Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Cafe de la Culture
The Venue for Visionaries
An evening of discourse on the mystic poets...
September 17 at 7pm
Acoustic Music by:
Cameron Powers, Kristina Sophia, Brett Bowen and Jesse Manno
Belly Dance by:
Berivan Sart and Tammie Beam
The Organic Personal Chef
Essential Oils with:
Learn more about Cafe de la Culture
Click here for more Info. on our Featured Guests
You are cordially invited to attend a new event in Boulder, reminiscent of the European Enlightenment Salons of the 17 and 18 centuries
-but with a cultural twist!
This month, our
Cafe de la Culture theme is...
An Evening of Discourse on the Mystic Poets
Imagine a candle-lit, cafe-style setting where you can meet with contemporaries in a variety of fields to exchange timely ideas...while enjoying a relaxing, artistic ambiance and gourmet food.
We will have a notable guest presenter (TBA) to ingnite our dialogue as we assemble in the comfortable ambiance of an Middle Eastern setting....an Oud musician playing softly in the background, tastes of Mediterranean food at our fingertips, the smells of essential oils and rose water wafting through the room, plush pillows and fabrics to recline on, a belly dancer twirling, at intervals, to a live drum...
Join us to kick off this unique monthly event...
Boulder's first European-style Salon!
Suggested donation is $20 per person.
Bring your own beverage.
To order tickets or info. on how to volunteer, contact us at:
(720) 935-2540, firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit us at:
A Warm Thank You to Our First Sponsor,
Larry Goldberg, PhD
The Caritas Spiritist Center
5723 Arapahoe Ave., Ste. 1A
Boulder, Colorado 80303
About Café de la Culture
The Venue for Visionaries
Café de la Culture is Boulder's new monthly, nonprofit venue celebrating the unique and diverse population of thinkers and visionaries in Boulder and Denver. We are here to create an inclusive meeting ground for the artistic, cultural, scientific, philosophical, literary and spiritual communities of the Boulder and Denver area. We facilitate the exchange of timely ideas and vision within a dynamic, full-sensory experience featuring art, music, dance, cuisine and traditions from around the world. Each month, our event will feature a new topic of discourse, as well as a new cultural ambiance and gastronomy to enjoy.
On Saturday, September 17, Café de la Culture will host our first monthly cultural event featuring a variety of highly respected artists and speakers from around the world.
As a participant at Café de la Culture, you will join in a new social renaissance, engaging in dialogue with contemporaries from a variety of fields and building constructive collaborations which promote understanding, new ideas and positive change.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
BY JEANNE MURRAY WALKER
In appreciation of Maxim Gorky at the International Convention of Atheists, 1929
Like Gorky, I sometimes follow my doubts
outside to the yard and question the sky,
longing to have the fight settled, thinking
I can't go on like this, and finally I say
all right, it is improbable, all right, there
is no God. And then as if I'm focusing
a magnifying glass on dry leaves, God blazes up.
It's the attention, maybe, to what isn't there
that makes the emptiness flare like a forest fire
until I have to spend the afternoon dragging
the hose to put the smoldering thing out.
Even on an ordinary day when a friend calls,
tells me they've found melanoma,
complains that the hospital is cold, I say God.
God, I say as my heart turns inside out.
Pick up any language by the scruff of its neck,
wipe its face, set it down on the lawn,
and I bet it will toddle right into the godfire
again, which—though they say it doesn't
exist—can send you straight to the burn unit.
Oh, we have only so many words to think with.
Say God's not fire, say anything, say God's
a phone, maybe. You know you didn't order a phone,
but there it is. It rings. You don't know who it could be.
You don't want to talk, so you pull out
the plug. It rings. You smash it with a hammer
till it bleeds springs and coils and clobbery
metal bits. It rings again. You pick it up
and a voice you love whispers hello.
(photo by N. M. Rai)
Monday, August 29, 2011
Of all life's challenges, betrayal is one of the most difficult to deal with. Whether it comes from lover, family, friends, teacher or guru, it leaves one with a sense of being bereft of something very valuable in one's life.
I think that when we offer trust, to whomever and to whatever degree, we then become vulnerable to possible betrayal. The lover may leave, the friend may become less than friendly for no apparent reason or may make a remark that wounds, the guru may turn out to have a very dark shadow.
Indeed, books have been written about the "corrupt gurus" (or shamans or "spiritual authorities") who misuse their powers to gain wealth or sexual favors. The problem is that the flawed guru (or lover or friend) is often extremely charismatic, perhaps bestowing great gifts such as constant bliss states or feelings of oneness with the divine, or, as with friends or lovers, a sense of total acceptance and love.
The guru as master is a prime example of the abuse of Kundalini power, for who does not love to receive shaktipat, or enter into states of unending bliss. Further, at such times, one often experiences periods of altered consciousness, in which judgment is impaired. When the rupture occurs, we feel as though part of our own identity has been ripped from us, and we are left to try to build a new life within and without. Sometimes physical illness may follow, as we try to console our "within" for the trauma it has suffered. It is as if we are "punishing" ourselves for what, at some level, is like a "self betrayal." Our pain is an expression of our grief.
These are indeed terrible life lessons. However, one good result may ensue. We may come to realize that we ourselves were likely to undergo this kind of experience at some point in our lives, for we were vulnerable as long as we were willing to give so much power to another. In fact, the inner guru is the more reliable guide. The inner guru (higher self, guiding spirit, intuition) will not betray, it will not wound, and it will listen whenever we pause to speak to it and tell it what we need. We will be healed when we realize our error and rebuild our inner spiritual voyager to avoid such excessive "surrender of the self" to others in future.
For this reason, I prefer teachers to (external) gurus. We attend, we listen, we gain whatever wisdom we can from the teacher, but we do not put our whole lives hostage to his/her dictates. Contrary to what many think, no external guru is needed to undergo spiritual transformation or to awaken and nourish Kundalini, once we are ready. Spontaneous awakenings are occurring at (what seems to me) an every increasing rate.
This path is difficult. It is indeed a lonely path, for we all yearn for the external authority or master to lead us ahead. We long for the community (the sangha) of like minded seekers. Yet the price of such connection is often severe disappointment at the end. Yes, teachers, especially those familiar with Kundalini and its processes, can be extremely valuable, but we must exercise caution in our selections.
And there will also be those near us who truly deserve our trust. It may be that "faithfulness" rather than "exciting charisma" will be their earmarks. We should treasure these for who they are, dear friends who offer some stability in a world of chaos.
I think we must all be teachers and students of one another. We must pool our collective wisdom to progress, for we live in the heart of mystery.
Buddha said "Be a light unto yourself." We should listen to what he said.
Friday, August 26, 2011
I confess. I like many others have long been prejudiced toward the field of dowsing. It seemed too good to be true, more like superstition or magic than an act with real credibility.
But I changed my mind today when I heard a talk by Greg Storozuk at the local Society for Scientific Exploration. Greg was extremely convincing as a presenter. He had many interesting stories to tell, including his own early disbelief and ways he came to know the practice of dowsing as a very real and indeed significant art, more needed today than ever as water resources become more scarce.
The professional dowser uses four different tools (not just coat hangers, though these will work) for different kinds of dowsing,the latter including "map dowsing" and long distance dowsing. He himself has enjoyed great success, and he can often predict not only where a water well should be dug but at what level the water will come through and the volume of flow. He often is employed by oil companies to locate oil reserves, and has located many other things in this way, including corpses lying in nature.
Greg is convinced that intention and purity of motive are crucial in this practice. For that reason, he refuses to be "tested," for that would be a display of ego ("see what I can do"). In fact, often when self proclaimed dowsers try to display their powers, they produce zero results.
Greg feels that the information that comes through (like that that arises with pendulum use, and, I would add, likely muscle testing) comes from an unknown source, which he does not give an actual name to, but which many of us would call "spirit." So, it would seem that the dowser is merely a conduit for discoveries that arrive from--where? The same place as information from (I think) remote viewing, psychic phenomena of all kinds, and of course (again from my view) Kundalini itself. The dowser must get self out of the way and allow the process to occur--likewise we cannot make Kundalini happen, but must allow it to enter and proceed through its own process.
Greg feels that it is imperative for all of us to learn to locate water in this way. He is convinced that major catastrophe is coming, and we will each need to locate natural water sources in order to survive. He insists that anyone can do this, and related a tale of a very young girl who brought water to the surface using a spoon to dig. When Greg goes camping, he does not carry water with him, but finds what he needs through his dowsing techniques.
I learned a lot from Greg, including an explanation of why I could not feel the energies of a giant crystal that an "energy healer" was trying to get me to sense. She keep urging me and assuring me that I could do this, but, although I sometimes have felt sweet energies of crystals at home, I could not "perform" publicly in this way. It was an occasion of anxiety, not confidence. I was stopped short by self-consciousness and reluctance to enter in this way what I consider the sacred space of altered consciousness. For me, the capacity to feel the energy of external objects, including crystals, is highly dependent on the setting and allowing it to happen spontaneously. My inner Kundalini likes for this experience to be one of spontaneity, a blessing or unexpected boon.
Greg does not have a website, but if you want to read more about him, go to http://www.westword.com/2002-05-30/news/divining-intervention/
Thursday, August 25, 2011
This remarkable woman was born in Germany at the beginning of the twelfth century. She was her parents' tenth child, and was "enclosed" with an older nun at an early age and remained with her for 24 years. When her mentor and spiritual guide died, Hildegard was unanimously elected 'magistra" of her sister community and continued in a position of high authority until her death. at (we think) about 81.
Hildegarde's achievements were impressive. She wrote music, composed poetry, healed the sick with natural remedies from her garden (herbs) and special tinctures derived from crystals and gem stones, wrote theological, medical, and botanical texts, letters and what is possibly the oldest surviving morality play. She experienced many visions, these from an early age.
This remarkable woman had amazing courage and stamina. When she wanted to transfer her monastery to a different location, the male authorities opposed the move--but Hildegard went ahead and she and her fellow (female) monks constructed a new monastery with their own hands. Had she lived in today's world, she would doubtless have been recognized world wide as a wise and dedicated spiritual teacher. Instead of giving workshops and lectures, she made many "preaching tours" across Germany (imagine how it was to travel at that time). Ultimately, she was acknowledged by the Pope, and came to be known as St. Hildegard.
Hildegard's achievements are even more remarkable when we consider the times in which she lived--when women experienced universal oppression both in and out of official church circles, and few managed to express their inner creativity in any way except through needlework and gardens (considered suitable pastimes for the "weaker sex.")
Hildegard is an example of an early "woman warrior" who cleared her own path at a time when women as a sex seldom found ways to "break out of the box."
We might also note that Hildegard had a faithful (male) secretary who was doubtless of great help to her on her journey (and many of us envy her for this arrangement.)
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Things to Do in the Afterlife
Dance Ravel’s Bolero
and not feel absurd.
Find out how all my old friends,
turned out after so many years.
Become a bud on an apple tree
ready to burst forth.
Enter the wave
against the rocks.
Discover why someone
left so suddenly.
Play the violin
like a champion.
Read a book
with a single glance.
Finally eat ice cream.
the halls of the saints
and feel their sweet vibrations.
quarks and protons.
how they did it.
Ask the question,
where does unexpected
awakening come from?
Find out what Kundalini is
and how it impacts
evolution of consciousness.
Grasp what enlightenment
Look at all my past lives
and see if I made progress
and what was the point
of it all.
Find out why I chose
my parents this time.
Check in to see if
I fulfilled my earth assignment.
I could have loved
but never met.
Make amends to
See what it is like
to live without fear.
Visit the temples
of Tamil Nadu.
Sail the Greek Isles.
and have visions
of the past.
Commune with dolphins.
Become the music
of Faure’s Requiem.
how angels make love.
if he exists.
Learn what it means
to live as pure light.
See how much love
I can accept
Send healing to earth
and those in need.
Meet my soul group.
Return to help.
August 12, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Walking in Buddha’s Footsteps
In India, you can find them
seared into rock,
imprinted by the feet
of the Master himself.
if you step into those incisions,
will your spirit melt into
the shapes of where
Will you then
more filled with love?
How can we,
at this distant juncture,
find such tokens
August 18, 2011
(Image from internet)
Monday, August 22, 2011
What the Buddha Said
The Buddha said,
Be a light
and I am wondering
if he himself
at the end,
at those last days,
when everyone (including him)
knew he was finishing,
if he knew
where the light would go,
once the final breath left.
And he must have asked,
as we all do,
was it worth it,
and the striving,
the endless seeking
Did anyone listen?
Did they know,
even a tiny molecule
of what he was telling
Would they follow,
be a light
to the others
coming after them?
August 18, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
The Buddha’s Two Faces
One is the face of ecstasy.
I danced before it long ago,
felt its sweet tremors
Who would suppose
an image hanging
on the wall,
such love waves,
bring such palpable joy?
And then there is
the man of compassion,
love for the world,
caring for all
and bow down.
How can we follow
one and not its twin,
August 18, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
When the blackberies hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend
all day among the high
my ripped arms, thinking
of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body
accepts what it is. In the dark
creeks that run by there is
this thick paw of my life darting among
the black bells, the leaves; there is
this happy tongue.
- Mary Oliver
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I made pilgrimages, looking for God
English version by Coleman Barks
I made pilgrimages, looking for God.
Then I gave up, turned around,
there God was inside me!
Oh Lalla, why do you keep on
wandering, and begging?
Make just a little effort. Act!
And God will appear in the form
of a love that fills your heart.
(image from Google)
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
My Own Trap
It is as if
I had fallen
into my own trap.
The one called pain.
As if my higher self
(the one with
the totally opened heart
and love packets
for all who come)
had fallen down
and skinned its knee.
There is no point
All the condolences
have other people’s
names on them,
formulas for opening
the shut lock.
that you can’t
August 16, 2011
(I think that everyone (especially those going through K. awakening) experiences "ups and downs," including "down days"--or at least "down moments". When these occur, I believe it is best not to try to keep wearing a smiley face, even if your heart is sad. One of the things I do when these episodes occur is to express my feelings in writing. So--this morning, when I woke up and felt less than happy, I wrote this poem--and then felt better, especially as the day went on and I was able to solve (with some help) what seemed (for me) a daunting computer problem.)
Monday, August 15, 2011
The Invisible Poet
(dedicated to all poets, artists, and
musicians who never were fully
recognized in their time)
Frankly, it’s like
being the beggar outside
watching the king
and his cronies
feast at the long table.
There is music,
there is wine,
there is joyous
greeting and recognition.
The hall is decked
and red berries.
are tuning up
in the corner.
are bringing in
the pig with
the roasted vegetables
hoisted up earlier
from the cellars before
in the giant tubs,
then the pudding
The musicians now
are playing festive tunes,
the yule log blazes.
Soon there will
You are someone
hidden in the
trying not to cough
or give yourself away.
August 14, 2011
(Image from Google)
Friday, August 12, 2011
Mark Nepo on poetry
THE NECESSARY ART (THE NATURE OF POETRY)
Poetry is the unexpected utterance of the soul. Much more than the manipulation of language, it is a necessary art by which we live and breathe. It is the art of embodied perception; a braiding of heart and mind around experience. Consider how a simple fish inhales water and somehow, mysteriously and miraculously, extracts the oxygen from the water. In doing this, it turns that water into the air by which it breathes. This ongoing inner transformation—the turning of water into air by extracting what is essential—is poetry. A much deeper process than fooling with words. For us, the heart is our gill and we must move forward into life, like simple fish, or we will die. And the mysterious yet vital way we turn experience into air, the way we extract what keeps us alive—this is the poetry of life that transcends any earthly endeavor. All this while the Universal Ground of Being we call Spirit is working its unknowable physics on us, eroding us to know that we are each other.
This Poem Should be a Circle
by Mark Nepo
I wish you the ability to breathe
after pain, to begin again, though
nothing else seems possible.
I wish you resilience: to part like
the ocean and accept like the sky,
to be held like a root.
I wish you survival: to take in life
like a trapped miner finding an
airhole and praising it as God.
I wish you courage: to ask of
everything you meet, “What
bridge are we?"
I wish you chances to listen:
to all that holds us up.
I wish you the kindness that you
are coming to brighten your face
like orange leaves scattered
at the end of fall.
I wish you endless journey that
seldom appears as we imagine.
I wish you curiosity: to make a
boat of wonder and an oar
See also www.MarkNepo.com .
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Here is a further excerpt from the text I posted yesterday from the blog of "Letranger." I lost track of his discussion after yesterday's post--it became too technical for me to follow. However, I think it is good to peek into the world of science now and again to see where their theories are leading them. The author (as quoted below) does not explain "holographic universe" nor "many worlds theory," but rather assumes we are familiar with these (and general explanations of such concepts are available from various sources.) However, many physicists go well beyond the general, and frankly some of the current theories seem more like science fiction than science.
Actually, Letranger is calling for science to recognize the role of consciousness in creating our own sense of reality, and is primarily addressing an audience of fellow scientists caught in the old paradigm of matter/energy, space, and time as the governing factors of the "universe."
What the rest of us know without permission from science ( and this is called common sense) is that we do not live (experience our lives) in terms of things and matter, but rather as a flowing stream of thoughts and feelings. When we have a transcendent experience--as attending a great concert or a special moment in nature or even falling in love--we are not interacting with the material world, but rather enter into some other plane of consciousness--whether of joy or pain, grief or ecstasy.
Kundalini is the final evidence of our immersion in the subjective universe. To know Kundalini bliss is to experience an unrepeatable moment, for which there are no adequate words or scientific equivalents. Yet it is the most real experience of our lives, for it is response at the cellular level, and that in and of itself needs no further proof.
Certain ancient teachings tell us that consciousness itself is the foundation of all our sense of the reality, and thus thought precedes creation. Did the universe begin as a thought in the mind of "god"? Was the small point at the very beginning--before the Big Bang--simply a thought, and wouldn't such an admission clarify many of the questions scientists occupy themselves with as to how the world began? (But of course this would be heresy in the world of science.)
When Buddha was asked what is truth, he did not answer but simply held up a flower.
Here is more from Letranger:
There’s something fundamentally wrong with the conventional scientific paradigm of the world that is held in the minds of most scientists. That paradigm is the idea that the world consists of matter and energy that exist within space and time. The usual idea of matter and energy is the atomic hypothesis, which says that at a fundamental level all matter and energy is composed of point particles, like the electron and photon. Those point particles exist at points of space, and trace out paths through space over the course of time. Quantum theory only extends the classical idea of a point particle to a sum over all possible paths. But those point particles only exist if there is a pre-existing space and time for particles to exist within. This is the kind of paradigm described by any quantum field theory.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
The following excerpt is taken from a longer article which a friend just sent to me. I found the artic'e fascinating, but the later part became too technical for me to follow. I do not know the author (other than "Letranger") nor the source, other than the blog with the title given here.
Science and Nonduality
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Paradigm Shifts and the Theater of Consciousness
The subject open for discussion is paradigm shifts.
The conventional scientific paradigm that most scientists have of the world is that the world is only composed of matter and energy that exist within space and time. There are several big problems with this paradigm. The first is its logical inconsistency, as it contradicts itself. The other big problem with this paradigm is it’s too limited in nature. It's impossible to explain the nature of the mind with this limited paradigm. A paradigm is a mental model of the world, which is a mental concept that only arises in a mind. The focus of attention of those who examine this mental model of the world is only focused upon the nature of information and energy in that world. The content of the mind is only information content, and all behavior and emotional expression only arises with the flow of energy through the world, and the flow of emotional energy through a body and a mind. With this limited scientific paradigm, the nature of consciousness is ignored.
The big scientific question that this limited paradigm can never answer is about the nature of consciousness. What is it that observes the information content of a mind, and the emotional behavior of a body?. What is it that focuses its attention upon a mind and a world? What is it that looks and sees? What is it that knows?
When we examine anything in the world, it’s always the focus of attention of our consciousness that is focused in that examination. As long as we only focus our attention on the nature of information and energy in the world, we are stuck with the conventional scientific paradigm of the world. We are stuck with that mental model of the world. The only way we’ll ever become unstuck from these limited ideas is if we no longer ignore the nature of our consciousness for that world.
We might ask 'How do we know what we know?', but a much better question is 'Who is the knower?'. If you answer that 'I am', then the obvious next question is: 'What is the true nature of That?'. What knows about the world? To answer this question, it’s necessary that we no longer ignore the nature of consciousness. It’s absolutely necessary that we focus our attention on the nature of consciousness.
There is another scientific paradigm, called the 'theater of consciousness', but very few in the modern scientific world want to take it seriously. This paradigm is at the heart of the philosophy of Plato and Socrates. Plato wrote about it in the Republic and the Allegory of the Cave. This paradigm runs through our greatest literature and philosophy, written by the likes of Shakespeare and Spinoza. Shakespeare refers to the world as a stage, populated by actors on the stage:
All the world’s a stage And all the men and women merely players
Implicit in this description of the theater of consciousness is the nature of the audience. Who is out there in the audience watching this play? What is the nature of consciousness present
he audience? Shakespeare doesn’t give an answer, but does describe the futility of everything that can be done in the world:
Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury Signifying nothing
Shakespeare refers to shadows the same way Plato describes the shadows of images displayed on the wall of the cave, just like the animated images displayed in the frames of a movie. Plato describes prisoners who observe those shadows, and mistake those shadows for their true nature. The prisoners self-identify the true nature of what they are with the shadows they observe, and they believe that they are those shadows. The prisoners believe something about themselves that is untrue. The prisoners believe they are shadows. The prisoners believe they are the animated forms of images that they perceive. That false belief is what we call a delusion. In some sense, the prisoners only believe that false belief about themselves since that is the way it ‘feels’ to them as they perceive it, and ‘feeling is believing’. You'll also find these ideas in the writings of Whitman, Thoreau and Melville. Moby Dick is only a retelling of the Allegory of the Cave:
All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event-in the living act, the undoubted deed-there some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the moldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there’s naught beyond. But it is enough.
Socrates expressed this idea with his famous saying 'Know thyself'. This was the motto for the movie the Matrix, which was another retelling of the Allegory of the Cave, and was about a virtual reality created within the theater of consciousness. The story is about a prisoner self-identified with a character in that virtual reality, and the journey that allows for escape from that prison. The journey that allows for escape is the end of that false belief. That journey allows a knower to know its true nature, and no longer believe it is something it perceives. That knower only believes it is a shadow, or the animated form of an image it perceives, since that is the way it really feels, and feeling is believing. That is the delusion. The central character of that movie is told 'you are the one', but is also told that 'you've been living in a dream world'. Shakespeare also tells us that 'life is but a dream':
We are such stuff As dreams are made on and our little life Is rounded with a sleep
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil
The theater of consciousness idea has a long history in science, which dates back to Plato and the development of mathematics. Any science based on the logical consistency of mathematics is forced to incorporate it. This is what the Gödel incompleteness theorems are all about. This is the kind of mental model that Einstein had of the world, and that all Platonist have of the world.
Unfortunately, modern neuroscience has totally ignored Plato, and seems to be stuck in the nineteenth century, with its outdated ideas of classical determinism and absolute space and time. Neuroscience won't grow up until it incorporates relativity theory and quantum theory, which must inevitably lead to the theater of consciousness idea as the correct mental model of the world. Even the best neuroscientists in the world, like Antonio Damasio, are confused on this matter.
Theoretical physics has recently rediscovered Plato. Recent scientific attempts to unify the laws of the universe and explain the origin of the universe are perfectly consistent with the
'theater of consciousness' mental model of the world. These important discoveries include the nature of the big bang event, as explained by inflationary cosmology, and the holographic principle of quantum gravity, which unifies relativity theory with quantum theory. It's just not possible to understand the nature of the world, or the mind, without these modern scientific concepts. Researchers in neuroscience, like Damasio, won't be able to go beyond their outdated ideas of the mind until they understand modern theoretical physics.
The twentieth century was rocked by the paradigm shifts of relativity theory and quantum theory. We are now in the midst of another paradigm shift that in some sense is much greater, the mother of all paradigm shifts. This paradigm shift is the idea of the theater of consciousness. It's just not possible to understand the nature of the world, or the mind, or the self-concept that is constructed within the mind, without the mental model of the theater of consciousness.
As far as I can see, without the theater of consciousness idea, neuroscience reduces down to biology, all of biology is molecular in nature and reduces down to chemistry, all of chemistry reduces down to atomic theory, and all of atomic theory reduces down to quantum theory. Every idea in neuroscience that cannot be explained by molecular biology must implicitly refer back to the theater of consciousness idea. When we talk about our ability to 'see' things, or 'know' about things, that's the idea we implicitly refer back to.
All of cosmology reduces down to relativity theory. The big question in science is how to unify quantum theory with relativity theory. That unification leads to the holographic principle of quantum gravity, which unifies the equivalence principle with the uncertainty principle. This idea explains the fundamental level at which all information is defined and encoded in the world, and reduces everything down to that fundamental level of information. But scientific reductionism can never explain the nature of consciousness. The natural interpretation of the holographic principle is the theater of consciousness.
It's worth a brief examination of how we got here:
1600's: Newton formulated classical mechanics and the law of gravity 1800's: Maxwell formulated electromagnetism 1800's: Boltzmann formulated the second law of thermodynamics 1900's: Einstein formulated relativity theory
1900's: Heisenberg and others formulated quantum theory 1900's: Feynman and others formulated quantum field theory 2000's Susskind and 't Hooft formulated the holographic principle of quantum gravity
It's worth noting that the idea of molecular biology grew out of atomic theory, which only developed after quantum theory was formulated.
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
My dear soul, flee from the worthless,
stay close only to those with a pure heart.
Like attracts like.
A crow will lead you to the grave yard,
a parrot to a lump of sugar.
(picture from internet)
Monday, August 08, 2011
I received this e-mail and attempted to offer the link to the video, but was not successful. Perhaps if you googled the name of the video along with her name, you could locate it.
The Spiritual Path of Conscious Evolution (video)
From: "Barbara Marx Hubbard - The Shift Network"
I am so delighted to be starting the Agents of Conscious Evolution Training tomorrow with hundreds of evolutionary allies from around the world. It's a profound opportunity for us to accelerate our conscious evolution together in a way that has real impact on the world and helps make the Shift in time.
You can still register here: http://theacetraining.com/
This weekend, while I was planning exciting details of the planetary Birth Day with Stephen, we re-discovered a recent video of me that speaks about how to engage the spiritual path of conscious evolution. We both thought it would be valuable (and fun) to share with you. Just click below:
Click here to view video
Here's a quote from it that I thought particularly speaks to our current moment:
"We feel, many millions of us, within our cells a rising intuition, a yearning to be more, to create more, to participate more, to help more in the healing and evolving of a suffering world.
"And that spiritual impulse, from my understanding, is the Impulse of Evolution, awakening in us -- whatever our religion, whatever our faith, whatever our culture -- transcending all of the past."
If you feel that Impulse of Evolution awakening in you and the desire to make a profound difference for our world, please do join us for the Agents of Conscious Evolution Training, beginning tomorrow!
Register at http://theacetraining.com/
Friday, August 05, 2011
Sometimes it happens. Without preparation, without expectation--it presents itself--the transcendent moment, the sudden revelation of clarity, the reminder that peace, beauty, purity--these are not myths, but are realities readily available if we but take the time for the experience to reveal itself in an instant of pause.
This is what happened with me today along Boulder Creek. Yes, there was blue sky with well formed white fluffy clouds above, there was rushing water in the swollen creek bed, there were trees bending like women drying their tresses along the sides of the water.
And yet none of the individual components explained the magic of the moment--it was sudden, unforeseen--that which simply happened, and for an instant--or perhaps a few instants--there it was, with self forgotten and perception undirected--you and the natural setting, a quiet mystic happening that you witnessed and participated and were grateful for as if remembering something from your own past.
Note: If you look closely at the first picture above, you seem to see a young man writing on his lap top as he sits on water (good trick if you can do it). Actually, this effect was merely a function of the light against the water--an unexpected result of sun reflecting.
The second image is of a wolf (or coyote?). I did not meet him on my walk--rather he appears as part of a mural painted on one of the underpasses below a street crossing overhead.
(Neither of these was part of the "transcendent moment" I described above--they were rather "bonus" fun shots that presented themselves as I strolled along.)
Thursday, August 04, 2011
The Renegade Poet Confesses
I did it.
In a time
was the fashion,
when nothing was approved
unless it confirmed
unfolding all around,
when any one who was the least
cosmopolitan (and all poets imagine
they are the most cosmopolitan
of the species) sang
from the safe distance
of ironic detachment,
I played innocent,
affirmed the unattainable,
(that old cliche)
When others retreated
into the safety of the
the quotidian world
of the everyday familiar
for a broader canvas.
Even god was allowed
to enter and play a role.
Even the ultimate
I had seen
what I had seen,
felt what I had felt.
Now I knew what I knew,
and would not deny
even though it
dimmed my light
in all but the smallest
even though my name
August 1, 2011
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet.
You know how it goes.
Star crossed lovers,
unable to stay apart,
destined for tragedy.
What draws us
to this bizarre tale?
Why do we too long
to be held
in such fatal embrace,
clasp of passion?
It isn’t just the notion of human
attracted to the forbidden other
It is the abiding temptation,
irresistible magnet that pulls to
arriving in stealth.
knowledge that is
and called profane.
It is the Secret of Secrets,
high risk adventure,
what we are happy to die for
August 2, 2011
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
As always, I continue to be fascinated by writings on Tantra, even though I do not practice it in what is generally thought of as its common form. Even to feel sweet energies in the hands and arms is, to me, a form of tantra, energy allowing a sense of union with divine reality, which itself is simply limitless (and conscious) energy. Daniel Odier is a famous writer on Tantra, and he is represented not only by books and a website, but youtube clips. (He is the person who appeared in Boulder a few months ago, and, though I attended his presentation, I could not understand it because of his heavy French accent.)
Lovebliss, rapture, ecstasy--all are, to my way of thinking, manifestations of Tantra, the fabric of the universe, the "field" so much discussed today.
Tantra - the expansive way. (from the website of Daniel Odier)
The word "Tantra" comes from the root "tan" which means wide-ranging, whole. It also evokes the weave of a fabric. This mystical path has deeply influenced Buddhism and Hinduism, whilst retaining the characteristics of Shaivism.
Passed down via numerous lineages, some of which originated in the Indus valley five or six thousand years ago, Tantra is a non-dualistic path which reached its height between the seventh and the thirteenth centuries, in the Kingdom of Oddyana , in neighbouring Kashmir, and in Assam, at the opposite end of the Himalayan chain. In the eighth century, Padmasambhava, who came from Oddyana, introduced Tantra to Tibet, at the same time as it was spreading throughout India, Nepal, China, Japan and Indonesia.
My master, the Kashmirian yogi Lalita Devi, belongs to the Kaula school (which is the absolute path, viewing the follower's body as a microcosm) as well as the Tantric lineage of Pratyabhijna, which, in conjunction with the Spanda lineage, represents Tantra in its barest form. It refers directly to our original essence. Pratyabijna means "spontaneous recognition" and Spanda means "vibration, inner resonance", which emerges once a follower identifies himself with the universe.
According to the Vijnanabhairava Tantra, the earliest text on yoga which has been discovered, the work of Kashmirian yoga is to spontaneously recognise our absolute, divine essence. This is experienced in the body as inner vibrations of non- duality. This is the path I follow and teach, and it is also known as Sahajiya, or the path of spontaneous awakening. The tantric quest totally revolves around the idea that there is nothing to add or take away from one's being as it already contains its absolute essence. Existing beyond the realms of religious dogma, belief systems, and moral precepts, it is therefore a supreme form of lay asceticism, entirely suited to the reality of everyday life. It is a feminine path which embraces all living beings and fully recognises the power of woman. It is a path which leads to the original source, to the embryonic state of being which encompasses the whole.
Abhinavagupta, the great tenth century tantric philosopher from Kashmir , gives this beautiful definition of the absolute path in one of his poems; "Straight away, remove yourself from the field of spiritual progression , stay away from contemplation and skillful discourse, do not do research or meditate on the divinities, and stop concentrating and reciting textbooks! Tell me, what is the absolute nature of reality which allows no room for doubt? Listen carefully! Stop holding on to this or that, inhabit your true absolute nature, and peacefully enjoy the essence of what it is to be alive!" Like the other tantric masters of the Kula tradition, Abhinavagupta's approach is to reveal the teachings by starting with the absolute path, or the "path without a path" (anupaya) in order to then unveil the three traditional paths. Each follower can then access the teachings at the highest point at which he is capable.
- The path without a path (anupaya)
"When the follower is touched by a divine grace, and, having heard the words of his master only once, he is able to perceive the absolute nature of reality by himself, he becomes one with Shiva independently of all linear progression. This being, having been instantly liberated, has no set practices to follow, as everything is the expression of the "I am" of total presence.
- The divine path of immediate absorption into Shiva/Shakti (sambhavopaya)
If one cannot penetrate the absolute nature of reality straight away, certain exceptional people may be touched by a divine freedom which rapidly enables them to identify with Shiva/Shakti. It's the path of pure desire, accessible to those whose heart has opened. This heroic figure is immediately thrust into the non-dualistic universe and is never again plagued by confusion. This is the path of spontaneous and definitive awakening, that nothing will tarnish. The tantrika exists in continuous states of alertness and clarity. He no longer differentiates between subject and object. Pure, vibrating consciousness is left, in which mental patterns , shapes and all sense of object separation appear and dissolve. It is the simple, essential truth of divine love. The person thus freed, exists in a relaxed state of total awareness, immersed in the divine.
- The path of the energy of intuitive reason (saktopaya)
When dualistic thinking is abandoned, due to a direct initiation by the goddesses or through rapid understanding of the master's teachings and sacred texts, the Tantrist "loses the taste for dualistic thinking". This is his intuitive reason at work. This path goes beyond the various forms of yoga and exercises which are designed to affirm the yogi's non-dualistic perception. This follower sees everything as manifestation of Shiva/Shakti. Everything is consciousness. Skillful means are linked to all things known, they do not reveal consciousness. "Everything which is prescribed or prohibited cannot be used to enter or obstruct the path of supreme reality." Says Abhinavagupta. This yogi realises that he is not bound by karmic actions, that no innate impurity or dependence exists, and that nothing nor nobody can deprive him of awareness. "Thus, imbued with a sense of the self as absolute awareness he embodies the divine." The path through individual practice (anavopaya) Here, access to the path is attained through different types of yoga: meditation, visualisations, and practices as taught in the vijnanabhairava Tantra. The follower is gradually freed from non-dualistic perception, from inner blocks which prevent the full consciousness from flourishing. Repetitive patterns of behaviour are abandoned, and fear, terror and feelings of isolation recede. Little by little the ego relaxes its grip, a continuous presence is developed, full consciousness emerges and the non-differentiation of tantric-subject and universe-object prepares the yogi for the path of intuitive reason.
These three paths are not successive states, as they each lead to awareness. The teachings are combined according to the successive needs of each individual. "On this path, free from illusion, love alone is divine. No yoga, no form of ascetism can lead to that."
For a detailed account of each of these paths, read: Abhinavagupta, Light on Tantra chapters 1 to 5 of Tantraloka translation and introduction by Andre Padoux and Liliane Silburn, Publications of the Institute of Indian Civilisation.
Monday, August 01, 2011
Beethovan Enters Heaven
When he arrived,
all fell silent.
He came in a cloud
some of which had names
others that were still
His great head
flying and tossing
the way Greek Gods do
or waves vaulting
toward shore .
In his hand
an invisible baton.
He had become his creation.
As he moved along
they all gave way
into the safe ground
of the awestruck,
as if a procession of
were passing by
or perhaps high angels
preparing the way
for the arrival of an ultimate.
July 30, 2010
(Image found on Google)