Absolute Relativity: Thoughts for April Fools Day

One of the joys of April Fools Day is getting “punked” – sometimes. Three years ago a web site sent me an email congratulating me that a video I had posted had gone “viral” – I thought I was famous for about an hour before an email from a friend revealed the “truth” — and deflated me once again.

The key to the experience is that the rug of “knowing” is pulled out from under us. So much of our existence is lived on bedrock of certainty about things, which when revealed as illusion, can be terrifying…. Or, upon further reflection, quite liberating…

I remember feeling relatively “safe” before the financial crisis of 2008 hit. Then, suddenly I feared that the savings I had accumulated would be rendered worthless and I would be destitute. I was certain that I was entering my father’s nightmare of hyper-inflation and anarchy…

Obama’s election temporarily appeased me but watching the news continued to fuel anxiety. I dealt with it as best I could until I found myself in an Eckhart Tolle discussion group, led by Michael Jeffreys.

Eckhart Tolle is the author of the Power of Now, and I hoped that by being “present” I could alleviate some of the demons that were haunting me.

When Michael asked a simple question he turned to me for the first time (we didn’t know each other) when he asked, “So, can you accept not knowing?”

Our eyes met and I realized that this was a core issue for me, and I shook my head fiercely and emphatically “no”. That was really the beginning of some amazing insights.

I had to confront the fact that I had bought into the (unquestioned) belief that I should and ought to “know” many things – how to earn a decent living, plan for the future, take care of myself and loved ones, and so on.

I should be “in control.”

And yet, right then and there, I had to admit to myself that I had to surrender – that ultimately there were many many many things I did not and could never know.

“I” was quite literally the April Fool.

Michael and I have had many conversations since about what we can and cannot know and as we delve into issues of philosophy and neuroscience, and “who” we really are, many certainties are peeled away, layer by layer.

This struck me yesterday when I saw the trailer for an upcoming documentary , Holy Rascals, on Facebook. There was a rabbi and the film maker, apparently a Christian, and with them was the subject of the segment, Prasanna.

In the conversation they explored what you could know, and the rabbi, after citing his “identity” as a Jew and a teacher admitted that as Prasanna suggested, there was only one thing he knew absolutely – for sureand that was that at that moment he existed.

Every other “truth” was relative; namely it was a thought and essentially an assumption.

What was interesting is that so much of what we think we “know” has been taught to us by religion and other institutions; but these are all easily revealed as relative truths based on concepts. Even our name is a thought or idea. There is only one thing you know for certain. You are here now.

Whether through sophistry or direct argument, it can be demonstrated that everything besides the fact that you exist is ultimately a “relative” truth or idea.

Michael does another exercise which is to try to locate physically where in your body “you” reside. Many of us immediately point to a spot behind our eyes – ostensibly our brain. That’s because our idea about who we are – the sound in our skull – thoughts – are so compelling and real. (The key to this exercise by the way is to actually do it, and become quiet – not to think about doing it). You may well discover something surprising….

But of course you could be comatose or lobotomized and still “exist.” Your breathing, digestion, circulation and other functions would still “operate” – in fact so would some parts of your brain.

(As Eckhart Tolle suggests, it is a much higher “knowing” intelligence that truly controls those functions).

And you might even still dream… But as Eckhart Tolle also points out so well, “you” are what notices the thoughts that seem to define you – and that becomes your conditioned sense of self.

From the time someone calls you by name and you experience yourself as a separate being, this “concept” is reinforced over and over again until it becomes “second nature”.

Of course, the ultimate illusion of Descartes, that it is our thought that defines us (“I think therefore I am”) is the basis of all of our science, but it is quickly reversed upon any true self inquiry.

The “I am” that we think we are seems to be a “thing” – but the knowing is, as Eckhart Tolle calls it, “no thing.” It is rather a sense of “being here right now” – the only absolute thing we know.

Many of these other “concepts” seem incontrovertible based on our experience and survival – for example, if there is a cliff and you walk off it, you will die. Taking this as a “relative” truth and testing it for yourself can have dire consequences.

(Your absolute truth, your existence, may come to an absolute end).

So as we become “educated” and conditioned we gather within us a storage unit of such relative truths that we are ever more fearful to test through our own experience.

For example, going back to my own experience, the safety of saving money was a deep truth taught to me by my father which I held sacred.

Suddenly this truth was exposed as very relative – as long as money is “valued” then it can provide me with a measure of safety – but it can be quickly devalued as was threatened by the banks’ collapse in 2008.

(It is interesting to ponder that some civilizations like native Americans had no “concept” of property or owning land, which made Sitting Bull sign treaties he simply did not comprehend; of course when those contracts were enforced by the people who had thought them up, his relative and absolute reality ended.)

And indeed my father had the relative safety of a stable economy pulled from underneath him by the Nazis in 1939. It was the main reason he indoctrinated me with this fear – to keep me safe.

And like the cliff I assume will kill me, in this case the financial cliff fear may keep me safe for a while—but seeing that ultimately it is an unknown is the only way to stave off immobilizing fear.

But isn’t an admission of what we don’t know even scarier? It was at first – that’s why I shook my head so fiercely when Michael asked me that question.

But “digging deeper” as my friend Michael likes to say, it is actually quite liberating to recognize the true vastness of what we do not know, and drop the burden of illusory control.

It is stepping off this cliff, literally not figuratively, that can lead to a much richer existence, because it frees us from the thoughts and conditioned fears that truly imprison us.

I was watching a NOVA special on the meteor that hit Russia last month, and if I focused on this, as watching CNN would have me do, I would be terrified every morning when I got up.

Like the fear of a financial crash, the fear of a meteor hitting is a thought. Another thought can also make me realize that “science” thinks this only happens every 70 years, so I am “relatively safe.”

But the only absolute knowledge that I have is that all of these thoughts are relative truths, noticed as thoughts and ideas by the only “me” that truly exists – that which notices all of this.

I can certainly gauge other relative truths, and I will do so – such as when I turn the faucet, there will be water to drink.

But as the folks in New Jersey and Staten Island discovered recently, even that relative truth–that we take for granted so much of the time, can instantly be disrupted.

So we know that our time as “being here” in this physical form is limited and quite tenuous, and yet here we are. So while we’re here, the only absolutely essential response would be awe, and gratitude.

Everything else is a thought – many conditioned – many leading to relative fears. Let them go.

Happy April Fools Day.

 

 

 

Tribute to my Father

It is truly amazing to consider that if my father were alive today, this would be his 113th birthday.

He was a teenager when World War I broke out and always said that it was the dissolution of the monarchy of Austria-Hungary (eerily reminiscent in hindsight of the Kennedy assassination(s) that marked the end of one America and the beginning of another) – and that end to the monarchy in Vienna and of course the Communist revolution in Russia shaped the techno-corporate world of today.

He first came to the United States from Prague in 1934 as part of a trade delegation – he worked as an economist and bank executive as Hitler rose to power in Germany. He raised a family (my half-brother, his first wife) and prior to that, as a bachelor, travelled to the French Riviera with his best friend, the famous German actor Curt Goetz, and Valerie von Martens, a Czech actress whom he introduced to Goetz and who became his wife; they eventually spent the war years (WWII) in Hollywood before retiring in Lichtenstein. I remember vaguely meeting him and spending a Christmas at his home.

My father was imprisoned by the Germans and survived the war in Therezienstadt with his first wife and son, and his mother, my grandmother. After the war he divorced his wife and gained custody of his son (draw your own conclusions) and met my mother. At the time Prague was under the occupation of the Communists and when my mother was pregnant my father managed to get us to Vienna without governmental permission.

He was set to join us just before my birth, when my brother ran away to his mother and my father asked his own mother (my grandmother who I never knew) what he should do. She told him to go – that he had a new family – and he left his son in Prague to join us in Vienna.

We arrived in New York after six years waiting for papers in Vienna (where he was terrified of being abducted and returned to Prague as a defector – we always remained in the American sector).

My father had no job and went to night school to learn English. Neither his sister nor brother could or would really help and he worked as a ski salesman at Macy’s at age 55, lacing boots on his knees, the only job he could get because he was from Austria and they assumed he knew skis – my father of course never skied a day in his life. He played billiards and smoked cigars in cafes.

From this background my father eventually became the treasurer and confidant of the CEO of a large international incentive travel company, so that he was able to see me bar mitzvah and attend Tufts University. In 1971 when I graduated college, he arranged for me to go to Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco as a tour guide. I kept that “job” for 7 years, while he encouraged me to travel the world and ride it out because I would never have such an opportunity again.

During this period we returned to Vienna for a few days where my father reunited with his first son, Hansl. As one might imagine, it was a terribly emotional time and the only time I can remember my father crying – which he maintained was due to my brother’s poor health. My brother returned to Prague where he worked as a manager of musicians, and my dad was proud of his survival skills.

During college I remember coming home and going to religious services to please my father, and getting into political and philosophical arguments. I once said to him, “I don’t need money. Money doesn’t matter to me,” and my father carried those words to his grave hoping that he had taught me that financial responsibility was a requisite for safety in an unsafe world.

From these beginnings my father managed to win a settlement in a ten year struggle with the German government for his pension and my mother’s pension, and when I moved to Los Angeles he assured me that if I was “settled” he would retire.

Since my father had taken the subway every morning for about 25 years and worked harder than anyone I ever knew, I took this with many grains of salt. However, after I lived here in L.A. for a year, my parents visited and we went to La Jolla for the weekend. That Monday afternoon when I spoke to my father, he informed me that “just like that” he had put down a deposit on an apartment “near the tennis courts” and he was retiring and they were moving to San Diego.

He survived one of the earlier heart bypass surgeries to take daily walks and play bridge in his beloved La Jolla until his death about six lovely years later in 1986. My mother would say lovingly that “he is retired, but I’m not,” when he returned form the bridge club where other widows clamored for his company and attention.

As I write this I am tearing up because besides all of this, my father was incredibly kind and very affectionate and I can still remember driving into La Jolla and he would pretend to just be out for a walk, but we both knew he was out waiting for me, and when he saw my car he would raise his walking stick into the air with glee. He had a rich mane of white hair through which my mother and I loved to run our hands.

We would sit for hours talking about everything and anything (even women, believe it or not) and he was the wisest and most intelligent man I ever met. He was also my best friend and I miss him every day.

But today the scale of the span of his life, the wisdom he accumulated, and the depth of his achievements and love, are known to me in a way I could have never imagined.

I suppose we will be reunited in due course.

 

Play-by-Play and the Magic of Mute

A few years ago I invited a few friends over to watch an “important” Laker game and when a commercial came on and, as I normally do, I pressed the mute button on the remote.

Suddenly the conversation stopped, the room went quiet, and they asked what I thought I was doing.

I always mute the commercials I said, and they seemed a bit disturbed but ok until I forgot to resume the audio for the game itself. “Leave the sound on!” they demanded, so they could continue to hear the “important” commentary.

I was thinking about this in light of work I’ve done in self-observation, and specifically what Eckhart Tolle calls “the voice in the head.” According to Eckhart, we identify with this stream of talking in our heads to the point of madness, thinking it is “us” — when in fact it turns out that it’s simply a bunch of conditioned sound that is, for the most part irrelevant – very much like the play by play of sports commentators.

Let’s remember a couple of things.

First, sports play by play began with RADIO. No one could see the baseball game and the sounds were “recreated” with different audio effects while the announcer described the action. It was like being blind and we needed the announce to “see” the game.

When TV came aboard, it was still quite helpful because picture quality was poor and the screen was small. Then jock “experts” were added to the mix to provide “color commentary.”

Now I watch the Lakers on high definition with a view of the action almost as good as being courtside; I can see the sweat dripping off their noses.

Besides the commercials, I can easily mute the commentary because I don’t need the announcer to tell me “What a dunk!” because you know what? — I AM WATCHING THE GAME. I saw what happened and I do not need it interpreted.

I really noticed the difference a few years ago when the Lakers’ cable channel offered “courtside view” – which had multiple cameras and microphones at courtside WITH NO PLAY BY PLAY.

(It wasn’t repeated – it was either too expensive, or it never caught on).

But what a revelation. It was really like being there – you could hear the comments of the players under their breath (yes they were swearing), you could hear dribbling and the sneakers squish on the floor, and you could hear the actual crowd sounds – awesome.

So I was thinking about what if I were in a quiet park and two guys got into a fight – and I watched and there was no play by play – “he throws a right and a left, he goes down, he gets up” – all of it completely superfluous because again, this is LIFE and I am SEEING what is happening…

I would truly be “present” to the situation – until my mind began its inevitable interpretation.

Of course human thought has evolved for some time. But it is really our new technology that has introduced this dysfunctional, invasive persistent new audio track into our lives…

We can see it on CNN, when a debate is not about what is said by the candidates, but by the commentary of the pundits. Even the President can’t give a speech that is simply taken in by the public, it needs to be analyzed.

Further, everywhere I go I must listen to music – in elevators, stores, supermarket, etc.

If I get into my car, I notice myself turning on the radio or CD player. When I come home I reach for the laptop to check my email. Now I have a smartphone and email and text follows me everywhere.

As someone pointed out, they don’t call it “programming” for nothing. Can this be healthy?

Certainly the “voice in the head” was part of our evolution in a valuable way – “Hey, there may be tigers out there” was probably a useful message back in the jungle.

But as Eckhart Tolle says, probably 90% of what goes through our minds as self-talk now is useless drivel.

Don’t take my word for it – pay attention to it and you will see for yourself — and more important —

You will notice that most of what passes for “information” is worrisome and negative. This is the result of the mainly cautionary conditioning (programming) we receive growing up from our well-intentioned parents and teachers—not to mention the “leaders” of our society.

Fear, dread and worry are our most basic operating system. We need to download some new programs.

Just as you don’t want or need someone talking to you while you’re driving (watch out over there) because it’s distracting and needless you don’t need the constant stream of commentary that passes for “significant information” calling attention to itself in your skull.

It is detrimental to your mental health.

Technology can be lauded for one thing – bringing this aspect of our psychology to our attention – and providing the example of a mute button.

What is immensely helpful is the growing capacity to also “mute” the brain’s mental chatter.

First, monitor the tone of the inner voice. If you have a particularly negative play by play announcer going on in your skull, it’s not surprising that your irritation will be projected out into the world and lead to unfortunate consequences. It may surprise you to discover that you have no friends. (Unless you live in New York where this is considered “normal”).

More important, when the voice is quiet, you will notice other things, both inside and outside. You will see that you are actually breathing, digesting and sensing automatically and miraculously – you don’t need the chatter for most important functions. And when you begin to intimately sense how other parts of your body actually feel, they will relish the attention and respond with friendliness and well-being.

You will also listen more attentively to others and begin to notice significant aspects of your environment that you hadn’t even bothered with before: sun, clouds, ocean, birds, flowers, and cats. There will even be space in your mind for other thoughts and feelings, often expanding your potential and horizons.

Ideas may even come in from other sources that you hadn’t expected. Some good, some useless, but as the new observer of all of this, “you” will have a choice whether to give a thought attention or “mute” it.

My friend Michael Jeffreys likes to say that your chatty mind is both the fire chief, and the arsonist – it first sets the “fire” – a problem arises – and then demands it be extinguished – solved.

But as Eckhart Tolle rightly points out, neither the arsonist nor the fire chief is really “you.” You are what can notice this neurotic behavior.

When the arsonist informs you there’s a problem, “you” can actually evaluate and decide if it’s really a problem and you need to deal with it immediately, later, or at all.

Indeed, if there is a real fire, you’re going to get the hell out of there, trust me.

But for other “emergencies”, like someone pulling out coupons on the express lane at the market, or a “jerk” cutting you off in traffic, the abrupt disruption of your tranquility will be increasingly reduced, as will the risk of you getting murdered.

It’s like when the phone rings – and you rush to pick it up. Let the machine answer sometimes – the world will go on — and you retain a measure of control of your reactionary responses.

Eckhart suggests that a mass adoption of this sort of “presence” will have a healing effect on the entire planet, and well it might, because for one thing we’ll buy less shit we don’t need, and dump less plastic into the oceans.

One final thought—Krishnamurti and others have noted that when you name a bird you no longer really see the bird… The tendency to instantly label our experience separates us from life.

Don’t take my word for it. Experiment for yourself – try the mute button on your mind for a few days or a week and you’ll see – you won’t go back to the annoying “play by play announcer” except for focused moments of significant attention – like doing your taxes, satisfying your boss or arguing with your spouse.

The rest of the time your boss’ voice, your spouse’s voice and your own deranged prattle can subside and life can be experienced as it is – without color commentary.

“You” will magically reappear in your own life, and perhaps really see it and experience it for the first time.

 

 

 

Who Am I? A Morning with Jacob Needleman

This past Saturday morning I was fortunate enough to “attend” an online seminar by one of the most powerful writers and thinkers of our era, Jacob Needleman, author of An Unknown World.

This particular Webinar: “Introduction to Gurdjieff” was of particular interest to me because I had read not only many of Dr. Needleman’s books, but also much of the work of G.I. Gurdjieff, and his most famous student, P.D. Ouspensky, author of “In Search of the Miraculous.”

For those unfamiliar with these individuals, Gurdjieff was an enigmatic figure, a mystic and hypnotist who appeared in Russia in 1912 and attracted a devoted following of students who sought to “awaken” from the deeply conditioned sleep that the teacher claimed prevented true knowledge and consciousness. Gurdjieff later opened an academy in Paris and travelled to America where he again attracted noteworthy followers, including the wife of Frank Lloyd Wright, who himself became interested in Gurdjieff’s ideas and cosmology.

I became fascinated with this teaching in my twenties and it followed me throughout my life; one of the more interesting aspects of it is that it is not publicized and in fact one of the tenets has always been that it be kept hidden from those who did not possess a deep yearning to discover such truth. It is only in today’s world with the Internet that much of these concepts have come to light and been popularized (and perhaps distorted) – and components can also be found in the work of many other teachers including Anthony Robbins, Werner Ehrhard, Bagwam Rashneesh, Alan Watts, Wayne Dwyer and Eckhart Tolle, among many others.

Dr. Needleman has hinted at these ideas through his more mainstream philosophical works but I was particularly interested in how he would approach such a significant topic online, in the space of only two hours.

I had expected more of a historical account of Gurdjieff’s work and his ideas, but Dr. Needleman surprised me by suggesting that this work truly embodied what the philosopher Plato first called “Eros”, namely most deeply felt inner yearning for contact with the highest realities. I recall that in “In Search of the Miraculous” Ouspensky writes that in his inquiry there is first the identification of a deeply held yearning or wish to know something that becomes the most powerful motivating force of one’s life – answers to questions of the heart.

Therefore Dr. Needleman instead posed what he deemed to be the 10 most fervent Questions of the Heart (unanswerable by ordinary knowledge), and echoing part of “An Unknown World,” he suggested that a deep question is more important than a shallow answer.

In this context Dr. Needleman is saying that what Gurdjieff brought in his approach to these subjects is a probing faculty that takes into account the Western need for “answers” and addresses Western science as well—and yet finally approaches issues which science, until recently in neuroscience and quantum physics, has deemed the province of mysticism or religion (unscientific).

So then what are these Ten Questions? It is interesting to note that in many ways they are the questions a child will ask to the exasperation of elders when he or she begins he endless inquiry of “Why”…

1 Are we alone in the universe? In Gurdjieff’s cosmology and in Needleman’s latest book is the deeply held belief that the Earth is a living organism – not “like” a living organism (metaphor) but actually so, and it is only our deeply conditioned “scientism” that prevents our experiencing the world as such.

What is fascinating about these ideas to me is that they are not “religious” in the ordinary sense—there is no personal “higher Being” but rather a witnessing to the obvious reality of man’s scale within the cosmos that speaks to awe and mystery.

Another aspect of this question is the realization through direct experience we discover that, at the heart of the living universe is an intelligent power, which becomes accessible to us only if we penetrate our own deeply conditioned egoism (which suggests separation and the ability to know objectively apart from understanding the reality of our own consciousness).

Science has focused exclusively on outward directed experience—with the assumption that we are somehow separate from the experience – a subject experiencing objective reality.

It was Gurdjieff who opened Western man to the inquiry into the quality of our inner experience—”knowing the knower” – and beginning to examine the very source of conscious attention – by turning inward

A big part of this method is objective and “ruthlessly honest” self-observation, and the study one’s own illusions and self-deceptions.

2 Who am I?

With the process of self-observation come a series of shocks when we truly perceive how far we are from what we think we are. Here another kind of knowing emerges which awakens a capacity of attention that is more truly my Self – Dr. Needleman describes this as a “coming home” or presence.

Gurdjieff called this continuous process of inward attention Self Remembering – returning from the distractive illusions of the exterior world and coming back into where I really am.

One of the shocks of self remembering is the recognition of how distracted we are by the world, and how many different “I”‘s or “Self”s actually exist through our bodies and experience depending upon our circumstances, moods and illusions about life.

Here are the other deep questions to be considered. Facile answers are to be avoided; instead a deep inquiry into every aspect of these issues is encouraged.

3 Why do we live – what is the purpose of human life?

4 Why do we suffer?

Here Dr. Needleman identified 3 distinct type of suffering

1) Suffering of the ego (story – self imposed) [Identification – attachment]

2) Seeing the truth about myself (aware of my illusions, nothingness)

Intentional – redemptive suffering (therapy) Science is state specific

3) Injustice and loss – sorrow – the unavoidable circumstances that life will bring through intimate loss, death or war and rampant inhumanity.

5 Is death the end?

Here Dr. Needleman introduced the notion of an experience of time-lessness which exists in a different way – a different quality of time that is almost “vertical” as opposed to horizontal linear time, taking us into other dimensions beyond those of our ordinary sense. This brings up the question of a Soul which Gurdjieff claimed did not exist at birth but can only be developed through inner work and struggle.

As an aside it is my belief that this is the precisely the purpose of group work or intense body therapy which makes us confront our conditioned beliefs and “alchemically” change our own brains as we begin to “reprogram” our misconceptions about ourselves, about others, about our egos and the true scale of the world around us.

6 Why is there evil?

Here Dr. Needleman said that Gurdjieff suggested that “We cannot imagine what man can be.” Of course evil can make us aghast at the negative dimension of human nature, but “the development of true Conscience” can begin to develop our positive capacities.

7 What can I hope for (that is not just a fantasy)? Not merely (conditioned) self suggestion?

8 What can we really know? (we live in a world of appearances)

Gurdjieff said that we live on the surface of reality because we live on the surface of ourselves.

It is the discipline of self observation, sometimes ruthlessly honest, that can expose our illusions and bring us to deeper truth.

9 What ought we to do? Or is morality relative?

Is there a source of objective knowledge of values.

Gurdjieff wrote that in the deeper aspects of ancient art there is the chance to “digest” nourishing impressions that can lead to the experience of humility and awe that can develop conscience and an objective morality. But what that may be is often mired in human fantasy and everyone must discover such truth for him or herself.

10 How ought we to live?

Can I live more welcoming the difficult moments in order to study my own capacity for presence? We live in a world which worships ease and comfort and where discomfort of any kind is to be avoided as “wrong.”

Again all of this ultimately leads us back to self-knowledge and “presence” – a sense of connection to that which is real. To me the key here is that every individual must discover this for him or herself, no external “test” can measure reality from the dimension of scientific detachment – and it is only when I am fully present that I know it… with depth. It is not a “belief” – it is a certainty.

It was Gurdjieff’s assertion that this sort of work cannot be done alone and that it must be accomplished within a “School” – which he saw as not a fixed physical structure but rather a psychological set of conditions for awakening of conscience administered by those who were more advanced.

Of course determining the “qualifications” of such “teachers” is a difficult task in itself.

Through his writing I have always felt that Dr. Needleman has had the unique capacity to point the way to these truths, and to me the fact that his wisdom can be accessed from the comfort of my living room is a miracle.

I also made the effort to hear him personally on several occasions in the bay area. It is interesting to me that his latest book “An Unknown World” resonates so strongly with another work by a favorite of mine, Eckhart Tolle, namely “A New Earth.”

It is my belief that deeply taking in and opening to any of the ten questions posed above and exploring them within oneself, and with like-minded souls, is among the most satisfying tasks one can undertake. It is the essence of philosophy.

Source Code

From Wikipedia: In computer science, source code is any collection of computer instructions (possibly with comments) written using some human-readable computer language, usually as text.

As we now know, our own DNA can be “decoded” (sequenced) by supercomputers to reveal its “meaning” as a series represented by four letters of our alphabet, A, C, T and G (representing the organic substances that carry out its “instructions”).

In the book Biological Physics (Updated Edition), Philip Nelson refers to a similar insight into our own nature (biology) by a rather impressive figure in human history. On page 89 he writes:

“3.3.1 Aristotle weighs in

Classical and medieval authors debated long and hard about the material basis of the facts of heredity. Many believed that the only possible solution was that the egg contains somewhere inside itself a tiny but complete chicken, which needed only to grow. In a prescient analysis, Aristotle rejected this view, pointing out, for example, that certain inherited traits can skip a generation entirely. Contrary to Hippocrates, Aristotle argued:

‘The male contributes the plan of development and the female the substrate. . . . The sperm contributes nothing to the material body of the embryo but only communicates its program of development . . . just as no part of the carpenter enters into the wood in which he works.’

Aristotle missed the fact that the mother also contributes to the “plan of development” but he made crucial progress by insisting on the separate role of an information carrier in heredity. The organism uses the carrier in two distinct ways:

– It uses the software stored in the carrier to direct its own construction; and

– It duplicates the software, and the carrier on which it is stored, for transmission to the offspring.”

Here Nelson refers to the “program” noted in our cellular makeup by Aristotle (who presumably did not know about DNA) as “software.”

With the modern perspective of a user of computer software, with even a rudimentary understanding of the nature of code, we can somehow sense that what is being referred to here is a mental property in nature that is not materially present in the cell.

As Aristotle analogously suggested with his reference to the carpenter – “just as no part of the carpenter enters into the wood in which he works” – it is the mental intention of the programmer that lives on through software in an inanimate object (the computer) just as it is apparently some sort of mental intention (consciousness?) that is at work in our own nature.

Is this the same level of mind as what we might call our mental self? It is hardly likely, since this rational faculty remained unaware or disregarded consciousness itself as science developed its stranglehold on our current world view. And yet the Cartesian notion that “I think, therefore I am” has identified human thought as the preeminent and superseding aspect of our true nature and its highest manifestation.

Eckhart Tolle has written eloquently about the limitation of this perspective, noting that the intelligence that instructs our biology (expressed through DNA) is far more intelligent than the verbal inner chatter that we take our “selves” to be.

And yet any such notion of the reality of a consciousness beyond “our own” has been discarded by science as “unscientific.” As Jacob Needleman writes in An Unknown World:

“Can science, which originally took its strength by rigorously excluding consciousness from the field of its investigation—can such science now understand the very element it initially ruled out as an object of study?” (129)

Or as Eckhart Tolle puts it, can the human mind understand the true breadth of Consciousness (through thought alone)?

Needleman refers to this myopic aspect of science (human blindness to the true nature of reality when it rules out the existence of consciousness) as “Scientism” – an arrogant notion of life putting the human ego at the center of a projected universe – and indeed the modern “religion” or thought pattern ruling our perceptions and behaviors.

In An Unknown World Needleman, however, hints at another interpretation of Descartes that is currently being tested in the sciences of biology (as Nelson indicates above), neuroscience and quantum physics, as they merge in their inevitable recognition of the reality of consciousness as the fundamental aspect of our “being” (nature).

Needleman writes (page 67) that Descartes, rather than ascribing human thought a preeminent status as the foundation of our being, rather Descartes “is showing that in the capacity of the mind to concentrate its attention toward itself in pure thought—in that capacity there is a central element of Man that is not merely separate from nature, but beyond nature! Beyond Earth! What Descartes is offering is not more or less than the idea of the holy spirit expressed not in religious language, but in the language of the independent human mind.”

So what Needleman suggests, echoing Eckhart Tolle, is that through our attention we can see a faculty within us that observes thought (as it occurs) – so that we are not thought as generated in our earthly body (through the brain) but rather there is present within us an aspect of Mind beyond the earthly material brain – operating on an immensely higher scale…

As Eckhart Tolle writes, this is our true nature, which is “no thing” – a frequency of mind that we barely comprehend (beyond thought) and to which our proper relationship is not rational comprehension, but rather a stance of reverence, awe and profound gratitude for our very existence.

Whatever word we assign to this aspect of being: God, Life, Being, Consciousness or Source –we do not come to it through answers, but rather as Needleman suggests, through a more open Question – such is found within the actual (not hypothetical) experience of silence and meditation.

This is what our modern science disdains as “religion”, but to which we can only refer as the Sacred.

And as Needleman suggests, when our consciousness is “tuned” to this frequency through a change in our very being, we will be of service to the whatever “programmer” may have “written” our software, which runs not only our “selves,” but the earth, the Sun and everything else that exists through Consciousness.

What is Software?

(http://www.garysoszynski.com)

When I came out to L.A. and needed to make money I landed a job at night at a law firm based on my academic credentials – I nailed a spelling and grammar test. I went into a room with a large word processing computer the size of a dresser with a small text only screen, and my supervisor handed me eight large floppy disks and put the first one into the machine.

She told me to go through one at a time and the machine would “train me.” Then she left and for the next few evenings I was there at night completely alone with the IBM “System 6” as it showed me how to copy and paste, format and print legal documents.

At one point there was a mistake in the program (a bug) and I knew I had the right answer on the test to go to the next disk but it wouldn’t let me advance. I got really angry at the machine and had to wait until the next day when the supervisor cleared the program and I finished up.

I worked at the law firm for six months grateful that this machine and I had made friends.

It also made me aware and awe struck that human ingenuity could create a machine through which electricity could manifest intelligence that did complex tasks. It inspired the first screenplay I ever had optioned and the amazement continues until today as that intelligence is now compounded within my cell phone and tablet.

But like the space between the synapses in the neural networks of our human brains, the “software” or mental component of the computer is within the energetic space of the machine – within the electricity that courses through silicon based on the intentional programming of its creators.

As I’ve written before, it can be reduced to symbolic zeroes and ones whether it’s in the computer, or our own DNA. It is intelligence manifested through consciousness of some kind.

While it is “on” the word processor had a “mind” that was teaching me itself. But what does “mind” really “mean”?

And the word “consciousness” or “intelligence” does not do the reality of mental energy justice either…

But let’s take it a step further. The other night I watched Inside Job, a wonderful documentary about the financial meltdown of 2008. While got pissed off all over again, it made me think about money in a different way – especially since most of what transpired was done electronically.

(When Henry Paulson told the media that he had persuaded Congress to give him 800 billion for the first bailout, and he was asked for how he knew it was necessary, he said, “the computers told us what we needed to do.”)

If we truly and deeply understand that Software is mental energy generated from a physical form then money is actually software in the truest sense.

Why do I say this? Because the paper dollar you have in your wallet only has value to the extent that everyone around you believes in its intrinsic worth. Otherwise it is just paper.

Even gemstones like emeralds, which may have some mystical properties, but it is truly their existence as software, or the “dream” or story that we overlay onto them, which allows someone to go to an honest market and exchange emeralds for goods.

If the software in our brains did not attribute value to emeralds or the paper money, it would be worthless. It is mental energy just as the computer that trained me where the value resided in the capabilities I gained to manipulate other mental energy, and help the law firm sue people with the work product I created for it.

A moment ago I likened the story overlaid onto money to a “dream”. I did this purposely, because it is truly a spiritual (non material) reality that resides only within the human consciousness.

Returning to the film for a moment, we can also see that the absolute chaos created in 2008 resulted from an illusory aspect of the dream; namely all that was created and moved around was more dream currency not based on any actual value. That’s why the trillions in wealth squandered on material objects “bought” with phony money have left the planet destitute – “real” wealth was exchanged in the form of homes, yachts, jewelry, and sexual services for the fake financial instruments created on Wall Street.

But what can the reality of such a dream teach us as human beings?

Well spiritual teachings like a Course in Miracles and the work of Eckhart Tolle point to another dream within our existence on the planet as consciousness – the dream of our own individual identity.

Even neuroscience has been unable to identify a stable, absolute and static “I” within our brains. Instead the latest theory go back to the synapse, or space between neurons that “manifest” an identity according to the temporary connections with the immensely and almost infinitely complex neural network that operates in our skull when the brain gets oxygen from the lungs through blood from the heart.

Turn off the electricity and the “I” ceases to exist. Sound familiar? With software running (the electricity on and energy flowing through its silicon) the System 6 computer was also “dreaming” – not metaphorically but actually. Mental energy – programmed by humans – was manifesting (coming into being from “nowhere”).

This is also happening in ourselves—within our brains–in a very real sense, therefore, your “own” existence is literally (not metaphorically) a dream.

This is what leads me to the discussion night I am hosting at the Gateway Portal this Wenesday evening beginning at 7 pm (doors open for networking at 6:30 pm).

I will be joined for the conversation by three teachers and thinkers who work closely with “dreams” as they are commonly understood. First, Dr. Michael Lennox is the author of Dream Sight, a dictionary of the symbolism of dreams or the inner landscape of our “I.” Michael Jeffreys, organizer of the Santa Monica Eckhart Tolle Group has recently delved deeply into a Course in Miracles and has combined his teaching of Eckhart Tolle’s work on the Ego with a concept of all of life (no exceptions) as a “dream.” And we’ll be joined for a feminine perspective by Moira Shepard, NLP, CHt, private coach and practitioner and a Guide to Abundance whose work focuses on changing the beliefs (dreams) of her clients to effect changes to their circumstances (reality).

For more information or to RSVP please visit the Meetup page for this potentially enlightening evening.

Thought Experiment

Few years ago Sony created a robot-dog. Suppose in 40 years this robot dog “evolved” — with the latest technology: cameras for eyes, sensors to feel and be touched, internal memory and software, and state of the art robotics…

Could you ever imagine that a bond would be formed between such a dog and a child – so that a child would truly LOVE such a dog? Not that it would miss him if he “broke” (not died) or was suddenly removed or taken away, but that the child would truly have connected deeply with the dog?

Okay, now let’s do it another way. Your child has a “real” dog and it gets sick. But you take some cells from your dog to a laboratory and they take the genetic material, the DNA from your dog and replace the DNA in a similar dog’s ovum (egg) with this DNA from your dog.

And the cells are electrically stimulated to replicate and soon a dog fetus forms from your dog’s genetic material, and it grows into a tiny puppy. And that tiny puppy is introduced into your family and your child thinks it’s a “real” dog and loves it, and the family nurtures that cloned dog.

Now do you think you and your family could truly love such a dog?

That is the current reality we’re living in – we have actually discovered that the software in organic life works the same way as the software we’ve put into computers.

(There is actually a company listed on the NASDAQ that “prints” human tissue – Organovo Holdings, Inc. ONVO develops three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting technology for creating functional human tissues on demand for research and medical applications.)

Consider: Both the robot dog and the cloned dog are expressions of an intelligent intention (profit for the robot — survival and reproduction for the clone), but on a massively different SCALE.

The software in the robot dog is code humans wrote — genetic code that “animates” inanimate material — but we KNOW there is no “real life” within it – and we cannot truly love it.

The software in the cloned dog “evolved” – or did it? It is “really” alive but is it “Spot”?

The DNA is running in the dog is a precise sequence of chemical combinations represented by four letters of our alphabet – A, C, T and G just like the software in the robot was written by programmers at Sony (or Apple).

We don’t really know the origin of the “idea” for DNA –some genes are now “patented” and corporations claim to own the “Intellectual Property” – but we don’t really know the original intellect behind its “development”.

What we do know is that our genetic software operates precisely, logically and mathematically exactly like the software we created in computers–but as Life this “program” can express and manifest real LOVE.

If we dig a bit deeper we can begin to sense the magnitude of this realization. All organic life is based on this same software, expressing “its” intention (survival and in some cases even love) of a massively, exponentially greater intelligence.

We seem to be the first generation that has ever created and used such a subtle, and fine mental “product” – namely software – so perhaps we are also the first generation that can truly grasp the meaning of what we, and all life, truly is.

If we extend this notion with the understanding that we are composed of the same molecules and atoms that are within all stars and galaxies, and that our organic material (carbon based) has been found on other planets and on asteroids, can we then just barely begin to fathom our true position in what IS?

And when we comprehend that within ourselves, the same software is running, creating our thoughts and ultimately our entire reality, can we sense the enormity of this understanding – because we truly do not KNOW what we are – only that we’re HERE.

Stop.

Okay, now consider this. Instead of this cloned creature with the “copied and pasted” DNA being a cloned dog – imagine it was HUMAN.

And now, imagine IT WAS YOU.

Stop.

At what point would this creature really be “you”, i.e. John or Mary Smith?

When would you know that you ARE John or Mary Smith?

John and Mary Smith after all, are just words. Are they you? Is your birth certificate you?

Can you begin to fathom how much of John or Mary Smith is overlaid or merged into the DNA/Software that you seem to be running?

Perhaps the DNA Software is an “operating system” and you are running programs like white American male – (who thinks he’s too short…)

Now can you even sense that your actual belief in a separate John or Mary Smith is actually learned?

What happens to the beliefs about what you are –the “words” white American male – (who thinks he’s too short…) under these circumstances?

Can you see that the words are just programs—running not just in your brain but even in your heart, stomach, gut and every cell in your body?

Can you begin to observe this reality as it happens?

Consider: Could you uninstall these programs, or temporarily stop their “execution”?

When these beliefs now drop away (deconstruct) what is left? Basically – just Life – software that is HERE expressing a massively immense intelligence – as “you”.

What is left as “you”? Can you feel the unreality of it? (Like a dream?)

How does this impact your life in the grocery store, and someone takes too long in the Express Lane? Are “you” irritated?

Stop.

What about when a woman rejects “you” – or if “you” may actually die? Will it matter?

To whom?

A Sacred Science: The Meaning of Code


I’ve written many times about the Juan Enriquez video on TED which was my epiphany. In it the noted geneticist speaks about an apple as an “application”; he sees that when sufficient energy strikes the apple from the sun, its (DNA) code “executes” and the apple drops from the tree.

The striking aspect of this understanding of life is that the notion of DNA as code (or software) is not propounded as a metaphor, but in reality life operates intelligently according to a set of instructions that can be “de-coded.”

In some ways this parallels the Course in Miracles’ notion that “the Universe is a Dream”; again it is not “like” a dream—dream is not a metaphor—but instead what we experience is a property of what we deem to be “our” mind—it is always just a projection of our own mental activity.

What both of these concepts point to is that everything we think we know is an assumption based on our conditioning. In his Deconstructing the Dream World workshop this past weekend Michael Jeffreys held up a pen and asked us what we saw.

Beginning with the notion of naming it a “pen” we “deconstructed” our apparent knowledge of what was out there, realizing that of course the word pen is a label we have learned through our education—but so was the notion of “round”, the colors we ascribed to the pen, its shape (cylinder) and so on. A baby would “know” none of that—pre-language, in fact, there is only a shape that is distinguished perhaps from what is holding it or surrounds it. It may even come down to a judgment between what is “me” and “not me.”

But if you really go deeper, you begin to realize that even that judgment—what constitutes my notion of my “self”, has been learned.

All of our knowledge is “encoded” through labels in a language of meaning that is intrinsic to our nature—we can only barely if at all go beyond the projection of the world that our language, belief and conditioning allows us. Even the baby doesn’t know it’s a “baby”. And we take for granted that everything we know is just as it is – from the pen to the baby to who and what “we” are.

So what does precede “what we’ve learned” or “what we know”? Generally we assume that this would be Science. After all, Science has taken us to the moon, built us bridges and roads, and in some cases cured our diseases. Science, after all, must “know” reality as it truly is.

But if you’ve followed quantum physics you know that science has recently come up against some barriers which point once again to what we know being a function of what we are – namely without an observing consciousness to know something its properties don’t really exist.

This is sort of a biological theory of relativity—we only know what we sense and comprehend and that becomes our ultimate frame of reference. But as Einstein has shown us in reality there is no absolute frame of reference. From the perspective of an infinite universe there is no “here”. There is only a “here” when there is a “you.” And who and what you are seems to be a chemical and organic “life” form.

So what exactly does that mean? Going back to the Enriquez video, as organic life, we now know that we function according to an instruction set in our cells, carried in our chromosomes, that we’ve identified as a chemical substance – DNA.

And we now also know that this DNA operates as software; it can be decoded according to the syntax or symbolic combination of a grouping of four letters, A, C, T and G (representing four other chemical substances) that according to their combinations instruct our bodily and mental functions – if the program is changed (the code is altered) then something else happens—for example, we may not longer be susceptible to certain diseases, or our brains my operate differently, and so on.

This parallelism between DNA and software has been further demonstrated in at least two other areas of note.

The BBC recently reported that the ability to reprogram (or “hack”) DNA has now gone from the realm of corporations and supercomputers to amateurs—to individuals or teams of “biohackers.” This is analogous to when personal computers entered our garages and young people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates got access to “the code.”

The big difference, of course, is that the code in this case was not created by IBM but by (fill in the blank) – or it “evolved” – but what is undeniable is that it can be “hacked” – it works according to known principles and the sequence of its symbolic representation – in DNA’s case, A, C, T and G.

Perhaps equally astonishing is the scientists have recently discovered that they can use the molecular properties of DNA as a storage device (similar to a flash drive or hard drive in a computer) to hold the zeroes and ones that comprise any kind of data, including the works of Shakespeare.

CNNHealth reports that
Ewan Birney, senior author of the study and geneticist at the United Kingdom’s European Bioinformatics Institute says that “We’re using DNA here as a chemical molecule of storage. It just happens to be the same molecule that is used in our bodies as well.”

All of these developments, including animal cloning, have led to the notion that DNA can also be treated as “property” – whoever “discovers” a useful block of code can patent it, in the same way that software developers can “own” the code for Microsoft Word or Google.

But isn’t it obvious that the code in our bodies is somehow different? Doesn’t it suggest a complete re-thinking of the “meaning of science itself”?

Our basic assumption about science and our discovery of the laws of nature is that whatever we find is somehow “ours”. That’s because we have assumed that we are the most advanced species on the planet, and the only one capable of comprehending these laws due to our “intelligence.”

But when come up against the fact (not the metaphor) that what we are is manifesting an intelligence that pre-dates both our “science” and our apparent existence as “humans”, don’t we have to “deconstruct” our science itself—and face an uncomfortable fact:

The very idea of what we are has been an illusion.

We are not a separate species independent of nature that lives apart and can control life.

Instead, we are a natural expression of a much vaster intelligence which is Life, the full extent of which we are only beginning to discover.

This would put us into a relationship with life and nature that is completely different. In recognizing that the “software of life” is a function of an intelligence that is older and much deeper than what know ourselves to be, we must instead hold Life in awe and reverence, and create a new Science with a sense of something far more profound – something indeed “sacred and holy.”

The Meaning of the Mayans: Wake Up

Many of us have been making snide jokes and laughing somewhat nervously at the various speculations around the Mayan Calendar and this Friday’s “mystical” date of December 21, 2012.

The pot has been stirred by Hollywood and New Age writers with notions of an apocalypse or the end of the world while others have sensed a shift in consciousness or the end of the world “as we know it.”

Let me take a stab at connecting some of the dots.

First, let’s look at the details of what the Mayan calendar represents. According to writers like Joshua Berman (HuffPost), “the Maya Long Count calendar will click over to read “13.0.0.0.0,” (pronounced “thirteen b’aktun”) for the first time in 5,125 years.”

What is “13 b’aktun”?

A b’aktun is a period of 144,000 days (about 393 years) in the Long Count.

Others have likened this to the odometer in a car clicking to the next 100,000 miles (or being reset to zero); if you remember the Y2K scare it had to do with a similar issue in terms of “counting” due to the potential limitations of then-manufactured computer chips to “keep up”.

Regardless, to a species with an average life span of about 60-80 years (now), keeping track of such immense periods of time is an amazing achievement. It speaks to a relationship with nature that we can only barely imagine.

For us, with our iPhones, planning the next week and making the schedule conform to our expectations is a stressful undertaking. These people presumably lived in a harmonious relationship with planets and stars that were measured in infinitely greater cycles.

In fact, it is speculated that the Mayans knew as other ancients did of the “great cycle” – the Platonic Year as it is sometimes referred to, or the time in which the earth’s axis makes one complete rotation—and how this movement shifts over eons to point to a succession of stars, currently Polaris (the North Star).

This cycle is just less than 26,000 years. Take that in; there is good evidence that ancient man lived in harmony with a set of beliefs, encoded in mythology, that connected him (or her) to cycles in nature of such a vast duration – 26,000 years.

In Hamlet’s Mill by Giorgio de Santillana (a professor of the history of science at MIT) and Hertha von Dechend contend that “much mythology and ancient literature have been badly misinterpreted and that they generally relate to a sort of monomyth conveying significant scientific and specifically astronomical ideas and knowledge.”

This to me becomes the root of our gnawing discomfort with this Friday’s date—that despite our scientific “advancement” and achievements we have lost a very deep connection to a different sense of time, and connection to reality.

We are living in an age when time seems to be accelerating and we never seem to have enough of it, despite sharing our own overstuffed calendars on the Internet and among co-workers.

For us, there never seems to be enough time. A few of us have discovered that meditation, or creating space, can help with the endless compulsion to “do” being thrust upon us by our conditioned mind.

But what is it really all about?

Our scientifically certain age has cost us dearly. We each inhabit separate ego “selves” that neuroscience has discovered are simply energetic networks of conditioning in our brains.

Is it possible that ancient people were not subject to this conditioning, and therefore had a deeper connection to a far greater “mind” – Nature itself – including its infinitely vast spans of time and cycles?

As my friend Michael Jeffreys has recently concluded it is this “illusion” of separation (called Maya in India) from which ancient teachings (like a Course in Miracles) would have us awaken. But we are so caught up in the dream (and attached to our iPhones) that this is a tall order.

But consider a man or woman connected to a span of time that is 144,000 days long, or 26,000 years…

Not rationally or intellectually but deeply, through his or her physical senses—the same senses that the intelligence of that scale instructs by beating the heart and circulating the breath an infinite number of times in the life cycle of the being that has this sort of connection to Nature.

Suddenly the rational mind STOPS.

That is why meditation is about observing the breath and letting thoughts come and go.

Twenty minutes a day is a valuable practice, and one that many of us are undertaking as we keep one eye on the Mayan calendar – because we sense that something much Bigger is at work beyond the reach of our iPads and computers.

But what if we carried that sense of space (and time) throughout our day, allowing events to unfold without judgment or guilt?

Again consider the ancient human without the iPhone. Before he thought of himself as Igor or Fred with a mind chattering away about what he “should be” doing.

Does the Earth “know” it is the earth. No. As the Mayans knew deeply it has moved through the heavens in cycles echoing our own breath and heartbeat, which they could measure, and which they deemed SACRED.

But this is not the same sense of the Sacred of our guilt-laden organized religion.

This is the deeply dark and scary sacred we know only in our own dreams and sojourns into the shadow—a connection to our bones, our blood, our brains and our hearts.

This is a sense of the Sacred borne out of a deeper understanding of the Intelligence of Nature.

Remember that DNA is a computer program. It is not “like” a computer program – the Enriquez video on TED clearly states that the apple IS an application. THIS IS NOT A METAPHOR.

The apple “executes” its code with a sacred wisdom that the Mayans understood but we have lost connection with through our scientific sense of superiority and arrogance.

DNA, the intelligence in our “selves” beyond the identities we dream ourselves to be, reflects a sacred Intelligence hinted at by Quantum Physics and Astronomy—of numbers and spans of time beyond our comprehensions. Heartbeats that are 26,000 years in between. Breaths that take 144,000 of our days.

That is the time scale of the Universe. If we take it in, awe is the only proper response.

That’s what December 21 is about, and why we laugh nervously as it approaches.

We sense that our judgments about what is truly real are wrong and deeply flawed and that our minds, small in comparison to a far greater and sacred intelligence, have been fooling us.

On Saturday morning it will be time to wake the fuck up.

A New Einstein – or the Bernie Madoff of Physics?

Fragments of ancient wisdom, when viewed from a modern perspective, are difficult to evaluate with certainty. Erik von Daniken, whose ancient astronaut theories make a lot of sense on one level, has been debunked by conventional archeologists and scientists—and he has a “colorful” past that is not free of controversy—having been convicted of fraud.

Einstein himself was an outsider; albeit it he appeared during a time when there were far fewer theoretical physicists working in his space, and his theories were eventually recognized and proven.

Now a self-proclaimed modern Einstein, Nassim Haramein, has appeared on the scene, and claims to have reconciled the four basic forces of nature: gravitation, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear force in a unified field theory—a feat Nobel prize winning physicists have been unable to accomplish.

His Resonance Project has claimed to have found a new solution to Einstein’s field equations—based on his understanding of the ancient wisdom of civilizations like Egypt and the Maya—using the principles of sacred geometry.

In a video called Black Whole, replete with exquisite computer graphics, Haramein links the sacred geometry of Egypt and other civilizations to a tetrahedral as the basic structure within space itself—pointing to this geometric model as the most basic building block linking energy and matter—the smallest form between the formless and matter.

Haramein claims that that the vectors comprising the tertrahedron are the only geometric shapes in nature that apply equal force in all directions, and that this sacred concept has been represented in the art and sculpture of many ancient cultures from the Kabala (Tree of Life) of mystical Judaism to the so-called “Flower of Life” symbol of the mandala and among the oldest examples in Egypt at the Temple of Osiris at Abydos.

Haramein is not the only thinker who has come upon the significance of the tetrahedral grid – Buckminster Fuller also made it famous, among others including Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci’s work portrayed the Fibonacci sequence as the perfection of number manifest within all of nature, and particularly the human form.

The Fibonacci Sequence (also called the Golden Mean) is the series of numbers where each number in the series is the sum of the previous two numbers. Also known as the Phi function (as opposed to Pi), it is another constant found expressed in nature and also memorialized in the dimensions of ancient structures like the Great Pyramid.

The problem is that for a lay person, Haramein’s physics and the accuracy of his calculations must be accepted on faith.

This is where I compare him to Bernie Madoff—do I lend him credibility based solely on an intuitive sense that he is onto something quite startling and significant? Do I lend him my inner confidence due to this intuition? Or do I give in to a healthy skepticism because of the derision of his work by conventional scientists?

For me, the correlation by Haramein to ancient geometry strikes a deep responsive chord—somehow I sense that mathematics is the language of nature and geometry is its expression into form.

In his video Haramein drills down into matter the quantum level and essentially maintains that at some point (within the vacuum—nothing) form gives way to number, which to me is essentially Mind.

This is the realm beyond our thinking mind which we occasionally touch in meditation when we follow our thoughts without attachment. I believe it is what thinkers like Eckhart Tolle call quiet presence or pure Being—it is the essential movement beyond stillness—our connection to the “software of Life.”

That such software emanates out of what we discern as “number” should not surprise us; our own software written in “our image” for our computers works the same way. Ideas are given form and manipulated mathematically according to algorithms and functions; again the most obvious such function in nature is the Fibonacci sequence.

As a nonphysicist I can only sense these connections. The proofs required by our scientific community are not available now, and may never really be, because they will by definition be conceptual while what is being addressed here is life itself, not its abstraction through our thinking mind.

In many ways, whether like Madoff or von Daniken, Nassim Haramein is playing the archetypal role of the Trickster or magician and in so doing he is opening our minds to new possibilities.

What is so intriguing about theories like Haramein’s is the acknowledgment and attempt to heal the split between science and religion, which is perhaps the most profound duality that supports our illusory hypnotic connection to the purely physical universe. This is the illusion that keeps us oblivious to other dimensions, frequencies and energy.