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How It Seems to Me

I first encountered antisemitism in the womb.

How is that? Well, my mother was a Holocaust survivor and had a very brutal time under the Nazis.  Such trauma apparently affects the fetus.

Trauma is a very hot topic these days.  I first had it demonstrated to me by a wonderful neuropsychologist who was herself a child of a survivor; in fact, it was the main reason I chose to work with her.

I had had a breakdown. Looking back, I would say I was flooded with emotions that I could not handle. I had stopped taking Prozac and stopped smoking weed and broken up with a woman of great heart – but I had little experience with the heart and I felt our minds were too often in conflict – and I crashed.

My ex-girlfriend recommended the therapist and one day I remember a session where I was having an intense sensation in my gut and she encouraged me to see if any feelings came up around it, and I suddenly recounted one of my mother’s most horrific experiences which she had shared with me about her time under the Nazis.

As I told the story of her time at Auschwitz I was overcome with grief and rage, and I began to sob and instead of handing me a tissue the therapist encouraged me to deeply feel the pain I had blocked until then.

The sobbing continued, and then subsided, and I breathed and noticed – I was still there.

She pointed out that the sun had come out.

I wasn’t “cured” – because that is a concept and not a reality.  Thoughts, sensations and emotions were going to continue – but I had begun to deeply notice what they actually felt like instead of blocking them.

In the course of my story, I had related that when my mother was selected to work and survive at Auschwitz, she had tried to go to the other line to follow her parents but was slapped by an SS officer and made to go on the line she had tried to avoid.  The line that saved her life.

Existentialism 101.  Had she gone on the other line I would not be writing this.

When the Nazi hit her, my mother’s glasses flew off her face and shattered.

She stumbled forward numbly on the other line and ended up in a barracks of hard wooden bunks, nothing else, with several other traumatized women, in the dark.

Besides having been separated from her parents, my mother knew  that without the glasses she could not function, and she had been chosen to work.  How could she work without her glasses?

At that moment she felt around in the darkness of the bunk and found, and old abandoned pair of eyeglasses, held together by string. I told the therapist that she had kept those glasses and survived with them until the Americans liberated her from another labor camp.

The therapist gasped and clutched at her chest.  She told me that when she had taken her daughter to Auschwitz a few years earlier she had moved some dirt aside with her shoe and found a pair of broken eyeglasses.

It was around that time that the sun came out.

Introspection Deepens

From that time in particular, I began to deeply explore the complex of conditioned stories and belief that had shaped my attitudes up until then – and could trigger a response in my gut or chest.

I had known of my parents’ experiences growing up, and it wasn’t a pleasant education but they wanted me to have no illusions about what the world was like (according to them). 

They ended up retiring in La Jolla and truly enjoyed their final years.  I grateful to have my brilliant father until he turned 86, and most of what he told me about life has borne true – sometimes to my own detriment.

But, I led a pretty charmed and as they now say, privileged life.  My father who had left Prague with two suitcases had become the treasurer of a large travel agency – which I later joined as a trip director.

I was five years old when we arrived in New York after having been born in Vienna to a woman who had been liberated from the camps just four years earlier.  Confused but a survivor, she met and married my father in Prague after the war.

Growing up in a middle class neighborhood in Queens I had everything I needed and felt very loved and secure as an only child of two monumentally intelligent European immigrants.  But of course, looking back I have come to see how growing up on my own in such changing circumstances must have felt, and I do remember a bit of what it took to live up to my parents’ standards.

I had only one incident of prejudice.  We had a Catholic school across the street and one day I was playing ball in a nearby lot and two young girls started throwing rocks at me and told me that I had killed Jesus.  They were just little girls and rocks were pebbles but when I told my mother, she was furious and went over to the Catholic school to have a word with them.

I grew up with no other experience of racism except at college, where I joined a fraternity where all sorts of slurs were used constantly in jock talk that would be found very offensive today.  From today’s perspective it was a pit of toxic masculinity – but of course I was pleased to be accepted.

And that is really the incredible thing – how the entire ethos of what is and is not acceptable in society has come full circle.  What my parents had suffered through was once again on the horizon and the way it became most apparent was in attitudes that were suddenly permissible towards gays, women and people of color – sometimes with frightening results.

We Believed in Progress

In the halcyon days, and the hippie years after college, we all assumed (the college educated elite that had jobs, families or careers) and were comfortable, that society was a story of progress.

We began to recognize the costs of our racism with the Civil Rights movement, and then the womens’ movement, we were on a seemingly clear path to a point, it seemed to us, when all barriers would be seen as artificial.  The notion of actual Oneness seemed less abstract and perhaps even achievable if not in our own lifetime.

We guiltily submerged our own troubling beliefs.  My parents had strong negative opinions of people they had not encountered in Europe – African Americans and Hispanics.

But I saw my father welcome and become friends with a Jamaican in his department, and later when they retired to Southern California my parents were typical liberals who saw the struggles of other people as very aligned with their own.

But what happened?

Out of the dystopian fantasies I had enjoyed watching as fan of science fiction and adventure emerged a reality that I had never comprehended.

Primordial Fears Resurface

It began the first time during 9-11 when I was in my fifties and my parents were gone, and I sensed that I could not count entirely on my world remaining as relatively stable as it had been.  America was suddenly not as invulnerable to planetary forces as it had been.  Maybe this was the other side of “Oneness.”

I was also aware of pollution and particularly what had become of the oceans but as my parents used to tell me “forget it” because I had no control over any of that.

So I followed their counsel to the best of my ability and created sort of a career in Los Angeles.  I was comfortable if not wildly successful – as I had tried to hard to be and I eventually moved to Las Vegas where I could afford to rent a house going into old age.

A freak accident led to a brain injury and surgery, and I struggled through a tough recovery.

My recovery accelerated when I became acquainted with the current trend in trauma work, epitomized by Dr. Gabor Mate and Scott Kiloby.

My brain injury had shaken my world even beyond the shock of Trump and imminent Fascism which I saw coming.

In order to make it through the day, in ways that I could not intellectually fathom. I had to put my rational side at rest and simply get through Life without any filters of “understanding.”

I got no answers to how I felt – which was exhausted and depressed upon waking up – from the medical community.  The surgery had drained the blood from my skull and then I was again on my own.

There were no helpful explanations.  I simply had to learn to accept and love the feelings and sensations again – rather than finding more ways to avoid them. The Robert Frost line – “the best way out is always through” – was relevant, and somehow after the pandemic and the election I started laughing again as I was able to notice the peculiarities of my conditioning from a more safe and impersonal space.

Rude Awakening

But the world I was recovering into was not the one I had left. It was turning even more obviously and dangerously into my parents’ world.

I had recognized the signs when Trump ran for President and insulted the Mexicans and of course as his campaign continued it was clear that he was familiar with and using the Hitler playbook.

I was often mocked as overly sensitive and deluded when I mentioned these things and then watched as they became worse throughout his administration, and he nominated a Supreme Court majority that threatened to remove all of the rights my parents had brought me to America to enjoy.

Now as I sit here and write this, we are a year and half into the next administration and Trump is still in Florida planning a return to power – and his Nazi and Christian Nationalist fans are not shy about proclaiming their hateful beliefs and threatening to destroy a fragile democracy.

How did this happen?

We live in an age of technological marvels. We are mapping the interior of the brain and the far side of the moon, and we have decoded our own biological operating system of DNA in ways that allow us to edit the genome.

We can talk about economic issues and imbalances of wealth, but I think the genome holds the key to humanity’s future.  It is literally our organic operating system.

Our Perspective Now Encompasses a Higher Systematic Intelligence

We can only now understand a little of what this means because we have also created self-running symbolic programs that we call software.  Our computer software runs on a systematic use of symbols with clearly defined “properties” and “methods” – that is to say strict logical rules.

Francis Crick, one of the pioneers who discovered DNA, recognized that it was so advanced that he came up with the theory of trans spermia which suggested that life came from the galaxy to earth in the form of organic material on comets and asteroids that arrived with some early form of DNA, sparking evolution.

But wherever it came from, DNA which runs our bodies predates humanity.

If it is the product of an infinite or immense Intelligence – which it very much seems to be – how did it arise.  “Whose” intelligence does DNA express?

We can speculate about aliens but ultimately we might connect it to the notion of Stephen Hawking and Einstein – both of whom found the universe mysterious and amazing enough without a personal deity.

But most of humanity still lives according to the personal belief of a separate “self.”  It forms the basis for all of our misconceptions about one another and it would seem that a collective transcendence of this illusion of separation (the old “Oneness”) is the only way out of our current situation.

The need to vilify an “other” disappears when we lose our sense of separation from a whole that is unavoidable in its obvious reality.  Without words of our own projected reality like ‘clouds,’ ‘planets” or ‘sky’ what actual separation is there between these apparitions in our field of vision?  Without words they are all part of one indivisible reality of experience.

A Silent Universe

Ultimately all aspects of our separation arise from our beliefs and thoughts.  In the silent universe that preceded us there were no individuals or even species – just Life and energy.  And apparently DNA.

It is also interesting to speculate what another civilization, with an entirely different set of symbolic understanding might experience as reality.  Have other cultures lived in greater alignment with Nature, or is that just our romantic illusion?

If a clear understanding of how our own beliefs and thoughts shape our reality could be taught with critical thinking in school, and then used to describe and evaluate all beliefs on the basis of such a perspective, a truly just world of impersonal fairness could emerge.  Our cult-like prejudices could not survive discernment based on recognition of the difference between our own thoughts, and all of Existence that continues with or without “our” beliefs or participation.

A mass awakening could happen based upon the sudden understanding that comes from looking out from within our own tiny reality in the other direction – to the cosmos – where it becomes obvious that our minute existence is a brief interlude in an eternity we simply cannot comprehend.

Using the word “infinity” we convince ourselves that we have an understanding of the cosmos.  Do we?

We are not special.  Neither as individual organisms nor as a species.  We are just an ineffable part of ALL.  This can be a profound insight – that there is only the great Mystery of Life and that many our intellectual “explanations” of what happens are what the Big Leibowski said, “that’s just your opinion man.”

We Have No Idea of What We Do Not Know

Science has convinced us we are in control, but we find ourselves at the precipice of disaster if we don’t wake up to the reality that we don’t really know very much.

From a more humble perspective we can see the obvious deeply higher intelligence of Nature, which much our science has copied.  But with all our artificial intelligence and robots we will never create a bee that ‘knows’ what to do.

Only such humility as a species can now bring us to the next “Copernican” revolution, where each of us is not long the center of his or her own epic story that runs in our brain with concurrent commentary, but rather a participant in a Mystery that only grows deeper as we observe ourselves truthfully from our hearts and allow a universal energy to guide our actions.

Garbage In, Garbage Out

One of the interesting things about my brain injury that in some cases I become a lab for recovery. I’ve experimented with probiotics and CBD hemp oil and discovered it’s hard to gauge effects—especially when there are so many variables.

The one area where I believe progress has happened in terms of clarity of thought—fatigue is still the major issue—but feeling that my brain is functioning well when applied is a significant improvement. In some cases I even catch myself almost feeling “normal”; meaning how I imagine I used to feel before my concussion.

The practice that has led to this new clarity, I believe, is my brief but concerted foray into visual therapy, or neuro-optical rehabilitation.  It was determined that my eyes were not converging images completely between the two of them, leading to my brain having to work extra hard to figure out what I was seeing.

Correcting this issue involves eye exercises and new prism glasses. I’ve been doing the exercises and wearing the glasses for several weeks. I suspect that what has happened to some extent is that the realignment of my vision is now supplying the brain with more accurate information.

So here again is a situation where the body/mind seems to be operating according to an intelligence and order—as with computers—Garbage in, Garbage out.

If you write software incorrectly with bugs, it results in garbage due to bad information.

Apparently the brain works generally according to similar principles.

One might as “where” is the intelligence behind these active principles?

If two ants exchange a chemical whereby one “knows” where the colony is, is there intelligence in that exchange? Once a scientist, however, finds the metrics behind the chemical exchange and sees the underlying order I suppose his intelligence is projected onto the ants’ exchange of what is now considered “information.”
In this case the scientist seems to be overlaying a mental, analytical component that if tested over time could be considered a discover or truth.

But this presupposes that there is an individual intelligence that exists within the brain of the scientist.

If it were discovered that the brain is actually more of a receiver of a universal intelligence—the same intelligence perhaps behind evolution—then that would change a lot of belief systems.

There is in fact more and more evidence now that animal brains can be “networked.”  More recently human brains were also linked in their ability to process information.

And in fact the network as a model for our own brain function is gaining prominence.

So can we now honestly begin to refer to DNA – which we now edit and reprogram to alter its express – as an organic programming language? The symbols which we use to represent its functions (A, C, G and T) represent biochemicals which perform various operations in our bodies according to predefined and predictable patterns that we can “decode” and “program.” This infers that the symbols convey meaning which means that they represent the output of some form of intelligence.

And we know that our own electronic and silicon based software is ALWAYS the product of intelligence.  (Google did not come about by accident).

The best explanation for the existence of DNA as an organic programming language would be to recognize that some form of Infinite Intelligence is actually a “property” of Existence/Nature/Source/Being itself and ubiquitous.

This may well be what some “primitive” and ancient people considered to be God—from the perspective of what we now sometimes call Pantheism.

(I hesitate to use the word “God” because of its emotional charge but I believe that “authentic” (secular) religion is based on this truth).

This is the basis for my book – “If DNA is Software, Who Wrote the Code?”

http://amzn.to/2D76BR5

If DNA Is Software – Who Wrote the Code?

DNA_cover_600

To get past the conditioned consider humanity’s most powerful recent scientific achievement – encoded intelligence known as software – from a different perspective and recognize that our own organic programming language (DNA) functions identically. How can we account for this?

The notion that there can be code, that can be edited, without Mind as its progenitor is contrary to all actual experience and empirical evidence.

Every other program that we know of is mind-based, as are we.

DNA Is Nature’s Intellectual Property New book is now available on Amazon.

http://amzn.to/2D76BR5

Resistance and Surrender

One of the casualties of my accident (fell and had a concussion) seems to be my mindfulness practice and my general ability to not get caught up or activated by situations that do not go my way.
 
Shortly after my surgery I stopped meditating because getting out of bed and sitting upright for fifteen minutes was just not going to happen. I also noticed that I was doing it mainly to satisfy an egoic standard (I had meditated regularly for about a decade and it was a matter of pride) and I was really forcing myself to do it now; it was not done with ease but with grim determination.
 
After not being able to listen to disks in the car for the past several months – too much going on in my mind and too consumed with not crashing the vehicle – I finally began “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, the book that first allowed me a glimpse at what one could call awakening.
 
The first chapter of that book is one of my all-time favorites and while it was a challenge to follow it – it reminded me of why was so taken by Eckhart’s ideas. He has a cosmological perspective that extends beyond the human species and sees our continued evolution as necessary but not inevitable.
 
Today I heard him speak about how when you encounter a challenging episode in your life you can resist or surrender. I know that at the outset after my concussion I tried like hell to act in denial, exhausting myself and confronting frustration after frustration.
 
With the choice to have surgery the truth became much more matter of fact – I was going to be tired and depressed for a while – and I tried to approach it without judgment but I did many of the things Eckhart described – I felt sorry for myself and wondered why did this happen to “me.”
 
I was definitely resisting “the flow of life” and not accepting “what happened.” I fervently wished life to be other than what it was…
 
I thought I was in acceptance. I talked a good game to myself and a few others but those who knew me best saw that I was in massive resistance.
 
I saw myself keep looking for answers and fixes to accelerate my recovery through diet. Whenever new “solution” popped up online I jumped on it wanting to leave no stone unturned but the biggest stone was the one I was pushing up the hill representing my own impatience.
 
I thought that my level of awareness of my resistance would be enough. It wasn’t and isn’t – while I can’t stop my resistant thoughts and awareness of them is good – I need to be in acceptance within my body and surrender for real, not just in my imagination.
 
I hope that listening to this book and practicing acceptance to the greatest possible degree will allow me to see myself through the best potential recovery.
 
I have seen from an online group devoted to those with Traumatic Brain Injuries that I was in fact rather fortunate in comparison with many others, and that the key to recovery seems to be fully accepting the new challenges that are now a inescapable part of my life when they impede me – the low energy and highly charged emotional reactions will be there for foreseeable future – the more I surrender to this reality the easier it will go for me.
 
I need to keep my mind relaxed so I have cut back on TV and Internet which means I rest a lot. I do try to use the mind as effectively as possible to manage the limited energy I do have.
 
It is getting better but the day to day increments are very subtle and there are setbacks as well – but having found myself able to tolerate the CD voice in my head along with my own I see real potential for my recovery. This time I really will be Tom 2.0. Very different properties and methods.

Configuring Your Inner Startup Utility

The Startup tab of the Windows MSCONFIG System Configuration utility lets you control which programs Windows loads on boot up – the fewer you allow the more efficient your system and the less potential conflict (in “system memory”) with “applications” like Word or Photoshop. Notice that programs like iTunes and Google don’t need to “preload” – they can be disabled and run only when needed–but they will try to load into Startup. Notice the many programs I have disabled in my System Configuration…

Now what about your brain? How many programs do you load when you wake up – assumptions, beliefs and stories that you don’t need but that impede your functioning?

You can begin to notice and even disable them (in your own Startup Utility) during silence and meditation.

Can you begin to identify unnecessary obsessive thoughts and concepts in the silence? Then your own conscious “applications” – love, peace, harmony, family and even worldly goals can unfold more efficiently.

 

Why “No Problem” Is a Problem

If you’ve been out an about recently where someone has served you, in a restaurant or store, and said “thank you” perhaps you’ve noticed a new trend. Many younger people in particular no longer say “you’re welcome.” Instead they say “no problem.”

I have a big problem with this because I think it is symptomatic of a shift in consciousness that is partially responsible for the number of unemployed younger people, and those dissatisfied with their current positions.

Looking a bit deeper, saying “you’re welcome” acknowledges your “thank you” as an appreciation of their service.

“No problem,” on the other hand, implies that your request in some way intruded on their right to be undisturbed and they deem it acceptable that you made the request and they complied. It conveys no appreciation whatsoever and I’ll go a step further.

They seem unconscious of another aspect of the situation. They’re WORKING.

Confronted with this concept, many might argue that I’m advocating a subservient position, but that is in no way the case.

Rather I am suggesting that during “work” there is an implied level of commitment to the task at hand that is expected unless you are an uncompensated intern. If you’re being paid, then it is your task to perform whatever duties are reasonably expected and none of these should ever be construed as “a problem.”

Assuming that any disturbance of your peace during working hours (and this includes your texting or speaking on the phone) is a problem that you magnanimously have decided to overlook makes you a poor employee. Period.

Recently I had two customer service experiences – in one a rental car was beeping in ways I could not fix and no one at the office answered the phone. In the other a web site did not perform as expected and I was not given the service I anticipated. When I pointed this out to “customer service” they said, “and what would you like me to do about it?”

They saw my intrusion on their peace as a big problem. They did not realize that it is their job to at least express some empathy and understanding of a customer’s perspective. They cannot undo what happened but they can acknowledge the legitimacy of the issue and even apologize.

This is the result when everyone begins to see their responsibility to perform their job as a problem.

Even if you take the position that this is a meaningless phrase that is now just in the current vernacular I beg to differ. “Problem” is a loaded word. Every time I hear that some getting me another cup of coffee is “not a problem” it rubs me the wrong way. And if I don’t come back to your restaurant, that is your problem, not mine.

You might counter that my sensitivity is “my problem” but again if you’re the one that is consciously or unconsciously considering service as a “problem” I suggest that the consequences will accrue to you.

Working with the public is no picnic but manifesting a self-serving attitude will not bode well for your future.

Risking the “when I was your age” cliché, there used to be a concept called “paying your dues.” When you paid your dues, you were happy to get an opportunity to work and believe me, under those circumstances, your attitude always conveyed that “nothing was a problem, glad to help.”

This is what I see so lacking today. I get it that college loans are overwhelming and challenging jobs are scarce, and many in my generation fill positions that could well be handled by younger workers.

I also believe this also grows out of the civil rights movement when it was said often and loud that “no one gives you your rights, they are yours by birth,” so that any suggestion that someone take a position of service is somehow demeaning and inappropriate. Young people seem to bristle at any suggestion that they should perform any task that they deem beneath them.

And there is also no question that when working with the public that there are those with unrealistic expectations and bad attitudes who may assert their power in ways that inappropriate, by being abusive, unreasonable or hostile. Certainly any human has a right to maintain his or her dignity under those circumstances.

However, when you are WORKING you loyalty is not to your inner peace, friends, task list or the voices in your head – it is to the client, customer or associate whose needs you are being paid to meet.

Therefore in no way shape or form is any request on their part, or need that is to be satisfied, a problem; rather it is an opportunity. It’s a vehicle for you to show you skills and demonstrate your willingness to help or comply in any reasonable manner.

It is a chance to show initiative, warmth, humor and intelligence.

So when someone appreciates your efforts and says “thank you” with sincerity, and especially if they drop a dollar into your tip jar, the appropriate response still is, and always will be, “you’re welcome.”

Link

Overview of Science and Duality Conference

menas spectrum Jac's diagramOverview of Science and Duality Conference

My overview of the amazing Science and Nonduality Conference in San Jose including the presentations Jay Kumar, Rupert Spira, Francis Lucille, and Deepak Chopra  and more. Excerpted from this month’s issue of Collective Evolution.

http://www.professorppt.com/SAND.pdf

Blackfish and Gun Violence

Last night I watched the film Blackfish on CNN; it’s the story of an Orca (killer whale) that had killed its trainer in the course of being held in captivity at Sea World.

Coincidentally I had had lunch with a friend who actually works with Sea World and he made some eloquent arguments that Sea World has actually served a noble purpose in familiarizing humanity with the wonders of whales and dolphins.

While the movie was obviously edited for maximum emotional effect two poignant scenes go beyond any objective “explanation”. First the way that Tillicum (the Orca that killed the trainer in Orlando) was first captured with other calves, and taken away from its mother and pod, was heart wrenching to any normal soul. Second, when the calf born at Sea World was removed from its birth mother to be trained at another park, and the mother’s shrieking and grief, would have to move anyone not completely brainwashed by insensitive materialism.

Sea World shareholders are suffering as a result of the film. My friend has his work cut out for him. On CNN’s site the point is made that the film ignores Sea World’s contributions to research and conservation but what is undeniable is that Sea World’s treatment of Tillicum would have caused any human become enraged. He was treated as an object – not as a sentient being.

What came up for me was a phrase used by G.I. Gurdjieff, a spiritual teacher from the 20th century, who spoke about “organic shame”; this is the feeling (or perhaps lack of feeling) of compassion for other sentient creatures and our responsibility to treat them (pardon the pun) humanely.

At one point in the movie the dimensions of the pens where these large, intelligent animals are kept were described along with the fact that they typically swim 100 miles a day in the wild. It was like a cell in solitary – in prison.

Tillicum was kept in a pen with aggressive females who bit and raked him with their teeth at night because he was not from their “nation,” pod or family. He was also manually milked of sperm and used to breed like a farm animal.

It reminded me of my visit to Sea World with my parents in San Diego when I saw the exhibit with the penguins, with the tags on their fins, and it reminded me of a concentration camp.

(My mother, who knew about this from personal experience, did not enjoy the visit).

So how does this relate to gun violence?

Think about a young man who has been conditioned from virtually birth to objectify women in a certain sexual way but encounters only women in the “real world” who are conditioned to want men of certain status, relegating him to a life of continuous sexual frustration.

Due to his conditioning, a “normal” relationship to a woman who does not come from a Bond movie or beer commercial is impossible. Further he has been abused and/or bullied for years, and his job has been downsized our outsourced.

For CNN to wonder about the “motives” of such an individual when he goes bonkers and shoots up a mall or an airport is what is insane – not so much his behavior.

Certainly only 1% of the population may succumb to these pressures and manifest mental health issues. Since no professional care is available and they have no real family, they go what is known as “postal.”

But that is enough to create sufficient headlines to fuel the fantasies of more of these people.

I would submit, however, that what we have in this country is not so much a gun problem, but a reality problem where love is concerned.

First of all, love is not romantic sexual consummation, as pleasurable as that may be. It isn’t the conquests in a James Bond film or a week in Monte Carlo on a private jet with Fabio, drinking champagne and being “fabulous.”

It cannot be acquired or purchased – it must be lived consciously.

We don’t have a lack of knowledge or information “about love” – we have a poverty of Being.

My parents had their problems, but they knew how to love without Dr. Phil or Oprah. They were loving, they modeled love, and they manifest generosity. They came from a loving community and built a loving home.

Every institution and business in this country claims to be about “love” – and “family” and “community” but for many of us those experiences, when closely examined, feel very empty.

And it’s not just men. Women who have bought into the superwoman myth and tried to “have it all” with the “man of their dreams” also often feel empty and short changed. They are not generally armed, however.

Let’s look deeper.

Every “comedy” show on television has a laugh track accompanying people ridiculing and humiliating one another. Every family comedy is built on deception and duplicity.

Any boy on a little league team who has a coach that suggests that “fooling the umpire or referee” is part of “winning has the same revulsion inside, until it is conditioned out of him.

This is organic shame – or conscience.

Something in us knows better. Something in us knows there is something objectively Higher that we have tacitly ignored. We can discover it in ourselves if we look deeply and honestly, and we can even find it “scientifically” in the world if we’re vigilant and determined.

We know that ultimately we bear responsibility for our own inner world, even if we hide it from others successfully.

And we know that we are not on a random inert ball of rock hurtling through a lifeless universe, but that we are living souls having a human experience that implores us to live truly lovingly – not with lip service or TV segments on “making a difference” but in our daily activities and interactions with other humans and yes, sentient beings.

We cannot continue to abdicate this responsibility and survive. Indeed our oceans are dying and many species on which we depend, due to the far vaster Intelligence of Nature, are also nearly extinct.

Nature does not guarantee us a future – and certainly not one for our children.

It’s time to wake the fuck up.

Science of Mind – For Real

I opened my eyes from my morning meditation and on the nearby Persian rug, my cat was similarly reposed in her Sphinx position.

Our eyes met briefly and I was moved to think of what my friend Michael Jeffreys says so often, that “what is looking out of your eyes is the same thing that is looking out of mine.” I had never completely bought into this idea because clearly our emotions and thoughts (the content of what we might call consciousness, even between twins) are clearly different.

But of course the deeper question is: what is thinking? And what is aware of our thoughts? (Another thought (can’t be thinking…), or perhaps “something else” entirely?)

We understand that our brains (and perhaps even our cells) record these experiences as memories, but how does all of this happen? And how is it that my cat and I seem to have experiences (live, as it were) and yet the laptop on which I write this, as intelligent as it may be, has never had a thought or presumably an experience?

These are questions that conventional science generally ignores as “unknowable” but with advances in neuroscience, biology and quantum physics, we seem to be getting closer – at least in terms of noticing that these issues form the very boundaries of our ability to know anything for certain.

And yet certainty, as a result of investigation, is the basis of our science, despite the fact that what we knew for certain only 50 years ago has changed or been proved wrong.

I believe that the next frontier of science is precisely what Eckhart Tolle calls “no thing” – nonmaterial energy or even, dare I say it, pure intelligence.

To me the true nature of Life, what some call Consciousness, Being, Awareness or even God, is the most interesting and compelling subject of all. I have always sensed that there is “something else” besides what we can tangibly see or understand, and most recently I have discovered numerous other teachings that suggest that it is Everything (David Bohm) and it is also “Me.” (Mooji)

This Thursday I will be privileged to attend an event that brings together some of the greatest minds in this field. SAND, or Science and Nonduality in San Jose, held this year at the luxurious Dolce Hayes Mansion will be a forum for discussion of these issues from a scientific perspective.

And what is “Nonduality”? Duality is the structure of our minds – we judge and think in zeroes and ones, opposites, hot and cold, yes and no, etc.

So Nonduality is whatever might be the basis for our minds, beyond that structure, and therefore beyond the conditioning that separates us from truth.

This again is the area that conventional science avoids so it will be fascinating to approach these issues, which have turned some scientists (Einstein) into mystics who have refused to simply use the word God, or supernatural theories, to explain what is.

There are those who say that the ONLY thing we know for sure is “I am” – we are here – and that there seems to be something which we call “Mind” which knows this. Everything else can be “deconstructed” logically or disproven.

A close friend introduced me to the work of Ernest Holmes, who actually started a teaching called, literally, the Science of Mind, which describes a power present in nature that we can use.

Others talk about energies, “the Force” and of course others (Tao, Christ, and so on).

One of my favorite authors, Eckhart Tolle, writes that there is an intelligence far greater than the one we attribute to our thoughts which runs our breathing, digestion, circulation and for that matter, all of life. In fact we have discovered this as a code far more complex than anything humans have programmed –DNA.

But again, conventional science has avoided all of this until recently, and organized religion has claimed to have the “answers”. This week in San Jose I will get what Michael calls “the latest.”

I will be writing about this conference for Collective Evolution and sharing my own thoughts, and I can’t wait to get started.

The Challenge of Unconsciousness

Perhaps the biggest challenge one faces is to remain conscious in the face of unconsciousness.

Consciousness, characterized by openness, discernment and empathy can quickly dissolve when the violence, irrationality obtuseness of another person or bureaucratic system trigger deeply rooted automatic responses to protect and assert one’s deeply conditioned “identity.”

Noticing these instances repeatedly can begin to create a space in which everything is recognized as “naturally perfect” and the degree of unconsciousness experienced begins to abate.

In this space, rest, relaxation, silence and attention to breath serve to gradually envelope the remaining unconscious energy—or not. Some manifestations of unconsciousness are impervious to the influence of reason or love; they are best avoided, ignored or finessed. Sometimes unconsciousness must even be met with conscious force, but never out of fear or “personal” anger but simply as a means of survival of the present form.

How does one recognize the existence of consciousness in contrast to its opposite? Trick question: it has no opposite. As Eckhart Tolle says, “the opposite of death is not Life, it is birth.” Life, Consciousness or Reason has no opposite.

True consciousness is apparent in its impartiality and impersonality, its support of life and natural functions, and its mirroring of the intelligent aspects of Nature — including the mathematical principles of Phi (growth – Golden Mean – Fibonacci sequence) and symmetry (Pi). Another way to express this is a conscious movement toward love over fear.

But consciousness operates beyond the thinking brain—it is felt when every cell of every organ works harmoniously with the external world, and no differentiation begins to emerge between what is “within” and “without.” The individual self still functions as part of this dynamic but only to serve reciprocal energies passing through within the moment, and in sacred submission to a much higher Intelligence.

This equilibrium is a state of joy – as opposed to the conditioned “happiness” one anticipates in the fulfillment of an externally programmed “goal.” It comes with the acceptance of the moment as it unfolds without judgment.

What is eventually noticed is that this nameless quality of consciousness precedes Everything; without it Existence could not Be. In the face of this traditional science crumbles in the same way that rationality simply surrenders when one looks up as an infinite night sky.

One does not need to know it as “God”. One only need feel it as Awe.