyone lies a longing for a handbook of the future, an internal wisdom that helps us navigate the ever-expanding unknown. If read carefully and contemplatively, this astounding document will facilitate your joyfully expanding into the future rather than fearfully contracting away from it. The World-Spirit is grateful.”
Robert Sardello, author of Love and the Soul: Creating a Future for Earth

“I think 2013 is fantastic. These adjectives and phrases came to my mind: brilliant, intimate, humorous, erudite, sophisticated. Grossinger has a great synthetic mind and is a master of poetic prose and imaginative, free-ranging scholarship.”
Michael J. Harner, author of The Way of the Shaman

“In 2013, Grossinger illuminates the real-life experience and implications of the techniques and systems he studies; and even more importantly, he models, with kindness and generosity, how to engage life maturely and fearlessly. Mixing honesty, self-reflection, fascination, and openness to adventure, he meets life in a way that can give each of us everything to look forward to now, in 2012, and beyond.”
John Friedlander, author of Basic Psychic Development: A User’s Guide to Auras, Chakras, & Clairvoyance

“The latest addition to Grossinger’s unique genre, the ‘poetic textbook,’ inspires us to view the panorama of our times inside the details of our lives and the healing story within the history: outrageously vast yet grounded and humane.”
Frederick Baker, coauthor of Conscious Conception: Elemental Journey Through the Labyrinth of Sexuality

“In 2013, Richard Grossinger delivers a deep and complex, endlessly ranging examination of where we are now, displaying many moods, delving into many worlds. It may seem at odds with the zeitgeist and therefore be imperfectly noticed by those demanding something they can text to their brains, ‘Get to the point, will you?’ But this brilliant and luminous book echoes the play of all of our minds and is to be treasured.”
Michael Brownstein, author of World on Fire

CONTENTS
1. Ground Rules of Creation
2. Provinces, Precincts, and Trails
3. The Planes of Consciousness
4. Opening a Portal
5. Epilogue: The Chalice and the Interdimensional Light

THE DICE GAME OF SHIVA: How Consciousness Creates the Universe

The Dice Game of Shiva: An Interview with Richard Smoley
by New World LIbrary

The Dice Game of Shiva—that’s an intriguing title for a book. What does it mean?

It refers to a Hindu myth in which the god Shiva plays a game of dice—essentially a kind of strip Parcheesi—with his consort, Parvati. The strange thing is that Shiva always loses. He loses everything to Parvati, even his clothing, but it doesn’t make any difference to him. He goes off to the forest and lives as a hermit. Eventually Parvati comes in search of him, and they’re reunited in the end.

That’s a strange story. What’s it about?

It’s about one of the central issues that has always perplexed philosophers—the nature of consciousness. Shiva represents consciousness—and in the book I define consciousness as the capacity to relate self and other.

And Parvati? What does she represent?

What consciousness experiences—the totality of the world, inner and outer.

This is getting kind of abstract. Why should I care about this kind of thing?

Because it’s something that you’re doing every second of your life. At the core of your being there is something that experiences, something that sees. It doesn’t do anything else; it just witnesses. It has no properties, no characteristics other than this. This is what the mystical traditions call the true Self, the “I,” Christ consciousness, the Atman. This is who you really are.

But we forget this. We think we are what we see. We become what we behold. And I’m not just talking about the physical world. You also experience your thoughts and your emotions, and you mistakenly believe that you are those things. That’s what the mystics call maya, illusion.

Parvati symbolizes all of your experience, and Parvati always “wins” the game. Why? Because consciousness in its pure form has no attributes, no qualities; it just sees. Everything you see, inner and outer, belongs to Parvati, so to speak. So Shiva always loses the game, and Parvati always wins. But it doesn’t matter to Shiva. In reality he loses nothing.

But how can I not be my thoughts, my feelings, and so on? Those are what I am.

No, they’re not! You can step back and see them; you can watch them like a film passing before your eyes. That’s the purpose of many—maybe most—meditation practices. They’re meant to show you that there’s something behind all the junk that passes through your mind, and that that something is what you really are.

So then everything in the world is just kind of a film that I’m watching?

You and everybody else. In each of us there is this true Self, which witnesses. It exists in animals, plants, even in inanimate matter.

How is that?

Well, I said that consciousness is the capacity to relate self and other. For anything to exist at all, it must have some amount of this capacity, however small. Even a hydrogen atom must somehow be able to “recognize” an oxygen atom if it is to bond with it to form water. This is not consciousness as we know it in ourselves, but still it’s consciousness of a kind.

Where is God in all this?

God is, I would say, the ineffable source out of which this primordial distinction of self and other arise. So in one sense God is yourself. Isn’t that what all the mystical traditions are saying? Jesus, in the Gospel of John, alludes to this when he says, “I and the Father are one.” Most Christians misunderstand this. They think that Jesus is talking about himself. But really this “I,” this capacity to say “I am,” is, so to speak, the point where we connect with God. Haven’t we heard any number of times that one of the most sacred and profound names of God is “I am”?

So why should I pray to God?

Well, I said that God is the source both of self and other. So we can experience God as other also. Some theologians take this to the point of saying that God is “wholly other,” but I would say that that’s just half of the picture. When you feel God as other, then you pray to God. When you rest in stillness in the center of your being, you feel God as Self. We can experience it sometimes one way, sometimes another.

Are you saying that Hinduism is the true religion?

I’m saying that at their core all religions are saying these things. In my previous book Inner Christianity, I explored these ideas in the language of mystical Christianity. For the purposes of this book, I found it more helpful to use some terms and concepts from Eastern religions.

So why isn’t all this a matter of common knowledge?

Religions talk about this in mythic terms, because if you talk about it discursively, the way we’re doing here, it can be hard to wrap your mind around. Besides, there are certain dangers in this knowledge.

What are these dangers?

If all this hits your mind in the wrong way, you can come away with the idea that your personal ego, your little self, is God. This happens sometimes, not only in people who are certifiably insane, but in certain gurus who have enough charisma to collect some followers. The gurus are right in a sense—their “I” is God—but that’s true of everyone and everything, not just the guru, however advanced he may seem.

On the other hand, there are also dangers in forgetting these truths, in failing to realize that God is not only in you, but that which says “I” in you. If you don’t remember this fact, you’re cut off from the center of your own being. People in this situation—and I would say that this is true of most of us most of the time—are weak and susceptible. They, or we, are prone to the mass hypnosis of ordinary life, in which we place our trust in money, in things, in leaders good and bad. This trust will inevitably be disappointed sooner or later. As the Bible says, “Put not your trust in princes.”

What’s the way out?

Well, the first step is awakening. Simply becoming aware of this Self in you, this “I” that witnesses. It doesn’t require great mystical powers. Deep down, we all know that there is something that says “I” in us. And that this something lies deeper than our ego with its desires and anxieties and agendas.

Some philosophers say that simply becoming aware of this fact is enough, and at times that’s true. But for most of us need something more, and I would say that a good meditation practice would be a helpful way of probing deeper into these truths. And there is also prayer in the more familiar sense, in which we approach God as other.

Of course there’s more to the situation than this. There are questions of cosmic justice, of science versus spirituality, and there’s also the most perplexing issue of all—causality—the issue of what causes what, which has perplexed philosophers more than practically any other problem they’ve had to face. In my book I go into these issues at much greater length. But recognizing the truths I’ve sketched out here is, I’m convinced, already a big step.

CONTENTS

1. The Light that governs the Universe

2. The Games of Consciousness

3. The Persistence of Dualism

4. The Problem of Causation

5. The Chain of Associations

6. A Just Universe?

7. The Dimensions of Faith

8. The Conscious Civilization

Richard Smoley is one of the world’s most distinguished authorities on the mystical and esoteric teachings of Western civilization.

Educated at Harvard and Oxford universities, he worked at a wide range of journalistic positions before becoming editor of Gnosis, the award-winning journal of the Western spiritual traditions, in 1990, a position he held up to 1999. He is the coauthor (with Jay Kinney) of Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions, and of Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition (Shambhala, 2002).

Richard’s latest book, The Dice Game of Shiva: How Consciousness Creates the Universe, was published in November 2009 by New World Library.

His previous work, Conscious Love: Insights from Mystical Christianity, was published in April 2008 by Jossey-Bass.

In April 2007, Harper San Francisco (newly rebaptized as Harper One) released the paperback edition of Richard’s Forbidden Faith: The Secret History of Gnosticism This is an accessible and engaging history of the secret currents of Western civilization–including Gnosticism, Manichaeism, Catharism, the Rosicrucian legacy, Freemasonry, Theosophy, and much more. It also explores how these currents have shaped modern trends and thinkers ranging from William Blake to C.G. Jung, and, in more recent times, Philip K. Dick, Harold Bloom, and A Course in Miracles.

In January 2006, Tarcher/​Penguin published The Essential Nostradamus, Richard’s guide to this fascinating but elusive prophet. The Essential Nostradamus contains fresh and accurate new translations of Nostradamus’s key prophecies, as well as an evaluation of his work–and of prophecy in general.

In June 2006, Quest Books published a new edition of Hidden Wisdom, containing a new foreword discussing the Western esoteric traditions in the light of current events, and containing valuable updates on these traditions.

Richard has also written a novel entitled The Gospel of Matthias, which tells the story of Christ in the context of esoteric Christianity.

Currently Richard is editor of Quest; Journal of the Theosophical Society in America. He is also editor of Quest Books, a publisher of books on spirituality and esotericism, operated by the Theosophical Society.

Morning Meditation Part One & Two – Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra discusses spirituality and leads a morning meditation at The Human Forum Conference. Puerto Rico 2006. Check out http://www.anhglobal.org for

Morning Meditation Part Two

The Real Jesus: Myth #7 (9 & 10 of 10)

Myth #7: Jesus never really rose from the dead
John Dominic Crossan: “Was Jesus even buried at all? … I feel terribly sympathetic toward the followers of Jesus because I hear hope there and not history.”

In his book, The Historical Jesus, John Dominic Crossan is clear about the agenda behind his attack on the truth of the resurrection. Remember that in Crossan’s mind, the resurrection is not plausible and the Gospel accounts are not reliable. Therefore, he uses historical reconstructions based upon what he believes might have happened. Again, there are no written historical records to back up his claims. Instead, he writes:

“If you cannot believe in something produced by reconstruction, you may have nothing left to believe in” (John Dominic Crossan, The Historical Jesus, p. 426).

Crossan’s attack on the truth of the resurrection, in the big picture, is really an attack on the nature of truth itself. According to Crossan, truth fluctuates from generation to generation. He writes:

“It is not … that we find once and for all who the historical Jesus was way back then. It is that each generation and century must redo that historical work and establish its best reconstruction … it is that Jesus reconstructed in the dialogues, debates, controversies, and the conclusions of contemporary scholarship that challenges faith to see and say how that is for now the Christ, the Lord, the Son of God” (John Dominic Crossan, The Historical Jesus, p. 217).

In Crossan’s reconstructed version of the story, Jesus’ death was accidental — the type of execution that the oppressive and arbitrary justice of the Romans might carry out on any given day. In the days following the crucifixion, one or more of the Apostles may have invented a story about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead in order to give themselves some credibility. And then some followers of the Apostles, who just happened to be scribes, may have recorded the event as though it were history — another unfortunate accident — according to Crossan.

But Crossan fails to answer some obvious questions: If the resurrection were a hoax, why would there be a Christian movement in the years after Jesus’ death? If Christ’s death were an accident, why would there even be a scribe who would want to record a distorted record of Jesus’ death?

Lacking answers to these questions as well any real evidence for their claims, the scholars of the Jesus Seminar speculate endlessly as to how and why the resurrection story came about.

Jennings: “Some scholars think that the resurrection stories were borrowed from eastern pagan cults called mystery religions.”

Jennings: “The mystery cults had an influence because the people who wrote the Jesus story took an earlier story and passed it on via Jesus.”

The writers of the New Testament also mention the “mystery religions” that Peter Jennings refers to here — most notably, the Apostles Peter, John and Paul. What is being described here is Gnosticism — an eastern cult that had followers the world over at the time of the Roman Empire. At the time of Jesus, even Judaism had succumbed to the effects of the ancient mystery religions.

But do similarities among stories told among cults and mystery religions disprove the resurrection of Jesus? Let’s look at some evidence:

According to the Apostle Paul, writing in 1 Corinthians 15:5-8, there were over 500 eyewitnesses, including the Apostles, who saw Jesus after the resurrection. Many preached the Gospel and a few of them wrote books and testimonies.

There is also the testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the blood of the martyrs in the first century. Many of the eyewitnesses to Christ’s resurrection died as martyrs for their faith. It would be hard to imagine people dying for what they knew was a fraudulent claim.

In contrast to this strong evidence, Marcus Borg of the Jesus Seminar states:

“If we don’t understand why he could be executed, then we miss the political passion that animated his mission … When we turn Jesus’ death instead into the eternal sacrifice for sin that makes our forgiveness possible, then we really set aside that which mattered so much to Him …”

The epitome of liberalism is the false dichotomy between the social Gospel and eternal salvation. Of course, there is no contradiction between the two.

Christ lived a perfect life, not only as an example for us, but actually according to scripture to be the “second Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45) to fulfill the covenant of righteousness so that His righteousness may be imputed to us.

In Christ’s death we find forgiveness for our sins, not only because he died as a martyr for the truth, but also because He became sin on our behalf. His eternal sacrifice through his death for sin does not in any way obscure the message of His perfect life.

The Real Jesus: Conclusion (10 of 10)

Debunking the Myths

Christians in our day do not need to be persuaded to lay aside the historical accounts of Jesus found in the Gospels, in order to find a historical Jesus. Although there is outside evidence, the greatest proof that the Bible is true comes from the Word itself.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:1,14).

The name given to Jesus is the Word. The authority of the Word of God comes from the fact that it is the testimony Jesus Christ has given of himself:

“If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true … I am one who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me.” (John 8:14,18).

The authority of the Word of God does not come from the study of the historical accuracy of the Bible; the study of archaeology to prove the validity of the Bible; or the study of science to prove the account of creation. Instead we believe the authority of the Word because Jesus Christ Himself gave it.

The authority of the Word of God does not come from us being able to prove that it is true. The authority of the Word of God comes from the fact that it is God’s Word. God spoke it; it is truth.

This approach is sometimes called presuppositionalism. The authority of the Word of God is presupposed (believed ahead of time). It is the opposite of evidentialism, the idea that we must seek to prove that the Bible is true by offering evidence. Evidentialism is not wrong; it is important to defend what we believe. However, it is impossible to “prove” Scripture using evidence from philosophy, history, archaeology, science, and other rational proofs. To do so would be to claim that these proofs have the same infallible authority as God himself.

The Word of God preached is all the evidence that a person needs in order to be saved. We do not need to “prove” the Gospel in order for it to be effective. The Word of God preached is a living and powerful sword that pierces the hearts of its hearers. While the Word preached is the only weapon of our warfare, there is already much evidence of the truth in natural revelation.

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20).

But the truth preached, not the evidence that the Word is true, is the only effective message of salvation. Paul writes in Romans 3:4:

“Let God be true, and every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4).

We should not lay aside the evidence completely. Paul preached a sermon in Athens (Acts 17:23-31), and appealed to evidences that God exists from Greek philosophy. But Paul concluded his Gospel message with this idea:

“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30,31).

Truth is revealed, not by evidence, but by the Word preached. Our problem is not that we lack understanding or need more information. Our problem is that each one of us is a sinner and needs repentance.

The Authority of the Word of God

The authority of the Bible is implied by the fact that we call it: “God’s Word.” Inspiration is the means by which the Bible received its authority. The apostolic writings of the New Testament were boldly described in the same authoritative terms that denoted the Old Testament as the Word of God. The New Testament books were called “scripture,” “prophecy,” “the Word of the Lord,” and so on.

[Scroll the following scriptures on screen over the narration in the following two paragraphs]

“Hear the word of the LORD …” – Jeremiah 31:10

“But the word of God grew and multiplied.” – Acts 12:24

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God …” – 2 Timothy 3:16

“… as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.” – 2 Peter 3:16

“Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” – Revelation 22:7

“So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.” – Acts 19:20

Every book in the New Testament contains some claim to divine authority. The New Testament church read, circulated, collected, and quoted the New Testament books right along with the inspired Scriptures of the Old Testament.

The contemporaries and immediate successors of Jesus’ Apostles recognized the divine origin of the New Testament writings along with the Old. All of the great Fathers of the Christian church from the earliest times held to the divine inspiration of the New Testament. There is a continuous claim for the inspiration of both Old and New Testaments from the time of their composition to the present.

Don’t talk to aliens, warns Stephen Hawking

Astrophysicist says extraterrestrials likely exist, but could be dangerous

THE aliens are out there and Earth had better watch out, at least according to Stephen Hawking. He has suggested that extraterrestrials are almost certain to exist — but that instead of seeking them out, humanity should be doing all it that can to avoid any contact.

The suggestions come in a new documentary series in which Hawking, one of the world’s leading scientists, will set out his latest thinking on some of the universe’s greatest mysteries.

Alien life, he will suggest, is almost certain to exist in many other parts of the universe: not just in planets, but perhaps in the centre of stars or even floating in interplanetary space.

Hawking’s logic on aliens is, for him, unusually simple. The universe, he points out, has 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars. In such a big place, Earth is unlikely to be the only planet where life has evolved.

“To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational,” he said. “The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like.”

The answer, he suggests, is that most of it will be the equivalent of microbes or simple animals — the sort of life that has dominated Earth for most of its history.

One scene in his documentary for the Discovery Channel shows herds of two-legged herbivores browsing on an alien cliff-face where they are picked off by flying, yellow lizard-like predators. Another shows glowing fluorescent aquatic animals forming vast shoals in the oceans thought to underlie the thick ice coating Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter.

Such scenes are speculative, but Hawking uses them to lead on to a serious point: that a few life forms could be intelligent and pose a threat. Hawking believes that contact with such a species could be devastating for humanity.

He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”

He concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is “a little too risky”. He said: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

The completion of the documentary marks a triumph for Hawking, now 68, who is paralysed by motor neurone disease and has very limited powers of communication. The project took him and his producers three years, during which he insisted on rewriting large chunks of the script and checking the filming.

John Smithson, executive producer for Discovery, said: “He wanted to make a programme that was entertaining for a general audience as well as scientific and that’s a tough job, given the complexity of the ideas involved.”

Hawking has suggested the possibility of alien life before but his views have been clarified by a series of scientific breakthroughs, such as the discovery, since 1995, of more than 450 planets orbiting distant stars, showing that planets are a common phenomenon.

So far, all the new planets found have been far larger than Earth, but only because the telescopes used to detect them are not sensitive enough to detect Earth-sized bodies at such distances.

Another breakthrough is the discovery that life on Earth has proven able to colonise its most extreme environments. If life can survive and evolve there, scientists reason, then perhaps nowhere is out of bounds.

Hawking’s belief in aliens places him in good scientific company. In his recent Wonders of the Solar System BBC series, Professor Brian Cox backed the idea, too, suggesting Mars, Europa and Titan, a moon of Saturn, as likely places to look.

Similarly, Lord Rees, the astronomer royal, warned in a lecture earlier this year that aliens might prove to be beyond human understanding.

“I suspect there could be life and intelligence out there in forms we can’t conceive,” he said. “Just as a chimpanzee can’t understand quantum theory, it could be there are aspects of reality that are beyond the capacity of our brains.”

Stephen Hawking’s Universe begins on the Discovery Channel on Sunday May 9 at 9pm

Jonathan Leake : Sunday Times, 25 April 2010

Charlie Rose – Stephen Hawking
Despite being almost completely paralyzed by ALS, Hawking remains one of the world’s foremost theoretical physicists and has contributed greatly to our understanding of the universe.

A conversation with Dr. Stephen Hawking & Lucy Hawking. They discuss their book George’s Secret Key to the Universe, an adventure story about two children who find a sort of computer portal through which they can slip into the solar system and beyond.

The Real Jesus: Myth #5 (7 & 8 of 10)

Myth #5: The Gospels contradict one another and contain fiction
Jennings: “Scholars don’t take everything that they read in the New Testament literally because there are four different and sometimes contradictory versions of Jesus’ life.” [08:30]

Yes, there are differences in the Gospel accounts. Let’s begin with the first obvious difference that seems to concern Jennings so much — the story of Jesus birth. First, there are different genealogies of Jesus. The Jews knew that the Messiah was to come from the house of Judah and specifically must be a descendant of David. Up to this point, Matthew and Luke agree with one another.

There could be several reasons why Matthew and Luke contain different genealogical accounts. The church historian Eusebius, writing in the early fourth century, records that separate genealogies appear for the following reason. Jesus had both a biological mother, Mary, and a legal (but not biological) father, Joseph. Matthew records Jesus’ genealogy by “law” through his adoptive father, Joseph, and Luke records the genealogy of “nature” through his biological mother, Mary. According to Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, Julius Africanus, a third century church father, explained this alleged contradiction in his Letter to Aristides (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, book I, chapter 7).

[CONTRAST JENNINGS’ FOLLOWING CLAIMS WITH COMMENTS BY APOLOGIST J.P. HOLDING]

Jennings: “The Gospels give different versions of what happened on the day that Jesus was baptized … ” [48:40]

Jennings: “Historians differ about what happened a the Last Supper. Some people think His whole speech about the Body and Blood was added by the Gospel writers.” [1:37:10]

Jennings: “The Jewish leaders take Jesus to Pilate and pressure him before he will pass the sentence. Many historians don’t believe it.” [1:44:40]

Jennings: “Jesus is not an heroic figure at all until He gets into the hands of all the people who are going to write and embellish him.” [1:46:50]

The Real Jesus: Myth #6 (8 of 10)

Myth #6:. The miracles of the New Testament were invented by the Gospel writers.
Jennings: “Most scholars think these stories were invented by the Gospel writers as advertisements for Christianity in its early years.” [1:10:00]

Jennings: “Did Jesus really heal people?” [1:11:20]

[INTERVIEWS WITH APOLOGIST J.P. HOLDING: “Did Jesus heal people?” Refer to Mat. 11:2-6]

And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: “The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” (Mat. 11:2-6 NKJ).

Note that Jesus is declaring himself to be the Messiah, the Son of God, by showing John the Baptist that specific prophecy is being fulfilled. Hundreds of years before, Isaiah wrote of the Messiah:

Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness and streams in the Arabah (Isaiah 35:5-6).

The Real Jesus (DVD) Myth #3 (5 & 6 of 10)

Myth #3: There was no virgin birth and
Jesus was not born in Bethlehem
By Jay Rogers

Jennings: “We cannot tell you whether or not Jesus is the Son of God, that is a matter of faith. But if you have difficulty with the idea that the Virgin Mary could get pregnant without a man involved, there are a number of ways to explain why in Luke it is written that way.” [24:50]

Jennings: “Some scholars think that Jesus was illegitimate and that the story was a cover-up.” [26:28]

That Jesus was born of a virgin is confirmed by both Matthew and Luke. In his Gospel, Matthew writes that this miracle was a fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14:

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

The name Immanuel in Hebrew means literally “God-With-Us.” In other words, God himself was to be incarnate in human form. And the miraculous sign would be that He would be born of a virgin.

Now some have said that the word “virgin” in Hebrew can simply mean a maiden or an unmarried woman. The problem with this speculation is the context of Isaiah’s prophecy. A “sign” in the Hebrew language is simply another way of translating the word “miracle.” And the exclamation “Behold!” means to look with wonder. Both Isaiah and the Gospel writers meant to say that the Messiah would be born of a virgin and the witnesses would look in wonder at the event.

Peter Jennings is right about one thing. There is no physical evidence other than the scripture left to us today to determine the miracle of the Incarnation. But not only is the virgin birth called into question, but also the place and circumstances of Jesus’ birth also prophesied in scripture.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.'”

— Matthew 2:1-6

According to prophecy given hundreds of years before Jesus was born, not only would He be born of a virgin, but He would also be born in the city of David, his forefather, in Bethlehem. Of course, Peter Jennings disagrees.

Jennings: “Luke writes that Joseph and Mary came here to Bethlehem from Nazareth because the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus had ordered a world wide taxation. Now there is no record outside the Gospels that the Emperor Caesar Augustus ordered such a tax. Roman tax records do show that a man is to be taxed where he lives and where he works and Joseph lived and worked in Nazareth. Tax records also show they didn’t count women. And so why would Joseph have brought Mary on this very difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem through the desert especially when she was very pregnant?”[10:33-11:06]

But let’s look at what the Gospel of Luke actually says: And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered (Luke 2:1-6).

Some translations have the word “taxed” for the Greek word apographé, a word that comes from the Greek verb meaning to enroll or to register. What Luke actually wrote is not that Joseph came to Bethlehem “to be taxed,” but that he came “to register” in a census. In the ancient world, a census was often used to assess the amount of able-bodied males eligible for military service.

The Real Jesus: Myth #4 (6 of 10)
Myth #4: Jesus did not claim to be God


The idea that Jesus did not claim to be God is often put in a more subtle way.

Jennings: “The word Messiah did not mean the Son of God. It simply meant ‘the anointed one.'” [34:52]

[INTERVIEWS WITH PANEL OF EXPERTS: “Did Jesus claim to be God?”]

The idea that the Jewish Messiah is God himself is not something that first century Christians made up. The divinity of the Messiah is something we find throughout the Old Testament.

[INTERVIEWS WITH PANEL: “Is the Old Testament Messiah divine?”]

The great Reformed scholar Benjamin Warfield wrote:

“It is quite clear, at the outset, that the writers of the New Testament and Christ Himself understood the Old Testament to recognize and to teach that the Messiah was to be of divine nature. For example, they without hesitation support their own assertions of the Deity of Christ by appeals to Old Testament passages in which they find the Deity of the Messiah afore-proclaimed.” (Dr. Benjamin B. Warfield, The Divine Messiah In The Old Testament)

As an example of this, let’s look at Psalm 110, which happens to be the most quoted Old Testament passage by New Testament writers.

“The Lord said to My Lord, sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.” — Psalm 110:1

Jesus himself brought this prophecy into focus when He confronted the skeptics of his day.

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”

They said to Him, “The Son of David.”

He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him “Lord,’ saying:
“The LORD said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”‘?

If David then calls Him “Lord,’ how is He his Son?” And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore. (Matthew 22:41-46)

Let’s look at Psalm 110 carefully: God addresses the Son as God. He tells us that the Lord Jesus sits upon God’s own throne. We have to ask: Who except God could sit upon God’s throne? Jesus sits on God’s throne because He always was and always will remain God in every sense of the word.

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