Opening the Mind

I am using a good deal of my time during this enforced lock-down to read books, watch videos and write about growing as an individual and as a society. Lately I have discovered London Real, with Brian Rose who interviews a wide range of contemporary people on interesting, often controversial topics. A video lecture given by Graham Hancock led on to other videos and then his book, ‘America Before’. Various articles available through Medium.com, TED talks, ideas on minimalism and stoicism all became fodder for my investigations. Really, I feel like I am giving myself a crash course in living and life. And I am loving it.

There are so many philosophies, ideologies and theories floating around in today’s world. I could spend the rest of my life studying them and applying them to myself and my life. However, as I have gone through these past three months of investigation, I have noticed that while there are many differences, they are, really, all facets of the same gem we call life. The river flows over many different beds and at many different speeds, and though it is ever changing, it is the same river and no one part of it can define it completely.

The theory of Consciousness has been at the core of my investigations. Science is moving away from the theory that consciousness is ‘local’ as in, consciousness is located in our brain. Rather, from psychology to quantum physics, we are being shown, through logic and experiment, that our brain is more like a television receiver than a computer, and that it is constantly interacting with some sort of Consciousness. Some refer to it as the ‘morphic field’, ‘field of probabilities’, ‘unified field’ or simply, ‘the field’. Our thoughts and ideas, as they spring from this field, flood our receiving brain. We either capture them and use them or we dismiss them and, like a dream remembered upon awakening, they fade into oblivion.

Books like ‘The Secret’ and ‘Becoming Supernatural’, talk about taping into this field. Napoleon Hill’s 1937 classic ‘Think and Grow Rich’, though using different terminology, talks about this ‘field’. Spiritual literature speaks of the ‘realm of the spirit’ or of God. And I believe that they are all taking about the same thing. The idea, in many modes of expression, has been around going back to the ancients. There is nothing new here, but it seems that since the 18th century, science beat out spirituality with the notion that humans are the pinnacle of evolution and consciousness became confined to the body. We don’t need any god; science will provide the answers we need. It’s only in the past 40 years that there’s been some serious study as to the source of the Big C of consciousness.

Plato & Aristotle take a walk.

While it may seem like this is a battle between evolutionists and creationists, I assure you it is not. The discussion has come full circle as accredited scientists are demonstrating that there are things that cannot be explained alone by consciousness localized only in the brain. Einstein poked at the idea but when it came to a force that he couldn’t understand yet, he referred to it as ‘spooky action at a distance.’

Probably the greatest lesson that I have learned in the last three months is that I don’t know much, and that there are a lot that humans understand neither themselves nor our universe. Meanwhile, it is fun to explore new ideas and theories and not be tied by definitions that I was taught well, a lot of years ago. You might enjoy the movie ‘What the {%&@$#} Do We Know’, available on YouTube. It is a good jumping off point to going down the proverbial rabbit hole of new discoveries. Or if you wish, a short, easy to follow explanation of the famous ‘Double-Slit Experiment.’

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 There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy…Hamlet

I heard a friend say that by the end of this whole Covid 19 thing we will end up at Drunks, Chunks or Hunks; the choice is our own. A Netflix binge is okay once in a while, but I prefer more active thinking and learning. Who knows what we might learn or down which rabbit hole it might lead? All it takes is an open mind!

Opening up

A human being is a part of the whole called the “universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in all its beauty. We may or may not be able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security. ~Albert Einstein

Throughout his whole life Einstein never lost his wonder at life and the greatness of the universe. His sense of ‘awe’ stretched  from the vastness of time and space to the tiniest particles of matter and non-matter. In all of creation he saw that there was something beyond what the senses could sense. He believed that science and religion would ultimately end up at the same point with respect to the universe and this rather persistent illusion we call reality.

Spirituality, I believe, is that which connects us. The self, my ego, is that which tells me that I am separate. Science may be disintegrating the old images of God as creator but at the same time it is opening our minds to a newer reality of something far greater than ourselves at the centre of all. Exactly what that is? I have no idea. I too have a sense of awe and wonder when I contemplate the the seen and unseen universe of time and space.

I can take a cup of water from the ocean. It has all of the chemical properties of the ocean but it is not the ocean; where are the tides and currents and immense power in this cup of salty water? However, when I pour it back into the ocean it again becomes the ocean. It reintegrates so fully that I can never remove the same cup of water from it no matter how hard I try.

I see Consciousness in the same way. I am a drop of water splashed up from the River of Life. I possess many of the same properties as the river, but I am not the river. I can look around at all the other droplets splashed up at the same time and I can notice differences: different sizes, colours, position. But once my drop falls back down into the water, I become part of the River once more and those differences no longer exist.

I think that is what Einstein is getting at in the above quote. We are more alike than we are different. We imprison ourselves by our beliefs in our separateness rather than free ourselves in the knowledge that we are all the same. Man, woman, child and all of nature are all the creation of Universal Consciousness. It’s a tough concept to grasp, given our world as it is and how we have been taught all of our lives. But just knowing and opening ourselves up to other possibilities, is a step in a new direction. Just working toward a changed perspective is enough to free us from the bondage of self. And that’s a reason to be grateful.

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