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Positive, Dynamic Solutions

I’m not feeling at my best today. A rather negative way to begin an article but really, we all have that feeling at some point or another. I guess you know what I’m talking about.

When I feel this way, I search for escape. The problem is though; I have a nervous system illness that is irritated when the air pressure drops.

Finding my way out . . .

Chronic pain is extremely distracting there is no doubt, and so far I’ve not managed to find a way erase it. That said, there are ways to push it into the background so I can get on with my life.

Adopt a growth mindset. I read and engage with the work of Deepak Chopra and many others. Deepak said research has shown that when adversity strikes, happier people tend to see creative opportunities, while unhappier people see adversity.

“It’s programmed through childhood through a phenomenon called mirror neurons,” he says. “If you saw people complaining all the time when you were a kid, that’s what you do. Your neurons mirror the behavior.”

Going back to 1999 when I had the accident that started this illness, I adopted a mantra and repeated to myself whenever the going got tough.

Positive, Dynamic Solutions

When it went off the1 to 10 scale, I searched for something positive to distract and distance myself from the pain. Sometimes I failed, there were times when I stumbled but I always picked myself up.

The Internet was a shadow of what it is today but there were opportunities and I seized a few and developed an ‘eZine; ‘ I guess you might call it a motivational blog. Writing positive articles was life changing; the positive comments from almost 5000 readers were almost secondary to the learning I experienced through researching and writing the articles.

A visit to the doctor one day slammed my positive attitude so hard that I fell into a deep slumber for several months. He increased the so-called pain relieving opiates to the maximum dose and staying awake during the day was a challenge in itself. He also told me it was “unlikely” I would ever walk again. The diagnosis forced my employer to retire me.

Nevertheless, I changed my drugged mindset, stepped away from the problem and looked for opportunities by increasing my input to KEYZine, my online blog. It wasn’t known as a blog yet, that term hadn’t surfaced.

I also decided to engage the enemy by learning everything I could about the illness. I started to accept it and get on with my life. I engaged what Deepak calls the “unfriendlies.” He talked about them as people; my unfriendlies were an illness causing debilitating pain and a society discriminating against me because I couldn’t participate as expected.

It took a while but with lots of study and incredible support from my partner and our family, I am back on my mountain bike and skiing Pyrenean slopes when the snow falls. I have dozens of books to write and thousands more to read. Medication is necessary at very low levels and like today, following a long journey yesterday evening, the pain occasionally resurfaces only to be forced back again after I engage and challenge.

Deepak Chopra said,

“Adopt a growth mindset

Engage the “unfriendlies

Read”

I do those things every day and they have led to Positive, Dynamic Solutions

 

Investigating my own experience II

What do you want to be when you grow up? How many times I heard that question from well-meaning relatives I dread to think. For sixteen years I had only vague ideas about my future although I was well aware of my parent’s expectations. Their expectations didn’t match mine, of that I had no doubts.

Thanks to a local youth worker, I did begin to put a couple of plans together. The first was thwarted because they wouldn’t employ people under eighteen and the second similarly so. I would have to wait until at least twenty-one and gain more experience. It doesn’t matter what my goals were although I must say they were nothing outside the ordinary. What did matter was feeling like I had been stuffed into a glass box. I saw well enough but only to look, not to experience.

My family seemed to be getting what they wanted. A son working in local industry, finding a partner, getting married . . . That was their path, not mine and although I had a good time at British Aerospace, I used the opportunity to save toward a few years travelling. The glass box had to go, my path was clear and it was far from traditional or expected. It resulted in estrangement from a family who couldn’t believe that I threw away an amazing job in favour of travelling to ‘who knows where.’

Now here’s where I step right outside the box and I know I am not alone in this. Not that it matters. As a young person I never easily came to terms with the way society ran. Go to school, get a job, find a partner, mortgage, life insurance, family, etc.  I’m not an anarchist and realistic enough to know that at this time, that is the way of the world. Driven by money and controlled by a minority. This used to cause me no end of stress because I saw where I was and it wasn’t where I wanted to be. Change needed to come and I knew I had to be the agent of change, beginning with me. So off I went to unknown shores with an open mind to see what I could discover about people of the world and my place therein.

You can read other instalments of this investigation at Sue Vincent’ Daily Echo and in The Crazy Mind Interview More will follow here . . .

Experiences in Consciousness

The following article is the work of Anoop Kumar MD with reference to Richard Conn Henry (Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA).

Human consciousness is the main theme of this article and as a reader does, I couldn’t help myself when I compared this to a more recent study by Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos in “You Are The Universe,” (Harmony Books 2017). I will hold comparisons or arguments for now, those will come in a new article next week.

In the meantime, I urge you to take a look at Dr Kumar’s work and see how it fits with what you know and what it might mean. Does it challenge your current thinking? Does it really matter?

Anoop Kumar is an emergency room physician in Washington DC, you can follow his blog through the header link.

An educated society can no longer hide from the primacy of consciousness

There’s an old saying

There is a life-changing battle going on at the heart of science, yet most of us are unaware of it. On center stage, the story about how matter forms our world shapes the minds of students from grade school through graduate studies and beyond. But behind the scenes, experts are telling a new story–and in fact have been doing so for at least a century.

In the July 2005 edition of Nature magazine, Richard Conn Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, wrote:

…The 1925 discovery of quantum mechanics solved the problem of the Universe’s nature. Bright physicists were again led to believe the unbelievable — this time, that the Universe is mental. According to Sir James Jeans: “the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter… we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter…”

…As Sir Arthur Eddington explained: “It is difficult for the matter-of-fact physicist to accept the view that the substratum of everything is of mental character…”

…Physicists shy from the truth because the truth is so alien to everyday physics….

Since we were children, our teachers have taught us that the world is made of little things called particles or atoms. They were only partially right. In fact, particles and atoms are mental concepts and images–experiences of the mind.

Sadly, this partial information is still taught in schools today, simply because many scientists and other so-called thought leaders have not diligently explored the possibility that “matter” is simply an experience we are having in consciousness, not unlike the objects in the dream you had last night were made of your own mind, not atoms. This can be a radical notion since we have been feeding on an incomplete story for decades.

But this story is not just incomplete; it is also irresponsible. As Henry mentioned, the problem of the nature of the universe was pretty much solved by science in 1925. Over the last 100 years, many experiments have further supported the notion that the universe is mental in nature. But you don’t have to know the science to appreciate the plausibility of this statement. Simply consider the following.

  1. Nobody has ever known anything independent of consciousness. In other words, the entire history of human knowledge occurs in consciousness, without exception.
  2. What we call “history” is experiences in consciousness.
  3. What we call “science” is experiences in consciousness.
  4. What we call “technology” is experiences in consciousness.
  5. What we call “religion” and “spirituality” are experiences in consciousness.
  6. What we call “space” and “time” are experiences in consciousness.
  7. What we call our identity as a name, personality, and body are experiences in consciousness.

It is only once we had these experiences, and began to explore and name them (again, in consciousness), that human beings created the concepts and labels of history, science, etc. An intelligent person and educated culture will not ignore this bare fact.

It is irresponsible to only teach that matter is fundamental.

The logic supporting the primacy of consciousness has always been there. Now there is science that supports this notion as well, not to mention the direct evidence that is available through introspection. That means a consciousness-first perspective must be taught in schools alongside the matter-first perspective. This is science and reason, not religion or spirituality.

Why does this matter so much?

  1. As an educated society, we are interested in what is true. The reason we support science and conduct experiments is to find out what is true, and through that, to live better lives. If we want truth, we must go where the evidence leads us. And, now that science has joined the party, all roads lead to consciousness.Incidentally, there are many people who deny science when it comes to issues like climate change. They are locked into one view and will not change regardless of what evidence comes along. When it comes to putting science in the context of consciousness, the same unintelligent denial is happening.
  2. Our technology is only as good as our science. We are dazzled by the technology revolution happening before our eyes, but my patients in the ER remind me everyday that we are not as advanced as we think we are. Where is the everyday technological solution for cancer, heart disease, auto-immune disease, depression, and rage? Our standard for being dazzled is actually low. We should expect much more. And we will get it once we accept the science that contextualizes matter accurately.
  3. If in fact consciousness is primary, then our very nature must be consciousness, beyond the conceptual labels of name, personality, and body anatomy. Consider for a second what it would feel like if your real nature were infinite, and yet you were forced to believe and live as though you were stuffed into a box less than two meters tall. That’s right–it would feel like pain, worry, sadness, depression, anger, resentment, and confusion. And those feelings would naturally spill over into the world around us. Simply look at the events unfolding in the world. It’s time to get rid of the box.

Teachers, so-called thought leaders, scientists, and those who have a platform are abdicating their responsibility to their communities and our global society if they do not diligently explore the possibility of the primacy of consciousness, and therefore perpetuate the myth of the primacy of matter. Our children deserve better.

Richard Conn Henry is not alone in his deductions. He is supported not only by other scientists, but by wisdom traditions around the world that have thundered this truth for millennia. But the best evidence comes not from them; it comes from yourself. Set aside belief of any kind and simply investigate your own experience.

The question is not whether we like what the evidence suggests, or even whether changing course is easy. There is no doubt that it will challenge minds, careers, and institutions. So be it. Our children deserve to be told the whole story, for their wellbeing and ours.

Reference: http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf

Lost in our own stories

Greetings from here, a stunning autumnal day in the south of France.

In my last post, I talked about freeing ourselves from the need of regular selfish desires and transforming our thoughts and desires to the needs of others.

I didn’t expect those comments to raise such a wonderful rush of chatter on various social media forums and I am pleased they did.

One person said, “Thank you so much Steve for bringing up that which stops us from experiencing constant, intrinsic and unconditional love – the illusion of individual needs and desires. The illusion of individuals.”

While another said, “When we get out of our own head our attention immediately turns to others (or donuts). The question to ask is “how can I help?”

I love that reference to donuts (even though it should be doughnuts! Ha ha) but it is rather sad, like, ‘my works’ done for the day so that person who seems lonely, lost . . . can wait until another day, I don’t have time for that right now.’

Not a day goes by without a tag being added; today (10 October 2017) is World Mental Health Day. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with ‘depression’ a label that was difficult to come to terms with, and then add the other odd things that kept surfacing. Thank heavens’ for the person who noticed, she pulled me out of the mire.

How often do we take the time to look around at our fellow humans? Sometimes they can’t reach out when they need to because they don’t have the capacity or, nobody is listening.

“Is seeking pleasure what is hindering us from realizing who we are, or is it just a matter of mistaking transient pleasure (TP) for authentic pleasure (AP), which is inherent in consciousness?”

I wonder if seeking pleasure through the various aspects of our lives can be a hindrance, especially if an element of risk or fear is involved. Consider the confidence it takes to ask somebody you don’t know too well if they are okay. The ego steps in and raises doubts while our intuition gently asks for attention when it tells us it’s a good idea to say hello or offer a coffee to someone within our radar.

We have to love the ego, it can lead us astray, it often protects us but we must also listen to our intuition. The TP, such has having the latest phones aren’t AP.

TP = Ego, AP = Intuition, soul . . . If we only know authentic pleasure, we have stepped into the light and whilst still there, our ego and intuition are as one, looking after and guiding us as we travel along our paths.

Here’s what another commentator had to say,

“Good Morning varying versions of shared Self:

Sitting here observing and experiencing the miracle that is the freely gifted daily morning waves, sunrise, birds, dolphins and all…all thought seems superfluous to optimal being.

I am intrigued and guided by the latest neuro science from the Max Planck Institute where by connecting individuals to a new type of brain scanner and giving them a series of multiple choice questions…they could accurately forecast each thought 6-7 seconds before the thinker had it.

What they were unable to do is to say accurately where each thought originates yet the tests do point to the strong possibility that there is something invisible at play.

From this human perspective the only way is to view life as one ‘qualia program’ being directed, written, produced, experienced and ongoingly informed by the Only One Formless Being – and holding the knowing that I am that Being….feels all that is needed to be known.

It feels that we confuse & reduce via distractive thought when there are birdsongs, waves, breezes through the trees, children’s laughter, Mozart, Bach, sharing, caring, tender, playful, creative, inclusive, compassionate & wondrous other unlimited experiences to be lived and felt.”

Each day I learn and grow, through life, meditation other studies and leisure activities.

Is it through meditation that we can take great strides forward? Can meditation affect the thoughts of people not meditating? There are arguments we are connected in such a way. Put like that it sounds so simple. Of course it’s not but getting people to the same page is part of our journey and to do that, we have to notice them.

Despite the darkness that all too often drifts into the light, we were born in love and our universal love is something to be cherished and shared.

If you would like to join the debate, try one of these forums at Discovering Your Cosmic Self where you can discuss these issues in a supportive and challenging environment.

I will leave you for now (or maybe not) with a poem by David Whyte

The Bell Ringer

Consider the bell
ringer as an image
of the human soul,
he stands foursquare
on the stone flagged
ground, and surrounded
by a circle of communal
concentration
searches in his fixed
aloneness
for a world
beyond straight,
human,
eye to eye
discourse,
in this case
above him,
the collision of metal
worlds chiming
to each bend and lift
of the knees,
letting his weight bear down
on the rope,
creating out of the heave
and upward pull,
a hollowed out
brass utterance,
a resonant
on-going argument
for his continued presence,
independent
of daily mood
or the necessities
for a verbal
proclamation.

***

Let him stand there
then
for the human soul,
let his weight
come true on the rope,
the way we want to lean
into the center of things,
the way we want to
fall with the gravity
of the situation
and then afterwards
laugh and
defy it
with an upward
ultimately untraceable
flight,
a great ungovernable
ringing
announcement
to the world
that something, somewhere,
has changed.

Consider
the bell ringer
as one of us,
attempting some
unachieved,
magnificent
difference in the world,
far above
and far beyond
the stone-closed
space we seem
to occupy.

Below
we’re all
effort, listening
and willful concentration,
above,
like a moving sea,
another power
shoulders
just
for a moment
the whole burden,
lifts us
against our will,
lets us find
in the skyward pull
a needed antidote
to surface noise,
a gravity against gravity,
another way to hear
amid
the clamor of the heavens.

(Everything Is Waiting For You)

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