An Argument Against Materialism – Rupert Spira

In this conversation Rupert encourages using direct experience when evaluating the Consciousness-only model.

The Collapse of Materialism: Visions of Science, Dreams of God by Philip Comella

“Philip Comella, takes a fresh and bold look at the debate between science and religion—and attempts to go farther than any other book to unite them.

For years,we have been led to believe that the universe trace sits roots back to the Big Bang, a cataclysmic explosion of ethereal energy that resulted in the formation of the planets, stars, and everything in-between. Suppose,though, that the cosmos wasn’t, in fact, borne of a random eruption—but rather stems from the ever-evolving imagination of a multi-dimensional dreaming mind?Such a drastically different perspective would no doubt change the way we see not only ourselves, but also our place in the infinite realm of the universe. Such is the central premise of The Collapse of Materialism.

Probing,well written, and thoroughly researched, Comella’s insightful volume serves as a treatise on the popular misconceptions that the world of science would lead us to believe about the origins—and subsequent development—of the universe. Comella paints the compelling picture of life as a purposeful, directed means to an end. Bolstered by a wide range of enlightening sources,including religion, eastern philosophy—and science itself—this book breaks important ground regarding the limited purview of life as we’ve come to know it, encouraging readers to explore the unfettered depths of a new vision of universal purpose.”

—Dominique Sessons,

Philip Comella is a lawyer, host of the podcast, Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, and author of The Collapse of Materialism: Visions of Science, Dreams of God. He has also published articles in Watkins Mind Body Spirit, Quest Magazine, and Veritas. The objective of his writing is to be more scientific than science, and to offer a credible, logical, and optimistic alternative to the matter-first, purposeless, and pessimistic worldview of modern, materialistic science. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio (1955), and received a B.A. in Philosophy from Beloit College (1978) and a J.D. from George Washington University (1983). The Collapse of Materialism shows that a matter-first worldview, one where all reality came from a Big Bang, life from a swamp, and consciousness from the gray matter of the brain, does not make any sense, and that we have accepted it based on faith, not on critical examination. Quantum theory, psychic phenomena, near-death experiences, the placebo effect, synchronicity, the fine-tuning of the universe, the pervasive belief in God, and many other features of our world show that a matter-first worldview no longer can explain the world we experience. Materialism is collapsing, and this is a good thing, as a mind-first worldview not only builds permanent bridge between science and religion, but also offers a future of unlimited promise.

The Collapse of Materialism-Visions of Science & God

Philip Comella believes that civilization may be at the beginning of a new epoch, a time of great spiritual awakening with humanity transcending to a higher truth, one that unifies the now colliding cultures of science and religion. In his book The Collapse of Materialism, Comella explains that through this viewpoint will come the ultimate understanding of the interconnection between our minds and the world around us.

Many scientists now believe that it has been shown that matter originates in the mind and the mind is universal. Philip Comella explains that embracing the universal mind will lead us back to ourselves and finally back to God.

Philip Comella is a lawyer, visionary futurist, and host of the popular radio show Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, podcast at http://www.webtalkradio.net. His book, The Collapse of Materialism: Visions of Science, Dreams of God, is a culmination of decades of work committed to developing a new and credible scientific paradigm to unify the physical world of science with the metaphysics of religion. He lives with his wife and daughter in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

Money and Spirituality – 5 Common Abundance Blocks, and How to Transform Them By Juliet Tang

Money and Spirituality – 5 Common Abundance Blocks, and How to Transform Them
wakeup-world.com/2017/02/10/money-and-spirituality-5-common-abundance-blocks-and-how-to-transform-them/
2/10/2017

Money is a touchy topic for many given we live in a world where most of us have been programmed to buy into the belief that there is not enough, and we have most likely at some point in our lives witnessed and experienced (or are witnessing and experiencing) a state of lack. More often than not, it is a subject that triggers emotions such as anger, anxiety, insecurity and frustration since, in our society, our relationship with money is tied to our experience of abundance, security and freedom.

But what, really, is money?

In short, it is a form of energy manifested from Source Energy, like everything else in this universe. Money in itself has no meaning because energy is neutral — that is, until it becomes filtered and alchemized by our thought forms. Whenever a subject draws much attention and energy from the masses, our beliefs about it assign it many different meanings, making it either a much-desired salvation or an intimidating repellent — or for some, both at the same time.

The purpose of this article is not to discuss the philosophical or political aspects of money, it is to guide you in the process of examining, and perhaps shifting, your own relationship with this specific form of energy exchange, should you feel inspired.

Block #1: Money is Bad

I have encountered quite a few folks who react very strongly to the topic of money. Any time when we have a reaction, it means we are being triggered in a rather unconscious way, and there are underlying beliefs in an unawakened part within ourselves (the Ego) that are out of alignment with our True Self (the Soul). The stronger the reaction, the more out of alignment those beliefs are and the “crappier” the feelings become.

Some of the common beliefs are, “Money is the root of all evil,” “Money is for the corrupt and greedy,” etc. No beliefs are intrinsically good or bad, there is only one thing that matters when it comes to any belief – there is always a return of investment and what we believe in is what we get. In that sense, our beliefs literally “matter,” or transform from energy into matter in front of our very eyes if we invest enough energy into them by thinking, talking about and acting on them. We live in a vibrational universe where life mirrors back the energy of every belief we hold by sending us circumstances that match that belief. So once we are convinced in the belief that money is only reserved for those who are immoral, dishonest and materialistic, and since we are not “them,” our lives will automatically prove to us that in order for us to show up as “the good guys,” we must continue to experience the lack thereof when it comes to money.

Again, there is no right or wrong when it comes to any belief and many have discovered the joy of living off the grid. There is only what serves us and what does not serve us. The return of investment we receive from life whether it is a preferred return or an undesired one is not a reward or punishment, it is merely a consequence, or a reflection of a belief that we spend most of our energy on.

If you are not happy with the return, it may be time for you to deposit your energy into a different type of investment by adopting beliefs that match what you are looking to manifest. You cannot want money and hate money at the same time, so be very conscious with what beliefs you are looking to adopt. Everything we think and speak reinforces the patterns in our subconscious mind, so use your reaction and whatever emotions the reaction generates to stop yourself in the track and act as reminders for you to think or say a statement that is uplifting to you that focuses on a friendly relationship with money rather than an abusive one. If “I am prosperous” is too intimidating and sounds fake at the moment, start with gentler ones such as “I am ready to shift my relationship with money” or “I am accepting friendly thoughts and ideas on prosperity.” Make sure you mean what you think or say as it is the energy that “matters.”

If you hold a deep-seated belief that money and human decency do not mix, invite yourself to notice at least one person on this planet who is wealthy and “not a jerk” at the same time. It takes only one example to break the belief “all rich folks are jerks” and if you can approach this topic with curiosity, with time, more of them will come into your focus because the world will always mirror back to you whatever you place your attention on.

Block #2: Money Is Not Spiritual

Money also seems to be bad news for spiritual seekers since the core belief in many seekers is “money and spirituality do not mix” possibly due to some elements from both religious and cultural belief systems that feature gurus in Jesus shoes preaching to followers on top of mountains as well as stories of those who abandon all material possessions in seek of spiritual enlightenment. It is also tied to the first belief “money is bad.”

If we lived in a reality where some facets are manifestations of Source but some aren’t, perhaps there is indeed separation between money (or for that matter, anything we deem “unholy”) and Source Energy. However, the emergence of increasing scientific evidence suggests that the quantum field we live in is a single universal field of intelligence confirming the timeless wisdom from many teachers that we are all One. We can only speculate that the illusion of separation then is a part of the deliberate programming we have all agreed to inherit upon arrival in this dimension in order to make this reality which is based on duality more real.

From that note, and if everything is an extension of One, it then seems feasible for us to expand our definition of spirituality so that it not only covers the “pretty” components of spirituality that include but are not limited to meditation, yoga, pursuit of truths and acts of kindness and unconditional love that are perceived “spiritually acceptable” by our Collective Ego (let’s not forget that the Ego thrives on categorizing, judging and labeling), but also everything else that is part of our daily experiences that is condemned by the Ego. As Neale Donald Walsch has famously stated many times:

“You keep trying to solve the world problem as if it were a political problem, or an economic problem, or even a military problem, and it is none of these. It is a spiritual problem. And that is one problem human beings don’t seem to know how to solve.”

Going back to money, if we believe money is somehow an anomaly that falls outside of our spiritual beliefs or the Oneness that supposedly includes all, and again given that our experiences always validate our beliefs, we are literally excluding the possibility of receiving the flow of that energy from our existence. If we believe we must be poor in order to be spiritual and holy, that is exactly what we will be.

Money, like everything else, is energy that flows from us and to us. The meaning we give it is the meaning that it will bring into our experiences. If you would like to include that energy into your life in a non-threatening way, allow yourself to explore the idea that money is just a form of energy in a universe where everything is energy, until you can accept that as the reality you live in.

Block #3: I Am Not Deserving or Worthy

We have all been affected more or less by the programming of worthlessness. Given money’s tremendous association with worth in today’s society since everything seems to have a numerical value attached to it, it is completely understandable why we enter a vicious cycle of the manifestation of lack because we believe we are not worthy or deserving of financial abundance. The experience of lack then reinforces the belief that we are not worthy when we cannot make ends meet.

When we say to ourselves we are not worthy, and we will be worthy only if ____ (insert whatever condition that is true for you on the line), we are handing away our power of creation. In addition, many of us are programmed to be givers rather than receivers because we are told self-sacrifice makes us noble, self-less, altruistic and kind when in truth there is nothing more damaging and disempowering than the teachings that convince us we are not those things already unless we meet a set of terms and conditions set by society. When we are guilty with the idea of exchanging money/energy fearing what others may think of us, it means we are not practicing self-love. Giving our energy to others in means of loving, sharing, servicing or investing does not mean depriving ourselves of that energy, and if anything, without first filling our own cup, we will always be offering others an empty cup.

There is nothing we need to do to prove ourselves to others in any way. We are infinitely worthy and deserving, and the idea of us having to earn love or worth is simply a false belief held by the Ego that has gained a lot of momentum because many people have invested their energy into it. The happiest and most abundant person on earth is one who gives and receives and knows his/her ultimate worth. The journey of remembering self-worth is an inward one and it is tied to awakening to our True Self. I have written quite a few articles on self-worth and if you are interested in exploring your own worth, the articles titled “Overcoming the ‘I’m Not Good Enough’ Voice” as well as “The Art of Allowing – Give Yourself the Permission to Love You” offer some insights on how to overcome issues of low self-worth.

Remember, what your subconscious cannot accept as true will not manifest in your reality. If you do not believe that you are worthy of wealth, life will continue to show you that belief until it is released from your consciousness, and only you can do the work to clean it up.

Block #4: The World Controls My Finances

Given the political and economic status in today’s world where there is uneven distribution of wealth, it is so easy for us to get sucked into the reality that only a handful of people are capable of achieving wealth either because they are lucky or they resort to shady means (which reinforces the first money block belief) without realizing that we are paying for that reality with our energy because living in a vibrational universe, our energy is the currency we use to purchase experiences.

This is not to say that certain things aren’t happening in this world, or we need to lead passive lives in bubbles unaware of what is going on outside of us. However, if we get into the habit of constantly venting, judging and condemning those people (not to be confused with spending energy on educating others on such topics in a productive and constructive fashion), or worse, if we use them as excuses as to why we cannot create wealth for ourselves, we are then wasting our energy that can instead be used to produce change for ourselves and others. Furthermore, the return of investment of constant judgment and anger is never a pleasant one. Lastly, luck and conscious creation also cannot co-exist in the same reality so we will have to give up one in order to be the other.

How do you feel about the Kardashians? How much validity do you see in the statement “there is not enough for everyone?” That emotion you’ve just had is the strongest indication of a certain belief you have that may be acting as your money block. If you believe the world is an unfair and hostile place where everyone has to step on each other’s toes to compete for limited resources, life will be obligated to make that belief known to through unfair, hostile and lacking experiences in your reality until you change that outlook. At the end of the day, the only ones who are affected by our judgments are ourselves because that energy gets multiplied and returned to us.

Can the collective consciousness impact individual realities? Yes, for as long as we focus on and embody the disempowering beliefs shared by others and for as long as we stay in the perspective of the Ego because all it sees is limitations and competition. The Soul knows of no limitations because from its perspective, it is a part of the infinite Source Energy that is ever abundant and expanding. Others’ realities really have nothing to do with ours if we do not consciously or unconsciously choose to purchase that experience with our energy.

One way to loosen up the energy around the collective is to focus on yourself. Self-love is always the first step to every creation. You are not a Kardashian, ExxonMobile CEO or Rothschild, and despite the views you may have on them, you are only the master of your own destiny. What would you do if you had the financial abundance you desired? Would it mean that you could spend it on your loved ones and take them on the vacations they have always wanted? Could you allow yourself a few luxuries that you couldn’t afford in the past? Would you use it to contribute to community building and worthy causes that allow you to make an impact in the world?

Your reality is about you and no one else. And you absolutely have the power to create the life you desire without getting pulled into what everyone else is experiencing. Make that decision today.

Block #5: Money Is Everything

Contrary to the belief that money is everything that is both good and bad, it is only one form of energy that is neither good or bad. It is one of the most common energy transfers because we have made it so, but it is not the only. While experiencing scarcity in life, many of our thoughts inevitably resemble this, “If only I had the money, I could…”

The danger of such a thought is first, the reason why many of us feel powerless when it comes to money is precisely because we have bought into the collective belief of placing way too much power on money which in turn takes away our power. One very wise teacher once said to me, “As powerful as money can be, Source Energy is infinitely more powerful.” If we see money as the necessary middleman for every experience we are seeking, then that belief will become very real to us when that manifested reality demands money from us from all directions. At the same time, it will also exclude other channels of energy transfer that can open up for us because we have placed so much of our faith and focus in this one form of energy only.

The thought also sends a very mixed message to the universe because it has two opposing vibrations in it. Given that our desire of having money is never about things but rather the good feelings as a result of having those things and experiences, on the one hand, we are imagining how good we would feel once we experienced the fruition of those desires. On the other hand, our vibration is lingering in a state of lack yearning for the money we don’t yet have. The mixed vibrations then become a very confusing signal to the quantum universe which is equivalent to trying to tune into two radio stations at once. To make it worse, until we have cleaned up our other money blocks, those limiting beliefs are in the background dominating our vibration and trapping us in a state of “wanting,” “needing” and “not deserving or having” and that vibration then creates a reality of more wanting, needing and not deserving or having.

The art of practicing allowing and letting go can be useful. If you can ease into the notion that Source Energy is infinite and interactive, and it delivers you anything that matches your vibration in the most creative ways rather than just one way, you can then allow yourself to relax into the idea that whatever it is that you have asked, it is already on its way to you without you necessarily having to figure out all the steps on how to make it happen. When you are no longer restricting Source to only one channel and your vibration shifts from asking to allowing/receiving, all channels that may or may not include the money channel open up. This is why many like to practice visualization that allow them to feel as if the experience has already taken place because it lifts the vibration from the reality of “no” to the reality of “yes.”

It is your divine right to be abundant in all areas in life and to be, do and have anything you can dream of. You are born with every single creation tool you need, and you did not come here to make a living; you came here to make a life. In a universe where all versions of realities exist, can you imagine, or see that reality where you are experiencing abundance in all forms? Hold that image, and become one with that feeling until it permeates every cell and particle of yours. It is already within you. But you, and only you hold the power to vibrate at a frequency where that desired reality can become visible to you and experienced by you, and that requires you to diligently and consciously commit yourself to doing the work to unlearn any belief that does not align with your True Self no matter how long it takes. It is time to release any victimhood and thoughts that make you less than Who You Are and step into the guaranteed freedom of choice you are born with – you are the Creator of your universe and your abundance is an inside job.

Happy creating!

About the author:

Juliet Tang is a Consciousness Empowerment Coach who works with individuals around the world via Skype. She began her spiritual studies at a young age and specializes in empowering those who are awakening to expand their consciousness, embrace their true power and master deliberate manifestation using a variety of coaching and healing techniques. Juliet holds a BA in psychology and MA in education, and was a social worker and teacher with a decade of teaching experience. Juliet incorporates powerful and practical tools such as visualization, NLP, reprogramming of the unconscious mind through trance work, vibrational medicine as well as mindfulness techniques into all coaching sessions. She also holds workshops on conscious creation and Reiki Certification in Midtown, NYC.

Juliet’s coaching programs can be found here.

You can follow Juliet online at:

http://www.jewelshealinggarden.com
http://www.facebook.com/JewelsHealingGarden
http://www.instagram.com/jewelshealinggarden
http://www.twitter.com/JewelsHealing

Arguing Science: A Dialogue on the Future of Science and Spirit by Rupert Sheldrake (Author), Michael Shermer (Author)

Two controversial authors debate the nature and methods of science, its dogmas, and its future. Rupert Sheldrake argues that science needs to free itself from materialist dogma while Michael Shermer contends that science, properly conceived, is a materialistic enterprise; for science to look beyond materialist explanations is to betray science and engage in superstition. Issues discussed include: materialism and its role in science, whether belief in God is compatible with a scientific perspective, and parapsychology.

Michael Shermer is an American science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and Editor in Chief of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating pseudoscientific and supernatural claims

Rupert Sheldrake, a biologist and author, is best known for his hypothesis of morphic fields and morphic resonance, which leads to a vision of a living, developing universe with its own inherent memory. He worked in developmental biology at Cambridge University, where he was a Fellow of Clare College. He was then Principal Plant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), in Hyderabad, India. From 2005 to 2010 he was Director of the Perrott-Warrick project, funded from Trinity College, Cambridge.

Earth Talk: Science and Spiritual Practices – Dr Rupert Sheldrake

In this lecture at Schumacher College, Rupert Sheldrake shows how the “scientific worldview” is moribund; the sciences are being constricted by assumptions that have hardened into dogmas. But science itself is now transcending the materialist philosophy, and pointing toward a new sense of a living world. The cosmos is no longer like a machine running down; it is more like a developing organism with an inherent memory, and so is our planet, Gaia. These new paradigm shifts in the sciences shed a new light on spiritual practices like pilgrimage, ritual, prayer and meditation.

Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D. is a biologist and author of more than 80 scientific papers and 10 books, including The Science Delusion. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University, a Research Fellow of the Royal Society, Principal Plant Physiologist at ICRISAT (the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics) in Hyderabad, India, and from 2005-2010 the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project, funded from Trinity College, Cambridge. While in India, he spent two years living in the ashram of Fr Bede Griffiths, and has given workshops on science and spirituality with Matthew Fox and Brother David Steindl-Rast. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, California, and a visiting professor at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut. His web site is http://www.sheldrake.org

Arguing Science and Spirituality with Michael Shermer

Miriam Knight is the host of this award-winning radio show and publisher of New Consciousness Review, a digital magazine with articles, interviews and reviews of books and films contributing to conscious awakening. Be inspired by fresh perspectives on body-mind health, science, consciousness, our place in the cosmos, and service to the greater good.

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Seeing Through the Eyes of Wholeness – Amoda Maa [updated Nov 25, 2015]


Published on Nov 24, 2015

Amoda talks about the imperative to dissolve all inner division and how seeing through the eyes of wholeness is true healing. This is a full-length recording from the Meeting at the Open Circle in San Rafael, November 2015.
More info about Amoda and her teachings at http://www.amodamaa.com

5 Questions For Lynne Twist

5 Questions for Lynne Twist
By: Alma Tassi

The venerable Lynne Twist has traversed the world speaking about finances, leadership, and social justice. She has inspired thousands to rethink their relationship with money and will be one of the many brilliant speakers featured at the Success 3.0 Summit this October 31st.

You have talked to over 100,000 people all over the world about creating a healthy relationship around money. What common obstacles do we all share?

People are caught in what I call the lie of scarcity. By that, I mean an unconscious unexamined set of assumptions that come even before beliefs, that there’s not enough to go around and that all resources are scarce. This perception of the world stops people from seeing what I call the radical surprising truth: which is that there is enough, they have enough, and they are enough.

How can we align our values with finances when many of us are struggling to make ends meet?

Aligning our values with finances or aligning our finances with our values, if truly exercised and practiced, leads people to the experience of their own blessing, bounty, and gratitude no matter what the circumstances. To have peace and freedom with money is what everyone wants, including our global billionaires. Having more money does not necessarily lead to peace and freedom. Having more money often leads to distorting our values rather than upholding them. It takes courage, commitment, and depth to truly center yourself in your highest commitments and values in your relationship with spending, earning, saving, investing, and contributing. When you do that, the experience of sufficiency and true prosperity is available and natural.

What does changing our relationship with money have to do with our spirituality?
Most people have no connection with their spiritual self or their soul and their money. This disconnect is part of the culture and condition of scarcity, as well as the commercialized culture of materialism, consumerism, and “more of anything and everything is better.”

Because of this manic relationship with money, that is fostered and driven by our consumer culture, there is a hunger, experience of impoverishment, and almost starvation in our relationship with money, even if we have floods of money in our life. More “stuff” will never fill the hole in the human heart. When we realize that we can use money as the currency or current that it is – just like water flowing through our lives – we can empower and imbue it with the highest commitments of our spirituality and our soul. This is the source of real prosperity and true wealth.

What are the myths around our money that keep us from feeling satisfied?

The primary myth I’ve already referenced is what I call the lie or myth of scarcity. Within the lie of scarcity, there are three “toxic” myths. First, the belief that “there’s not enough.” Second, the myth that “more is better.” And third, “that’s just the way that it is.” These three toxic myths govern, dominate, and brainwash all of us such that we suffer in our relationship with money and are constantly driven to think that we must have more and more and more and more. There is no end to more and it never ultimately produces satisfaction, fulfillment, or prosperity.

One of your talks focuses on “the power of taking a stand.” How can this transform our lives?

The power of taking a stand centers us in something larger than our own life starring us. We start to realize that we have been “given” life and that it’s a gift. When we use our life as an instrument or vehicle to accomplish something greater and more noble than our own wants and needs, we find a place to stand that ennobles every action we take, liberates us from the prison of our identity, and turns our life energy over to service and contribution. For example, a stand for ending world hunger becomes a whole way of living life. A stand for justice and fairness for all gives you a way to see, be, and walk in the world. Your identity, your petty concerns about yourself, move in the background, and the opportunity to have your life make a difference and be used by your highest commitment becomes a source of liberation, joy, productivity, and spiritual power. This is what I call living a “committed life.” It is a privilege to live this way and to be of genuine consequence and service to the world and to future generations.

Alma Tassi is the Web Editor for Spirituality & Health. Over the years she has worked for several magazines, edited books on spirituality, personal growth and women’s issues, and is now happily living in Maui, Hawaii with her family.

Source: Spirituality & Health.

Lynne Twist presents The Power of Taking a Stand

Bernardo Kastrup – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview


Bernardo Kastrup has a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering and has worked as a scientist in some of the world’s foremost research laboratories, including the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Philips Research Laboratories (where the “Casimir Effect” of Quantum Field Theory was discovered). He has authored many scientific papers and four philosophy books: Rationalist Spirituality, Dreamed up Reality, Meaning in Absurdity, and Why Materialism Is Baloney. This latter book is a grand synthesis of his metaphysical views. Bernardo has also been an entrepreneur and founder of two high-tech businesses. Today, he holds a managerial position in the high-tech industry. In parallel, he maintains a philosophy blog, an audio/video podcast, and continues to develop his ideas about the nature of reality. Bernardo has lived and worked in four different countries across continents.

Books: Why Materialism Is Baloney: How True Skeptics Know There Is No Death and Fathom Answers to life, the Universe, and Everything Meaning in Absurdity: What bizarre phenomena can tell us about the nature of reality Dreamed Up Reality: Diving into the Mind to Uncover the Astonishing Hidden Tale of Nature Rationalist Spirituality: An exploration of the meaning of life and existence informed by logic and science Website: bernardokastrup.com Youtube Channel

Why Materialism Is Baloney: How True Skeptics Know There Is No Death and Fathom Answers to life, the Universe, and Everything by Bernardo Kastrup

Pub Date: April 25, 2014.

The present framing of the cultural debate in terms of materialism versus religion has allowed materialism to go unchallenged as the only rationally-viable metaphysics. This book seeks to change this. It uncovers the absurd implications of materialism and then, uniquely, presents a hard-nosed non-materialist metaphysics substantiated by skepticism, hard empirical evidence, and clear logical argumentation. It lays out a coherent framework upon which one can interpret and make sense of every natural phenomenon and physical law, as well as the modalities of human consciousness, without materialist assumptions.

According to this framework, the brain is merely the image of a self-localization process of mind, analogously to how a whirlpool is the image of a self-localization process of water. The brain doesn’t generate mind in the same way that a whirlpool doesn’t generate water. It is the brain that is in mind, not mind in the brain. Physical death is merely a de-clenching of awareness. The book closes with a series of educated speculations regarding the afterlife, psychic phenomena, and other related subjects.

Bernardo Kastrup has a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering and has worked as a scientist in some of the world’s foremost research laboratories, including the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Philips Research Laboratories (where the “Casimir Effect” of Quantum Field Theory was discovered).

He has authored many scientific papers and four philosophy books: Rationalist Spirituality, Dreamed up Reality, Meaning in Absurdity, and Why Materialism Is Baloney. This latter book is a grand synthesis of his metaphysical views. Bernardo has also been an entrepreneur and founder of two high-tech businesses. Today, he holds a managerial position in the high-tech industry. In parallel, he maintains a philosophy blog, an audio/video podcast, and continues to develop his ideas about the nature of reality. Bernardo has lived and worked in four different countries across continents. He currently resides in the Netherlands.

Click here to browse inside.

Why Materialism Is Baloney, Book Teaser

Published on Jan 15, 2014

This is a teaser of the upcoming book “Why Materialism Is Baloney,” by Bernardo Kastrup. Book pages:

http://www.iff-books.com/books/why-ma…
http://www.amazon.com/Why-Materialism…
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/17…

Is India Having a Crisis of Soul? By Deepak Chopra

When they think of India, many people still have the shining image of it as a rising economy, one of the four most promising in the world, in fact. As one of the BRIC countries, along with Russia, Brazil and China, India’s rise from a long history of poverty raised hope for the rest of the developing world. So it’s startling when Fareed Zakaria recently asked on CNN, “Is India the broken BRIC?” In the same vein, Jim O’Neill, the most important global economist at Goldman Sachs, and the man who coined the term BRIC, considers India the biggest economic disappointment with its 5 percent fall in growth since 2010.

What makes the disappointment worse is that since the early 90s, as Western media and business people were jetting back and forth between India and China sizing up these two growing economic giants, business magazine covers, famous economists and top CEOs at conferences were saying, “India is the one to watch, not China.”

How did so many brilliant prognosticators miss so badly? As economists ponder what went wrong, the Gallup data gives telltale clues on the human side. Economics comes down to millions of individual workers and what they experience at work. The worker’s story from India is discouraging. A staggering 33 percent of employees are what Gallup scientists refer to as “actively disengaged,” meaning not only are they miserable at work, but they walk the halls and petition their colleagues to be as miserable and discontented as they are. On the positive end of the spectrum, a tiny 9 percent of Indian employees are engaged. These are the people who build new products and services, generate new ideas, create new customers and ultimately spur an economy to create more and more good jobs.

The workplace tends to be symptomatic of society as a whole, and here the picture is just as gloomy. India’s state of mind is severely troubled right now. Gallup’s World Poll, currently in its eighth year in the field, finds more Indians than ever are “suffering” — 31 percent — while fewer are “thriving,” just 10 percent. This is among the worst in the world.

When any society reaches a low point of well-being with a sizable number of people suffering, it is in trouble. When the quotient of suffering sharply rises (as it did in Libya before the Arab Spring and is happening today in Egypt), social turmoil often results. The street rioting over sexual harassment of women in India — an endemic problem that the government and judicial system turned a blind eye to for decades — is another warning sign.

What will happen next? Officially, India is being upbeat about its economic projections, with a forecast of growth between 6 and 7 percent for 2013 after falling below 7 percent for the past two years and generally underperforming since 2008, according to a recent story in the New York Times. In the Gallup data, 36 percent of the Indian population rated economic conditions as “good” or “excellent” in 2012, as compared to nearly half (46 percent) who thought so in 2008.

Of course, we are rooting for India’s economic uptick, but the human side needs deeper examination. In many ways India is facing a crisis of the soul. When only one person out of 10 is thriving, and around that number feel engaged at the workplace, it indicates that the vast majority are not reaching a desirable level of fulfillment — far from it.

A nation’s soul is the sum total of all interactions between all people in that society. Every moment lasts a few seconds and is positive, negative, or neutral. In those moments, people may make very tiny decisions that, as they accumulate, can profoundly change their day and even the rest of their lives. An old adage says, “Miss a bus, and you change the rest of your life.” In our world of unprecedented interconnectedness, that axiom may need updating: “Miss a bus and you change the rest of the world.” With India’s vast population, there are trillions of interactions per year. If they swing too far to the negative, the society’s soul is suffering a malaise.

Analysts point to large-scale problems, such as the widespread corruption that persists in Indian government, local and national, and the failure of reform parties to gain a strong political footing. But we think the story of moment-to-moment experience counts the most. What if every interaction with a bureaucrat brings expectations of obstacles, red tape or a bribe? What if every woman walking out alone expects catcalls, whistles and physical intrusions from men on the street? What if domestic violence and rape go hugely underreported and when reported lead to minimal consequences for the perpetrator?

India needs to come to terms with its soul sickness, and slowly, haltingly, it seems to be. Most Indians are lodged in the slot of low expectations. The Gallup data shows a surprising complacency, because despite the alarmingly low level of well-being, around 60 percent of Indians between 2006 and 2011 said that they were satisfied with their standard of living. The bubble seems to have burst since then, however, with that figure dipping below 50 percent in 2012.

There is something important here that India’s leaders — and all global leaders — must consider: A nation’s soul precedes its human development. Organic human development will not occur in India if the majority of everyday experiences are negative. Even so, India’s resilience and optimism — along with its resignation in the face of problems going back for generations — gives hope that the country will look to its soul. A great culture can only persist by doing so. We are pained to deliver gloomy news, but our deepest feeling is that the most spiritual nation on earth, and its largest democracy, can find a path to reform, with the well-being of its people held out as a primary goal.

To Have or To Be? ~ Erich Fromm

Erich Fromm’s groundbreaking examination of an age-old question, and a stunning look at how to pursue a life with purpose and meaning.

Life in the modern age began when people no longer lived at the mercy of nature and instead took control of it. We planted crops so we didn’t have to forage, and produced planes, trains, and cars for transport. With televisions and computers, we don’t have to leave home to see the world. Somewhere in that process, the natural tendency of humankind went from one of being and of practicing our own human abilities and powers, to one of having by possessing objects and using tools that replace our own powers to think, feel, and act independently.

Fromm argues that positive change—both social and economic—will come from being, loving, and sharing. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Erich Fromm including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s estate.

Born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Erich Fromm (1900-1980) studied sociology and psychoanalysis. In 1933, he emigrated as a member of the Frankfurt School of social thinkers to the United States, moved to Mexico in 1950, and spent his twilight years between 1974 and 1980 in Switzerland. His books Fear of Freedom (1941) and The Art of Loving (1956) made him famous. Other well-known books are Marx’s Concept of Man, Beyond the Chains of Illusion, and The Essential Fromm.

Click here to browse inside.

Erich Fromm Interview Excerpt

Erich Fromm discusses the Having and Being modes of orientation

The Essential Erich Fromm | A Film by Thiago Da Costa (Trailer)

Published on Nov 1, 2012

This is a preliminary trailer for Figura Media’s upcoming film about Erich Fromm.

It will chronicle Fromm’s life, works and ideas and will be released in 2013. Feel free to share it with friends.

Transcending Human Madness ~ Steve Taylor [updated Feb 4, 2013]

The Roots of Human Insanity and How Spirituality can make us Sane: Originally published in Green Spirit, Winter 2007

To an impartial observer – say, an alien zoologist from another planet – there must be very compelling evidence that human beings suffer from a serious mental disorder, and are perhaps even insane.

The last few thousand years have been an endless catalogue of insane behaviour. Recorded history is an endless catalogue of wars, and the story of the brutal oppression of the great mass of human beings by a tiny privileged minority. The terrible oppression of women which runs through history – and which still exists in many parts of the world – is another sign of this insanity, as is the hostile, repressive attitude to sex and the body which most cultures have shared.

In addition to this insane collective behaviour, an alien zoologist might see signs of mental disorder in the way that many of us behave as individuals. He or she would be puzzled by the fact that human beings seems to find it so difficult to be happy. Why do so many people suffer from different kinds of psychological malaise – for example, depression, drug abuse, eating disorders, self-mutilation – or else spend so much time oppressed by anxieties, worries and feelings of guilt or regret, and negative emotions like jealousy and bitterness? And why do so many people seem to have an insatiable lust to possess things? Why are we prepared to go to such lengths to obtain material goods which we don’t actually need and which bring no real benefits to us?

In the same way, many people have a very strong craving for status and success; they dream of being famous pop or TV stars, and try to gain respect from others by wearing particular clothes, possessing status symbols or going to certain places or behaving in a certain way. ‘Why aren’t human beings content just to be as they are?’ the observer might ask himself. ‘Why are they so driven to gain wealth and status instead of accepting their situation and living in the present moment?’

Primal and Prehistoric Peoples

However, there are many groups of people in the world who don’t seem to be touched by this insanity – or at least, who weren’t until recent times. ‘Primal’ peoples like the Australian Aborigines, the tribal peoples of Siberia, Lapland, Oceania and other isolated areas, generally had a very low level of warfare, if any at all. They also have high status for women, and are strikingly egalitarian and democratic. Almost uniformly, anthropologists have been struck by how naturally content and carefree these peoples seem, as if they are free of the psychological malaise which afflicts us.

Even more strikingly, archaeological records indicate that prehistoric human beings were free from this insanity too. Archaeological studies throughout the world have found almost no evidence of warfare during the whole of the hunter-gatherer phase of history – that is, right from the beginnings of the human race until 8000 BCE. Archaeologists have discovered over 300 prehistoric caves around the world, dating from 40,000 to 10,000 BCE, not one of which contains any images of weapons or fighting.

Prehistoric peoples have no signs of male domination either. On the contrary, they seem to have worshipped the female form. Their major art form was small statuettes of naked women, often with exaggerated breasts and hips. Literally tens of thousands of these have been found across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. These societies apparently had no different classes or castes either. For archaeologists, one of the most obvious signs of inequality are grave differences. Later societies have larger, more central graves for more ‘important’ people, which also have a lot more possessions inside them. Men generally have more ‘important’ graves than women. But the graves of prehistoric peoples are strikingly uniform, with little or no size differences and little or no wealth.

The Over-Developed Ego
This suggests that there is a fundamental difference between us and primal or prehistoric peoples, a difference which gives rise to the collective and individual insanity which plagues us. Why should they be free of the insanity of warfare, oppression and materialism? I believe that this fundamental difference is what might be described as our ‘over-developed ego.’

We appear to have a more pronounced sense of individuality – or ego – than primal peoples. According to the anthropologist Lucien Levy-Bruhl, for example, the essential characteristic of primal peoples was their less ‘sharpened’ sense of individuality. In his words, ‘the limits of their individuality are variable and ill-defined.’ He notes that, rather than existing as self-sufficient individual entities – as we experience ourselves – their sense of identity is bound up with their community and their land. He cites reports of peoples who use the word ‘I’ when speaking of their group and others who see their land as an extension of their self, so that being forced away from their land would be tantamount to death. (This is why primal peoples are often prepared to commit suicide rather than leave their lands.)

The naming practices of certain peoples suggest this too. For us, a name is a permanent label which defines our individuality and autonomy. But Australian Aborigines, for example, do not have fixed names which they keep throughout their lives. Their names regularly change, and include those of other members of their tribe. Other native peoples use tekonyms – terms which describe the relationship between two people – instead of personal or kinship names. On the other hand, our sense of ego is so defined and strong that many of us experience a basic sense of separation to nature, other human beings and even our own bodies. We are self-sufficient individuals who can exist apart from the natural world, our communities and even each other.

I believe this over-developed ego is the fundamental madness from which we suffer from, and the root cause of our insane behaviour. Intense ego-consciousness is a state of suffering. It brings a basic sense of isolation, of being separate from other people and the rest of reality. We experience ourselves as fragile entities trapped inside our own heads with the rest of the world ‘out there,’ on the other side. And our egos send a constant stream of ‘thought-chatter’ through our minds, a chaos of memories, daydreams, worries and fears which disturbs our being and creates a constant state of anxiety.

In addition, because we live in our thoughts so much, we find it very difficult to live in the present, and to appreciate the reality and beauty of the world in which we live. The world becomes a dreary, half-real place, perceived through a fog of thought. As a result of this, most people feel a basic sense of incompleteness and discontent. And this negative state is the basic source of the cravings for possessions and power and status, which are a way of trying to complete ourselves and compensate for our inner discord. We try to complete ourselves – and make ourselves significant – by gaining power over other people or by collecting wealth and possessions.

And in turn, this desire for wealth and power is at the heart of warfare and oppression. But just as importantly, our strong sense of ego means that it’s difficult for us to empathise with other people. We become ‘walled off’ from them, unable to ‘feel with’ them and to experience the world from their perspective or to sense the suffering we might be causing them. We become able to oppress and exploit other people in the service of our own desires.

Perhaps the desire for wealth and power, minus the ability to empathise, is the root of warfare and the oppression of women and other social groups. Maybe it’s also the root cause of our abuse of the environment. It means that we experience a sense of ‘otherness’ to nature, and that we can’t sense its aliveness, and as a result we don’t feel any qualms about exploiting and abusing it.

Beyond the Ego

However, there is a method of healing our inner discord and transcending our insanity: through ‘transpersonal’ – or spiritual – development. The whole purpose of transpersonal development is to transcend our intensified sense of ego, to blunt its walls of separateness and quieten its chaotic thought-chatter so that we can begin to experience a new sense of inner content and a new sense of connection to the cosmos and to other beings.

This is what the practice of meditation aims to do: to generate a state of inner quietness in which the ego fades away. And this is what happens when we dedicate our lives to serving others rather than following our own selfish desires: separateness begins to fall away as we develop a heightened sense of compassion, a shared sense of being with other people and other creatures.

As we transcend the intensified sense of ego, we begin to see the world as a meaningful and harmonious place. We become able to live in the moment and accept ourselves and our lives as they are, without wanting. And we also move beyond the social insanity of warfare and oppression. Since there is no discord inside us, we no longer crave for wealth and power, and now that we are no longer separate, we have the ability to empathise with other beings, and so become incapable of abusing or exploiting them. When the ego is transcended, all of the madness of human behaviour fades away, like the symptoms of a disease which has now been cured. That is the only true sanity, and perhaps the only way in which we can hope to live in peace and harmony on this planet.

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