1. What is the “I” ? 2. Why do we suffer? 3. Is there such thing as “Enlightenment”? ~ Peter Russell

From an interview at the 2009 Science and Nonduality conference, Peter Russell answers the question “What is the “I”?”.

2. Why do we suffer?

3. From an interview at the 2009 Science and Nonduality conference, Peter Russell answers the question “Is there such thing as ‘Enlightenment’?”.


Create A World That Works: Tools for Personal and Global Transformation by Alan Seale

We are living in extraordinary times. We face challenges on all levels: economic, environmental, educational, corporate, governmental, personal, and spiritual. Experts and thought leaders in all of these arenas put forth ideas and models for the way forward. However, great as many of those ideas and models may be, if we are going to create a world that works, there must first be a shift in how we think and how we “show up” to life each day. We must learn to look at challenges from the perspective of potential and opportunity rather than thinking of them as problems to be solved. We must become co-creators of a new and different world rather than trying to fix an old one.

Create a World That Works: Tools for Personal and Global Transformation by award-winning author Alan Seale is a practical and accessible guidebook to making these shifts. Through this book, you can develop:

* an authentic, dynamic, and impactful personal presence that by its nature is transformational
* a keen awareness of your intuitive intelligence for guidance in life, leadership, and service
* an understanding of how life and leadership work as energy in motion
* tools for co-creation with the matrix of energy that connects all
* an ability to listen to the great potential of our future and let it show us the way forward

Alan Seale shows you how to live, lead, and serve in ways that inform and inspire more enlightened and effective action, creating a world that works for today and tomorrow.

Our world is at a tipping point. We are the best hope for a bright and sustainable future. Create A World That Works lays the groundwork by giving us a foundation of skills for the road ahead.

Alan Seale talks about the quantum nature of Transformational Leadership and meeting the challenges and opportunities of today

Alan Seale is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker, leadership and transformation coach, and founder and director of the Center for Transformational Presence. His first book, Intuitive Living: A Sacred Path, received the prestigious Coalition of Visionary Resources Award for Best Book in Spirituality 2001. His other books include Soul Mission * Life Vision (2003), The Manifestation Wheel: A Practical Process for Creating Miracles (2008), and The Power of Your Presence (2009). His next book, Create a World That Works: Tools for Personal and Global Transformation, will be published by Red Wheel/Weiser in May 2011.

Alan maintains a full workshop schedule throughout North America, Scandinavia, and Europe. He currently serves on the faculties of the International Coach Academy, and the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program of The Graduate Institute in Connecticut. He has also served on the faculties of Chautauqua Institution, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the New York Open Center, Wainwright House, New York City’s Learning Annex, and the Boston Learning Society, as well as been a guest teacher at Coachutbildning Sverige (Coach Training Sweden) and CoachWalk in Malmoe, Sweden.

Alan has twice been a featured presenter at International Coach Federation annual conferences in North America, and has been a guest presenter for many regional chapters of the International Coach Federation in North America and Europe. He has appeared as a featured guest on National Public Radio’s “Chautauqua Edition,” BBC Scotland, the Wisdom Channel, and on many radio and cable television talk shows. Alan is truly a global coach, currently serving clients on four continents who are committed to making a significant difference in their world.

Earlier in his professional life, Alan enjoyed an extensive career as a professional singer and voice teacher in New York City. He can be heard as singer/songwriter on his solo CD recording, “Child of the Moon.” He has appeared in concert throughout the United States and Europe, and as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera National Company, the Spoleto Festival (Italy and USA), and the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra. His voice students include Austrian dramatic soprano Brigitte Pinter and Broadway stars Marc Kudisch, James Barbour, and Graham Rowat.

Alan is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coach Federation, a graduate of The Coaches Training Institute, The Evolutionary Institute, and The New Seminary. He holds a Master of Music in Voice from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Transylvania University in Lexington, KY.

Enlightenment Technology ~ By Suzanna Kennedy

Human spiritual enlightenment happens when your consciousness permanently expands beyond the limits of your body and your mind’s self-created identity.

Human spiritual enlightenment occurs when your consciousness permanently expands beyond the limits of your body and your mind’s self-created identity. The energetic membranes between the subconscious, conscious and superconscious levels of the mind dissolve. As an enlightened human, you take 100% responsibility for co-creating your personal experience of reality. And you have zero judgment about what others are co-creating.

Your True Self, a.k.a. Spirit, is pure consciousness and has no form, no body at all. It is an individualized aspect of the Source of All Consciousness; a.k.a. Source, Oneness or God. The only difference between your True Self consciousness and Source consciousness is an energetic membrane that holds the memories of your individualized experiences as you travel through the cosmos, exploring creation.

The difference between your True Self consciousness and your Earth consciousness is another energetic membrane, often referred to as the Illusion of Separation. It separates your memories of this particular Earth incarnation from all other experiences of your True Self.

Enlightenment, a.k.a. Ascension, is not some religious concept reserved only for a chosen few. It is a highly scientific process of energy mechanics, representing the path of order through which consciousness evolves in a multidimensional system.

Frequency measures how fast energy moves. Everything in form has a particular frequency which is always rising – ascending – enlightening – becoming lighter, less dense. It is a natural evolutionary process.

Yet something special has happened recently. Mother Earth took a quantum leap through the evolutionary spiral, accelerating her natural evolutionary process, shortcutting thousand of years. Earth is now hosting multi-dimensional realities. The 3rd dimension is dissolving and 5th and higher dimensional realities are coming on-line.

Various enlightenment technologies are now available to help humans align with Mother Earth’s accelerated planetary ascension.

Did you know that:

• Your body is an organic computer?

• Your DNA is the database?

• Your mind is an artificial intelligence software program?

• Your brain is a holographic projector?

• Your Spirit manages your energy from Source.

• Your whole system can be upgraded for ascension to the Divine Human level?

Your Body is an Organic Computer

Think of your mind/body system as a virtual reality game suit your True Self agrees to wear to experience life on this planet. Contained within your DNA is the blueprint for your game suit. Genetic scientists have identified two strands of DNA and mapped 3% of the genetic material needed to create the human body suit. They are puzzled by the other 97% of genetic material that seems not to be organized or active.

Your DNA is the Database

Hidden within the extra DNA is a blueprint for a new type of human body that will eventually be able to navigate in 12th dimensional realities. There are some human incarnates who serve as enlightenment/ascension facilitators and can activate and transmit the 12-D blueprint, just like computers can transmit files from one to another. Once the blueprint is activated, the genetic material that currently appears inactive begins to organize and reassemble until the body expresses the 12-D structure.

The term Divine Human refers to the enlightened or ascended human who transcends their 3rd dimensional identity, expresses their True Self identity while their body transforms to express the 12-D blueprint.

Your Mind is an Artificial Intelligence Software Program

Your True Self consciousness knows everything and has access to all information. But your mind has to learn from experience. Your mind is really a very sophisticated artificial intelligence software program.

Your ego is your self-identity sub-program, running within your mind/body computer. It constructed your identity in your first seven years by looking for patterns in your Earthly experience. When it recognized a pattern, a meaning was assigned. The pattern and its meaning became a “rule” in computer terms – you call it a belief.

This rule was added to your programming. At around seven years of age, your self-identify program stopped adding new rules and began gathering evidential data to support the rules it created. At that point, your ego’s job became protecting your mind-created identity.

Your programming was created by you, as a child, with your immature understanding, inadequate and wounded perspective, within the limited environment of your family, school, church and neighborhood. That is why it is so hard to improve your self-image.

Your Brain is a Holographic Projector

Your True Self Manages Your Energy from Source

Imagine a movie projector. The light bulb shines through the film and the projector creates an image on the screen. Your True Self is the light bulb, your programming is the film and your brain is the projector, creating holographic images that you call reality. Everything that is projected on the screen of your reality comes from your programming. The good news is:


When you upgrade your programming, you will uninstall your separation, lack, limitation and fear programming. You will replace your mind-created identity with your Divine Human (True Self) Identity. In the absence of fear, you become a strong pillar of inner peace. You will make better choices. You will suddenly see opportunities and open to prosperity that your mind filtered out before. You are free to discover and express your True Self’s purpose for incarnating into this reality (a.k.a. soul’s purpose).

Enlightenment Technology

Consider past models for activating enlightenment or ascension. They called for isolating yourself from normal life and meditating hours a day for decades. They required grueling discipline, life-threatening initiations and giving up all your worldly possessions. New advancements in consciousness technology enable you to receive a series of software/hardware upgrades to your virtual reality game suit.

The technology uses a specific combination of frequencies to open your database and upgrade your programming. Employing focused intention, sacred geometry, high frequency light and sound, the upgrades are delivered in a guided visualization format over 12 sessions. Do you agree that listening to a 1½ hour guided meditation, once a week for 12 weeks, while continuing with the rest of your life is quick and easy by comparison?

Suzanna Kennedy, creator of the enlightenment technology, Divine Human Upgrades™, is an authority on Planetary and Personal Accelerated Evolution. She is a captivating speaker and author of the book Sacred Union, Pathway to Paradise .

Suzanna served for 20 years as a corporate consultant to industry giants; leading large-scale change initiatives. In 1997 she experienced a quantum consciousness awakening, birthing a higher dimensional aspect of her soul into her body. In 1998 she founded Reality Crafting and employs her new multi-dimensional skills to receive and translate technologies from higher dimensions to accelerate planetary and personal evolution. Please feel free to visit her website http://www.RealityCrafting.com

Enlightenment By: Lisa Moore

What does it mean to have reached ‘Enlightenment’. What is the difference between Spiritual Enlightenment and Intellectual Enlightenment and why do they hardly ever meet.
By: Lisa Moore

Let’s start at the beginning. The word ‘enlightenment’ means wisdom or understanding.

However, the English word ‘enlightenment’ broadly covers two areas: (1) religious (spiritual) enlightenment and also (2) secular (intellectual) enlightenment. What I find interesting is that those that claim intellectual enlightenment are usually the ones that reject spiritual concepts altogether as everything has to be scientifically proven – this is not possible, at the present time, with regard to many areas of spiritual enlightenment.

Intellectual Enlightenment. This refers mainly to a European movement known as the Age of Enlightenment, also called the Age of Reason. People recognized the sad state of the human condition and the need for major reforms. The Enlightenment was less a set of ideas than it was a set of attitudes. At its center was a serious questioning of traditional institutions, customs, and morals referring to philosophical developments related to scientific rationality in the 17th and 18th centuries. Courtesy of Wikipedia

Spiritual Enlightenment. The Lotus flower is commonly used as the symbol for Spiritual Enlightenment. It is a term used mainly relating to many South and East Asian religions, for example Buddhism and Hinduism.

Here is a quote from noted scientist Albert Einstein:“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” – Albert Einstein

Some of the most popular quotes regarding Spiritual Enlightenment are:“to become one with yourself”, “to know your inner self” and“obtain inner peace”

Plainly speaking this translates into: Knowing yourself. You accept who you are. To be able to honor each person as they walk their own path and not infringe your own personal beliefs onto them. To know and accept that YOU are in control of your own life. You believe and accept in a ‘higher power’ and that you are an important part of this universal energy.

Also widely accepted is the fact that everyone is here for a reason and to become ‘Spiritually Enlightened’ means finding that reason and then acting upon it. Some people accept the above definition as ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’ whilst others are looking for yet more.

Their idea of spiritual enlightenment is all of the above, plus connection with the spirit world. Some people are born with these (psychic) abilities but for most of us these abilities have to be worked on. But through meditation, focus and an accepting mind, people can achieve varying levels of spirit connection.

I hope this article gives you an understanding of ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’ without being drowned in a sea of beliefs from many different religions. Whilst most religions differ in their teachings, their basic beliefs in spiritual enlightenment are very similar.

I have studied spiritual matter for many years and am continutally learning more. I try and use my own personal experiences in my articles or experiences of very trusted sources. Enjoy.

Effective and Simple Method for Inviting Enlightenment By: Anmol Mehta

This article discusses a simple method that time and again works to invite enlightenment experiences and glimpses of what lies beyond the ordinary mind.

The vast majority of humans go through life without ever experiencing Reality beyond what the ordinary dualistic mind projects. Bound tightly by the ego-centric mind, they live their entire life stuck in mediocrity, mostly struggling for this or that, while experiencing a few fleeting joys. One of the things that I hope to accomplish in this life, is awaken in you a passion for the supreme, for the highest, and to that end, I think having an enlightenment experience or two can go a long way.

Enlightenment experiences are glimpses of that aspect of life and your being, which are beyond time, space and self. These enlightenment experiences come in infinite variety, and in addition to giving you deep insight into the true nature of reality, they also inspire you to live life at your highest potential.

Seeing the truth of singularity makes you question the nature of duality and thought, while experiencing the utter freedom of these states, makes you question the value of your attachments. So how can we go about facilitating these experiences?

Enlightenment experiences are not subject to your will. They occur when there is a shift of awareness beyond the ego-centric mind and life can be defined as an opportunity for setting the stage for such shifts to take place.

Some of the best tools for creating such a stage are without a doubt Meditation, Yoga and Pranayama (Yoga Breathing Exercises). But, in this article I want to share with you a very simple and key tip, which I have noticed through personal experience, helps create the situation that is conducive to enlightenment experiences occurring.

This simple method is that of napping. Yes that is correct, you read it fine, napping. I have noticed time and again, that when napping during the day, the phase between wakefulness and sleep invariably opens the doors to infinity.

It does not matter where you nap. On the bus to New York, on the sofa, in bed, does not matter. The key factor is for you to maintain your awareness as you drift off to sleep. If you can do this you are in for a treat. So try to remain alert as sleep comes and see what magic takes place. It is not even necessary for you to chase enlightenment experiences. Invariably we all end up napping at some stage due to whatever reason and when that happens, treat it like an opportunity to break through.

I want to mention here that you can have similar results with simple nighttime sleep as well. Although, the probability of a shift in awareness is less than napping, the phase when the ordinary wakeful mind is diminished and sleep is yet to come, is a very conducive time to penetrate the veil of the dualistic mind.

In addition, if you can develop a habit of meditating prior to sleep, this transitory phase and overnight sleep itself can become a very spiritual, precious and cherished time for you. One of the key aspects of developing this ability is discovering in which position you cannot sleep easily. You can then use that knowledge to give yourself a better opportunity to practice this technique on a nightly basis. It is well worth the effort.

Anmol Mehta is a Yoga & Zen expert. His Free Guided Meditation Techniques & Kundalini Yoga Website offers the Learn How to Meditate | Free Beginner Meditation Class and many Free Yoga Exercise Videos.

Spiritual Healing and Spiritual Counseling for Mind Body and Soul By: Prema Baba Swamiji

A spiritual teacher can lead you to your inner powers of spiritual enlightenment, spiritual growth and spiritual development. – By: Prema Baba Swamiji

Spirituality in short can be explained as the matter of the spirit, related to faith. And what is faith but a thought of hopeful expectation. On the other hand counseling is the act of actively assisting another to deepen their thoughts of hopeful expectation or faith. Counseling is applicable for every field. Spiritual counseling is one of the forms of counseling where the counselor assists the client with developing all appropriate changes in mind, body and spirit for a renewed life.

Everything that is spiritual is totally related to God, he, she or it, a universal spiritual presence of good. The spiritual counselor typically has so much faith in the eternal presence of good, of a divine mind within, that they can guide other’s to their inner power. Faith is an important element of the spirituality. Without faith there will be no spiritual enlightenment.

Faith is one of the laws of spirituality as is the law of attraction. You can always go for spiritual counseling whenever you are ready to begin to work with the latent powers within your own mind. A Spiritual counselor ideally has training in these spiritual laws of belief, inner thought control, the power of prayer, the power of positive thinking, the law of attraction and the law of faith. The counselor’s belief and practice of these laws assists the client to create the changes and find the answers they are searching for.

Spirituality sprouts from inside, from your heart. It’s always better to know what your wishes are, what you want to do actually and which issues are bothering you.
For spiritual growth you need to go to a spiritual counselor. A spiritual teacher will lead you through the path of righteousness, path of glory and truth, path of peace and tranquility and will help you to know yourself in a more clear and beautiful way. In the midst of work pressure in the competitive world every woman may forget who she is, but by the help of a spiritual counselor she can get back to her true Self.

Spiritual healing is the healing of the spirit, mind and body. It involves in understanding of the supreme power called by various names, such as God, Superconscious Self, Higher Mind, subconscious, universal mind, Krishna mind, Christ Mind or Buddha mind. A spiritual healer can work with you to release your inner physician.

The spiritual healer guides the client to an understanding of the reality of a universal spiritual healing energy. This energy is known as Chi, Reiki, Ki, Holy Spirit, Odic force, Prana, or even the power of the mind. With proper focus this universal power may be appropriated by those seeking a transformation and healing through spiritual means. The spiritual healer acts as a conduit for these energies, but more importantly shows the client that these forces are not superstitious or religious, but actually available for all who wish to access this invisible force. The greatest discovery for the human race will be to learn how to use these inner creative powers.

Spirituality teaches the path of God, the way towards happiness. God is a universal principle of ultimate good. You always have a choice to place your awareness in the now upon thoughts of good or thoughts of evil. When you begin to shift your thinking toward thoughts of good then you are creating the forces that attract more good into your life. Your transformation can begin today, depending upon the thoughts you choose to think. A spiritual teacher can lead you to your inner powers of spiritual enlightenment, spiritual growth and spiritual development. The spiritual teacher uses techniques such as meditation, biofeedback, prayer, affirmations and visualizations to assist you with your transformation to Self Realization or God Realization. This process brings the answers to you and the healing you may be seeking, but only if you choose to start your personal transformation into a more spiritual reality.

Prema Baba Swamiji is an all faiths spiritual counselor. Spiritual counseling is one of the forms of counseling where the counselor assists the client with developing all appropriate changes in mind, body and spirit for a renewed life. More information visit- http://www.premababa.org

Dr. Eric Pearl – The Reconnection, Heal Others Heal Yourself

Internationally recognized healer Eric Pearl has appeared on countless television programs in the US and around the world, spoken by invitation at the United Nations, presented to a full house at Madison Square Garden, been interviewed in various publications including The New York Times, and most recently featured in the film, The Living Matrix.

As a doctor, Eric ran a highly successful chiropractic practice for 12 years until one day when patients began reporting that they felt his hands on them – even though he hadn’t physically touched them. Patients soon reported receiving miraculous healings from cancers, AIDS-related diseases, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, birth disfigurements, cerebral palsy and other serious afflictions. All this occurred when Eric simply held his hands near them – and to this day, it continues.

His patients’ healings have been documented in six books to date, including Eric’s own international bestseller,The Reconnection: Heal Others, Heal Yourself, soon to be in languages!

Based in Los Angeles, Eric and Reconnective Healing elicit great interest from top doctors and medical researchers at hospitals, colleges and universities worldwide. These include Jackson Memorial Hospital, UCLA, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the VA Hospital, University of Minnesota, University of Miami Medical School, Suburban Hospital, Quality of Life Research Center (Cophenhagen), Memorial Hospital (Istanbul), Kent College of Osteopathy (UK), RMIT University (Melbourne), Parker College (Melbourne, Australia and Dallas, TX), St. Petersburg State Technical University (St. Petersburgh), The University of Oslo, and the University of Arizona – where he addressed physicians at the request of Dr. Andrew Weil. New research programs are presently underway at multiple facilities internationally under the guidance of such renowned research scientists as Gary Schwartz, PhD., William Tiller, PhD., Konstantin Korotkov, PhD. and others.

Eric travels the globe extensively throughout the year bringing the light and information of Reconnective Healing onto the planet. He teaches you how to activate and utilize this new, all-inclusive spectrum of healing frequencies that allow us to completely transcend “energy healing” and “technique” to access a level of healing beyond anything anyone has been able to access prior to now! To date, he has taught this new level of healing to close to 70,000 people in more than 70 countries, bringing about a spontaneous generation of healers worldwide.

Eric is an amazing man with the superb gift of healing. Read this book and be transformed!

Eric Pearl appears on the TV show, “The Other Side” and demonstrates Reconnective Healing on Linda, a member of the studio audience with chronic shoulder pain and limited mobility.

Vision For The 21st Century: A Rebirth In Individual Responsibilities And Values (Paperback) by Masami Saionji

The chapters in this book address larger questions of human capability and the meaning of life and death with guidance on a range of everyday topics, from love and marriage, to health and personal troubles, to the education of children.

Showing us the ways in which we readily violate our own freedom and hand over control of our lives to others, Ms. Saionji then offers practical tips on how we can change our habits, make the best use of our life-energy, and draw our our latent power to create an entirely new self.

From the Introduction by Masami Saionji
It is indeed true that peace begins in each human heart. Yet, for the majority of people in the world today, the creation of world peace seems like too large a task to be attempted by average, individual citizens. We always think that the world’s problems were caused by governments, or people holding special authority. Likewise, we feel that the responsibility for creating peace also belongs to some force outside us: politicians, world leaders, or people who are greater, stronger, more learned, or more experienced than we. It never occurs to us that our own daily thoughts, words, and actions have an impact on the world scene, nor do we think that we are in any way responsible for creating global peace and harmony.

Why do people feel this way? Why do so many of us believe that our own power is insignificant, or that we lack the potential to make a real contribution to world peace? I think it is because, although we are living in the 21st century, our minds are still locked into 20th century values.

If we continue to live with 20th century values, humanity will not be able to survive in the 21st century. What the world needs now, more than anything else, is a total revolution in consciousness. It is time for us to shift our focus from a belief in what is external, short-term, and ephemeral, to an exploration of what is internal, lasting, and essential. My hope is for the 21st century to be an ‘age of the individual,’ an age in which each of us inquires deeply into to our intrinsic nature and potential.

MasamI Saionji Ph. D.

Chairperson of Byakko Shinko Kai, The World Peace Prayer Society, The Goi Peace Foundation and author.

Masami Saionji is the Chairperson of three organizations: Byakko Shinko Kai, The World Peace Prayer Society, and The Goi Peace Foundation. A native of Japan and a descendant of the Royal Ryukyu Family of Okinawa, she continues the work of her adoptive father, Masahisa Goi, who initiated a movement for world peace through the universal prayer May Peace Prevail on Earth.

As a spiritual leader and lecturer, she has touched thousands of people’s lives through her guidance and inspiration. She travels globally on speaking tours, and has led peace ceremonies in many countries as well as at the United Nations and other international organizations. She is the author of over twenty books including The Golden Key to Happiness, You Are the Universe, The Earth Healer’s Handbook, and Vision for the 21st Century.

She is also an honorary member of the Club of Budapest and a member of the World Wisdom Council. She was awarded the Philosopher Saint Shree Dnyaneshwara World Peace Prize of India along with her husband Hiroo in 2008. She has won the circle award of the global woman leaders summit in 2010. She and her husband currently live in Tokyo, and have three daughters all working for peace.

The Rainbow And The Worm The Physics of Organisms by Mae-Wan Ho

About the Author
After obtaining her PhD in Biochemistry, Hong Kong University, Mae-Wan Ho embarked on a distinguished research career that included a postdoctoral fellowship in Neurosciences, University of California at San Diego, Fellowship of the National Genetics Foundation, USA. Senior Research Fellow in Biochemistry, University of London, Lecturer in Genetics then Reader in Biology, Open University. Her research evolved through biochemistry to molecular genetics, non-Darwinian evolution, and since 1988, the physics of living organization, defining a new field with the present book, widely acclaimed by serious scientists across the disciplines and by non-scientists alike.

A serious, in-depth enquiry into Schrödinger’s question, “What is Life?” and at the same time, a celebration of life itself

A voyage of discovery through many areas of contemporary physics from non-equilibrium thermodynamics to quantum optics in order to understand the problem of life

A rare and exquisite view of the organism, giving novel insights, not only into the physics, but also “the poetry and meaning of being alive”


* What is It to be Alive?
* Do Organisms Contravene the Second Law?
* Can the Second Law Cope with Organized Complexity?
* Energy Flow and Living Cycles
* How to Catch a Falling Electron
* Towards a Thermodynamics of Organized Complexity
* Sustainable Systems as Organisms
* The Seventy-Three Octaves of Nature’s Music
* The Coherent Excitation of the Body Electric
* The Solid State Cell
* “Life is a Little Electric Current”
* How Coherent is the Organism? The Heartbeat of Health
* How Coherent is the Organism? Sensitivity to Weak Electromagnetic Fields
* Life is All the Colours of the Rainbow in a Worm
* The Liquid Crystalline Organism
* Crystal Consciousness
* Liquid Crystalline Water
* Quantum Entanglement and Coherence
* The Ignorance of the External Observer
* Time and Freewill

Dr Maean Ho is a world renowned geneticist & biophysicist. She is Director of the Institute of Science in Society, she is co-founder of the International Science Panel on Genetic Modification and is scientific advisor to the Third World Network. She has written more than 300 publications and over a dozen books including “Genetic Engineering – Dream or Nightmare?” and “The Case for a GM-free Sustainable World.”

Can art or music inform the ego of Presence? ~ Eckhart Tolle

Q: I’ve experienced Presence through music, and it’s a very profound sense of Grace that I feel… I am being ‘played’, in a sense I am an instrument. In a way, what we call instruments are voices. My question is about this connection to the Creative, and the artifacts that come. Does art and music inform the ego of Presence? How does one be part of that manifestation but not get too involved, to keep the distance, so one doesn’t become to obsessed with that process?

ET: On the one hand, you have the creative process – music, or art. And then you have the finished product – the piece of music that is played, or the work of art that somebody contemplates.

When you ask, “Can art or music inform the ego of Presence?” – the ego doesn’t know anything about Presence, so it can’t do that. There needs to be some opening in the ego in order [for you] to be receptive to the power that is latent in music or art, that was created from that deep place.

There’s a lot of music and art that’s not necessarily created from that deep place, but the ego is trying to be clever. Let’s talk about some piece of music or work of art that comes out of connectedness with Stillness, or Presence. To some extent, the work of art or the piece of music still carries that energy field. It can put [a person] in touch with the deeper dimension within. A there’s a little bit of an opening is required. If there’s only the density of the ego, then the transformational possibilities of art or music are not realized. A little opening is required in the viewer, or the listener, and then it can be quite a wonderful thing to listen to music or to contemplate a work of art. You can be transported, if only for a moment, into that alert stillness out of which it originally came. That’s a beautiful thing.

Another aspect is “losing oneself” – going too deep, almost losing oneself in the ground out of which creativity comes. In the creative process, there’s always a balance that’s needed, so that you don’t lose yourself in Being. It could happen to an artist, it can happen to some people who awaken spiritually – they suddenly plunge so deeply into Being that they lose all interest in doing. That happened to some spiritual masters, who spent several years being without doing anything.

For example, Ramana Maharshi in India had to be fed for several years because he would not even pick up food. He was so immersed in Being that he just sat there. People recognized something extraordinary about him – which they would not have done in the West – and they put food in his mouth. But there was certainly a loss of balance, he could no longer function in this world. This of course, is an extreme example.

Gradually, after a few years he was beginning to function again, and he was able to regain a balance between dealing with things out here and connectedness with Being. In a slightly minor way it happened to me, when I lost interest completely in ‘doing’ and drifted around for two years. It wasn’t a “problem” to me, it was only a problem to people who were watching me, or who knew me. So there was a loss of balance for a while, but gradually the balance re-established itself. I didn’t have a teacher, as such, so it turned out to be a natural process.

As long as you go within, and give form to that which is resting in the formless, be used by it – so that through you it can come into this world of form. Don’t stay down there and lose yourself in it – that’s not necessary.

Music is a wonderful way of getting in touch with the stillness within.

For the listener, it is important not to become dependent, however, on anything external to enter the state of Presence. Whereas music can be a help, there too needs to be a balance. If the only time you can become still is when you listen to a certain kind of music, then that’s not quite it, because you are depending on something external to get in touch with that.

Use it as a help, and this is the same as a spiritual teacher or spiritual teaching – it can be a great help to listen to a tape or see a video, but don’t become totally dependent on that. Every good spiritual teacher will tell you, when the time comes “enough is enough”. The true teacher is within you. What you see in me, that which you find so precious in me, must be in you – otherwise you wouldn’t see it. A good teacher will always direct you back to yourself, and not foster any kind of dependency.

Knowing what is a help, using it, but not becoming dependent. Eventually it is necessary for you to go there without any help. You can still appreciate teachers, and teachings. I love listening to other spiritual teachers if they come from a deep place, I have great joy, and I think “Wow, this is so wonderful”. Or reading a spiritual book that comes from the deepest place – there’s still great joy in that. It has nothing to do with needing, it’s enjoying a slightly different expression of the same deep truth. It’s wonderful.

Also, you can see it wherever it is – no matter in what form it is hiding. You can see the truth shining through wherever it is hiding. It might be hiding in some ancient religion, very deeply. There you see it, shining through – there may be a lot of mythology around it, a lot of cultural beliefs around it, and yet deep down there you can see this is the truth, shining through all the mythology around it and so on. It is who you are.

Are thoughts the source of Ego?

Sample Q&A from the May 2010 Issue of Eckhart Tolle TV Q: Is the ego the source of our thoughts or are our thoughts generated elsewhere and passed through the ego? The ego arises out of the state of identification with thought. The moment of freedom arises when we realize that we are not our thoughts—rather, we are the awareness.

The Tao of Abundance by Laurence G. Boldt

The more you learn what to do with yourself, and the more you do for others, the more you will enjoy the abundant life. —William J. H. Boetcker

Abundance has been defined in a variety of ways, by different people at different times and in different cultures. Today, we typically measure abundance in terms of the money and objects we possess. We think that those who possess the most are the most free and powerful individuals and that they therefore enjoy the most abundant lifestyle. Yet for Plato, Aristotle, and the Roman Stoic philosophers, the most free and powerful individuals were those who could be happy with the fewest things. While our culture values those who earn and hoard the most, among certain tribes in New Guinea, the most valued members of society were those who gave away the most.

The Tao of Abundance

In the end, we could say that abundance is the feeling of enough and to spare. Well all right, but how much is enough? Does a man with a “net worth” in the millions, whose mood fluctuates with the stock market, and who feels himself to be lacking relative to his country club companions, experience abundance? What about a “primitive” in the rainforests of the Amazon who, with the simplest of technologies and a leaky temporary hut for a shelter, feels himself blessed by the bounty of the forest? Clearly, having no quantifiable frame of reference, abundance is a state of mind, or more precisely, of being.

In attempting to define abundance, a look at the origin of the word itself as well as those of other terms we associate with wealth and prosperity will help. The word abundance is derived from the Latin abunda-re, meaning “to overflow.” Wealth is derived from the Old English wel or wela, meaning “well” or “well-being.” Well is to wealth, as heal is to health. The word prosperity is derived from the Latin prospera-re, meaning “to render fortunate.” Rich comes from the Old English rice, meaning “strong,” “powerful.” While today we associate all these terms almost exclusively with money and material gain, in their origins all had meanings that address quality of life in broader terms.

To live in abundance is to be fully alive, free of any sense of lack or desperation. The following little story gives the essence of abundance. A man leaves the remote peasant village of his birth and travels the wide world. After many years, he returns home. His friends, relatives, and neighbors gather round him and ask, “How is life in the world?” He replies, “Same as here. It is good for those who know how to live.”

The art of abundance is not the art of making money, but the art of knowing how to live. This knowing how to live is the essence of what I call the “Tao of Abundance.” The Tao of Abundance is a not a “get rich quick” or “think your way to riches” approach to prosperity. It does not encourage you “think like a millionaire,” “dress for success,” or “climb the corporate ladder.” It speaks to deeper experience of abundance than can be realized by the mere accumulation of goods or by amassing an impressive balance sheet.

Applying the eight principles discussed in The Tao of Abundance may, in time, bring greater material abundance into your life. Certainly, applying these principles will assist you in opening to receive the creative ideas from which all wealth ultimately springs. Yet this increased material abundance will come not from struggling to attain it as a goal in itself, but rather as a natural by-product of experiencing a deeper state of psychological abundance.

The new feeling of abundance that you enjoy within will come to be reflected in all aspects of your outer life, including your finances. Yet even if you make not one dime more, or even a few less, but come to earn your money in a way that truly reflects your nature and expresses who you are, your experience of abundance will be enhanced. Indeed, some may find that a truer experience of abundance requires that they relinquish their attachment to social status or excessive material consumption.

Real abundance is about so much more than money. A “healthy bottom line” does not equate with a healthy and abundant state of mind. Evidence of the psychological and spiritual poverty of the rich and famous fills our newspapers, magazines, tabloids, and television programs and hardly needs repeating here. Suffice to say that many who own great stockpiles of material possessions, and who are, to all outer appearances, extremely wealthy individuals, do not enjoy real abundance. They are never content with what they have and live in fear of losing it. Clearly, real abundance must be something more than having a lot of money and things. But then how do we approach it?

The fundamental premise of The Tao of Abundance is that the universe is you and is for you. If you put yourself in accord with the way of the universe, it will take care of you abundantly. To experience this abundance, there is nothing you need do first. It is not necessary for you to earn one more dollar, get a better job, buy a new home or car, or go back to school. All that is required is that you become aware of the inner process through which you create an experience of lack and struggle in your life, and refrain from doing it. Feelings of abundance and gratitude are natural to the human being; they do not need to be added or put on. We have only to become aware of how we are resisting and inhibiting this natural state.

The Tao of Abundance asks you to accept responsibility for creating your own experience of abundance or lack. Of course, no individual operates in a vacuum. It would be absurd to deny the impact that the values and organization of the broader society have on us as individuals. In an effort to secure the ever-expanding productivity and consumption upon which its “health” depends, modern commercial culture vigorously promotes a “lack consciousness.”

We buy things we don’t need (or even want), because we have become convinced that we will be somehow lacking or inferior without them. We do work we don’t want to do, because we have become convinced that there is a scarcity of good jobs and that we can’t create our own work. Thus, even while we amass more and more stuff, the feeling of abundance keeps eluding us. In addition to the role that the values of the broader society have in promoting a psychology of lack within the individual, the current organization of society poses institutional barriers to his or her creative development and financial independence.

Nevertheless, ultimate responsibility for the individual’s experience lies with the individual, not with the culture into which he or she has been born. Awareness of the broader social dynamics that promote a consciousness of lack, as well as the inner ego drives that bind us to them, empowers us to break, once and for all, the chains of psychological poverty and lack. The Tao of Abundance addresses the root causes of the psychology of lack, and how these can be overcome.

Ultimately, the system is the ego. Freeing ourselves from the dominance and control of this system will be our primary concern. What we see reflected in the broader social and economic system—alienation, attachment, struggle, resentment, craving for approval, competitive hostility, pride, greed, and chaos—originate within the ego. We are the system, or, as J. Krishnamurti put it, long before the popular song: “We are the world.” The way of the ego necessarily produces a psychology of lack—one that cannot be overcome, regardless of the quantity of money or goods we accumulate. Alternatively, the way of the Tao naturally yields a feeling of abundance, regardless of how great or meager our accumulation of money and goods may be. Though he was often without money, and at times even food, William Blake’s poetry exudes abundance. As he put it:

I have mental joys and mental health,
Mental friends and mental wealth,
I’ve a wife that I love and that loves me;
I’ve all but riches bodily.

This is not to say that we should reject material wealth or shun the blessings that come with it. With money, much good can be done and much unnecessary suffering avoided or eliminated. Moreover, in the culture we live in today, time is money and money is power. It takes time to appreciate and enjoy life and all of its simple beauties. It takes time to stop and listen to the voice of our true selves. It takes time to develop our gifts and talents. It takes time to learn and grow. It takes time to develop and nurture meaningful relationships. And in making time for all of these, money is a great help.

Money can also give us a measure of freedom from the control of others and in this respect is more important today than ever. Throughout most of human history, one did not need money to live, that is, for the basic necessities of life. For one unable or unwilling to fit into society’s mold, there was always the option of retreating to some remote place and subsisting on the land—an option that isn’t really feasible today.

The Taoist values freedom and preserving the dignity of the human spirit and, in this respect, would not object to Humphrey Bogart’s assertion that “the only point in making money is, you can tell some big shot where to go.” The idea here is not to express (or harbor) hostility toward others but to affirm and follow your own path, free from intimidation or the control of others.

The big shot might be a boss for whom you do soul-draining, monotonous work—or a landlord or mortgage-holding bank, whom you must pay for the privilege of a little peace and quiet. In as much as money is an important factor in determining the time we have to enjoy life and the power and freedom we have in it, the pursuit of money is a worthy goal. On the other hand, if we are looking to money to fulfill or satisfy us, we are sure to be disappointed.

In lacking money, we too often think a lack of money is our only problem. Money can give us the time to appreciate the simple things in life more fully, but not the spirit of innocence and wonder necessary to do so. Money can give us the time to develop our gifts and talents, but not the courage and discipline to do so. Money can give us the power to make a difference in the lives of others, but not the desire to do so. Money can give us the time to develop and nurture our relationships, but not the love and caring necessary to do so. Money can just as easily make us more jaded, escapist, selfish, and lonely. In short, money can help to free or enslave us, depending on why we want it and what we do with it. In this respect, nothing has changed in the two thousand years since Horace wrote, “Riches either serve or govern the possessor.”

The Role of Money

Money is a relatively simple issue. There are only two important questions: (1) How much do you need? (2) What is it going to cost you to get it? It is keeping these two questions in mind that gives us a true sense of money’s relationship to abundance. If we have less than what we need, or if what we have is costing us too much—in either case, our experience of abundance will be incomplete. As things stand in the modern world, you need money to eat, sleep, dress, work, play, relate, heal, move about, and keep the government off your back. In what style you choose to do each of these will determine how much money you need, that is, your lifestyle. Remember in choosing your style that it comes with a price tag. How much money it costs is not the issue, but how much the money costs you is of critical importance. Keep in mind:

Money should not cost you your soul.
Money should not cost you your relationships.
Money should not cost you your dignity.
Money should not cost you your health.
Money should not cost you your intelligence.
Money should not cost you your joy.

When it comes to determining how much you need, there are two important categories to keep in mind. First, there are the material things you need to keep body and soul together. Second are the areas of “need” related to social status and position. With both, you have a great deal of discretion. The ancient Taoist masters were keenly aware of the cost of money and were particularly skeptical of the cost of attaining social status and position. In the Lieh Tzu, Yang Chu says:

In the short time we are here, we should listen to our own voices and follow our own hearts. Why not be free and live your own life? Why follow other people’s rules and live to please others?

Why, indeed? In a recent study, 48 percent of the male corporate executives surveyed admitted that they felt their lives were empty and meaningless. When one considers the cultural taboos against such an admission, the figure is surprisingly high and leads one to conclude that the real number must be higher still. Many think they’d be happy if they had enough money to give up working altogether. Yet this is often only a reaction to the drudgery of working day after day at things they find meaningless or even absurd. In response to my previous books Zen and the Art of Making a Living and How to Find the Work You Love, I receive many communications from people about their experience of work.

One day, I received a phone call from a man halfway around the world who, at forty-five, had never worked a day in his life. As a beneficiary of a sizable inheritance, he was free of the need to earn his daily bread. Yet he was not a happy man. Indeed, he was deeply troubled by the fact that so much of his life had gone by without his having expressed his own talents or made a difference in the lives of others. Like good health, spiritual growth, and nourishing relationships, meaningful work is one of the abundances of life that we neglect at our peril.

By now, you’re probably getting the idea that what I mean by the “Tao of Abundance” is something altogether different from the Dow Jones version of abundance. The Tao of Abundance is more wholistic in its scope, addressing the entire issue of quality of life, and not simply financial goals. Because the psychological dimension is so important to our experience of abundance, it is addressed at length in The Tao of Abundance. The eight Taoist principles discussed in the book provide powerful keys to embracing and integrating a psychology of abundance. The first two chapters lay a groundwork for overcoming the sense of alienation and separation that are the underpinnings of a psychology of lack.

For most of us, the feeling of lack is not a result of a lack of things or material stuff. It is a sense of struggle and a lack of ease; a lack of energy; a feeling of powerlessness and blocked expression; a lack of harmony and connection in relationship; a lack of time to be, grow, and relate; and a lack of opportunity to fully appreciate and celebrate the beauty in life—that give a sense of deficiency to our existence. Each of these “lacks” are considered respectively in chapters 3-8, both in terms of understanding their causes, and in terms of practical suggestions for creating greater abundance in each of these areas. The exercises at the end of the book will help you to integrate and apply the information you encounter in the text.

The Road to Total Abundance

There are three primary tasks for us on the journey to a life of total abundance. The first is to recognize the inner and outer forces that conspire to make us believe in scarcity and thus to feel lack. Awareness of these factors will help us to overcome their influence over us. The second task is to cultivate a spirit of abundance in our lives, celebrating the gift of life with joy and thanksgiving. As we focus in our thoughts and actions on things that bring a feeling a connection with all life, we begin to move with the flow of the Tao. In this way, we allow blessings to come to us as a part of the “overflow” of an abundant spirit—not as things we crave and struggle for from a sense of lack or desperation. To come from lack can only bring lack, even when we get what we think we need. On the other hand, when we come from the spirit of abundance, we attract ever greater abundance.

Finally, as we move in the world from the spirit of abundance, we become a liberating and empowering force in the lives of those with whom we interact. We help them see, not by preaching, but by example, that we all live in an abundant world and that they as well can free themselves from lack consciousness. Together, we can unite in a spirit of abundance and create new patterns of community and social organization, new lifestyles, and new ways of relating, based on cooperation rather than competition. As envy, greed, and competition flow from lack, so compassion, service, and cooperation flow from a spirit of abundance. It is this spirit of abundance that will be our guide as we embark on the journey to creating total abundance in our lives.

Laurence G. Boldt – Eight Principles of Abundant Living

The principles of abundance are stated in English. The corresponding Chinese term is often not, nor is it intended to be, a direct translation of the principle as expressed in English. Rather, the Chinese terms give the essence or active ingredient of the principle. For example, when I use yin/yang in correspondence with the harmony of abundance, I do not mean that yin/yang literally translates as “harmony.” Rather, I mean that an awareness and understanding of yin/yang dynamics will help us to find greater harmony in our own lives.

Chapter 1 – The Nameless Tao – Wu-ming – Recognizing the unity of all things starts you on the path to true abundance.

Chapter 2 – Nature – Tzu-jan – Learning to receive opens the door to your greatest good.

Chapter 3 – Ease – Wu-wei – Following the path of least resistance brings success with ease.

Chapter 4 – Flow – Ch’i – Circulating the energy in your life strengthens health, deepens relationships, and generates wealth.

Chapter 5 – Power – Te – Honoring your innate dignity and actualizing your inborn abilities is the road to authentic power.

Chapter 6 – Harmony – Yin/Yang
– Balancing yin and yang eliminates stress and brings peace of mind.

Chapter 7 – Leisure – Jen
– Taking time to be, to grow, and to nurture your relationships gives you the strength to persevere.

Chapter 8 – Beauty – Li – Achieving your destiny is a matter of trusting and embracing the organic pattern of your life.

Laurence G. Boldt – The Way of the Tao

Throughout this book, a contrast will be made between the Way of the Tao and the Way of the Ego.

1. The Unity of the Nameless Tao vs The Separation of the Ego (lack of connection, alienation)

2. The Nature/Receptivity of the Tao vs The Attachments of the Ego (lack of spontaneity and inspiration)

3. The Ease of the Tao vs The Struggle of the Ego (lack of ease, tension, stress)

4. The Flow/Joy of the Tao vs The Resentment of the Ego (lack of energy and zest for life)

5. The Power/Dignity of the Tao vs The Craving for Approval of the Ego (lack of power and inner direction)

6. The Harmony of the Tao vs The Competitive Hostility (Envy) of the Ego (lack of inner and outer peace and harmony)

7. The Leisure of the Tao vs The Greed of the Ego (lack of time and rest)

8. The Beauty of the Tao vs The Chaos of the Ego (lack of meaning, nihilism)

Laurence Boldt

For over two decades, author Laurence Boldt has been helping people to live their dreams, through his work as a writer, speaker, and career consultant. He is the author of five books, including the bestselling career classic Zen and the Art of Marking a Living. This groundbreaking work has been credited by many with revolutionizing the career field, offering a new a vision of work and a new technology of vocational guidance. Boldt’s other books include the bestselling How to Find the Work You Love, Zen Soup, and The Tao of Abundance.

Today, three of Boldt’s books are used as graduate-level course texts at leading public and private universities across the country. His books appear on the required and recommended reading lists of such prestigious institutions as Columbia Business School, USC Marshall School of Business, and the Yale Law School. His books have won praise in articles and reviews from such diverse publications as Newsweek, Mademoiselle, Selling, Business Ethics, African Business, Sales and Marketing Management, Publisher’s Weekly, New Age Journal, Common Boundary, and The Simple Living Journal. Laurence Boldt is a leading interpreter of Eastern philosophy to the modern West. His book The Tao of Abundance was recognized as one of the top ten books on Eastern religion in 1999 by the editors of Amazon.com.

Laurence has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and television programs across the nation. An in-demand motivational speaker, Boldt has given seminars, workshops, and lectures for leading business, nonprofit, and educational organizations. He has designed curricula for high school and college courses and corporate training programs. As young man, Laurence completed a forty-day fast. Today, he enjoys writing poetry, reading, meditating, and spending time in nature. An avid backpacker, he has hiked the length of the John Muir Trail. He lives in Southern California.

Spiritual Selling How to use the Attractor Sales System to Create Abundance in Your Business By Joe Nunziata

Abundance. Defined as “a great and plentiful amount.” Too often we associate abundance with wealth, forgetting that it could also refer to fulfilling relationships, improved health, or a simple state of joy.

As a salesperson, it may seem like all the key elements are in place: a great product, a great service, and great prospects. But for some reason there aren’t enough sales. Countless books on new sales techniques aren’t changing things either. Something is blocking those sales, and it might take a while to realize that the block is coming from inside of the salesperson.

Joe Nunziata was neither spiritual nor successful before his first visit to a medium changed him. He realized life was more than just a race to the finish line and by applying his spiritual strength to the business world he could lead a much more fulfilling life. He shares his profound insight and advice in SPIRITUAL SELLING.

SPIRITUAL SELLING introduces the Attractore Sales System, a methodology that combines spirituality with practical sales strategies and introduces sales people to a powerful new way of thinking about the way they sell their products and services.

Selling requires an understanding of your energy and the law of attraction between similar energies. Learning to focus on the task at hand while keeping in touch with your feelings and maintaining your energy is of utmost importance. Achievement of this spiritual state is assisted by Nunziata’s step-by-step process for succeeding at Spiritual Selling. This process includes defining your mission, knowing your brand, building your sales process, creating a funnel system, and lastly – having fun.

“Know your customer better than you know yourself. The system revolves around the customer.” – Joe Nunziata

Spiritual Selling is an exciting journey into a new way of thinking about the way you sell your product or service. The idea requires a strong level of trust, a willingness to believe in something that you cannot see or prove by scientific standards. The skill is connected with your own sense of self-worth and importance, a belief that you are meaningful to your world.

Rather than focusing on sales tactics, SPIRITUAL SELLING offers a counterintuitive approach based on the salesperson’s own internal energy. While innovative sales techniques will help salespeople sell a little more or a little faster, SPIRITUAL SELLING shows them how to attain success by attracting more and better clients to them – essentially improving sales results by first improving the salesperson. The perfect combination of philosophy and tactics, SPIRITUAL SELLING is a selling guide like no other.

Joe Nunziata is an internationally renowned speaker, author and sales and marketing expert. In 1992, Joe founded Top Notch Training as a personal development company.

Consciousness: A Principle-Based Paradigm for Leadership by Marsha Madigan, MD

What Is Leadership?

At its core, leadership is the ability of individuals and groups to transcend their limited circumstances and to actualize their creative potential. It is a fundamental capacity of all human beings, which cuts across disciplines, levels, and differences. Leadership is the ability to see the transient ephemeral nature of thought, to not entertain negative, limited, or personal thought, and to allow higher order thoughts, insight, wisdom, and common sense to occur spontaneously through one. It is seeing past a fixed and limited view of reality, seeing past the content of thought, to the unlimited infinite potential of experience.

Leadership is the view from the mountaintop, the mile-high view, which is the basis for strategic decision making, effective listening, bringing out the best in people, teamwork, creativity, responsiveness, economy of means, and high level effectiveness. Leadership is the ability to be responsive simultaneously to multiple circumstances, to inspire self and others to greatness, to be willing not to know and to look to the unknown for what is not yet known, and to get to the heart of the matter and do what makes a difference.

Leadership is based on consciousness, the understanding that what we observe with our senses is thought being brought to life. The degree to which we understand the ephemeral nature of thought, that thought is occurring moment to moment to moment, from the invisible formless which is before thought, and manifesting into form, after the fact of thought, is our level of consciousness or awareness. “Consciousness allows the recognition of form, form being the expression of Thought,” says Sydney Banks in The Missing Link.

The more deeply any individual or group is aware of the transient nature of thought, the lack of power in the content of thought, and the fact that all of the power is in the invisible formless, before the fact of thought, the higher their level of consciousness and the greater their capacity for leadership. As individuals and groups deepen their consciousness, they attain more and more distance or perspective from the content of their own and others’ thinking, from the content of their experience and circumstances. This distance, mountaintop view, space between thoughts, or lack of reaction to content, allows them to be responsive to circumstances rather than reactive.

When leaders see the value of allowing space in between their thoughts, perspective in their thinking, they can see beyond the circumstances and content of problems and situations, to graceful responses and effortless solutions. They are able to look past their limited memory and analysis, and transcend their own thinking into higher order wisdom and insight. They can then participate in the unfolding reality as it occurs through them.

Understanding thought, consciousness, is like understanding the phenomenon of a mirage of water on a desert road. Nothing effortful has to be done to transcend the experience of water on the road, one doesn’t give up driving and attempt to remove the water, or find an alternate route. The key is in recognizing the nature of a mirage, a thought-created sensory image that has no power in and of itself.

As one does not react to the image, and continues driving, the mirage dissolves into the normal road. Recognizing that every experience we each have is thought brought to life by our senses frees us from becoming enmeshed in limited thought, and allows us to look before the formation of thought, to the source of thought, the formless unknown. Creativity and innovation occurs through us as we allow thought to flow through us, and we follow the plan given to us by our insight and wisdom, rather than trying to figure it out and plan based on personal thinking.

As we let any reactive, judgmental or evaluative thinking pass through us, out of a quiet mind free of personal thought comes the answer, which may be action or may be a different perspective. Leadership is unleashing that potential in others. Groups who function with this understanding are able to get past thoughts of fear of failure, fear of what others think about us, our limited thoughts of what our roles should be or shouldn’t be, to function at a high level of teamwork. At the highest level of leadership functioning, a group can reach the one mind that David Bohm speaks about in On Dialogue, where the group thinks as one and transcends any differences.

Leadership comes from seeing that it is not circumstances that need correcting, and it is not an individual’s “wrong” thinking about a person, thing or condition (content) that needs to be corrected. Consciousness is understanding that thought is an impersonal effect, after that fact of thinking, and has no power in and of itself. The only power thought has is the power that we give it, and the higher our level of awareness, the less power we give thought. Whatever thoughts are on our mind will play out in our individual and group experience.

If we want to change our experience, we need to let go of our current thinking in order to see something new. We need a stance of curiosity, of willingness to give up being “right”, in order to see what we don’t yet know, in order for a new reality to manifest through us.

The instant that we see that our experience is created moment to moment via thought, and that our feelings are our compass to the quality of our thinking or the level of our consciousness, we can let go of stressful or negative thinking and relax into a good feeling. Knowing that feelings are a direct result of what’s on our mind allows us to use our feelings as a guide to let go of unhealthy thinking. Into the vacuum that’s left by letting go of limited or personal thought flows insight creativity, wisdom and perfect detached action. That’s why, in times of great crisis like war or disaster, when people’s heads clear, they see what needs to be done and act on it. Often survivors of such crisis describe a feeling of connectedness, which transcends the circumstances, which is analogous to the one mind of an aligned group working together.

Alignment is a form conflict resolution takes when a group is functioning at a high level of consciousness. Listening deeply, and letting go of preconceived ideas and history, a willingness not to know, and a stance of curiosity, allows leaders to develop rapport in a group. Rapport is the basis for agreement and shared understanding. From this base of rapport and agreement, problems and difficult situations are seen as no one’s fault (impersonal), thought-created, ephemeral and mutable; the group can choose not to react to them, try to fix them, or resign themselves to them. Listening deeply without bias or prejudice allows the observation of what is. From the clarity that arises out of unbiased observation, we get new insights, and perfect detached action arises through us.

If we don’t react to what we judge as our own or other’s “faulty” thinking, we don’t resist it or try to change it, because we know it’s after the fact of thought (content). The space that is created by not reacting will yield a different view of the situation; we will see something new that transcends the situation.

Allowing thoughts to pass through, and attributing no significance to them, not personalizing them, is consciousness. Any thought is after the fact of thought, after the fact of the formless, and it’s content is irrelevant, so that no thinking needs to be done about it. David Bohm describes this as “proprioception of thought”, seeing the intention to think and choosing not to entertain thought, which allows fresh thought to arise through us, as opposed to getting stuck in the “squirrel cage” of already thought thought.

Strategic decision making in leadership is a result of consciousness. Imagine a tennis player saying, “Why does this ball keep coming at meI just finished hitting it, why do I have to hit it again?” As opposed to, “Oh, good, another opportunity to hit it better, to improve my accuracy.” Now translate that to how individuals and organizations approach “problems that keep occurring” vs. “situations that present themselves for responses.”

The ability to listen with the invisible ear to the inaudible word gives leaders the ability to not only respond effectively rather than react, but to participate in the unfolding of a new reality. Listening deeply for the heart of the matter, and then doing what occurs to one out of a quiet mind, is the key to “economy of means” finding the optimal decisions and minimizing the costs.

Conscious strategic decision making might be called “doing nothing”, i.e. doing nothing of a personal nature, nothing through personal fear or personal doubt, doing nothing that is purely our will or our desire, but allowing perfect detached action to come through us. This is “being” leadership, rather than “doing” leadership. In Wisdom Leadership, S.K. Chakraborty describes rajarshis, king/sages of ancient India who “translated the order of the cosmos (rita) into the order of the society.” John Heider describes a similar stance of “being” leadership in The Tao of Leadership, leadership in accordance with natural law. Sydney Banks, again in The Missing Link, says, “All humans have the inner ability to synchronize their personal mind with their impersonal mind to bring harmony into their lives.”

Joseph Jaworski, in Synchronicity, The Inner Path of Leadership, says, “People do in fact create the future through our declarations, our actions, our way of being… The issue of how we can collectively create the future.., how what we see as “reality” is inseparable from our language [thought] and actions.” In the forward to Jaworski’s book, Peter Senge comments, “in a deep sense, my capacity as a leader comes from my choice to allow life to unfold through me.” This is exactly what consciousness does, in allowing us to transcend limited and personal thinking, to allow the creative process to flow from the unknown through us.

Senge says “We search for special individuals with leadership potential, rather than developing the leadership potential in everyone… Leadership exists when people are no longer the victims of circumstances, but participate in creating new circumstances… Leadership is about creating a domain in which human beings continually deepen their understanding of reality and become more capable of participating in the unfolding of the world. Ultimately, leadership is about creating new realities… If we were not making such an immense effort to separate ourselves from life, we might actually live life day to day, minute by minute, as a series of predictable miracles.”

Consciousness allows leadership to flow through individuals and groups. so that they can truly live their lives in service to life itself.


* Banks, Sydney (1998) The Missing Link, Reflections on Philosophy and Spirit, Edmonton: International Human Relations Consultants, Inc.
* Bohm, David (1996) On Dialogue, London: Routledge
* Chakraborty, S.K. Wisdom Leadership:Leading by the SELF, Journal Of Human Values, Vol 1:2, (1995) pp205-219
* Heider, John (1985) The Tao of Leadership, Atlanta: Humanics Limited
* Jaworski, Joseph (1996) Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler

Marsha Madigan, MD, is an experienced senior level healthcare executive and family physician. Recognized for published research and international presentations, she has well-developed strategic decision-making, executive coaching, and conflict resolution competencies, utilized in internal and independent consulting engagements to industry leaders. Dr. Madigan has a reputation for achieving results utilizing relationship-centered principle-based leadership. For more information, send email: to: mmmadigan@msms.org

MYSTICAL DOGS : Animals as Guides to Our Inner Lives ~ Jean Houston


Chickie and the Path of Awakening
We were both pups when my parents got her—I about eighteen months old, she somewhat younger but older by far in wisdom and experience. She had already had a brief career in the movies, having played one of Daisy’s puppies in the Dagwood and Blondie series. But now, too old for the part, she had been given to my father in lieu of payment for a script he had turned in. He was a comedy writer for radio and occasionally movies, and excelled in writing jokes and scripts but not in collecting the fees owed him.

Her name was Chickie, and she was a wonderful mix of Welsh corgi and bearded collie. A white star blazed on her chest, and she had four white feet and a white tipped tail to complement her long black fur. Even though she was scarcely over a year old, she was already motherly and sat by my crib for hours on end, making sure that no harm would come to me.

If I cried, she would be off to my mother, insisting that she come immediately. If I wanted to play, she would bring toys, hers as well as mine. My Dad caught on that this was a special dog with high intelligence plus something else. He taught her many tricks, learned from the dog trainers at the movie studio. Lassie’s trainers gave him pointers on how to get Chickie to respond to hand signals, as well as to climb ladders, bark on cue, walk on beach balls, dance on two legs, and jump rope with a willing human. This she did readily and well, but there was more to her still—perhaps one would call it a deep sense of ethics. She seemed virtue incarnate, a Saint Francis of Assisi of dogs, who took on responsibilities of saintly cast. I thought of her as my sister and, what with all of our travels, my constant and closest friend.

Thus it was a shock when one day one of the actors in a picture my father was working on came home with him, saw Chickie, and immediately wanted to buy her. “Jack,” said the actor, “that is the greatest dog I ever saw in my life. I’ll give you fifty bucks for that dog.”
“Can’t do it, pal,” said my father. “It’s the kid’s dog.”

The actor persisted. “I’ll give you a hundred bucks for the dog. I know you need the money.” Indeed, we did, and driven by the panic of incipient poverty, the one thing he dreaded more than any thing else, my father acted in an uncharacteristic manner.
Excusing himself, he went into the kitchen to discuss this with my mother. “Certainly not!” she adamantly declared. “It’s Jeanie’s dog.”

“You’re right, Mary,” my father sheepishly agreed. “It’s just that I think I’m going to lose my job at the studio and am damned scared of not being able to bring home the bacon.”
“Well, you certainly cannot bring home the bacon by selling the child’s dog,” my mother fumed. “Anyway, if we go broke again, I’ll just do what I always do—start an acting school for children.”

A few days later the actor came back, saying, “Jack, I’ve got to have that dog on my ranch. I want that dog. I’ll give you 250 bucks for the dog.” During this ordeal Chickie and I were sitting on the floor behind the couch, listening in horror. I was already making my running-away plans with her.

“Well, I sure do need the money,” said my father. “Just a minute; I’ve got to talk to my wife.”
“Mary, he’s offering 250 bucks for the dog! We can always get Jeanie a new dog at the pound!”
“No way!” said my mother.
The next day the actor returned. He had rarely known failure and was not about to start now. “Jack, I’ll give you 250 bucks and my secondhand car. I know you need a car to get around.”
“Wait a minute,” said my father. “I’m sure this time I can convince my wife.” Upon hearing the latest offer, my mother, bless her heart, stormed out of the kitchen, stalked up to the actor, and chewed him out. “Ronald Reagan,” she railed, “how dare you try to take away my child’s dog!” At least he knew a good dog when he saw one.

Maybe it was that threat of being parted from each other, but after that incident with the actor, Chickie and I took to having long jaunts with each other. We would be gone for hours at a time, and either my parents were too busy to notice or they trusted Chickie’s care of me. With Chickie in charge, I was given a great deal of freedom to wander in a world as miraculous as it was marvelous.

Behind our house was a large wooded area where Chickie and I began what I have come to think of as our travels in awakening. Two hours with Chickie in the woods yielded an incredible range of learnings. Chickie was more nose than eyes, and I quite the other way around. But together we investigated the endless treasures of forest and meadow. I remember crawling on four legs in order to follow more closely her interests and discoveries. As she sniffed out deer scat, mice holes, squirrel trails, and bug routes, she would occasionally turn around and check with me to see if I saw them too.

Chickie taught me to be alert to both the seen and the unseen, the heard and the unheard. A whisper of wings would turn her head and mine would follow, waiting for the flutter that would finally announce to my human-hindered head, “Bird on the wing!” Chickie would lift her nose, her tail would signal attention, and we would be off and running to follow the adventures of the air—entrancing molecules luring us to destinies both savory and dangerous. Once it was to a camper’s discarded remnants of fried chicken, but once, too, it was to meet up with the snarling fury of a bobcat. Chickie barked, and I, knowing that human words were useless, barked too. Our defiant duet seemed to work, for the bemused cat slunk off, never to be seen again.

Chickie gave me metaphors for my later life’s work, especially when it came to digging. Paws scratching away at apparently nothing soon revealed dark secrets hidden in the earth—old bones, ancient feathers, and things so mysterious as to be beyond human knowing. Years later I would probe and dig into the soil of the human subconscious with something like Chickie’s fervor to find there the bones of old myths, the feathers of essence, and the great mysterious matrix that still sustains and lures the human quest.

Those early years with Chickie were a whole education in looking, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching—the feast and lore of the senses. For many years now I have been helping schools in the United States and many other countries to improve education by making it sensory rich, hands on, art centered. When asked who my mentors have been—John Dewey? Maria Montesori? The Carnegie Institute?—I can only reply in truth, “Chickie.”

Chickie and I traveled in others ways as well. In fact, we crossed the Mississippi river by train many times before I could spell it. “There it goes, Jeanie-pot!” my father would bleat with excitement. “There goes the Mississippi, the father of waters. Quick, look out your window while you can still see it.”
“I’ve seen it,” I’d say, my eye affixed firmly to my comic book.
“Whaddya mean, you’ve seen it? The greatest river in the world! The crossroads of American history—La Salle, Showboat, the Louisiana Purchase, Huckleberry Finn! And you say you’ve seen it.”
“But Daddy, we just passed over it going the other way a couple of weeks ago.”
“Yeah . . . well, that show in New York didn’t pan out too well. We’ll give California another try. I think I can get back with Bob Hope, and if not, Fibber McGee and Molly could always find room in their closet for me, and if not them, I could always try . . .” Two days later he was writing for Amos and Andy, and if he was lucky, we were set in one place for thirteen weeks—maybe.

For years Chickie served as the center for calm and a kind of spiritual tranquillity in our life of constant change brought about through my Dad’s work as well as his penchant for eccentric adventures. Even though I went to something like twenty different schools all over the country before I was twelve, I would always come home to Chickie, who regarded all of life as delightful and who maintained a saintly comportment and stability in the face of any whimsy we humans could invent.

People sometimes ask me how I can keep myself in reasonable mental and physical health even though I sometimes travel up to a quarter of a million miles a year and have a life of ridiculous complexity. In reflection I realize that Chickie’s influence continues, to wit: Stay centered in eternity regardless of how much chaos is happening in time; look upon all people and events as opportunities for furthering life and its promise; and greet everyone as a potential awakened one—God in hiding, or dog in drag!
In addition to taking care of us Chickie also taught me my best lessons in ethics and responsibility. She seemed to have little self-interest.

Many of her actions were clearly for others. She was empathy personified, whether in consoling with me when I was upset or in the way she would listen to humans as they railed against their supposed fate. Her answer was simply to be there, to place her head upon their knee and look at them sweetly in the eye, her gaze unblinking and never wavering. However, if their blue mood went on too long, she would try to entertain them, bringing over something to throw or, if that did not work, amusing them with one of her dancing tricks.

When my little brother was born, it was under Chickie’s tutelage that I came to take care of him. I remember when he was very young, he managed to bang together some orange crates in the shape of a rocket. For weeks he had been telling us that he was going back home to where he came from up among the stars. One day, Chickie came madly running toward me, barking in distress and pulling me by my dress to our bedroom. I raced after her and found my little brother balancing in the open window in his “rocket.” He waved happily at me saying, “Bye, bye. I go up home now.” I grabbed his little body and pulled him back as the rocket fell eleven floors to the street.

Entering into another realm, that of the spiritual epiphany, Chickie accompanied me on the most important experience of my entire lifetime. It turned out to be my key experience in awakening. I have described it in other books, but not from the perspective of Chickie’s critical role in it. It happened in my sixth year. I had been sent to Catholic school in Brooklyn, New York. My father had been tossed off the Bob Hope show for an excess of high spirits, and we were broke and living with my mother’s Sicilian parents in the Italian section of that noble if bad-mouthed borough.

Theologically precocious, and buttressed with questions designed by my agnostic comedy-writing father, I would assail the little nun who taught our first grade with queries that seemed logical to me but blasphemous to her. “Sister Theresa, when Ezekiel saw the wheel, was he drunk?” Or “Sister Theresa, I counted my ribs and I counted Joey Mangiabella’s ribs, and we have the same number of ribs, and so do all the other boys and girls. See? (At that moment, on cue, all the children in the class lifted up their undershirts to prove the point.) “So if God took a rib out of Adam to make Eve like you said, how come . . .?

Then there were the Jesus questions. “Sister Theresa, how do you know that Jesus wasn’t walking on rocks below the surface when he seemed to be walking on the water?” And “Sister Theresa, when Jesus rose, was that because God filled him full of helium?”
Then there was the day of the question that tipped her dogma as well as her dignity. It had to do with Jesus’ natural functions and whether he ever had to go to the toilet. Her response had her looking like a black and white penguin in a state of hopping rage. She jumped on a stool, tacked up a large sheet of heavy cardboard and in large India-ink letters wrote:

All further theological questions of an original bent met with the little nun X-ing in more years for me to endure in purgatory, and each X stood for a hundred thousand years! By the last day of the first grade I had accumulated something like 300 million years in purgatory to my credit. Spiritually bereft, I told my father about the debacle and he, finding it very funny, took me off immediately to see the motion picture The Song of Bernadette.

This famous movie is renowned for its scenes of Saint Bernadette’s vision of the holy Madonna in the grotto at Lourdes, which thereafter became a famous place for healing. Unfortunately, during the holiest of scenes, with Mother Mary appearing in luminous white in the grotto before the praying Bernadette, my father burst into long, whinnying, uncontrolled laughter. It turned out that he had known the starlet playing the role of Mary and found the incongruity between her Hollywood life and the role she was playing hilarious. Leaving the theatre finally in a state of mortal embarrassment, I pulled away from my still laughing father in order to get quickly to my house in order to emulate Bernadette’s remarkable vision.

My destination was a guest room with a very long closet that looked a lot like a grotto. There were no clothes in the closet for Chickie had commandeered it as a nest for her new eight puppies. I explained my need to Chickie, feeling that she would not mind my moving her pups, being as she would want me to open a space for the greatest mama of them all to show up. When she protested mildly, I further explained that I didn’t want the Holy Mother to step on her pups. After that, Chickie watched my actions with interest.

Kneeling in the now cleared Brooklyn “grotto,” I prayed to the Madonna to show up in the closet as she had for Bernadette at Lourdes. I began by closing my eyes and counting slowly to 10, while promising to give up candy for two weeks if she would only show up. I opened my eyes to encounter the Madonna Chickie lovingly carrying one of pups back into the “grotto.” I kept on counting to ever higher numbers, promising all manner of food sacrifices—mostly my favorite Sicilian delicacies like chicken with lemon and garlic sauce—but my revelation was only to be more and more puppies back in the closet.

Finally I counted to a very high number, 167, and having given up all calories, I told the Holy Mother that I could not think of anything else to give up, so would she please, please, please show up as I really wanted to see her. This time I was sure that she would make it. I opened my eyes, and there was Chickie contentedly licking all eight of her puppies.

“Oh Chickie,” I sighed and reached out to pat her, whereupon she bestowed on me a kindly lick and a compassionate look as if I were her ninth puppy. At that moment came a vague spiritual forewarning, as if I had prayed for the Madonna and seen her in one of her many forms in Chickie, the all wise, all loving mother, and her care for her pups. But still I yearned for the movie version and did not yet recognize the truth of what I had been given. And so Herself offered me another chance. In a dreamy, unspecified state I went over to the window seat and looked over at the fig tree blooming in our yard. And suddenly it all happened—the most important awakening state of my entire life.

As I have written, “I must in my innocence have unwittingly tapped into the appropriate spiritual doorway, for suddenly the key turned and the door to the universe opened. Nothing changed in my outward perceptions. There were no visions, no sprays of golden light, certainly no appearances by the Virgin Mary. The world remained as it had been. Yet everything around me, including myself, moved into meaning.”1

Only in reflection have I come to realize how much of what I then felt and knew had been prepared for me by Chickie and her guidance in the ways of awakening. All those rambles that we had taken together were now one ramble, all the smells and sights of nature to which she had introduced me were present along with the fig tree
blooming in the yard, Chickie herself and her pups in the closet, the plane in the sky, the sky itself, and even my idea of the Madonna. All had become part of a single unity, a glorious symphonic resonance in which every part of the universe was a part of and illuminated every other part, and I knew that in some way it all worked together and it was very good.

My mind had awakened to a consciousness that spanned centuries and was on intimate terms with the universe. Just as Chickie had taught me, everything was interesting and important: deer scat, old leaves, spilled milk, my Mary Jane shoes, the fig tree, the smell of glue on the back of the gold paper stars I had just pasted on the wall paper, the stars themselves, my grandfather Prospero Todaro’s huge stomach, the Atcheson, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad, Uncle Henry (the black porter who took care of me on the train across the country), the little boy fishing in the lake who waved to me on the train when I was crossing Kansas, the chipped paint on the ceiling, my nana’s special stuffed artichokes, my father’s typewriter, the silky ears of corn in a Texas cornfield, my Dick and Jane reader, and all the music that ever was—all were in a state of resonance and of the most immense and ecstatic kinship.

I was in a universe of friendship and fellow feeling, a companionable universe filled with interwoven Presence and the dance of life. This state seemed to go on forever, but it was actually only about two seconds, for the plane had moved only slightly across the sky. I had entered into timelessness, the domain in which eternity was the only reality and a few seconds could seem like forever.

Somewhere downstairs I heard the door slam, and my father entered the house laughing. Instantly, the whole universe joined in. Great roars of hilarity sounded from sun to sun. Field mice tittered, and so did angels and rainbows. Even Chickie seemed to be chuckling. Laughter leavened every atom and every star until I saw a universe inspirited and spiraled by joy, not unlike the one I read of years later in the Divine Comedy when Dante described his great vision in paradise: “D’el Riso d’el Universo” (the joy that spins the universe). This was a knowledge of the way everything worked. It worked through love and joy and the utter interpenetration and union of everything with the All That Is. And the Madonna—Chickie—was at the center of it all.

In this direct knowledge lay what I later learned was the mystical experience. This experience is not something to be kept sacrosanct in esoteric cupboards. It is coded into our bodies, brimming in our minds, and knocking on the doors of our souls. It is our natural birthright, and naturally it is most available when we are still children. As a child it charged me and changed me and probably gave me the impetus to do the things I later did. It showed me the many faces of God, and for weeks afterward I went around seeing this face in every creature, plant, and person—even in Sister Theresa, who was somewhat bothered by my beaming approval of her inner self.

“Madonna, Madonna, show up, show up!” I had shouted. And of course the Madonna had showed up, present in Chickie with her unconditional love and care for her pups and for me. Kneeling in front of her and her altar of puppies, I had asked for everything and everything is just what I got. And even today, whenever I see a statue of Mary I can not help but be reminded of Chickie’s boundless love, the ultimate Madonna bringing the puppies back into the closet, bringing them back into the manger.

As it happened, Chickie lived for a very long time (something like 140 years of dog time), suffering little but one very original and mystical neurosis. As soon as she boarded a train and for about an hour or two afterward, she got the stigmata: all four paws would begin to bleed like the hands and feet of some medieval saint. The vet could never figure out why this would happen, so we all accepted my mother’s Catholic interpretation of it as being a sign of God’s favor. Certainly, by her actions and saintly comportment, Chickie belonged among the circle of the blessed, so it seemed very reasonable that, along with Saint Francis of Assisi, she should be so honored.

Chickie lived with us until around my ninth year. Then one day, my father took her by the leash and told me to say good-bye to her at the elevator door of our apartment building. He informed me that he was going to give her to a friend who had a farm in Connecticut.
“Why, Daddy? Why would you give her away? She’s my sister. You can’t just go and give away my sister and best friend!”
“You kids are not taking her out for walks enough, and she will be happier on the farm.”

And with that my dear Chickie left my life forever. To this day I have never understood why my father took her away. In retrospect, however, I realize that at that time he was starting to leave us in order to marry another, and perhaps getting rid of Chickie was one of his first acts of detachment.

When I was seventeen, my mother rented a summer house for us on Green Farms Road near Westport, Connecticut. Daily, my brother and I would take long bike rides along Green Farms Road. I always felt that somewhere on that road was something that I had lost, and if only I could find it, I would be restored to grace again.
Several times that summer my father came up to visit us. After each visit, he’d leave to “visit a friend who has a farm further up on Green Farms Road.” Just before my
Dad died in 1986 he told me that he also had been visiting Chickie, who even at that time was living very happily on that farm. He never told me that she was just up the road, but something in my soul must have known she was there, since I felt so called to journey up and down that road on my bike. That she was very happy on the farm I have no doubt for she lived to be more than twenty years old.

Chickie was only the first of the remarkable dogs I have known and loved who have revealed to me, through their oneness with nature, facets of the mystical path. Unsullied in their essence and with a natural attunement to the Source, they have a purity that makes them wonderful companions as well as guides for our path back to wholeness.

Chickie was the means for me to understand on the most primal levels the nature of “awakening,” the initial stage on the mystical journey. Under her innocent tutelage, I experienced that place where the field of our being shifts and the deepest coding of our life emerges, an unlooked for act of grace. In her presence something in me woke up, rising through all my parts and seeming to reconstitute the whole. My senses become more acute, gaining something that our animals just naturally experience—the air flooded with information, the land infinitely interesting and full of continuous surprises to engage the eye, enthrall the nose, astonish the ear. All flowers become friends, humble bread tastes of manna from heaven, and every thing and every one seem lit from within—a kingdom of God in the midst of what we once thought of as ordinary reality.

Long after Chickie was gone, I found words to describe the experiences I had shared with her in the poetic succinctness of poet and mystic William Blake: “To see a World in a Grain of Sand, / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, / Hold Infinity in the palm of your Hand, / And Eternity in an Hour.”2 Blake also said, “If the doors of perception were cleansed, / Everything would appear as it is, Infinite . . .”3

Awakening can have the most tremendous effect for good on the life of those who experience it, as it had on me after my own revelation, making them wonderfully creative and useful. They seem to live at a higher level, with insight and ideas from some larger expanse of mind, to the betterment of their fellows and community. Yet few arbiters of reality recognize the place where these awakened ones dwell, or dare name it. Whether awakening begins in surprise as a gift from God or from grace or from evolution or from a peculiar synchronicity between nature’s elements and one’s own state of receptivity or from a wonderful dog, one feels powerfully affected by the sheer unexpected glory of it all.

What we think of as nature mysticism often occurs with such surprise. You are watching the ocean come in, and suddenly you are on every shore, in every ocean, and within every shining drop. And why not? If we are part of the One Reality, as mystics tell us and as many physicists confirm, we are ubiquitous through this universe and in touch with all its parts and particulars. It just takes the shift in consciousness that awakening awakens to experience this absolutely.

In my childhood, Chickie was my William Blake, providing in his own being the key to an experience that showed me that everything was interrelated in an organic universe founded on truth and beauty and a pattern that connected everything with everything else. Early on, I was able to see that all this was part of a holy perfection and was utterly serving of the good. With Chickie as spiritual guide, I also experienced timelessness and entered that state in which the categories of time are strained by the tensions of eternity.

I came to realize that what we call normal time is just the veneer of infinite time. Great eternity surrounds us and indwells us, and we come to think of past, present, and future as merely special laws within its much larger laws. I discovered then that we are citizens in a much larger universe and that we are able to enter into this kingdom of the larger order here and now.

In its everyday form, awakening is experienced as mindfulness—being present and awake to the sights and sounds and particulars of our daily lives. We go off of robot and become alert to the splendor of existence, be it seen in a sunset or a rose, an old man’s craggy face, the eyes of an animal, or the side of a mountain. We become awake to the nuances of emotion that pass between ourselves and others. And we respond in turn with a fuller expression to the other’s need or question. We move beyond that half-asleep state called ordinary waking consciousness.

And when we do, reality changes. We find ourselves in a world so startling in its vividness, so alive and resplendent in all its parts that we wonder at what planet we have arrived. We realize that we have lived as dim and diminished versions of ourselves, and vow to do so no longer. Chickie was my conduit to this larger reality. With her guidance I came awake to a world once known, long forgotten but held in trust by dogs for their human charges should they agree to follow their lead.

However it comes, awakening is the greatest experience of remembering who and what we really are, why we are here, and how it all fits together. Waking up has never been more important than at the beginning of the new millennium because, as of this moment, the species we call human is on a collision course with global cataclysm. Awakening brings with it answers, solutions, new ways of seeing and doing and being, and, best of all, the impetus to follow through and bring these answers into our particular world and time.

Solutions to our current dilemmas are coded in what we might call symbolically the Mind of the Maker, the Warehouse of God. In states of consciousness such as those awakening stimulates, the bandwidth increases and, with it, the capacity to access this greater realm of knowledge and creativity.

Strange as it seems, we can do this. Judging from the accounts of so many who have had an awakening experience, such access is always there—it is part of our innate human equipment. These experiences are fundamental to the human condition; they are part of our inheritance, the deeper givens of our existence. They are probably coded into our mind/brain system and are our call back to our “spiritual home place.”

The opportunity for us today is how to take this natural ability and make it normal, an ordinary-extraordinary part of our regular experience. How can we engage in everyday applied awakening? The story of Chickie gives us some important clues. Chickie was ever curious, always looking, sniffing, digging, and rolling in the continuous revelation of nature, discovering its sumptuous wonders and sharing them with me. For us this means to go forth and do likewise. It means that we halt our automatic responses to things, cease living a posthumous existence.

One celebrated way of doing this is the “stop” or “gathering mindfulness” technique, in which one is able to wake up to the realities both within oneself and without. To begin, walk around the room, but then take a few seconds to stop and become conscious of everything you are doing, seeing, hearing, and feeling—in other words,
allowing the moment to become charged with presence. Suddenly the world ceases to be just background noises and becomes a richness, and your brain/mind system ceases to be on automatic as you reorganize your perceptions into mindfulness.

Do this “stop” exercise now for the next few minutes—simple things like picking up a glass, walking to the door, looking at your shoes. But stop before you take any action, and then do the same action or act of attention consciously, bringing full mindfulness into the act. As you become more conscious of your actions, you will become more naturally aware and alert. Your field of mindfulness will expand and you will feel yourself inhabiting your reality and not just being a bystander.

If you would start by practicing this technique for five minutes a day, then gradually increasing day by day the minutes in which you stop before performing any movement and then doing it mindfully, in a month’s time you will be well on your way to having gone off of automatic and into conscious orchestration of your life. Your senses will have expanded because, together with your continuing to journey and explore in imagination your inner sensory world, you will have done much to reweave your perceptions. And not just your perceptions. This simple technique will spill over into your relationships, memory, thinking, and feeling, as well as increasing your capacity to learn and even to create.

Life, then, is no longer a dream but a vast creative enterprise in which one can focus one’s enhanced energies and attention to partner with creation itself. Too many people go through life oblivious to most of what is around them, several times removed from reality and many times removed from any passion for the possible. Mindfulness gives passion with clarity.

Most spiritual traditions consider it to be the best possible state of being. With regard to the outer world, it is a quality of heightened awareness and awakeness to life and its experiences. It can be described as becoming alert for 360 degrees. With regard to the inner world, mindfulness demands similar awareness, so that you become able to orchestrate your internal states, whether it be for creative exploration in inner realms or for meditation and prayer.

There is also the state of mindfulness that is referred to as “being conscious of being conscious,” what the mystic philosopher and consciousness teacher G. I. Gurdjieff referred to as “self-remembering.” In this state you are aware of yourself reading my words, but you are also aware of the experiences you have just explored in the last few minutes as well as the background of sensations in the room where you are sitting, your own bodily sensations, ideas that cross your mind, and your general mood—all of these held together simultaneously. You are aware of all these things, but on the front burner of your consciousness you are also aware that you are aware. I know I am asking much of you, but isn’t your life worth it?

To further awakening, devote time to explore and celebrate beauty in nature as well as in poetry, art, music, and the emerging spirit of the times, with its budding of new realities in the wake of the winter of a passing age. Gather unto yourself congenial friends—two legged as well as four legged—who share your drive toward awakening so that you keep on advancing on the path.

Immersion in beauty wherever you find it calls forth inner beauties and brings to consciousness the freshness of a world made new. Reading the rich metaphors of poetry especially can shake the mind from its stolid moorings, and you see deeper into the world and time. Perception becomes more acute, and conception as well. You wake up to what is going on around you, become empathic, know yourself as part of a seamless kinship with all living things. Thus you come to feel and care more deeply about the decay and degradation in the social and moral order.

Like Chickie, you become sensitive to other people’s pain as well as joy and offer them the companionship of soul. You reverence their being and hold them as holy—gods in hiding. This helps them to awaken as well as keeping the spirit of possibility alive in yourself.
You say “Yes!” to life wherever you find it, abandon whining, and welcome and celebrate the springtide of change. Like a happy dog, greet each day with wonder and astonishment. Then grace happens, shift happens, and the mind is prepared to receive Reality in all its many colors and textures.

Awakening further requires that you take time and space out of your usual day for a practice of spiritual connection. We know that the universe is a living system of elegant design that seems intent on providing the opportunity for learning on all levels. Access levels of consciousness on the divine wavelength, and the learning unfolds. We are built to travel the wavelength of consciousness and to enlarge it when we wish to live in a larger universe.

Better still, change perspective through meditation, reflection, or focus, and discover yourself to be the latest flower on the tree of the cosmos, ready to bloom. This requires the sun and rain of attention, a conscious dwelling in the midst of eternal fecundity. What had been there dimly as background awareness then moves to the foreground. In this state anything that you concentrate on opens up—objects, ideas, relationships, business, governance, even grand designs. We awaken to the wealth of being and the “Aha!” experiences keep on coming.

Above all, let your animals guide you. They know the way.

The Hero and the Goddess: The Odyssey as Pathway to Personal Transformation ~ Jean Houston

Internationally acclaimed for her groundbreaking United Nations and UNICEF leadership training, and for her founding role in the Human Potentials Movement, bestselling author Dr. Jean Houston has guided thousands of people from across the globe on a transformative journey in search of their ‘essential selves’. Now, in her latest release, The Hero and the Goddess, Houston invites you to embark with her on her most important journey yet, a provocative exploration of antiquity’s greatest epic, Homer’s The Odyssey.

The Hero and the Goddess reveals the timeless power of myth to liberate the psyche. In this engaging journey with the Odyssey’s immortal archetypes the reader truly becomes the hero of old and the goddess divine. With provocative exercises accompanying each chapter, Houston brings Odysseus’s mythic quest to life. Tailored for the individual as well as for group study, The Hero and the Goddess connects the seeker to the ageless wisdom embodied in archetypal figures, those venerable beings dwelling in us all.

By becoming the cunning warrior, the goddess protector, a faithful mother, and endearing son, we meet with the honest reflections of our deepest yearnings and betrayals, our subconscious feelings of loss and grief. Awaiting the champion who stays true is that of the newly ‘awakened self’. And although the mythic journey begins in you, these great archetypes most reveal the transcendent revelation of ‘oneness’, the impetus for a higher global consciousness. This transformative journey brings resurrection and healing to those who dare to embark on the path of The Hero and the Goddess. Set sail and be discovered as the Athena and Odysseus within, welcomed home to join again the “Divine

Jean Houston is one of the pioneers in the exploration of human potentials and the study of human consciousness. She is the founder and principle teacher of The Mystery School, established in 1983, a year-long seminar program dedicated to developing full human potential.

She is author of over fifteen books, including The Possible Human, Life Force:The Psycho-Historical Recovery of the Self, and A Mythic Life.

For more information, please visit the author’s website http://www.jeanhouston.org

The Power of Partnership: Seven Relationships That Will Change Your Life By Riane Eisler

his groundbreaking, practical, new book by Riane Eisler addresses and links all the major issues facing us today. From terrorism, political and economic corruption, human rights violations, and global warfare to the day-to-day problems in our workplaces, communities, and relations between men and women, parents and children, this book provides personal, social, and political solutions. It is a new genre of self-help book that tackles what 9-11 so tragically showed: that the self cannot be helped in isolation from the larger web of relations around us.

Named in Macrohistory and Macrohistorians one of the 20 most important long-range social thinkers in a lineup including Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Toynbee, and Sorokin, Eisler is the first woman to be so honored. Eisler is internationally recognized for her study of the “Domination” and “Partnership” ways of life over the whole span of human history. She is a co-founder of the General Evolution Research Group and President of the Center for Partnership Studies .

Dr. Eisler’s best-selling book The Chalice and the Blade, showing the ancient partnership roots of today’s progressive social movements, was hailed by anthropologist Ashley Montagu as “the most important book since Darwin’s Origin of Species. ” For this and other works bringing her cultural transformation theory to life, Eisler was named one of the top 100 visionaries of all time by the editors of the Utne Reader.

Escaping Nazi terrorism as a child, Eisler has studied the “Domination” and “Partnership” ways of life over a 35,000-year span of time. Her just released The Power of Partnership (New World Library, 2002) shows how these two models are at work in every major challenge we face today � and what we can do to shift to the more equitable, peaceful, and fulfilling partnership future.

Riane Eisler

RIANE EISLER is a social scientist, attorney, and author whose work on cultural transformation has inspired both scholars and social activists. Her research has impacted many fields, including history, economics, psychology, sociology, and education. She has been a leader in the movement for peace, sustainability, and economic equity, and her pioneering work in human rights has expanded the focus of international organizations to include the rights of women and children.

Dr. Eisler is internationally known for her bestseller The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future, now in 23 foreign editions, including most European languages and Chinese, Russian, Korean, Hebrew, Japanese, and Arabic.

Her newest book, The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics – hailed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as “a template for the better world we have been so urgently seeking,” by Peter Senge as “desperately needed,” by Gloria Steinem as “revolutionary,” and by Jane Goodall as “a call for action” – proposes a new approach to economics that gives visibility and value to the most essential human work: the work of caring for people and planet.
Riane Eisler

Dr. Eisler keynotes conferences worldwide, and is a consultant to business and government on applications of the partnership model introduced in her work.She has spoken at the United Nations, and International venues have included Germany at the invitation of Prof. Rita Suessmuth, President of the Bundestag (the German Parliament) and Daniel Goeudevert (Chair of Volkswagen International); Colombia, invited by the Mayor of Bogota; and the Czech Republic, invited by Vaclav Havel (President of the Czech Republic).

Other books drawing from her multidisciplinary research include the award-winning The Power of Partnership and Tomorrow’s Children, as well as Sacred Pleasure, a daring reexamination of sexuality and spirituality, and Women, Men, and the Global Quality of Life, documenting the key role of women’s status in a nation’s general quality of life. Her earlier books, drawing from her legal experience, include Dissolution and The Equal Rights Handbook, widely used in the campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Riane Eisler was born in Vienna, fled from the Nazis with her parents to Cuba, and later emigrated to the United States. She obtained degrees in sociology and law from the University of California, taught pioneering classes on women and the law at UCLA, and now teaches in the Transformative Leadership Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

She is a founding member of the General Evolution Research Group (GERG), a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and World Business Academy, a Councilor of the World Future Council, and a commissioner of the World Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality, along with the Dalai Lama and other spiritual leaders. She is co-founder with Nobel Peace laureate Betty Williams of the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence (SAIV), http://www.saiv.net and president of the Center for Partnership Studies, http://www.partnershipway.org, dedicated to research and education.

Eisler has written over 300 articles in publications ranging from Behavioral Science, Futures, Political Psychology, The Christian Science Monitor, and The UNESCO Courier to Brain and Mind, the Human Rights Quarterly, The International Journal of Women’s Studies ,and the World Encyclopedia of Peace.

Dr. Eisler is the only woman among 20 great thinkers including Hegel, Adam Smith, Marx, and Toynbee selected for inclusion in Macrohistory and Macrohistorians in recognition of the lasting importance of her work as a cultural historian and evolutionary theorist. She has received many honors, including honorary Ph.D. degrees, the Alice Paul ERA Education Award, and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s 2009 Distinguished Peace Leadership Award, and is included in the award-winning book Great Peacemakers as one of 20 leaders for world peace, along with Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King.

Dr. Eisler can be contacted at center@partnershipway.org. Her personal website is http://www.rianeeisler.com.

Developing Personal Wisdom By: Copthorne Macdonald

We know what it takes to become knowledgeable, but what does it take to become wise? Is the process totally beyond our control, or are there things we can do to speed it up? In this article Copthorne Macdonald, author of three books on wisdom and webmaster of THE WISDOM PAGE, says that if we want to become wiser people we can develop the characteristics of wisdom — the relevant perspectives, and values, and intellectual knowledge — and incorporate them into our lives.

In the late 1990s there were meetings in Burkina Faso of a “Council of the Wise.” This was a group of people from different countries and backgrounds who wanted to foster the development of wisdom in African culture. A useful outcome of these meetings, and a good starting point for this topic, was the identification of four levels of wisdom development:

• POTENTIAL SAGES includes almost everyone. These are busy people who have the potential to become wise, but have never felt the call to intentionally develop wisdom.

• SAGES IN INTENTION have come to understand what wisdom is, realize that they have the potential to become wise, and have decided, as the Council put it, to “follow the path of their potential.”

• DEVELOPING SAGES are actively involved in wisdom-developing activities.

• ESTABLISHED SAGES are those who are recognized by others as wise people.

As I have come to understand it, we become wiser people in two ways: by exposing ourselves to wisdom-fostering influences, and by energetically dedicating ourselves to helpful practices. That is, we intentionally practice, with effort, the behaviors and attitudes that we someday hope to become effortless expressions of our deepest, truest selves. If we want to become wiser people, we can become “Sages in Intention,” then “Budding Sages,” and develop the characteristics of wisdom — the relevant perspectives, and values, and intellectual knowledge — and incorporate them into our lives. Let’s consider some tools that can help us do that:

1. A CLEAR Spiritual Growth UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT WISDOM IS. There are many views on the subject. Read about them. Get a sense of the wisdom characteristics you would like to develop, and start working on it.

2. COUNSELING AND VARIOUS KINDS OF PSYCHOTHERAPY. Becoming a wiser person is an exercise in inner development, and there are activities that can help us along the way. Counseling and various forms of psychotherapy can, if needed, help us reach the starting point for advanced work which we might call responsible adulthood or mature ego. A person at this stage is free of psychoses and crippling neuroses and has developed emotional control and empathy to an ordinary degree. There are many forms of therapy, including life management counseling, therapies to help us get over fears, therapies to help us manage anger, therapies to help us get over compulsions and addictions, and others.

3. INTELLECTUAL KNOWLEDGE RELEVANT TO THE KND OF WISDOM WE ARE TRYING TO DEVELOP. Reading about inner development can be very helpful for anyone who wants to become wiser. To go beyond normal healthy adulthood — “that starting point for advanced work” — many people turn to writings that discuss the further reaches of human development. Such writings, in turn, lead us to do-it-yourself practices: mind-quieting practices, self-knowledge practices, ego-transcending practices, and oneness-realization practices. Reading about these things is not a substitute for the practices themselves, but reading can help us understand them and perhaps motivate us to try them.

Novels and biographies are valuable resources for the development of practical wisdom because they present us with countless examples of wise and unwise behavior, skillful and unskillful handling of life situations. Biographies of wise people can be especially helpful. How does their behavior differ from ordinary? What values guide their lives? What perspectives and interpretations of life situations do they make use of?

For those who would like to develop existential, metaphysical, spiritual wisdom, the world’s spiritual literature is a vital intellectual resource. There is also an extensive literature on specific go-see-for-yourself spiritual practices that take the practitioner to deeper levels of understanding than reading can. Also helpful in developing the “Big Picture”” view are books that deal with the nature of mental and physical reality, the cosmos, and evolution.

If we want to be effective change agents, then we need to select resources relevant to the kinds of change we are trying to bring about. Among the possibilities are the “new disciplines,” including the sciences of complexity, cosmos-wide evolution, and the human brain/mind system. Important for many would be learning more about human cultures, economic systems, and the biosphere. Of general importance is an understanding of ethics and techniques for changing ethical perspectives; probability as a decision-making tool; the techniques of conflict resolution and effective persuasion; and information on current transformational activities.

4. FULL AND VARIED LIFE EXPERIENCE. If we are open to learning, life itself teaches us. Having many and varied life experiences obviously teaches us more. We not only need to structure our life so that we have many kinds of experience, but we also need an open, curious, inquisitive, appreciative mental stance so that we get the most out of whatever experiences we have. Travel; getting to know people with different skills, outlooks, and values; engaging in different kinds of work; taking up a variety of hobbies — all these things enrich our life and potentially take us further down the path toward wisdom.

5. FEEDBACK AND COUNSEL FROM WISE PEOPLE. Hanging out with people who are already living the values we’d like to make our own can be most helpful. Where do we find such people? Groups like Unitarians, Quakers, and Buddhists that focus on personal growth and doing good in the world are a best bet. Local and online discussion and activist groups are another possibility. Some of these focus on psychological or spiritual growth. Others focus on various social issues. We can experiment, and when we find groups that feel right, get involved.

6. THE OBSERVATION OF BEHAVIOR — OUR OWN AND OTHERS. People all around us are struggling to up level their lives — some skillfully and successfully, others very unskillfully and unsuccessfully. The world’s literature and films present us with countless additional life stories. What can we learn from them? Can we pick out the strategies and behaviors that work and those that don’t? Can we start to sense some general “laws of life” behind the specifics? And can we learn to pay attention to our own behavior, and become aware of the underlying values?

7. PRACTICES THAT HELP US INTERNALIZE VALUES. Becoming clear about the values we would like at the center of our lives — the values we want to make truly our own in a deep and powerful way — is the first step. The challenge then is to move these values from our head to our heart and our guts. In psychological terms, we must internalize them so they are not merely nice thoughts, but actually guide our behavior.

Doing this takes effort, and during one of his trips to North America the Dalai Lama gave an example of what we need to do. He spoke to an audience about the need for everyone to internalize that key value of wisdom, compassion. His advice to those who wanted to develop compassion was to put themselves in challenging situations and then, despite the natural reluctance to do so, behave compassionately. By making the effort to engage in value-based action — again, and again, and again — we eventually internalize the value. Expressing the value in action gradually takes less and less effort until it becomes part of our outlook, part of our natural way of being, part of who we are.

8. BODY–AWARENESS PRACTICES. In our culture we fill our waking hours with discursive thinking. We think about the past. We think about the future. We plan. We solve problems. Wisdom, however, demands that we spend a lot of time paying attention to what is happening in our immediate situation. Body awareness practices such has Hatha Yoga, Tai Chi, Vipassana meditation, and many sports can help us break the mind-tripping habit.

9. MEDITATION. The last tool I’ll mention — though definitely not the least — is meditation. In fact, meditation is generally considered to be the most powerful single tool for developing wisdom. Psychologist Jane Loevinger’s research produced a 9-stage scale of psychological development. The terms she uses for the two highest stages are “autonomous” and “integrated.” It turns out that less than 2 percent of the general adult population have managed to reach these top two categories. However, for people who have had a meditation practice going for several years, that number is 38 percent.

Meditation retreats of 7 to 10 days duration are especially helpful. In the beginning, the mind is its usual noisy thought-filled self. Pure quiet awareness is there as the substrate of the mind, but it is modulated by a lot of high-intensity information — thoughts, sensations, emotions, etc. — much mind content. But as the days go by, mind content — especially thinking — gradually drops in amount and intensity.

Why? Because we can’t think discursively and pay close attention at the same time. In a sense, the noisy mind is a habit. A quiet mind is a different kind of habit. It turns out that if we spend several days paying attention to subtle bodily sensations — like those arising in the nostrils when we breath, and those arising in feet and legs when we walk, the mind gradually shifts from habitual noisiness to habitual quietude. It usually take 3 to 4 days of diligent morning-to-night effort in a supportive environment to make the switch. But once you’ve entered the quiet-mind mode, interesting things start to happen.

For one thing, you have become more sensitive to your surroundings. With the mind quiet, many people find themselves looking at the natural world around them with a new sense of wonder. And insights may arise about our relationship to nature and cosmos.

“Know thyself,” said the Greeks. And when the mind is quiet, that begins to happen in a serious way. Normally, we identify strongly with the busy, buzzy mind content that constitutes the melodrama of our life. We see this unfolding informational story as ME. When the mind is quiet, however, we have a certain detachment. We are no longer overwhelmed by massive amounts of mind content, and are not so identified with what remains. We begin to see how our mind works, and may eventually get a glimpse of who “I” really am.

A quiet mind also opens the door to the subconscious. Mental quiet thins the barrier that exists between conscious and subconscious mental processes. Messages from our subconscious are better able to bubble up into consciousness. We may start to see things about ourselves that we were never conscious of before, things that we’ve been pushing out of awareness.

Improved creativity is another benefit of quieting the mind. Under quiet mind conditions, the intuitive process’s creative Muse is able to communicate effectively with the intellect and the global workspace of the mind. The number of Aha! and Eureka! experiences goes up. This is not too surprising when we think of the number of writers and artists who find solitude essential for significant work.

Another plus: when the mind is quiet, insightful shifts of perspective can occur. We suddenly apply a new interpretive framework to the same old facts and see things in a dramatically different way.

I discuss still more benefits of meditation in my books Toward Wisdom and Matters of Consequence. And I’ve put some of this information on line. Check The Wisdom Page for that, and for information on meditation retreats.

Copthorne Macdonald is a writer, independent scholar and long time meditator. His interests include the nature of reality (including consciousness and mind) and the development of wisdom. He has written extensively in these areas, and his published writing to date includes 8 books (3 on the subject of wisdom) and over 130 shorter pieces. Since 1995 he has tended The Wisdom Page — a website devoted to wisdom resources.

Twelve Qualities of Spirit – Wisdom By: Peri Enkin

Knowledge is a wonderful thing, and I am all for sharing information that is meaningful and useful. But the development of wisdom gives us inner sustenance and fortitude – something that helps us ride through obstacles without getting stuck.

“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.”

Sandra Carey

Tapping into the spiritual quality of wisdom requires different skills than the ones that give us access to knowledge.

Knowledge is a wonderful thing, and I am all for sharing information that is meaningful and useful. But the development of wisdom gives us inner sustenance and fortitude – something that helps us ride through obstacles without getting stuck.

Scientists now confirm that we are living within an “intelligent quantum soup.” When we tap into that soup we move beyond the facts we have acquired along our individual time lines. We actually shift our perspective from a solo linear viewpoint to an expanded more connected vision where a wide range of insights and intuitions pour into consciousness.

The practice of accessing, trusting and acting on intuition puts us directly into the flow of wisdom.

Most of us do not take the time to develop our intuitions or to rely upon them but I highly recommend it. Nothing gives us a greater sense of personal confidence and empowerment than knowing we have access to our own inner oracle – one that has our very best interests in mind.

There are Three Steps to Practical Intuition that I use regularly in my own life. Each one is like a muscle that can be exercised and strengthened with use and over time.

1. Turn Inside and Ask for Guidance

There are many practices that help you to strengthen this first step. Meditation, Yoga and Journal Writing are some of my
Spiritual growth love
favorites. What are yours? And are you doing them regularly? Anything that quiets the chatter in the mind and allows you to turn your attention to your inner world helps.

2. Open Up and Receive the Answers that Are Offered

Answers come in different ways for different people. When you open up and listen you begin to discover your own inner language. For some the physical body sends signals that are encoded messages from the deeper wiser self. “Chicken Skin” or “God Bumps” happen to some. When I am working with clients my eyes tear up when we hit an important piece of work for them. I know it instantly. For others there is a warm sensation in the heart area. And for others they hear actual phrases or words as if gentle whispers of fragments from dreams are felt and understood. How do you receive your answers from inside?

3. Act Upon What You Know

Acting upon intuitions takes courage at first. The very nature of intuition is deeper, wider and wiser than the answers that come to us through deductive reasoning. We often can not back up our intuitions – We Just Know. It takes trust in your self, and in the invisible side of life.

Over time and with practice asking, hearing and acting upon intuitions adds wisdom to your life.

” It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Antoine de St. Exupery

Wisdom is delivered to us through our intuitions. It speaks to us through our hopes and longings. It requires us to relax our minds and soften our hearts.

Through the doorway of our own hearts longing we unlock and connect with the essence of who we truly are. These are not just pretty words describing untouchable ideas. These are actual states of consciousness – that when tapped into, even for brief moments – give us the ride of our lives.

There is nothing more precious and wonderful than knowing the wisdom that resides within your own core.

The Connection Option: Wisdom

The energy of the universe is wise and loving. Universal intelligence is alive within every molecule, atom and manifestation seen and unseen.

As a Victim:I forget who I really am and I act as if I am limited and inadequate.

As a Creator:Since I know there is no separation between my energy and the energy of life I know that the innate wisdom of life is my wisdom too. I know that I am one with the innate intelligence of the universe. The wisdom of life flows continuously into and through me.

Action for Wisdom: I trust life!

Spiritual Growth: the Spiritual Challenge of Modern Times By: James Yee

To grow spiritually in a world defined by power, money, and influence is a Herculean task. Modern conveniences such as electronic equipments, gadgets, and tools as well as entertainment through television, magazines, and the web have predisposed us to confine our attention mostly to physical needs and wants.

As a result, our concepts of self-worth and self-meaning are muddled. How can we strike a balance between the material and spiritual aspects of our lives?

To grow spiritually is to look inward.

Introspection goes beyond recalling the things that happened in a day, week, or month. You need to look closely and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and motivations.

Periodically examining your experiences, the decisions you make, the relationships you have, and the things you engage in provide useful insights on your life goals, on the good traits you must sustain and the bad traits you have to discard. Moreover, it gives you clues on how to act, react, and conduct yourself in the midst of any situation.

Like any skill, introspection can be learned; all it takes is the courage and willingness to seek the truths that lie within you. Here are some pointers when you introspect: be objective, be forgiving of yourself, and focus on your areas for improvement.

To grow spiritually is to develop your potentials.

Religion and science have differing views on matters of the human spirit. Religion views people as spiritual beings temporarily living on Earth, while science views the spirit as just one dimension of an individual.

Mastery of the self is a recurring theme in both Christian (Western) and Islamic (Eastern) teachings. The needs of the body are recognized but placed under the needs of the spirit. Beliefs, values, morality, rules, experiences, and good works provide the blueprint to ensure the growth of the spiritual being.

In Psychology, realizing one’s full potential is to self-actualize. Maslow identified several human needs: physiological, security, belongingness, esteem, cognitive, aesthetic, self-actualization, and self-transcendence. James earlier categorized these needs into three: material, emotional, and spiritual. When you have satisfied the basic physiological and emotional needs, spiritual or existential needs come next.

Achieving each need leads to the total development of the individual. Perhaps the difference between these two religions and psychology is the end of self-development: Christianity and Islam see that self-development is a means toward serving God, while psychology view that self-development is an end by itself.

To grow spiritually is to search for meaning.

Religions that believe in the existence of God such as Christianism, Judaism, and Islam suppose that the purpose of the human life is to serve the Creator of all things.

Several theories in psychology propose that we ultimately give meaning to our lives. Whether we believe that life’s meaning is pre-determined or self-directed, to grow in spirit is to realize that we do not merely exist.

We do not know the meaning of our lives at birth; but we gain knowledge and wisdom from our interactions with people and from our actions and reactions to the situations we are in. As we discover this meaning, there are certain beliefs and values that we reject and affirm.

Our lives have purpose. This purpose puts all our physical, emotional, and intellectual potentials into use; sustains us during trying times; and gives us something to look forward to-a goal to achieve, a destination to reach. A person without purpose or meaning is like a drifting ship at sea.

To grow spiritually is to recognize interconnections.

Religions stress the concept of our relatedness to all creation, live and inanimate. Thus we call other people ‘brothers and sisters’ even if there are no direct blood relations.

Moreover, deity-centered religions such as Christianity and Islam speak of the relationship between humans and a higher being. On the other hand, science expounds on our link to other living things through the evolution theory.

This relatedness is clearly seen in the concept of ecology, the interaction between living and non-living things. In psychology, connectedness is a characteristic of self-transcendence, the highest human need according to Maslow.

Recognizing your connection to all things makes you more humble and respectful of people, animals, plants, and things in nature. It makes you appreciate everything around you. It moves you to go beyond your comfort zone and reach out to other people, and become stewards of all other things around you.

Growth is a process thus to grow in spirit is a day-to-day encounter. We win some, we lose some, but the important thing is that we learn, and from this knowledge, further spiritual growth is made possible.

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