“How Do You Deal With Unconscious People?” 

Published on Feb 19, 2016


Overview: In this Question and Answer session, Eckhart Tolle explains how unconscious people can serve as helpers to deepen your own presence.

Non-duality Magazine interviews Timothy Conway

Non-duality magazine interviews Timothy Conway VIEW HERE

Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence- by Stefano Mancuso (Author), Alessandra Viola (Author),

Are plants intelligent? Can they solve problems, communicate, and navigate their surroundings? Or are they passive, incapable of independent action or social behavior? Philosophers and scientists have pondered these questions since ancient Greece, most often concluding that plants are unthinking and inert: they are too silent, too sedentary — just too different from us. Yet discoveries over the past fifty years have challenged these ideas, shedding new light on the extraordinary capabilities and complex interior lives of plants.

In Brilliant Green, Stefano Mancuso, a leading scientist and founder of the field of plant neurobiology, presents a new paradigm in our understanding of the vegetal world. Combining a historical perspective with the latest in plant science, Mancuso argues that, due to cultural prejudices and human arrogance, we continue to underestimate plants. In fact, they process information, sleep, remember, and signal to one another — showing that, far from passive machines, plants are intelligent and aware. Through a survey of plant capabilities from sight and touch to communication, Mancuso challenges our notion of intelligence, presenting a vision of plant life that is more sophisticated than most imagine.

Plants have much to teach us, from network building to innovations in robotics and man-made materials — but only if we understand more about how they live. Part botany lesson, part manifesto, Brilliant Green is an engaging and passionate examination of the inner workings of the plant kingdom.

Financial support for the translation of this book has been provided by SEPS: Segretariato Europeo Per Le Pubblicazioni Scientifiche.


Stefano Mancuso is a founder of the study of plant neurobiology, which explores signaling and communication at all levels of biological organization, from genetics to molecules, cells and ecological communities.

The roots of plant intelligence

Plants behave in some oddly intelligent ways: fighting predators, maximizing food opportunities … But can we think of them as actually having a form of intelligence of their own? Italian botanist Stefano Mancuso presents intriguing evidence.

Are plants intelligent? New book says yes

Mick Collins ‘My Crisis And Transformation’ Interview by Iain McNay

Published on Aug 30, 2016

Mick Collins ‘My Crisis And Transformation’ Interview by Iain McNay
Author of ‘The Unselfish Spirit.’ Mick left school at 15, working as a manual labourer before joining the army. Visited a Tibetan Monastery intending to stay 2 days and ended up living there for 3 years.
‘I started contemplating various attachments and aversions in my conventional existence’ and began reflecting on the significance on what a more intimate perspective could mean in the way he lived; began to observe and question how duality was embedded in my thoughts and behaviour.’ He was also fascinated by the interplay between form and emptiness.

But on a long train journey had an extraordinary experience where he had a heightened sense of compassion and profound feelings of love followed two days later by a slide into a diametrically opposed state. Was flooded by intense emotions; felt he was caught in a conflict between good and evil compounded by feelings of fear and terror. Left monastery and slowly started to find balance again with the help of Jungian work. Felt he had taken a journey into the unknown without a map.
Eventually integrated the spiritual crisis and started to learn the interplay between doing and being which is now his passion.

What Is Consciousness in Science and Spirituality? ~ Julia Mossbridge

Published on Aug 30, 2016

Julia Mossbridge explains the semantic problem in defining Consciousness and Non-Consciousness in discussions between science and spirituality.

The World in 2025: 8 Predictions for the Next 10 Years By Peter Diamandis

In 2025, in accordance with Moore’s Law, we’ll see an acceleration in the rate of change as we move closer to a world of true abundance. Here are eight areas where we’ll see extraordinary transformation in the next decade:

1. A $1,000 Human Brain

In 2025, $1,000 should buy you a computer able to calculate at 10^16 cycles per second (10,000 trillion cycles per second), the equivalent processing speed of the human brain.

2. A Trillion-Sensor Economy

The Internet of Everything describes the networked connections between devices, people, processes and data. By 2025, the IoE will exceed 100 billion connected devices, each with a dozen or more sensors collecting data. This will lead to a trillion-sensor economy driving a data revolution beyond our imagination. Cisco’s recent report estimates the IoE will generate $19 trillion of newly created value.

3. Perfect Knowledge

We’re heading towards a world of perfect knowledge. With a trillion sensors gathering data everywhere (autonomous cars, satellite systems, drones, wearables, cameras), you’ll be able to know anything you want, anytime, anywhere, and query that data for answers and insights.

4. 8 Billion Hyper-Connected People

Facebook (Internet.org), SpaceX, Google (Project Loon), Qualcomm and Virgin (OneWeb) are planning to provide global connectivity to every human on Earth at speeds exceeding one megabit per second.

We will grow from three to eight billion connected humans, adding five billion new consumers into the global economy. They represent tens of trillions of new dollars flowing into the global economy. And they are not coming online like we did 20 years ago with a 9600 modem on AOL. They’re coming online with a 1 Mbps connection and access to the world’s information on Google, cloud 3D printing, Amazon Web Services, artificial intelligence with Watson, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, and more.

5. Disruption of Healthcare

Existing healthcare institutions will be crushed as new business models with better and more efficient care emerge. Thousands of startups, as well as today’s data giants (Google, Apple, Microsoft, SAP, IBM, etc.) will all enter this lucrative $3.8 trillion healthcare industry with new business models that dematerialize, demonetize and democratize today’s bureaucratic and inefficient system.

Biometric sensing (wearables) and AI will make each of us the CEOs of our own health. Large-scale genomic sequencing and machine learning will allow us to understand the root cause of cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative disease and what to do about it. Robotic surgeons can carry out an autonomous surgical procedure perfectly (every time) for pennies on the dollar. Each of us will be able to regrow a heart, liver, lung or kidney when we need it, instead of waiting for the donor to die.

6. Augmented and Virtual Reality

Billions of dollars invested by Facebook (Oculus), Google (Magic Leap), Microsoft (Hololens), Sony, Qualcomm, HTC and others will lead to a new generation of displays and user interfaces.

The screen as we know it — on your phone, your computer and your TV — will disappear and be replaced by eyewear. Not the geeky Google Glass, but stylish equivalents to what the well-dressed fashionistas are wearing today. The result will be a massive disruption in a number of industries ranging from consumer retail, to real estate, education, travel, entertainment, and the fundamental ways we operate as humans.

7. Early Days of JARVIS

Artificial intelligence research will make strides in the next decade. If you think Siri is useful now, the next decade’s generation of Siri will be much more like JARVIS from Iron Man, with expanded capabilities to understand and answer. Companies like IBM Watson, DeepMind and Vicarious continue to hunker down and develop next-generation AI systems. In a decade, it will be normal for you to give your AI access to listen to all of your conversations, read your emails and scan your biometric data because the upside and convenience will be so immense.

8. Blockchain

If you haven’t heard of the blockchain, I highly recommend you read up on it. You might have heard of bitcoin, which is the decentralized (global), democratized, highly secure cryptocurrency based on the blockchain. But the real innovation is the blockchain itself, a protocol that allows for secure, direct (without a middleman), digital transfers of value and assets (think money, contracts, stocks, IP). Investors like Marc Andreesen have poured tens of millions into the development and believe this is as important of an opportunity as the creation of the Internet itself.
Bottom Line: We Live in the Most Exciting Time Ever

We are living toward incredible times where the only constant is change, and the rate of change is increasing.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

Source: Singularity Hub

Tara Talks: How RAIN can enable Intimacy – Tara Brach

Published on Aug 30, 2016

Tara Talks: How RAIN can enable Intimacy – Tara Brach

In this story, we see how one man practiced with RAIN and was able to heal the wounds that obstructed intimacy in his marriage.

Spiritual Enlightenment: Awakening to the Supreme Reality by Dr. Robert Puff

In Spiritual Enlightenment: Awakening to the Supreme Reality, Dr. Robert Puff explores how we can open the door to who we are and start the exciting journey of living lives that are spiritually awakened.

In this book, Dr. Puff covers a variety of fascinating aspects relating to enlightenment, such as the power of silence and meditation; how to discover your real self; what being enlightened means for how we interact with the world; as well as how to find peace in the here and now. The issues the book deals with pinpoint many problems we face in our current day, such as how to be happier/more peaceful/more spiritual. It answers these questions in an insightful way that enables us to understand how to go about achieving them as well as how to have more enlightened lives.

Dr. Puff provides you with practical advice that you can use to help you start your amazing journey towards enlightenment. With this book, enlightenment is no longer an overwhelming concept, but rather it becomes a tangible gift that can revolutionize your existence on earth.

Dr. Robert Puff, M.A., M.Div., Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, author, international speaker, marriage counselor, and life coach who has been successfully counseling individuals, families, organizations, and businesses for over twenty-five years.

A contributing writer to Psychology Today with a private practice in the Orange County area, he is recognized as one of California’s leading therapists and mental health management experts. His approach to life and to therapy is holistic, encompassing thoughts, emotions, physical health, nutrition, and relationships. He teaches people to let go of their negative thinking patterns, manage their stress, heal from traumatic experiences, develop their spirituality, and succeed in life beyond their expectations.

Dr. Puff holds a master’s degree from Princeton and a second master’s degree and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Fuller. He taught as an adjunct professor at Rosemead Graduate School of Psychology and has worked as staff psychologist at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, Sepulveda V.A. Medical Hospital, La Puente Mental Health, and St. Jude’s Medical Hospital.

Dr. Puff has given thousands of media interviews and frequently appears on national TV and radio talk shows. His books have been on the bestseller lists at Amazon.com. How to Live a Positive Life: The Art of Living Well, has been the #1 bestseller at iTunes books in the “Self-Improvement” category. He co-hosted the weekly international Web-TV program, The Holistic Success Show, which is viewed in over a 200 countries. He also hosts The Meditation for Health Podcast, with weekly lessons on meditation, and The Happiness Podcast.

Dr. Robert Puff on Happiness & the Law of Science

How to be happy regardless of your circumstances; How to overcome self-doubt. Watch the full episode at http://www.TheHolisticSuccessShow.com

The Fourth Mystical Law: Trust in Divine Paradox, Irony, and Synchronicity by Caroline Myss

Paradox is one of the languages of the Divine, an apparent contradiction that nonetheless contains the truth. The power of a paradox, by its very nature, cannot be captured in a single definition. Paradoxical dynamics are currents that animate the wild cards of our lives, sometimes with such a dramatic force that it gives us pause to consider, “Who could possibly have masterminded such an event?”

Ironic events along with paradoxical ones stand out in our lives, calling us to notice them. They come together with rare, once-in-a-lifetime ingredients that may never coalesce again. These facts alone beckon us to take notice that unusual forces have consciously gathered around us to make that one event happen.

How often has something happened to us that in the moment we think is devastating, only to discover six months or a year later that it was the proverbial “blessing in disguise”? Sometimes the blessing is simply that these events draw us out of our ordinary “sleeping” state; that is, they cause us to wonder about the greater cosmic map, and that’s purpose enough.

The ego is always frightened and cannot discern a blessing from a tragedy, because its only compass is its own survival. As a result, it bases every decision on either what is already knows and its familiar with or what it views as safe. Times of change are about exactly that – a need to change. But changes of circumstance are the illusion, not the intent. You are always the object of change, never your situation. When life presents you with a crossroads and you are not sure what to do, the ego will always fall back on what it has already done. The ego pulls out its resume, which is, paradoxically, exactly the wrong thing to do. Change arrives because you need to move forward, not retreat to the past.

People who look to their past will not do well, because the past is no longer relevant. We can only go forward and toward the fact – and it is a fact – that learning to rely on divine paradox and wisdom will become a great survival grace.

What you can do:

To fall into harmony with divine paradox, irony and synchronicity remember:

  • What is big is really small; what is small is really big.
  • What is frightening is really the safe path; what looks safe is your fear talking.
  • What looks like chaos is actually a future blessing in disguise.
  • Your greatest power is humility; your greatest weakness is humiliation.
    The mustard seed (one clear soul) has more power than the mountain (a group of people in chaos).
  • The power of prayer and grace – knowing how to work in harmony with the cosmos – influences the whole of life, whereas tying to dominate one person destroys you.
  • Your ego – and not someone else’s – is your most ruthless adversary.

Live these truths. Take them into your life and act on them. Look for these mystical energies in your life and note that they are not accidental but represent dynamics that are cause for a conscious response.

“Alan Watts – Why Your Life Is Not A Journey” 

“Why do we need a Teacher and a Scripture for Enlightenment? Nonduality Vedanta James Swartz” 


Roger Castillo – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Published on Aug 26, 2016

Also see https://batgap.com/roger-castillo/

Here I am, Roger.

From an early age I recall a natural inquisitiveness towards the nature and mechanics of all sorts of things. I was constantly observing and theorizing.

Fortunately, throughout life, the denser and more persistent forms of suffering were not something I was particularly familiar with. Life unfolded quite smoothly on an inner and outer level.

Although there was already a strong spiritual bent, it wasn’t until my late twenties that life introduced the notion of enlightenment and the underlying non-dual nature of life. When this happened all the cells in my body shouted ‘yes’ and there was an unexplainable faith that trusted what had been read. From that point, everything else faded into insignificance next to the quest that had been ignited.

This was the beginning of a wonderful phase which spontaneously started some 15 years back and spanning 5 years miraculously didn’t stop until what was initially pointed at became lived on an unwavering basis.


What was most amazing about the process was that from very early on the concept that everything is a ‘happening’ and not ‘my doing’ was introduced – that everything is unfolding exactly as it is meant to, not according to my will but according to God’s Will.

This notion immediately resonated deeply and in a short time the ingrained contrary beliefs dissolved and the conviction flowered into an experiential way of being that so perfectly embodied this pointer.

This magically intricate process unfolded with this heart attitude present throughout, making it known directly to be a divinely orchestrated plan delivering everything that was needed in exactly the right proportions and at exactly the right time. I have been known to say “that if any of this process was actually up to ‘me’, I would have messed it up on day one!”. And yet the paradox, but not contradiction, is that it was Roger who was the one contemplating, reading, meditating and so forth.

From then I had a deep experiential conviction that everything in life happens the same way “according to God’s Will” from the beginning of time to the end of time. This deepened and led to a radical insight about the nature of Source in its most primordial. From here the underlying oneness of life became obvious far more than just intellectually and an unbroken connection to Source was established from where peace of heart in daily living stems.

I hold Satsang and retreats and welcome anyone to join in the spiritual discourses, especially if there is a genuine yearning to open to the notion, and ultimately the first hand, direct knowing, that unbroken peace of mind, love and contentment are our very nature and not caused by things we need to do or attain. This is everyone’s birthright.

The following saying penetrates to the core of what this particular teaching addresses, and that is the marriage of two seemingly contradictory standpoints into a unified paradoxical realization of ‘non-dual duality’ which leads to liberation.

Before one studies Zen, mountains are mountains and waters are waters; after a first glimpse into the truth of Zen, mountains are no longer mountains and waters are no longer waters; after enlightenment, mountains are once again mountains and waters once again waters. ~ Zen saying

I always speak from my own direct experience, however many who knew the great teachings of my beloved Guru Sri Ramesh Balsekar will recognize the content often comes through in much the same vein as what he shared with seekers for more than 25 years in Mumbai, India. Jai Ramesh Guru. The teachings of Jesus, A Course in Miracles, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi, among others, were all precious gifts which were instrumental in what happened. Humbled and in gratitude I bow. Website: http://rogercastillo.org

Watch “Is There Reason for Creation?” on YouTube

‘Effortless Freedom’

Published on Aug 26, 2016

For more information about Unmani’s Meetings and Intensive Retreats see: http://www.die-to-love.com
Freedom is not dependent on any circumstances. It is not dependent on how you feel or who you’re with. It’s not dependent on how hard you meditate or any old conditioning playing out. This Freedom is radical. It is the Freedom of Who You Are. Who You Are is always free. It is simply aware of what is happening. And although you may be completely touched by what is happening, paradoxically Who You Are is untouched.

Adyashanti – Welcoming Transformation

Published on Aug 25, 2016

http://adyashanti.orgAdyashanti explores the inherent unsatisfactoriness of life that is woven into the fabric of human existence, and how the fierceness and gracefulness of life are intertwined. Adyashanti points to how our egoic operating system is in a push-pull relationship with life, and points out that our ego can never be fully satisfied. When the trap of the ego harnesses your attention, by stopping for a moment, you are able to realize that you have a choice as to where you place your attention. By tapping into a deep well of wisdom and by listening to something deeper than the reactive mind, the possibilities before you are endless.

A new perspective opens up before you—to see suffering as a motivator to relieve suffering, rather than to run away from it. Suffering no longer has to carry a heavy weight over you—it can birth a transformation within you and lift you up into a non-suffering state of being. Adyashanti explores the unlimited options available to you in any given situation and points out that the key is to deeply listen to something beyond the reactive mind. When you do this, a calmness settles into being. This provokes the question: What will your relationship with life be?

God’s Blueprint: Scientific Evidence that the Earth was Created to Produce Humans by Christopher Knight

God’s Blueprint is the boldest statement yet by the popular investigator of the past, Christopher Knight. While he is sees a role for all religions he has none himself, yet Knight makes the case for a deliberate design to the human universe using detailed astronomical data. Surprisingly, most scientists already accept the basic notion of a God but because they require factual, checkable evidence, few have ever publicly supported the idea.

But now new evidence has became available that provides hard-nosed evidence of God’s existence. Nothing less than God’s blueprint appears to have been discovered – found accidentally by the author while researching the science of the Neolithic (late Stone Age) people of Western Europe. Knight makes his case in a step-by-step manner, making you the jury. The evidence will be sure to surprise and delight you. The only questions that remains is, will scientists embrace the concept of a Supreme Creator, as they once did in Isaac Newton’s day – and will theologians be prepared to look at new evidence that compliments their ancient scriptures?

Christopher Knight is one of the world’s leading researchers into freemasonry, sacred geometry and ancient astronomy. He is the co-author of many titles including, The Hiram Key, The Hiram Key Revisited, Solomon’s Power Brokers, Who Built The Moon?, Civilisation One and many more. He runs a marketing company in Yorkshire, and travels the world giving lectures. He is a frequent on-air contributor to documentaries that appear on cable TV in America, Canada, the UK and Europe. The author lives in UK.


God’s Blueprint by Christopher Knight

Christopher Knight is the best-selling co-author of The Hiram Key, The Hiram Key Revisited, Solomon’s Power Brokers, Who Built The Moon?, Civilisation One and many more. Chris began his writing career by accident after he invested nearly twenty years in personal research into the origins of Freemasonic rituals and early Judaism. Whilst Chris has never had any religious affiliations of any kind he has always been interested in the formulation of belief systems. This book puts the idea of God on trial. Whilst the case has been hotly disputed over recent generations with scientists on one side and theologians on the other, evidence either way has been thin on the ground.

Enlightenment Vs Awakening – Roger Castillo

The difference between Awakening and Enlightenment

Consciousness in Nature by Howard Jones

The whole of the natural world is imbued with a numinous sacred spirit. This is a belief that seems to have been associated with indigenous peoples ever since Homo sapiens first evolved on Earth. Indeed, whatever image people have of their deity, the notion still persists today amongst a majority of humankind that there is a purpose to human life and that there is a designing force or spirit behind our very existence. For many, such a spirit provides their image of their god.

The key feature that differentiates the levels within what the ancient philosophers called the Great Chain of Being is the extent to which we are able to interact with this cosmic spirit. At the lowest level we have the insentient rocks and minerals. Even here, some native peoples in Hawaii and in China and some spiritual healers in the west, maintain that placing the appropriate crystals on the human body, over the sites where it is claimed that the chakras (vortices) of energy are located, enhances the input of chi or spiritual energy from the universe into the individual. Many natural rock formations are considered to be sacred by indigenous tribes, such as Uluru or Ayers Rock to the Australian aborigines, Monument Valley in Arizona to the Navajo Amerindians and Mt. Kilauea in Hawaii as the birthplace of Pele, the goddess of volcanoes, to native Hawaiians.

When Christianity came to Britain, the new Christians used pagan sacred sites to build their churches – partly so that pagans would continue to worship at the same place and probably also to make use of whatever sacred energy the site held. Similarly, the Hanging Monastery on Xuanshan Mountain in China and the Meteora monasteries in Kalampaka in Greece are built on precipitous outcrops of rocks because of the sacredness of these sites, despite their inaccessibility.

There are numerous artificially created ‘temples’ for prayer or sacred burial, made from megaliths of natural stone, to be found throughout the world when there are no suitable natural structures locally. Some of the best known examples of stone tombs or temples constructed of dolmens from the early Celtic pagan settlements are to be found in the Eastern part of Ireland, with the Newgrange megalithic tomb as the outstanding example. These structures probably date back to before the pyramids of Egypt, more than 3000 years BCE and a long time before the expansion of the European Celts into Britain. They were probably used both for burial of the elders of the tribes and as temples to the sun, moon and stars. These testimonies to pagan religion have survived in the more remote corners of Europe where the Roman invaders were never able to fully subdue the local population and form settlements of their own. The structures at Stonehenge and Avebury in Wiltshire, England, are probably the best-known examples of such pagan temples on mainland Britain.

The erection of such massive constructions as these must have involved considerable time and labour, which must have been thought worthwhile for their spiritual ends – an indication of the importance of spirituality in the lives of early peoples.

In Scotland, the ceremonial sites are much less accessible than those of Wiltshire. The two most important are the Machrie Moor Standing Stones on the Isle of Arran and the Callanish Standing Stones in the Outer Hebrides. At Machrie only four stones now remain of two large circles. Erected at a time when the climate would have been much more hospitable and welcoming to the Celtic immigrants, the Machrie stones guard the graves of Neolithic farmers whose skeletal remains have been found buried with their arrowheads. The Callanish stones in the Isle of Lewis still form a veritable petrified forest which, legend has it, represent thirteen giants who refused to convert to Christianity and were turned to stone as a consequence by St. Kieran in a characteristically uncharitable act.

In Wales, the Pentre Ifan Cromlech near Nevern in Pembrokeshire, known locally as Arthur’s Quoit, served as a burial ground for up to fifty tribesmen and women. It consists of a curved cap-stone, nearly 5 meters long, supported by three uprights. Some time after its construction the burial ground was covered with a mound of earth to make a barrow, rather like that at Silbury Hill near Avebury, bounded by a dry-stone and timber wall that has long-since disintegrated. Other Celtic burial sites at Samson’s Quoit and Llech y Drybedd (‘Stone of the Three Graves’) are near to Nevern. In the Preseli Mountains of Pembrokeshire there is a hillside, Carn Menyn, that is strewn with rough-shaped weathered boulders that have fallen from the rock formations above, like some gigantic scree. Sir Andrew Ramsey suggested in the mid-19th century that it was from here that the Bluestones of Stonehenge are likely to have been quarried.

It is not only in Britain that such ancient stone monuments survive. In Sine-Ngayene in Southern Senegal the necropolis is marked with a series of several dozen circles of small standing stones, each less than a metre high. The site here is also of Iron Age origin. At Tagarp in Sweden, an enclosed tumulus comprising passage and burial chamber within has a memorial site outside for worship so that successive generations could come and pay their respects to the ancestors. Such megalithic tombs are to be found in many other sites across Europe, but the menhirs and dolmens at Carnac are by far the most impressive. Carnac is a small town on the southern Atlantic coast of Brittany in France where there are more than 3000 Neolithic monuments of various kinds. All of these sites indicate the importance to spiritual people of establishing monumental locations that would allow them to commune with their gods through nature.

Above the rocks in the Great Chain of Being come the plants. Indigenous people still venerate the trees and animals on which they depend for their very survival. Trees have been on Earth for more than 300 million years. Throughout human civilization they have been associated with magic and ritual because it was believed that they were imbued with spirituality, and spirituality was associated with wisdom. Because trees were usually much longer-living than humans, and natural rock formations even more so, it was believed that they retained knowledge from one generation to the next and, as a result, that they were home to the spirits of past generations with the wisdom they possessed. As Karen Armstrong says in her book A Short History of Myth, “Trees, stones and heavenly bodies were never objects of worship in themselves but were revered because they were epiphanies of a hidden force that could be seen powerfully at work in all natural phenomena, giving people intimations of another, more potent reality”. The old Norse word ‘vid’ or ‘vithe’ means wood or forest but it has given us a number of words associated with knowledge or wisdom: witan (Old English: to know), wissen (German: to know), ‘wits’, ‘wise’ and ‘wisdom’. Cleve Backster and others have shown that plants too respond to tender loving care quite apart from their need for basic nutrients.

With our modern materialistic philosophy of life, animals are reared and slaughtered to sustain us with little or no thought of any possible consciousness that those animals might possess. The idea of not wasting any living thing that we have to kill – whether plants or animals – has been lost with the advent of junk food. Those who eat meat claim that the flesh of animals raised in the wild, or at least under humane, stress-free and ecologically friendly conditions, is much more flavourful than that from battery hens or cattle that never see the light of day. Native peoples hold ceremonies of thanks and prayers for forgiveness to their spirits if they need to slaughter other living creatures for food and other items needed for their survival, or even when they cut down trees to build shelter. Some adherents of structured religions still say grace before a meal. The idea of simply eating together as a tribe, family or friendship unit and celebrating the source of our nourishment is another way of acknowledging and keeping to the forefront of our minds the enormous bounty that surrounds us – for the present. The philosophy of preserving our environment is of vital importance for the survival of us all, not just to a few New Age ‘Greens’.

Cats and dogs are commonly kept as pets because they have a sentience that allows a special bonding with us. Rupert Sheldrake’s scientific study of dogs who know when their owners are coming home is well known. But as several people have shown in recent decades, even wild animals are capable of bonding with humans. The bonding of the Adamsons with a baby lioness, that of Dian Fossey with the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, and of Jane Goodall with chimpanzees in the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania have become the inspiration for popular books and movies. We need to treat our food-source livestock with the same loving care we show to our pets.

There is a message here for us humans that we should keep at the forefront of our minds concerning the consciousness that lies within the plants and animals of the natural world, however rudimentary that may be. Our thoughts and deeds impact hugely on others. If we regard the divine as an all-pervading cosmic spirit, then this energy lies within the rocks and minerals of the Earth too and comprises their sacredness and perhaps their healing energies. That energy is certainly a part of all living things, as well as ourselves. If we are to flourish, we need to be ever conscious of the sentience of the natural world of which we are an integral part. We abuse our trusteeship of Nature at our peril.

Howard Jones is a graduate in physical sciences with a PhD in medical chemistry. He is the author of numerous books, including The World as Spirit, The Tao of Holism, The Thoughtful Guide to God, and Evolution of Consciousness.

This article first appeared in Watkins Mind Body Spirit, issue 42.

Critique of Experiential Enlightenment by Advaita Vedanta

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