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.

 

 

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Money and the Meaning of Life – Jacob Needleman

 

“God gently reassures him [Man] that the deepest contradictions of human life are not to be solved but to be lived in full consciousness of their contradictoriness.”

— Jacob Needleman writing in “Money and the Meaning of Life” (226) quoting Isma’il Al-Faruqi, “On the Ethics of the Brethren of Purity” – Muslim World, July, 1960

Needleman continues “What is most necessary for man and what is given to him in abundance are experiences, especially experiences of the forces within him. This is his most essential food, his most essential wealth. If man consciously receives all of this abundance, the universe will pour into him what is called life in Judaism, spirit in Christianity, light in Islam, power in Taoism.”

To me, the key word here is “consciously” — to “consciously receive” does not mean to hungrily seek and acquire (or to visualize material wealth) — but rather to accept what IS with gratitude and awe. In Needleman’s terms this is the true meaning of conscience, to maintain attention in both the outer and inner worlds—in deference to the struggle between them.

This level of consciousness may serve to reconcile the contradictions — but Life is to be trusted, certainly beyond the intellect and what Life offers is beyond the judgment of the human mind—and if one looks at the heavens at night—beyond its capacity to comprehend.

Needleman: “I would say that one needs money to live and survive in the outer world, to fulfill one’s obligations to the community and to nature, but that above and beyond this, the role of money is to serve as the instrument for getting understanding. We come to the bottom of civilization if instead of understanding we are going after ‘information.’ Information is the plastic version of understanding. Just as bank cards stand to gold, as easy and deadly credit stands to honest need, obligation and giving…”

Money and the Meaning of Life (excerpt)

An Awakened Moment

When I opened my eyes from meditation this morning my cat Eva was sitting silently by my left foot.

As I looked down at her in wonder I realized that in her stillness she was in perfect harmony with the natural world, her ears attentively taking in frequencies I could only imagine, and in her own way probably meditating as well. In that space she was also attuned to Life itself and I was grateful for how she had shown me to accept what is instead of what I thought should be – and the wisdom that I had accumulated in the three years we’ve been together…

And then she yawned – and I realized that once again my mind had tricked me into believing a bunch of crap.

I laughed out loud, and in that moment, I was free.

Juice Cleanse: A Nuclear Option for Leaving My Comfort Zone

I love food. I did not realize how much until I began this little experiment.

Recently I wrote about thinking of food as a software program; if DNA is code, then the zeroes and ones you put into your system through nutrition chemically effect the information in your cells and your system “operates” differently.

This was pounded into my head by my health coach and holistic healer friend Darko Juric who used another computer analogy – “garbage in, garbage out” to drive the point home.

This week I am going a step further – I am embarking on a three day “juice cleanse” to flush out my system and remove toxins – I suppose this would be the equivalent of a virus and malware scan and presumably a system “update” for my operating system.

Day 1: Made it to my afternoon nap with lots of thinking about lunch. Took an Epson salt bath which refreshed me and gave me a bit of energy but no desire to go out and need lots of trips to the bathroom. Have Wimbledon to watch on DVR in the evening but the conditioning of building my evening around dinner is a distraction.

I watched a movie I had recorded – “The Prestige” – about two rival magicians who try to top one another, and one of them seems to do “real magic” – using advanced science – he contacts the historical figure Nicolai Tesla whose knowledge was so advanced that he was ruined by his rival, Thomas Edison.

Day 2: When I woke up I felt like crap, but then I remembered that this is the same way I feel on most days when my eyes first open–lethargic. I got moving by going out and turning on the air conditioner and PC, and cleaning the litter box, and discovered that the first water of the day was Aloe Vera – Mental Clarity.

I drank and got liquid into my system and my mood improved. I continued my routine of starting slowly and giving myself space, and noticed that the absence of “real” food was again very conditioned, and mental. My body did not feel hungry or even that weak.

I considered “normal” food and realized that the main aspects I was missing was chewing and biting – which I would be able to do again in another day and a half. There was also the issue of “taste;” but again I knew of taste mainly as a mental “concept,” as my friend Michael Jeffreys would say.

Michael had also advised me to “be the scientist” and I was approaching this experience as an experiment: what if my body is sluggish due to toxins and sludge that a cleanse would flush out? Wasn’t it worth a try? And how would “I” react in the face of discomfort, fatigue, irritability and craving for a hamburger?

I soon realized that food or “meals” were simply conditioned intervals in my day that gave it meaning and structure. Sometimes they were a container for social interaction but often they simply “filled up” other kinds of emptiness which I could notice and accept – certainly for a couple of days.

The activity of preparing the meal, planning it and even shopping again gave my day structure.

(I realize that those who work a full schedule and raise families are saying, “what is with this guy, how does he have so much time to fill” – consider how these conditioned behaviors fill your day and what might happen if they were suddenly gone. Right now I am quite fortunate, but not long ago the sudden disappearance of these structures made me very anxious).

When I was tour guide I noticed how some people were very uneasy on “vacation” unless they planned many activities which they were able to report back on their return. Only a few just soaked in freedom.

In many ways these “meal intervals” are a pointer to how much reality is “pure information” – and again mirrors the “virtual or encoded” software of our computers. How is that, you say?

Well if our life were a computer animation that was “programmed”, these intervals would be the “key frames” between we unconsciously fill space with automatic activities unless we are “present.”

Without key frames, life becomes “meaningless” but as you “deconstruct” reality you realize that all such meaning is “overlayed” onto a Life that is simply empty of “real” meaning.

For example, where are the lines of latitude and longitude, or borders between countries or states, on our actual planet?

As we look deeper, as I am trying to do in this cleanse, more and more of our habitual understanding of a world that in of itself is devoid of actual “concepts” falls away, and yet a deeper clarity of a far greater intelligence emerges. My body functions without the habitual movements—I breathe, move, eliminate and even think. And most important, without the habitual interludes of distraction, Life keeps moving.

In another day I can have a “real” breakfast.

Day 3: Upon arising I went to the fridge to see what today’s juicery looked like and decided to start with a Lavender Phenol water – having no idea what it was. I found it delightfully refreshing and got me going, with the added realization that my cleanse would end today.

For “breakfast” I am having a concoction of Kale, Cucumber, Parsley, Celery, Spinach and Romaine, while dreaming of an omelet, pancakes or bagel, lox and cream cheese…

In terms of bodily awareness, I had a headache yesterday and it got worse when my DVR failed to record Wimbledon, and the Tennis Channel gave away the results at the opening of the evening broadcast.

But I could hear rumblings all through my digestive track as my stomach asked “WTF”?

But I have a sense that my intestines, colon and kidneys were expressing a bit gratitude that the usual crud was not going through the system, and that they were getting flushed and cleaned.

At least I hope that was what was happening.

It reinforced the sense that we identify so strongly with our thoughts (and in this case my thoughts are gravitating toward FOOD) that we forget the significance of our “hardware”.

Everything internal is connected by design (let’s not get into the religious argument here) – and of course the internal and external are basically mental constructs anyway. Seen from a higher perspective, our “physical” existence is part of EVERYTHING although we tend to sense ourselves as separate, vulnerable, frail and potentially victimized entities unless we support our “selves” with sustenance – food, drugs, alcohol, sex, relationships, money, power, fame and of course, food.

And the notion of food is far reaching—embracing the social aspect of meals and all of its ramifications.

Another powerful insight on this cleanse that my female friends don’t seem to appreciate is the potential healing quality of irritability and complaining. Dark humor brings an inner smile as I realize the absurdity of various situations, and the fact that I apparently chose to do this is incredibly ironic to me.

Of course that brings up the conundrum of “who” chose, and free will. That one will give me another headache.

A Proposed Hierarchy of Awareness

 

Thought has been getting a bad rap lately in various circles. Ever since Eckhart Tolle pointed out that there is an awareness that observes thought, so that a thought itself cannot be “me”, all hell has broken loose.

Of course a central problem is that we mainly think in words, and words form the basis for much of our conditioning, so the realization that the persistent thought “I am a mess” is not “me” is extremely helpful.

And as anyone who meditates knows, the ability to observe a series of thoughts and not attach or identify with them, creates “space” for other types of inquiry and experience. We become less and less caught up in any one thought or pattern of thinking.

Inevitably, however, the question of free will comes upas we try to discern whether the thought “I want to get up” causes the action that makes us go to the kitchen. My friend Michael Jeffreys, in his deconstruction, points out that “we don’t make any thought happen so what makes us think that a thought that happens of itself has any power?”

We can even go as far as to negate the reality of thought entirely when we again recognize that there is an awareness beyond thought, that can observe our thoughts, and it appears after the actions that seem to result from them have already occurred. Life never stands still.

We sometimes call this quality of mind “consciousness,” and there are teachings that maintain that the awareness of consciousness is in fact “all” that there is that we know for sure—that the brain does not take in but rather projects the outside world entirely.

It is difficult to refute such an argument, but when it’s time to go to Trader Joe’s it’s a lot easier to assume that we can get in the car and drive because we need food and it’s “out there.”

It seems to be much less painful to live “as if” there is a real world “out there” beyond our thoughts.

And it is also very helpful to accept the world as it presents itself, regardless of our thoughts. The entire Eastern concept of suffering, or Samsara, is based on the illusion created by an overly powerful mind that “thinks” it knows better than reality. We can see some of that in hubris of modern science which sometimes believes “Nature made a mistake” and “we” can do better.

So how can we approach these issues, using our flawed language, and understand them more deeply?

It helps immensely to look at the language we are using more closely. For example, teachers like Rupert Spira point out that when we examine the subject-object structure of the way we communicate with words, it is easy to see where the notion of “ownership” by a self came from – for every action (verb) there seems to be a doer (subject).

E.g., “I had a dream”…

Or when we say “it is raining”, what is the it? And again, when we say “I feel bad”, who is the I – when we discern that there is always an awareness that knows what is being felt, sensed or thought, we move “above” thought, as Eckhart Tolle says. When we numb ourselves with drugs or alcohol, or habitually follow conditioned patterns, we are “below” thought.

But what about thought itself. We may compare thought to software, and it has many similarities in that it seems to “trigger” events and solve problems. But where is this realization pointing?

But if we’ve used computers, we have confronted the following set of circumstances:

We have tried to perform a task, like create a report from data, and it doesn’t seem to work. We may even open the manual, but the language of the manual is obtuse and we cannot follow it. We try the task over and over but we are stuck in the realm of thought.

We think we are doing it right, and we’re attached to our concept of how it ought to be, but it is not working.

Then we go from thought to an idea that takes us “outside” of our “selves”. We’ll call an expert and we dial tech support.

This idea takes some courage to implement, as we all know. We might encounter more linguistic frustration by being connected to someone in India or the Philippines; but let’s assume we have an experienced friend who has used the software more extensively and has experienced the same issue.

This friend, or someone competent at tech support, takes us through the steps and now explains the operation from the point of view of the program (or the programmer who designed it).

Suddenly the entire process “makes sense” – we have gone from Thought – to Idea – to Insight or Realization.

In many ways we have taken our “selves” out of it in order to make space for the “solution” to unfold.

I had an epiphany along these lines last year, when I was invited to Chicago for a weekend to celebrate the marriage of a niece I had never met by a cousin with whom I had recently reunited and bonded.

I wanted to go but was anxious about getting out of my comfort zone and had many “thoughts” about what could go wrong. I could get stranded, delayed, lost, stuck on the tarmac, lose my stuff or massively inconvenienced, and these thoughts were inhibiting me from taking the trip.

When I expressed these fears (thoughts with a powerful self-attached) to Michael Jeffreys in the Santa Monica Eckhart Tolle Meetup Group, he said, “what if you went to Chicago (and none of that happened) and you had a really good time?”

This came from beyond my “self” and was a new Idea. It had not appeared among my thoughts previously, which had been all self/fear-based.

Suddenly I laughed (a common reaction to insight or realization) and said, “I never thought of that.”

Again, it seems to me that I had gone from a coarser, materially controlled sense of experience (a threatened self) to a broader perspective (someone else’s input or idea) to a “finer” realization of a much higher frequency (hence the insight and laughter): I did not know the outcome (and it could be favorable).

And in fact, I went into the trip without expectations and open, and had a blast.

A big part of the experience was the ability to meet every situation “fresh” – without the need to orchestrate or control the outcome – and accept it as it unfolded. In fact, when my cousin picked me up in the car in Chicago and told me I was going directly to dinner downtown, instead of to my hotel for a nap, I had no choice but to surrender… And nothing horrible happened.

I now find it immensely helpful to attempt to create space and use my awareness to discern the quality of thoughts that arise – and let them go unless they have the taste of an idea, or occasionally, an insight or realization.

As I’ve learned, ordinary thought is just sound in my skull, like the traffic going by, and frequently negative bringing up a “problem” that I didn’t even know I had.

And such negative, habitual low frequency thoughts can easily become obsessive.

But beginning to notice different qualities of the same energy as ideas or insights, and not “taking credit” for them as an “I”, gives me the ability to potentially effect a different outcome from one that other thoughts might have envisioned.

Is there a “me” freely doing any of this? I am now prone to dismiss this entire issue as a “word trap”.

And what about the use of the word “Divine” in the diagram above – certainly modern science would frown upon such language.

When I look out at the stars and galaxies, which can take me easily beyond thought or ideas, I have a profound realization – I don’t know. My language is incapable of grasping the “meaning” of what I perceive from “my” own limited perspective.

I can only fathom that there is Something far Greater than my own limited capacity to “think” that comprehends the vastness that is HERE and obviously EXISTS.

It is an experience beyond my mind to grasp. Neuroscience tells me it is all happening within my brain, so it in fact IS Mind, but hardly a mind for which “I” can take credit.

To “me” this becomes the ultimate insight or realization—awe and humility in the face of experience that none of my thoughts cannot comprehend, and that the “I” that I think I may be, and need to get to Trader Joe’s, is nothing in comparison to… this infinite and vast Intelligence called Life.

Going Beyond the “Yes-No” Computer

Biocentrism is a new “theory of relativity” or potential “theory of everything” — rethinking our view of reality relative to our biology – and finally inclusive of consciousness. According Dr. Robert Lanza and Robert Berman, the authors of ‘Biocentrism’: How Life Creates the Universe“, Life is primary, not the accidental occurrence of a random and lifeless universe.

Our biology therefore is the basis for our notion of reality, and our experience (which science has not accounted for) include a Consciousness that seems to exist outside of Space/Time – an infinite intelligence.

Let’s try to understand this experientially. We all use computers today, with software that “works” in the real world.

Let’s more deeply examine the computer analogy. We use a binary computer – only two values – 0 and 1 – the next value in the sequence which we think of as “2” is 10 in the binary system. 3 in the binary system is 11, 4 is 100, so that only the symbols “1” and “0” hold value. This is the power of “0” – we do not need infinite symbols to count until… the end…

For calculation we use the decimal system – we have separate symbols for 1 – 9, and then the next value is 10, and so on.

So why do we use the binary system in our computers? The most obvious answer is that each calculation is an electric switch, which is either on or off. This allows it to be electrically “switched” according to software instructions within the silicon chips that calculate at massive speed.

If you think of a light switch – there is no dimmer, or three level switch, which might represent a “trinary” system. That would be too complicated and expensive to manufacture.

(A “trinary” belief system – what a concept: The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost?)

It also turns out that “our” brains run on a binary system – sometimes known as “dualism”. We “see” things generally in opposites – Yin/Yang, masculine/feminine, on/off, good/bad or yes/no.

(So perhaps we created the computer software “in our image?”)

Language provides us with finer shades of meaning; instead of black and white, words let us think in areas of “gray”, but again our language is structured as binary – subject and object (and noun and verb).

This dupes us into “thinking” we comprehend reality as it is. But there is no such structure in nature – there are no subjects and objects – there is only movement. Nature, or Life, never stops. As Buckminster Fuller wrote, “I think I am a verb.” For a really clear presentation of this, I suggest watching almost any video by Rupert Spira.

So as we examine nature from a Biocentric perspective, and begin to integrate a sense of the meaning of Consciousness, the first thing we must take into account is the limitations imposed by our own dualistic (yes/no) brain – and its limited thought structure.

If we consider that a binary system of only two symbols is obviously restricted (we already know of another system of calculation which uses ten symbols before the Zero – our decimal system), can we begin to imagine as system with NO restriction.

Not a binary system, not a decimal system, but a system beyond the limitations of our thought entirely?

That would be the beginning of a recognition of the scale of Consciousness.

It is interesting to comprehend this in the realm of “prime” numbers. Primes are numbers only divisible by themselves and “1” and as you get larger their frequency obviously diminishes, but theoretically there would be an “infinite” number of prime numbers (there would always be something higher).

In a recent “thought experiment” on this topic I pointed out that with the help of supercomputers (still calculating using an on/off, yes/no, dualistic and binary system (like our brains), “the largest prime number has been calculated, each time as a result of more processing power. The record is currently held by 243,112,609 − 1 with 12,978,189 digits.”

If you try to conceptualize this it may give you a headache. (I suspect it would strain the processing power of your brain – but not the processing power, presumably, of Consciousness – stay with me here…)

Consciousness as has been speculated is beyond the space/time limitations of our brains – and truly “Infinite”.

Consider other so-called infinite constants—Pi, or the relationship between the radius and circumference of a circle – 3.14 etc. and Phi, or the “Golden Mean” or 1.618 – which is the ratio of the famous Fibonacci sequence of numbers where each equal to sum of the previous two numbers – each imperfectly (not a “whole” number) expressing a perfect relationship found in nature.

(Both relationships are also, apparently, expressed in many ancient monuments including most famously the Great Pyramid—could they be a sign of a deeper comprehension of Consciousness as Primary?)

To us, as Deepak Chopra has said, Infinite is “just a concept” of our yes/no brain for something truly unfathomable. Try grasping infinite by going out and looking at the stars and trying to figure out what is “outside”. You cannot mentally do it. It strikes you in your heart, gut and body.

In his recent Workshop on “What is Enlightenment?” Michael Jeffreys made the interesting point that Infinity “is not just one more thing–higher or bigger” – such as the next largest prime number or decimal place, and then the next one, and then just one more…

Infinite would = ALL. EVERYTHING. That is Consciousness.

Compared to our own supercomputers, or even our brain, both running binary “code” – and remember that our DNA is also “code” – Consciousness would be beyond any limitations of a binary, decimal or million or trillion-based system.

The “base” of Consciousness would literally be incalculable.

Our science, limited also by dualistic and binary thought, has finally come up against this on the quantum level, where space/time makes no “sense” without an Observer – or the reference point of Consciousness –the present moment.

To truly understand Nature and Reality, we must (as Biocentrism suggests) begin to comprehend the “scale” of Consciousness, or the basis for our very existence – and of course the word is merely a pointer to the reality of what Life is… “biologically” or “organically”.

The question becomes, can our current “religion” (belief system) of science, which assumes our existence as a given and absolute perspective (because Consciousness is too complicated to consider), begin to work objectively with this scale of being?

After all, the Infinite does exist. Look into the sky at night. And look into yourself and notice what has been “seeing” everything. It is not your thoughts or your emotions.

As Eckhart Tolle says, it is something the mind cannot understand (as a binary yes/no) system.

It is “no-thing”

It is what some have called God or Source. And it is what science and Biocentrism are beginning to comprehend as an infinite intelligent energy that is simply here and EVERYTHING: Consciousness.

 

Biocentrism – the New Relativity

Recently I was introduced to the work of Robert Lanza, a respected biologist and researcher in stem cell therapy who is also an executive with Advanced Cell Technology, a biotech company in Massachusetts.

Although he may not refer to his concept as “biophysics,” Lanza effectively opens the floodgates to a scientific discussion of the main obstacle facing science, philosophy and psychology today:

“There is nothing in modern physics that explains how a group of molecules in a brain creates consciousness. The beauty of a sunset, the taste of a delicious meal, these are all mysteries to science — which can sometimes pin down where in the brain the sensations arise, but not how and why there is any subjective personal experience to begin with.

And, what’s worse, nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter. Our understanding of this most basic phenomenon is virtually nil. Interestingly, most models of physics do not even recognize this as a problem.”

Deepak Chopra refers to such aspects of experience as “qualia”, and echoes Lanza’s remarks in terms of conventional science’s reluctance to address the subject of consciousness – or the ground level of our actual experience.

Interestingly the TED conferences, where Lanza has also spoken, recently removed two lectures by other speakers who speculated about the nature of human consciousness in ways their colleagues deemed “unscientific.”

Of course, even a cursory knowledge of Quantum Physics tells us that experiments on a molecular level have shown that our measurement or observation of a phenomenon is an integral part of its manifestation – we cannot take ourselves out of the process and view it “objectively.” (Lanza discusses the famous “slit experiment” also seen in “What the Bleep” that demonstrated that an electron can act as a particle in one situation, and as a wave in another, depending upon observation).

I addressed this issue in a blog I wrote some time ago proposing, lightheartedly, a new theory of “Bio-Relativity” where reality is based on a formula such as M = C/P – where Mind is a function of consciousness based on physiology. I made the point that it is easy to speculate on the different reality experienced by a dolphin, that “sees” through sonar, or a dog, that “sees” through nostrils thousands of times more sensitive than our own.

Dr. Lanza uses the term “Biocentrism” and argues eloquently for an opening within the scientific community to accept the obvious fact that our own consciousness is the lens through which we see everything – so that the religion of scientific objectivity is unfortunately revealed as flawed.

Everything is truly open to question when this reality “lands”, as my friend Michael Jeffreys likes to say.

Michael goes so far in “deconstructing” what we think we “know” by showing that all we really see are colors and shapes—calling something a “pen” for example already introduces “an overlay” of conceptual judgment that the pen itself is not.

In fact, what IS really out there, or “in here”? Michael tells the story of watching a video of a young boy singing “Amazing Grace” on YouTube, as a tribute to his mother who died of cancer, and how it brought tears to his eyes.

When he “came back” Michael realized that the “reality” of what had happened, and evoked such emotion, was the movement of a set of pixels on his computer monitor—nothing more.

All of the emotional content was really supplied by himself. Someone else might have reacted to the video completely differently or not at all.

I recently had a similar insight through a different set of pixels. Financial advisors have convinced me that without taking a bit of risk in the stock market, I will die poor if I live past a certain age. So, I have made some small speculative investments in companies represented by letters like “AAPL” and now, every morning, I can watch how my mood can be affected by seeing the numbers next to those symbols—if the color is green I am happy. Red, not so much.

In this way it becomes obvious that we literally (and I say that deliberately because language is such a key part of it) – we LITERALLY create our own word and the judgments about it that form our “qualia” or experience.

In therapy I began to understand my conditioning, for example, around money being safety, such that a set of numbers on a computer screen could make me feel secure or anxious.

If I pulled back, and observed my “Self”, I quickly realized that my day to day (or present) experience is no way reflected by that number on a computer screen – just as Michael Jeffreys had us realize that we our “selves” shaped our own reaction to a set of pixels moving on a screen.

Taken to a logical conclusion, everything and I do mean EVERYTHING is truly “us” – or our “Consciousness.” This is what mystics mean when they “merge” with the All – by deconstructing their selves they are left with only one Mind or Intelligence that is EVERYTHING.

The common reaction to this is, “but how can you live like this?” To me it is enormously helpful to objectively begin to witness how my conditioned “I” shapes my experience, like the suffering I can endure if AAPL goes down. But the world itself has not changed one iota. If I hug my cat and put my attention on her, the stock market is no more.

A famous quote that gives context to these realizations is “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T. S. Eliot – from his work, “The Wasteland”.

That is the problem for this kind of work – when we begin to see the “overlay” we begin to lose interest in what is “out there” and like Dr. Lanza, focus our attention on our “Selves”.

Others may see this is self-absorbed; often they want us to take great trips or go on adventures, but to us, the greatest adventure is to discover, as Eckhart Tolle says, the “structure” of our thoughts instead of working with their “content.”

Some have called Dr. Lanza one of the great scientific minds of our time, and with his impact on biological research, and the work of others in the area of neuroscience, I do believe that inroads can be made in truly understanding “the nature of Consciousness” – even from the “inside.”

In the meantime it is helpful, when stressed, to remember the immortal words of the comic strip Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”