Monday, February 12, 2018

How Media and Science Sell Us a Dangerous Delusion

I wanted to re-post this (slightly updated) article, because I think it speaks well, and with some immediacy, about what we see going on more and more these days. I hope you enjoy it. It starts with this:  

"Yeshua said: If you bring forth that which is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."
Logion 70, The Gospel of Thomas

Denial is ignorance, accepted as truth through the force of will. Our personal will, and our collective will.

Popular Media and Science justify and enforce this will, directing us away from the self examination that makes us face our collective truths realistically, and psychically cornering us in the "The Way Things Are." They preoccupy us with good enough reasons for why things are like they are—and why they have to be like they are. Much of Media and Science is created and used to diffuse truth and replace it with a designed objective, to sell an idea or product—turning the truth into an obstacle that needs to be suppressed, where it becomes, as stated in our Gospel of Thomas quote again: "That which will destroy you." We end up walking confusedly through a false world, looking for what's real. This is the Maya of Media and Science.

It may sound funny to call this Occultism, and to suggest that media operatives and scientists are occultists, but unfortunately it does work for a couple definitions of the word — in the sense of using supernatural or paranormal means and methods: Media people know they are manipulating dark fears; and in the sense of it being only for the initiated: Scientists and media people consort amongst one another to keep their stories straight. They both harbor scary secrets about what motivates them, shared only by a select few.

Popular Culture often harnesses the psychic energy of "that which would destroy you" as it's chief attraction. The Collective Ego is always on the lookout for something to prove that humans are not particularly Divine and that we don't measure up, and so there must be something that can fix it—something that can calm or repair our shortcomings. So Media constantly stimulates those hot buttons of judgement and comparison—Fear, and the pathology of self-enhancement, to get you to quite literally buy into it:

My clothes are right. My lifestyle is right. I have the right friends, and the proper idols. My country is right. My religion is right. If you don't keep in line with these artificial demands, you won't measure up, or deserve material reward and the acknowledgment of others—which in reality can do nothing to assure happiness or fulfillment. You're made to fear that you might not even deserve Love unless you've achieved some cultural standardand we all know the truth—that Love is the only thing that really assures happiness and fulfillment, and it's available to everyone for free.

These common fears are manipulated, heightened and kept malleable by the ever-increasing exposure to explicit violence, explicit selfishness, and explicit narcissism, without which, there would be practically nothing on television—or increasingly at the movies, or on the radio either. And lately, these fears are increasingly exploited to define our political choices. In mainstream media's earlier years, human foibles were often pointed out as a lesson, or morality play. News programming reported events fairly objectively. But nowadays a corporate business model prevails that requires media to ruthlessly exploit human faults and fears, in every format where selling products, ideas, or candidates is possible.
Television and film must be be watched very selectively to avoid these base, destructive energies; and while the internet also allows for content choice, you musn't forget the greatest selectivity of all: You have the choice not to take part in it at all, if you don't feel it's serving your best interests. And if you must take part, don't invest yourself in it spiritually. You can't find happiness with an unhealthy spirit.

Remember what Marshall McLuhan said: "The medium is the message." If you are constantly carrying, sitting in front of, looking at, a device that keeps you constantly attached to a false world, it will be impossible to live the easy, authentic, love-filled life that everyone deserves. If the forms of input you receive are superficial and fragmented and designed by people who don't have your best interests at heart, your life will always feel the same. Attachment to current media results in the collapse of your consciousness into a dark and selfish place.

In a generally (though not always) less intentional way, Science does the same thing by manipulating the agnosticism of the seeker. It's kind of like a religion whose dogma is always changing—a religion of logic, of data, of "empirical" observation, based solely on what our current senses and devices permit us to perceive and calculate. In the past, these means were limited, but even in those 'dark ages' Science was still very sure of itself and it's authoritative description of the world. As means of observation improve, the world and being itself changes—according to Science—but still needs to be subjected to a healthier, more spiritual interpretation.

Now, as evolving Consciousness allows perception beyond our five senses (and is verified scientifically), and technology enables us to observe more and more of our (formerly invisible) nature of being, Science begins to resemble a dogma chasing a tale that Mysticism has been telling for a long, long time. And here's how that tale ends, and what it tells us about the real nature of our reality:
 Everything is connected and interdependent; and, if we aren't willing to investigate the truth behind our being, and the motivations that suppress that truth, then "That will destroy us."

But there is a form of Maya that can free us from the delusional limitations of the other (scary) three: We can switch to a Maya of inner experience and collective ecological sanity...The Maya of Nature. Turn off your mind, open your heart and your senses to the beauty and balance alive in the natural world, and the truth will rise up out of the ruins of our false structures of ego—media and science.

The Universe is an awesome and beautiful mystery, activated by our shared Consciousness. If we bring forth that Universe that is within us—that we all share—then what we bring forth will save us.

Read about this and much more in the new book: How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying), Wisdom From a Near-Death Survivor is due out early 2018, from Llewellyn Worldwide can be pre-ordered online. The first book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and Beyond is available everywhere – but ask for it it at your local bookstore!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Taking it Easy in the Isn't-Matter-World

The ocean pours through a jar, and you might say
It swims inside the fish!
This mystery gives peace to your longing,
and makes the road home
become home.

Yep, sometimes it’s a challenge just to take it easy.  This world does assault us. This world makes a lot of demands on us. But then, which world is it that asks so much and gives so little? And which world is it that really gives us everything (and maybe even more, if we let it)?
Any major Buddhist will tell you that the world of material attachments is an illusion, composed of a constantly changing—constantly coming and going—surface “reality.” What we think we need often turns out to be not what we thought we needed at all, and it’s all because of what we’re thinking. It’s because we’re usually making things up.
So, okay, it’s not really real…but then it is real, isn’t it? It just isn’t always too reliable, and a lot of it doesn’t come when we want it, or stay as long as we’d like.

This world is a made-up world. It’s made up of outside appearances, of important occasions, of accelerating schedules, of stuff you have to have and stuff you have to do. But all of that stuff comes and goes, and often, it’s just fine if you realize that you forgot all about it, until it was too late. Oops! I missed it!...and it doesn’t even matter that I did.
That’s the world we usually think really matters—the world of matter. That’s the world that’s so alluring, so demanding, so unforgiving. The “matter-world.” The world that you usually forget about (the one you take for granted) is the one that’s always there, but always sort of underneath everything. That’s the world that everything of real importance actually comes from. It’s the (often invisible) world that doesn’t change. It’s the Isn’t-Matter-World.

The Isn’t-Matter-World is the world of beautiful ideas that never go away, that stick with you until maybe you bring them into the material world, if you really want them there. It’s the world of Love, which is the deepest fundamental connection and motivation we have for everything of real value that arises in this life. It’s the world of miracles (like this miracle we’re all participating in, in every single instant).

The deep river water under the ice is the real, unchanging world of Love, of Art, of wonderful ideas and miraculous synchronicities—like meeting each other, or doing something really nice for someone else. It’s a world of elemental innocence, of compassionate connectedness, and of the awesome power of true humility that flows through everything of real value and beauty.

Skate lightly on the material surface, and know the deep river water-world is running through you. Live in that world, showing up (with an open heart) for the easy-does-it demands of the ever-changing surfaces. Then, the Isn’t-Matter-World will carry you in it’s flow.

Rumi by way of Coleman Barks

Read about this and much more in the new book: How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying), Wisdom From a Near-Death Survivor is due out early 2018, from Llewellyn Worldwide can be pre-ordered online. The first book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and Beyond is available everywhere – but ask for it it at your local bookstore!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Visit the Brand New Website

I'm very happy to announce my new website is up–it's basic for now–but soon I'll be listing events, and featuring reviews and links to shows and happenings...💛 

Come by and check it out!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Why Are Near-Death Experiences All So Different?

Despite what current politics may suggest, there’s no doubt that a “Divine Consciousness” is rapidly expanding throughout the human race. Even my coffee cup is about to start talking to me. A lot of what was once considered ridiculously paranormal has now been empirically proven, and popularly embraced. In fact, the human race is clearly now a race between the realization of the role Consciousness plays in the creation of our world, and the destructive consequences that ignoring it has caused, and is causing everyday.

So what does that have to do with ‘Near-Death Experiences?’ Well, now it seems even Science is converging on the ancient, but currently revolutionary concept that Consciousness itself may be an elemental force – a field, like gravity, or electromagnetism. That Consciousness itself is really the eternal quantum field of being, generating the formation of material life – rather than the other way around (this idea, as biocentrism, is very intelligently proposed by Dr. Robert Lanza, of Wake Forest University). And what are ‘NDEs’ but further testimonies of the continuation of consciousness beyond physical life?

The rapidly growing Near-Death Movement – based on thousands of testimonies of people who have experienced consciousness beyond the limitations of our physical life – is yet another example of humanity’s limitless spiritual potential. It's additional evidence of our ability to co-create whatever reality we participate in – be it on the Earth right here, or in that sweet hereafter.

I'd never given any of it much thought, until the power and meaning of my own three "NDEs" arose, and compelled me to write a book that put me into the hub of the hubbub. I've since discovered that the community of near-death experiencers ranges somewhere from five to fifteen percent of the general population, globally. Now that's a whole lot of non-ordinary reality.

Naturally, I have less reason than the average Joe to doubt the veracity of all that testimony; but I have found plenty of reason to ask this question: why is it that near-death experiences are all so different? If we're all governed by eternal, invisible machinery, why do we see such a range of afterlife options, all tailored to the individual participant? Shouldn't we all go down that identical tunnel into the light, and meet Grandpa in that same shimmering field of Elysium?

Some near-death returnees report celestial extravaganzas. Some tell of organizations of elders and angels, structured in an elaborate cosmic framework. For others, it's a hellish nightmare, complete with every infernal cliché. The reason for all these differences can be simply explained if we consider the way we’re always participating in the field of Consciousness – how we are always creating our own individual realities.

 My own NDEs were humble, by comparison, but they all had one glorious factor in common; that I did not lose Consciousness when I lost consciousness. In fact, all three times, I experienced an enhanced consciousness, seamlessly uninterrupted from this life to the next.
Skeptics suggest this sense of continuity is the result of a still-active mind – a mind not yet fully "dead," and they're right. Since Consciousness is a field we eternally participate in, our mind never actually dies, it simply joins a greater mind. The Hindu Vedas suggested that thousands of years ago. Dear Dr. Carl Jung described it too, way back in the 20th century. Mind continues working on, beyond these physical constraints.

And as for the differences, well, imagine someone dying, and awakening in this world. What would they experience? The war in Syria? A recital by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? Perhaps a high-powered business lunch – or even that visit to Grandpa's? In this elemental context, we all imagine the life we are living, and live it. We all enter into the life we need to experience. This is the mystery of any incarnation; and it will continue to be the mystery, from this life to the next. What NDEs do tell us is that our continuing engagement in a greater mind is defined by the karma we create in our life (or lives), and carry that with us (and back) in a way.

"Memory ensures that nature creates individual forms that are copies of the primal universal forms."
                              The Hermetica

What if all bets (the limitations of this material world) really were off when it comes to our greatest potential imaginable – the unharnessed power of “God’s mind?”  What if our imaginations were released from the obvious limitations of this physical form? Almost anything is already possible here and now – so how about a world where your imagination is set free to manifest reality, without material limitations?

In "the next world," as in this one, our karmic imagination is like the clay connecting us to Divine Consciousness; that Consciousness is like the ever-spinning potter’s wheel that everything grows up out of; and the source of power is like, well, The Source of Power.
Welcome to every life (and afterlife) you will ever live–and remember, whatever life you’re living, create that life with Love!

Read more about the same thing, by Kevin Williams at the wonderfully complete and comprehensive And check out this Wiki entry for the Tibetan theory of the "bardos," or transitory states of the afterlife.

Read about this and much more in the new book: How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying), Wisdom From a Near-Death Survivor is due out early 2018, from Llewellyn Worldwide can be pre-ordered online. The first book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and Beyond is available everywhere – but ask for it it at your local bookstore!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

How Global Consciousness is Coherently Speaking To Us

Unfortunately, I'm often a little unconscious, and mildly incoherent—which is no laughing matter, because of all the things I want to experience in my life, consciousness and coherence rank pretty high up there. I prize my moments experiencing consciousness—that feeling of being awake and aware–and recognizing coherence, which in this case doesn't only mean occasionally making sense, but refers to a fancier, more scientific way of talking about the profound connection of everything to everything.

Another unfortunate fact is that unconsciousness and incoherence is more or less a default condition for a lot of humanity these days (just look around)—but it needn't be, because true Consciousness (capitalized to emphasize Divinity) is constantly arising, and constantly speaking to us through the forms of coherence we witness around us.

At those times when I can really feel it, when I'm aware and accepting and full of purposeful direction, I feel completely connected—as though I'm being guided by an unseen hand. I understand this as a (momentary) state of my expanded consciousness, when a field of intuitive intelligence is informing my life. Consciousness is speaking to me in a direct, coherent way. It's speaking to me through the coherence that connects all of our existence.
Consciousness is a field that we engage in through the forms we take. Coherence is the connection of every part of those forms to one another through what the Buddhists call emptiness, the Hindu call brahman, and what science nowadays defines as the quantum field.

I happen to be a multiple near-death survivor, and I can tell you that in each of the three occasions while I was “out,” I wasn't really out—I was in deeper. I was still engaged by Consciousness at a very profound level—a level that I recognize is speaking to all of us everyday and in every way through the simple realization of everything being inexorably connected to everything else.

This is the experience of coherence, the fact that every part of me—of my body and mind—from the smallest cell up to my biggest brainstorm are clearly interconnected in a profoundly dynamic way. A flu virus (or a misplaced word) can ruin my entire week, and may simultaneously do the same to millions of other people—as is true for a laugh from a funny Youtube, or the effects of an explosion on the surface of the sun. Every part of me acts inexplicably in concert with every other part of me, as every part of the world (and universe) acts in a dynamic balance, or imbalance, with every other part of the world.

And so it is with the natural interactions we see everywhere—from the clearest examples in Nature of one species dynamically cooperating with another, to the most mysterious and extreme unlikelihood that all the “disconnected” forces alive in the Universe could come together from the vastness of space and somehow create this life on this planet. Stand back and look at our Earth and it's very easy to see that we are part of a coherent whole—a singular expression of an incomprehensible Universal Consciousness. At arms length, our world looks like the same thing (and our arms aren't very long...).

 "I am the true Self in the heart of every creature...the beginning, middle, and end of their existence."
                                    The Bhagavad Gita  10.20

Beneath everything lies that unifying intuitive understanding of our truest relationship to the Earth and all the life upon it—an ever-evolving expression of a conscious Universe, being eternally expressed. Quantum coherence and emergent self-organization aren't confined to waves or planets or particles, or only to anthills or flocks of birds either. All the life on Earth is chemically, psychically, and genetically connected at a profound level, at the same level as every other form of life—at the level of survival.

It comes as no shock, does it—that we share enough Consciousness for all of us to know that truth? Our being 'entangled' in non-ordinary ways, sharing a 'non-local' source is obvious in our present contracting reality, and blossoming into global Consciousness through our simultaneous personal realizations.

That's the reason why we can have so much hope—because we can always have faith in the fact that our forms are constantly rediscovering and rearranging "the Self" into a timeless, working whole—even in the face (or in the midst) of our impending catastrophes. Bringing the promise of that faith into reality requires that we follow those natural, intuitive impulses of our own groups, and our own hearts.

The humane acceptance of mass global migrations; racial and sexual equality movements; the impulse to maintain net neutrality; personal participation in clean, free power; a responsible awareness of our changing climate and its effects; respect for our clean water sources; ecological awareness across the generations—all of these are examples of this movement, which is finding its identity in a modern mythology that reconnects us to Mother Earth. A recognition of humanity's spiritual evolution, grounded in altruism, activism, and personal responsibility is bringing us into step with our emergent Global Consciousness, and showing us our true direction. We mustn’t deny it.

"There is a community of the spirit. Join it, and feel the delight of [flying in the noisy flock, and] being the noise...Close both eyes to see with the other eye...Open your hands, if you want to be held...Sit down in this circle."

It’s a humble path that leads us towards the shift we all know we must take (those without humility are the cause of our catastrophes). It’s actually an involuntary course we are already taking towards our survival and spiritual evolution. Recognizing it within oneself, and allowing ourselves to join the horizontal hierarchy that this undeniable impulse organizes itself within will guide our best actions.
It's gonna shake things up, alright—it's nothing short of the conscious deconstruction of our systems of exploitative materialism, and the recognition of all the coherent life of the planet as Sacred. It's not just an evolution we’re talking about, but a revolution of humanity—a conscious movement away from the unnecessary waste and destruction we express now, towards the higher order directed by Nature and Consciousness. 
And this is not my idea…it's our idea.

"To the knowing, all of life is a movement towards perfection; so what need have they for the excessive, the extravagant, or the extreme?"
Tao te Ching, 29