A New Year, And Possibly A New World ~ Deepak Chopra

It’s fascinating, as time turns another small corner, to think of how worlds shift and collide. There is no evidence that a person as brilliant as Shakespeare understood that Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo had already revolutionized the human mind. The same thing may be happening now, and many brilliant people seem unaware of how our present-day world — meaning our conception of reality — may undergo a seismic shift.

I’m not thinking of fossil fuels and Arab uprisings, not even of the 99% as against the 1%. Upheavals in the outer world are secondary, in the long sweep of history, to inner revolutions. We may be on the verge of such a one. What makes me think so is a trickle of medical articles, now greatly expanding, that are proving troublesome to mainstream medicine. These articles sometimes deal with cancer, sometimes with antidepressants, sometimes with the dashed hopes for gene therapies that seem constantly out of reach.

What these articles have in common is that treating the body like a machine isn’t panning out. The next breakthrough in cancer or psychotherapy or genetically related disorders may come from an entirely different angle than the workaday materialism that “of course” looks at our bodies as physical objects like any other. That “of course” is the mark of a settled worldview. A thousand years ago, God “of course” created the world in seven days and the soul “of course” was more important than the body, which was a temporary shell while the soul worked its way through this vale of tears.

When settled worldviews crumble, we have to reinvent the world. So far, there have been only three categories from which to construct reality from the ground up.

1. Dualism, which separates mind and body.

2. Non-dual materialism, which considers only physical things and excludes the spiritual, mystical, and supernatural.

3. Non-dual consciousness, which traces reality back to mind and beyond mind to the very potential for mind.

Dualism no longer satisfies professional thinkers. Putting mind in one box and the body in another settles no questions about either. We are left with half a loaf, unable to say anything reliable about pure mind but also unable to connect the subtle way that the body responds to thoughts and feelings. Yet curiously, the average person is a flaming, if secret, dualist. We compartmentalize our lives in countless ways. God belongs on Sunday, the material world dominates the rest of the week. We treat our bodies sensibly, yet when a mortal illness threatens, it’s time to pray. This kind of compartmentalism is understandable, but in the long run it’s frustrating, as witness the countless people who feel anxious and empty in their search for higher meaning.

The same complaint could be aimed at non-dual materialism, but science, which is totally materialistic, has won a resounding victory on many fronts. Therefore, it’s an easy slide into believing that the scientific worldview must be correct. Non-dual materialism leaves no room for anything that cannot be turned into data. So it is incompatible with God, spirit, the soul, and even the mind. The average person has bought into the notion, publicized constantly by the media, that the mind is the brain. After all, we can now watch the brain in real time as a person experiences love, faith, compassion, and all other “higher” experiences that once belonged to the mind and the soul. But watching the brain at work is like watching an old tube radio light up when Beethoven is played. It would be naive to say that the radio composed Beethoven’s music. Yet just as naively non-dual materialists see no reason to look beyond the brain for an invisible thing labeled as mind.

This is the worldview that is crumbling while seeming to rise victoriously higher. Termites are silently chewing at the timbers. One notices this by being attuned to articles about the failures of the materialistic approach. Contrary to popular hopes, materialism cannot explain cancer or depression. It cannot tell you why talking to somebody can help your free-floating anxiety while tranquilizers may fail. Materialism sidesteps the mounting problem of side effects and the long-term damage to the brain from decades of taking psychotropic drugs. Materialism cannot explain what memory is, where it is stored on the cellular level, or why memories haunt us. There are many, many failures of this kind, and even in a field far removed from medicine like physics, peering into the void that gave rise to the physical universe has posed huge explanatory problems.

Which leaves the third worldview, non-dual consciousness, that is all but invisible on the scene. It has been invisible for a long time, certainly in the Judeo-Christian West, where only a handful of obscure names like Spinoza, Giordano Bruno and Meister Eckhart flirted with the idea that all is one, and that “one” is consciousness. Today, some farseeing speculative thinkers in physics are coping with the possibility that we live in a conscious universe. A tiny handful of neuroscientists are grappling with the possibility that the mind controls the brain and not vice versa. It’s exciting fun to be part of this splinter group, especially if you relish the scorn of experts who inform you that “of course” you are completely off your rocker, a charlatan, or a crypto religionist.

What the scorn masks is that “of course” will be thrown out the window if a new worldview takes hold. That’s what happened to the idea that “or course” God created the world according to Genesis. But the non-dual consciousness that was dominant three thousand years ago in Vedic India cannot return as it once was formulated. The modern world isn’t about to throw science out the window. Instead, science must expand, so that we look at cancer, depression or the Big Bang and say, “Now I see.” (In particular, the mind-body connection with cancer needs exploring, as we will do in a later column.) A worldview succeeds when it explains more than the old one, when it opens people’s eyes, and when it achieves practical results. In the next column, we’ll touch on how non-dual consciousness can do all those things.

(To be continued …)

Deepak Chopra is the author of over 60 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including “”War of the Worldviews: Science vs Spirituality.”

Creating Your Vision For Wealth And Well-Being In 2012 ~ Anne Naylor

Wealth is a difficult word these days because it seems we have been witnessing an abuse of our financial resources. Nevertheless, our experience of wealth goes way beyond money alone.

What does wealth mean for you, deep down? What is your intention for wealth now? Yes, you have basic needs to cover, possibly fewer than you think.

Wealth speaks to me of expansion, and not just in financial terms. Does more money translate to greater happiness and fulfillment? Does security in life come from having a good pension entitlement? What is the more, the expansion that truly counts for you?

Psychologist Daniel Gilbert in his TED talk asks Why are we happy? and suggests we are often mistaken about what makes us happy, including financially.

Dan Gilbert: Why are we happy? Why aren’t we happy?

What is your vision for wealth in 2012? What is your vision for expansion and fulfilment? Do you enjoy the wealth of friendship you would like? Are you following a vocation that is true to your heart? Are you in tune with your spiritual values? Do you enjoy inner peace and serenity, or do you suffer nagging doubts and anxiety? Do you wake up in the morning, refreshed from a good night’s sleep and greet the day with joy and enthusiasm?

A basic message of Christmas is that wherever we may find ourselves, in the equivalent of a lowly stable perhaps, we can start afresh. Each day offers the possibility of a new beginning, a new way of looking at what is in front of us, of seeing clearly the opportunity present.

This blessing I hope may help to awaken you to a new vision for today, a vision in which you count in the wealth and expansion of your life.

Spirit of Divine Love, we bring ourselves forward into the generous consciousness of your loving and Light with our gratitude for all of the many blessings that we enjoy and that enrich us.

We offer ourselves for your guidance and infinite wisdom
to comfort, reassure and show us our best ways ahead.

We appreciate your gifts to us, our natural talents and qualities,
the skills and strengths we have developed so far
and those we have yet to master.

We know that as we give, so we also receive,
that we are One with all of your creation,
celebrating the contribution that comes from our own divine essence.

Please show us the way, your way
that we may more fully enrich the world around us
and in so doing,
expand the boundaries of our own wealth experience.

In each moment when we stop to take account
may we know your presence more fully
and know ourselves as one with your magnificence.

We accept and receive your blessings
as we share our blessings with others.

Baruch Bashan — The Blessings Already Are

If you are anything like me, you may be feeling some uncertainty about the coming year. Try these three steps to realize your greater wealth and well-being:

1. Forgive: Any time you are feeling out of balance or a sense of lack, forgive yourself for forgetting that you are Divine. Forgive yourself for the judgements you may be making that cause you to feel separate, alone or lonely. You are never alone.

2. Be grateful: Count your blessings, even and especially the small ones. The little things count. Remember then. In the evening, write down a minimum of 5 things you have appreciated during the day.

3. Bless: Bless your day, your night, the neighbor and those who would in some way offend you. Wish well whoever is around you, whoever you may pass in the street. Bless your work, your projects, your computer, the hands that type on its keyboard, those who read what you have written — including yourself. Bless your world with a smile — you never know who might benefit from such a simple gesture. Be creative with your blessings — there is no limit to the goodness you can extend as you expand your wealth and well-being in 2012.

You do not have to be a saint or a savior to extend blessings. You may wish to bless others silently with your thoughts of goodwill. Your actions of caring and thoughtfulness may communicate blessings. The skills and talents you express at work are an expression of your blessings. The touch of a warm hand, a comforting arm to hold, a gentle smile all speak of blessings.

Through your forgiving, gratitude and blessing you might find greater stability and contentment within the changes that are happening around us. What is more, you may find that the changes themselves produce greater blessings than you could ever have imagined.

May 2012 bless you with many opportunities to expand beyond your former limits of wealth and well-being and into the greater appreciation of who you truly are.

How do you most like to express blessings? If you could receive one blessing this year, what would that be? Please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

For more tips and hints for living a wealthy life from the inside out, turn to “The Wealth Book — Winning With Spirit”

Anne Naylor has been a Consultant in personal motivation since 1982. Author of three personal development books, Superlife, Superlove and SuperYou,
Anne gives Clear Results Consultations for individuals meeting life turning points, or wishing to improve the quality of their lives. Gifted with a talent for discerning the unique value in each of her clients, she communicates her trust in the power of each person to lead a fulfilling and rewarding life, however they define it.
Anne’s mission is: Building a better world on the solid foundation of
individual health, wealth and happiness and the appreciation of human value.
Through designing and presenting training programmes and seminars in self-
motivation, career development, personal success, leadership and team-
building, Anne has enabled a wide range of people to transform their personal and professional lives.

%d bloggers like this: