The Feline Mystique: How Cats Can Help Us Experience A Different Sensory Perspective

“I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.” ? Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Living with a cat, as Eckhart says (as opposed to “owning” her) is an amazing experience. Insights happen almost every day. First of all an entirely new emotional dimension was immediately opened when she first looked up at me with those sad eyes and melted my heart. The first time I observed her moving her little ears in opposite directions, like satellite antennas, I was also intrigued by what might be going on in her little head.

The most apparent aspect of her being is that she is so clearly and obviously “animate” as opposed to my TV or remote control. My cat constantly reminds me of the distinction between Being For-Itself and Being In-Itself in Sartre’s “Being and Nothingness.”

“Being-in-itself is concrete, lacks the ability to change, and is unaware of itself. Being-for-itself is conscious of its own consciousness but is also incomplete. For Sartre, this undefined, non-determined nature is what defines man. Since the for-itself (like man) lacks a predetermined essence, it is forced to create itself from nothingness. For Sartre, nothingness is the defining characteristic of the for-itself. A tree is a tree and lacks the ability to change or create its being. Man, on the other hand, makes himself by acting in the world. Instead of simply being, as the object-in-itself does, man, as an object-for-itself, must actuate his own being.”

The difference is that clearly my cat is Being For-Itself. There is a lively and intelligent –and intentional consciousness present in her. While I try to resist the impulse to overlay an anthropomorphic interpretations of her behavior, something is clearly going on that is dynamic and, again, intentional. Why intentional?– Because she is always investigating or going somewhere and she has her own point of view.

She hates noise. She loves treats. She extorts treats by sitting on the table and staring at me, knowing that eventually I will give in and provide what she wants. And she can “shake me down” for treats just by sitting on the table on her haunches and staring at me. I gave her treats and she was rubbing me and it occurred to me that she does not see me as “Tom” and perhaps not even as a separate entity. My activity is just part of the changing energy pattern that she experiences without question.

One of the main lessons a cat teaches is that what “you” want is really of no importance. Experiencing this reality day-to-day reminds me constantly of the miracle of life, because there is no accounting for her existence, or my own, in the same way as a rock or any “inanimate” object.

The other clear recognition is that while her world overlaps mine in many ways—I provide her food, clean the litter box and play with her—her experience is so different while it is still so clearly conscious. For example she is tiny and yet she can run at amazing speeds and jump unfathomable heights. Beyond that, those ears are picking up sounds I cannot comprehend, and her nose finds infinite interest in everything within range of her whiskers. I shave my whiskers—she uses hers to see where she can fit.

I also marvel at her good fortune. My cat Eva is easily in the top 1 percent of nonhumans’ lifestyle. She went from a cage in a shelter to having all of her needs provided synergistically by a human who loves her, while her cat cousins forage for food or hunt in jungles. She also exhibits a justified contempt for the human perspective (this might be anthropomorphic overlay); but she may or more often may not respond to my voice, care what I do, or act in ways that I find helpful or logical.

In that way she is a constant reminder that the human perspective is rather arbitrary, and it makes me wonder about the unknown depths of perspective of an elephant, dolphin or whale. Then I think about the hubris of our own conception of humans as the “dominant” species and her contempt seems rather justified.

Perhaps most significant, however, is the recognition, moment to moment, that what “lives” is infinitely more sacred than anything else that we know. It is not just a matter of additional “features” or “attributes” but aliveness itself is a quality that we cannot create – we can only experience.

It’s a helpful reminder of what the Dalai Lama suggests is a powerful meditation –our connection with all life forms. When my cat chooses to rest near me on the bed, and I relax in her company, the peace I feel is palpable. Sometimes when she runs around the house crazily I think I inhabit the wild kingdom but again it is a powerful reminder that we don’t really control very much. It’s like having the natural world as a roommate.

What Christianity Looked Before The Birth of Jesus Christ

One of the things that always intrigues me is the historical basis for certain philosophical and metaphysical concepts. We often simply take for granted that the memes or ideas of our time have always been the basis for “truth” – and in our scientific age that can be a huge distortion.

I remember when I read A New Earth and Oprah hosted Eckhart Tolle in a webcast series, and many people calling in wondered at his references to the parables of Jesus, and whether there was a connection with Christianity.

Oprah tried to soft pedal the fact that Eckhart’s teaching is secular, which is problematic for fundamentalist Christians – but is there a connection going further back?

One of my favorite ideas from Eckhart’s work is his interpretation of the notion of the “Kingdom of Heaven” not as “someplace else” or in the sky, but rather as a state of being resulting from questioning, and ultimately not believing your thoughts.

In the 20th century a major discovery was the Dead Sea Scrolls and similar documents that revealed the Gnostic Gospels – a different set of historical interpretations of the teachings of Jesus, that looked at sin as believing your thoughts – and resisting what is with mental struggle and turmoil.

This resistance and suffering would, of course, be the opposite of the “Kingdom of Heaven”.

In The Gnostic Mystery by Randy Davila, the author weaves an interesting thriller around such a newly discovered scroll and also takes the opportunity to summarize this discovery of an ancient Christian doctrine as a psychological teaching along the same lines – the researcher in the book says that the key to Gnosticism was nonresistance to reality, and suffering was viewed in the teaching as the result of struggling with what is and hypothesizing alternate realities that “weren’t”.

This made me think of Gurdjieff, who was ever mysterious and veiled in his claims about the source of his teaching–which also included deep physical and psychological inquiry into the nature of thought. Gurdjieff posited the existence of three brains that need to work harmoniously in order to connect to higher wisdom and suggested that modern humans are asleep and oblivious to their true nature.

But in addition to mentioning a map to “pre-sand” Egypt which fueled his journey to the pyramids (where he worked as a guide) Gurdjieff would suggest that his teaching was the “true” Christianity – preceding the life of Jesus, as well as the Egypt of the pharaohs with its source in “prehistory.”

While much of Gurdjieff’s ideology can be viewed as “Eastern” and he may have traveled to India and Tibet, a deeper look at his cosmology and biological notions suggest that what he brought to light may have been the original and undistorted teaching of a superior civilization that eventually gave way to both Egyptian and Meso-American cultures that attempted to preserve its scientific wisdom.

A modern philosopher and scholar who writes in depth about Gurdjieff in relation to modern issues, Jacob Needleman probes this aspect of the teaching in his book, Lost Christianity.

In this book Needleman engages with a scholar and monk whose research has taken him deeply into the sources of Eastern Orthodoxy and more esoteric interpretations of scripture. Needleman writes:

“What has been lost everywhere in the life of man is the confrontation within oneself of the two fundamental forces of the cosmic order: the movement of creation and the movement of return, the outer and the inner. The whole of what is known as “progress” in the modern world may be broadly characterized as an imbalanced attention to the outward-directed force of life, combined with a false identi?cation of the “inner” as the realm of thought and emotion. The thoughts and emotions that are given the name of ‘inwardness” actually serve, as has been shown, the movement outward and degradation of psychic energy. In Christian terms, this is “?esh.” Thoughts and emotions are not the soul.”  (222)

What this suggests is that the original “pre-Christian” teaching was about inner energetic knowledge and the discovery of man’s true nature through deep inquiry and concrete experience.

The quote above actually suggests the Advaita inquiry of Neti Neti – “not this, not this” – in the pursuit of reality and the resulting recognition that what “I am” as not my thoughts, not my emotions, and not my sensations; the body is experienced as yet another “external” object to one’s true being.

This is indeed a very timeless notion of truth that we now may see as “eastern” or “mystical,” but one that has been preserved in stories since the dawn of time. Joseph Campbell brought many of these stories to light in his work (which inspired the Star Wars films) and one can find more information in Bernardo Kastrup’s latest book, More Than Allegory: On Religious Myth, Truth And Belief.

Bernardo, who also wrote Why Materialism is Baloney eschews the low hanging fruit of fundamentalist religious dogma to probe more deeply the sources of wisdom in our psyche and in our historic heritage of myth that suggest connection to higher energies and influences.

Of course science itself has given us the basis for this – we know that we use wifi (wireless) transmission of energy every day and our computer software encodes active conceptual intentions and produces results without human intervention – suggesting that mental energy and truth does not need a physical foundation in order to “exist.”

In addition to these connected efforts to unearth the sources of wisdom that may have been lost, the actual historical civilizations that modern history seems to avoid even mentioning are covered books like Chariots of the Gods, by Erik von Daniken and more recently in Magicians of the Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth’s Lost Civilization by Graham Hancock.

It may well be that we are on the verge of rewriting not only our history of science and religion, but in fact the history of the origin of our species as we connect these various dots and rethink even the basis of religions we have always taken for granted: Judaism (with the Kabala and its mystical aspects) and Christianity as being sourced not in the teachings of Jesus, but in the ancient history of mankind itself.

Why Human DNA Might Be The Product of Another Intelligence

The reason for my fascination with DNA as software is that its origin is an anomaly without a credible explanation when viewed in the context of modern technology.

Up until now, a humans only direct experience of mind was through the human mind – and it was entirely based on personal experience and indirectly through communication we sometimes seem to share from our anecdotal mental experiences or those of others.

But they are always of human mind.

There was no way to entertain the idea of directly knowing a mind other than one’s own – the “one” with all of the stories tied to one’s “identity.”

But now that we have been able to discern the logic of DNA because of software- we can truly see it for what it must be – the product of another intelligence.

There is only one programming language whose origin we do not know—and that is DNA.

How is DNA an “organic” programming language; geneticist Juan Enriquez’s TED video informs us that DNA behaves in exactly the same way as our own “floppy disks” and computer software.

How Enriquez describes DNA

The A, C, T and G symbols represented in in sequencing stand for chemicals, so the “calculations” or “instructions” are biochemical and not in a silicon chip as with our computers, but the principle is identical.

Now with the new CRISPR editing technology not only can we copy and paste genetic code – we can do search and replace.

It is interesting to note that before his death, Michael Crichton – the brilliant author of Jurassic Park and Westworld, cautioned against the dangers of corporations patenting genes – or DNA code.

Imagine a company coming up with a DNA sequence to stop Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s but you would need to pay them royalties?

Like programs with which we are familiar – Google, Apple, Microsoft and so on, any (encoded) program must have a Mental basis or it could not be decoded.

And in the case of DNA now with CRISPR – edited and reprogrammed.

To have a meaning that can be discerned it must be of mind.  By definition a random pattern is meaningless.  Any meaning is the obvious product of some mental intention.

By discovering the program of A, C, T and G behind DNA we have exposed it as “mind created” stuff – all other software with which we are familiar is intentional and based on a logical system – and could not have arisen by aaccident.

In sequencing DNA we have encountered a different mental product from our own, and we are now working with it – but what about the implications?

First of all – for our very notion of what mind represents – can we truly know that our own mental experience is “personal” – and based on our own “identity” – or is it just as likely that what we experience as mind is not tied to our “personal” brains but is in fact ubiquitous or at a minimum a hidden aspect of Nature itself?

In computer terms – a property or a feature?  And that our individual identities that are tied to bundles of thoughts as memories are as many eastern traditions suggest – an illusion?

So where could a scientific search for Mind go?

First it would acknowledge and recognize that DNA is an organic programming language.

This means that it must be intentional – the product of an intelligence with a purpose.  In the case of DNA that is probably survival and evolution.

Here is an example of the power of our own computer programming and why it cannot be random.

Let’s say you have a PowerPoint slide that you want to post as an image online.  You have to save that slide as a JPEG file because the programming language of the browser (HTML) does not recognize a PowerPoint file, but only certain image files including JPEG.

It is that specific and rule-driven.  Laws must be obeyed.

Symbols must be arranged in a perfectly logical sequence to convey the proper meaning – with DNA there can be bugs which we call mutations or sometimes serious conditions including cancer.

But the “meaning” of DNA can be decoded – and it is called sequencing.

I delve into the nuts and bolts of software and its meaning in more detail in my recent book, “If DNA Is Software, Who Wrote the Code?  – The Profound Significance of Life’s Programming Language.”

I was moved to write the book and also speak on this topic because I came to it with a background in philosophy but also learned a bit of programming when I was a technology consultant.  This convinced me that the mental aspect of DNA’s origins was not a metaphor but real, and opened me up to a different view of intelligence and consciousness beyond the conditioned personal beliefs I had had previously.


Related CE Article:

Nobel Prize Winning Co-Discoverer of DNA Says Our Genes Were Brought Here By Extraterrestrials


 

A Tale of Christianity & It’s True Origins, Before The Birth of Jesus Christ

One of the things that always intrigues me is the historical basis for certain philosophical and metaphysical concepts. We often simply take for granted that the memes or ideas of our time have always been the basis for “truth” – and in our scientific age that can be a huge distortion.

I remember when I read A New Earth and Oprah hosted Eckhart Tolle in a webcast series, and many people calling in wondered at his references to the parables of Jesus, and whether there was a connection with Christianity.

Oprah tried to soft pedal the fact that Eckhart’s teaching is secular, which is problematic for fundamentalist Christians – but is there a connection going further back?

One of my favorite ideas from Eckhart’s work is his interpretation of the notion of the “Kingdom of Heaven” not as “someplace else” or in the sky, but rather as a state of being resulting from questioning, and ultimately not believing your thoughts.

In the 20th century a major discovery was the Dead Sea Scrolls and similar documents that revealed the Gnostic Gospels – a different set of historical interpretations of the teachings of Jesus, that looked at sin as believing your thoughts – and resisting what is with mental struggle and turmoil.

This resistance and suffering would, of course, be the opposite of the “Kingdom of Heaven”.

In The Gnostic Mystery by Randy Davila, the author weaves an interesting thriller around such a newly discovered scroll and also takes the opportunity to summarize this discovery of an ancient Christian doctrine as a psychological teaching along the same lines – the researcher in the book says that the key to Gnosticism was nonresistance to reality, and suffering was viewed in the teaching as the result of struggling with what is and hypothesizing alternate realities that “weren’t”.

This made me think of Gurdjieff, who was ever mysterious and veiled in his claims about the source of his teaching–which also included deep physical and psychological inquiry into the nature of thought. Gurdjieff posited the existence of three brains that need to work harmoniously in order to connect to higher wisdom and suggested that modern humans are asleep and oblivious to their true nature.

But in addition to mentioning a map to “pre-sand” Egypt which fueled his journey to the pyramids (where he worked as a guide) Gurdjieff would suggest that his teaching was the “true” Christianity – preceding the life of Jesus, as well as the Egypt of the pharaohs with its source in “prehistory.”

While much of Gurdjieff’s ideology can be viewed as “Eastern” and he may have traveled to India and Tibet, a deeper look at his cosmology and biological notions suggest that what he brought to light may have been the original and undistorted teaching of a superior civilization that eventually gave way to both Egyptian and Meso-American cultures that attempted to preserve its scientific wisdom.

A modern philosopher and scholar who writes in depth about Gurdjieff in relation to modern issues, Jacob Needleman probes this aspect of the teaching in his book, Lost Christianity.

In this book Needleman engages with a scholar and monk whose research has taken him deeply into the sources of Eastern Orthodoxy and more esoteric interpretations of scripture. Needleman writes:

“What has been lost everywhere in the life of man is the confrontation within oneself of the two fundamental forces of the cosmic order: the movement of creation and the movement of return, the outer and the inner. The whole of what is known as “progress” in the modern world may be broadly characterized as an imbalanced attention to the outward-directed force of life, combined with a false identi?cation of the “inner” as the realm of thought and emotion. The thoughts and emotions that are given the name of ‘inwardness” actually serve, as has been shown, the movement outward and degradation of psychic energy. In Christian terms, this is “?esh.” Thoughts and emotions are not the soul.”  (222)

What this suggests is that the original “pre-Christian” teaching was about inner energetic knowledge and the discovery of man’s true nature through deep inquiry and concrete experience.

The quote above actually suggests the Advaita inquiry of Neti Neti – “not this, not this” – in the pursuit of reality and the resulting recognition that what “I am” as not my thoughts, not my emotions, and not my sensations; the body is experienced as yet another “external” object to one’s true being.

This is indeed a very timeless notion of truth that we now may see as “eastern” or “mystical,” but one that has been preserved in stories since the dawn of time. Joseph Campbell brought many of these stories to light in his work (which inspired the Star Wars films) and one can find more information in Bernardo Kastrup’s latest book, More Than Allegory: On Religious Myth, Truth And Belief.

Bernardo, who also wrote Why Materialism is Baloney eschews the low hanging fruit of fundamentalist religious dogma to probe more deeply the sources of wisdom in our psyche and in our historic heritage of myth that suggest connection to higher energies and influences.

Of course science itself has given us the basis for this – we know that we use wifi (wireless) transmission of energy every day and our computer software encodes active conceptual intentions and produces results without human intervention – suggesting that mental energy and truth does not need a physical foundation in order to “exist.”

In addition to these connected efforts to unearth the sources of wisdom that may have been lost, the actual historical civilizations that modern history seems to avoid even mentioning are covered books like Chariots of the Gods, by Erik von Daniken and more recently in Magicians of the Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth’s Lost Civilization by Graham Hancock.

It may well be that we are on the verge of rewriting not only our history of science and religion, but in fact the history of the origin of our species as we connect these various dots and rethink even the basis of religions we have always taken for granted: Judaism (with the Kabala and its mystical aspects) and Christianity as being sourced not in the teachings of Jesus, but in the ancient history of mankind itself.

Hiding in Plain Sight:  Evidence of Impersonal Intelligence as an Aspect of Consciousness

Too often we remain mired in our own specialized silos.  Scientists worship the scientific method and without clear proof they reject any speculative ideas out of hand.  Worse, in today’s climate, academic and research scientists are often in the service of corporate objectives.

So we miss connections.  Physicists think in terms of material interactions or quantum theories; biologists consider the interplay of chemicals and biological agents and microbes and mathematicians remain in their own cerebral world.

But if we look out at nature, we notice that there is no distinction between these and other branches of “science” – physics and math express in our bodies and those of other creatures all the way up to the stars and astrophysics.

“Laws” may be different at various scales; we have not found much evidence of quantum mechanics at our scale of reality but experiments have proven the veracity of the theory.

But just as language is all that makes you distinguish between branches of science and other fields, so too if we consider the words “Mind,” “Energy” and “Consciousness” how do we truly understand them?

Are they really separate and distinct “entities”?

Or are these words merely labels that we use such as “animate,” “inanimate” and “digital”?  These concepts parse our world into fragments that our minds can begin to understand and so biology, robotics and computer science have performed wonders.

But ultimately as thinkers like Deepak Chopra suggest, ALL of these concepts arise within a mysterious “field” which we label “Consciousness.”

Even our ephemeral personal identities are built on conceptual beliefs and memories that can be transcended or moved beyond by – another concept.  Neuroscientist Douglas Hofstadter conveyed this in his work, “I Am a Strange Loop” where he demonstrates the tricks that language plays to make us believe we know things absolutely when everything except the actual existence of our own “private” mental world is open to question.

So what sort of speculative thinking can possibly provide a clue or pointer beyond the limitations of our own thoughts and senses?

For me the first jolt came with the work of Erich von Daniken and “Chariots of the Gods” where he asserted that many ancient monuments depict and/or could only have been created by beings with the ability to fly and in possession of advanced technology.

Nothing along these lines has been “proven”; but his work and the resulting “Ancient Aliens” series raise some very interesting questions.

For me the great “timeless monuments” – the Sphinx and Great Pyramid make a great deal more sense as repositories of wisdom than as “tombs” or works of “primitive” art.

Peter Tompkins, who wrote the “Secrets of the Great Pyramid” curated many of the mathematical and astronomical relations that seem depicted in the structure of the pyramid and also raised questions as to its amazing precision, and of course its vast scale.

More recently Graham Hancock and Robert Schoch have revised estimates of the age of the Sphinx backwards – it keeps getting older – and esoteric teachings suggest it dates back to when the Sahara was not a desert but fertile.

The Magical Egypt series goes a step further, deconstructing the art of Egypt as possibly depicting the inner structure of the human brain or providing a structural blueprint of consciousness itself.

Richard Cassaro who has appeared in the series has discovered a series of remarkable likenesses between the monuments and artwork of civilizations separated by vast geographical distances, suggesting they may have once been connected in some way.

This kind of “speculative” alternative history suggests a notion of Timelessness – and that perhaps all of human activity is either in service to an evolution of consciousness or in opposition to it – with a possible Reconciling Force (suggested in Magical Egypt and elsewhere) – representing a higher vertical supra-mental dimension that reaches our scale of reality only occasionally.

In Tompkins’ work on the Great Pyramid he suggests that not only the constant Pi but also Phi — the relationship of numbers also known as the Fibonacci sequence which seems “perfect” as is seemingly infinite is represented as a primal force of nature — in the spatial relationships of the great pyramid.

This is suggestive of the idea, conveyed also by Pythagoras, that mathematical relationships such as geometry are not human achievements but rather “discoveries” as they exist innately within nature.

In fact, using the relationships of Fibonacci and other spatial awareness from nature in engineering itself has given rise to the field of “Biomimicry” – where structural creations like airplanes use the aerodynamic features of birds, or the mathematical relationship of Phi is incorporated into; for example “the architecture of the shopping hub is directly inspired by the petals of an orchid flower and designed as repetition of a basic designed module.”

Through these examples we can get a sense of how the mathematical patterns of nature play out in reality – from the great spiral galaxies to the web of a spider and into the quantum world “below.”

Then finally we discover that these mathematical principles go as far as algorithms and programming within our own genetics.  Modern geneticists like Juan Enriquez have taught us that our own DNA, based on four symbols, A, C, T and G (English letters) that represent chemicals acting according to strict instructions of DNA code, operate exactly like our own computer code.

In his TED video, Enriquez refers to an apple as an “application” that gets energy from the sun which when sufficient, it “executes its {DNA} code and drops from the tree.”

This brings up the speculative question of whether our own computer software may not be the result of unconscious biomimicry; we created our own operating systems and programs according to the principles (intuitively at first) embodied by DNA – literally to be considered as an organic programming language.

The question I address in my own book – If DNA is Software Who Wrote the Code? is how we account for the existence of such “code” operating within our own bodies when all other “software” that we know through our recent experience was intentionally created by teams of programmers with “minds”?

This is the same principle that we now use to “encode” what we now call “Artificial” Intelligence for robotics and a host of other scientific endeavors.

But having discovered programming in nature itself with DNA – what about intelligence, or mind, can we truly deem “artificial”?  Is this not the clearest possible pointer to the existence of an invisible “field” or what Eckhart Tolle calls “no thing” – and the reality of Consciousness?

 

 

Ancient Alchemical Esoteric Art That Leaves Humanity Clues About The Nature of Consciousness

I’ve long been fascinated by Egypt as a possible connection to ancient wisdom and have written about how I see its art as a portal to a connection to consciousness.

Researchers like Graham Hancock have influenced by sense of these connections and point to the possibility of a source “super” civilization that may have had some of its knowledge recorded metaphorically or artistically in places like Central America, Mexico, Peru, India, China, as well as in Egypt.

Graham asserts that “stuff keeps getting older” and makes a strong case for a cataclysmic event that wiped out such a civilization with a comet impact about 12,000 years ago, approximately the time Plato attributed to the decline of Atlantis, which may be much more than a mere myth.

These theories are beautifully and graphically explored in the web series Magical Egypt.

The latest segment proposes that the two “polarities” of Consciousness seem to arise from (or reference) the two hemispheres of the brain.

These are the “dualities” of energetic complementarians — Yin/Yang, Plus/Minus, Male/Female, Hot/Cold, Night/Day, Sun/Moon and so on.

In Episode 4 I was introduced to the amazing work of Richart Cassaro, who is the author of two books that explore deep connections between secret societies and ancient civilizations. Written In Stone: Decoding The Secret Masonic Religion Hidden In Gothic Cathedrals And World Architecture gives the best account available in print about how religion began and how struggles over the meaning of spirituality shaped the world we live in today.

What struck me deeply — besides the wonderful comparisons of ancient structures from all of these locales and their overlapping, identical motifs, was his focus on the “Godself image.”

This ubiquitous image displays the complementary forces in either hand of a deity, mythical creature, or actual spirit animal with emphasis on the head or disc at the top of the torso.

According to Cassaro this disc is a Third Force — a reconciling or “vertical” dimension that rules over the conflicting forces and presumably “intelligently” creates the result for the potentiality of energies within the expression of THE PRESENT MOMENT.

Cassaro asserts that like modern thinkers such as Eckhart Tolle, ancients believed that time and space are mental projections affected by the sensory limitations of sentient creatures.

The sole connection to a higher dimension that affects us sporadically according to our consciousness and level of being is literally “time-less” — and is experienced only in our lifetimes within moments of complete clarity.

These beliefs can be traced back to Gnosticism and the actual parables of Jesus and again, a “lost Christian” tradition that sought transcendence of the mental realms to connect with a reality beyond thought.

One figure that stands out as a philosophical proponent of ancient Christianity in the modern age is Gurdjieff.

Gurdjieff and his student Ouspensky, author of the classic In Search of the Miraculousbrought a teaching that he hinted came from “Pre-Sand” Egypt — a time which geologists like Robert Schoch have recently identified as more temperate and accounting for the striations at the bases of the Sphinx that were caused by water erosion (hard to imagine in today’s Sahara but possible before the great flood or other cataclysm that might have wiped out a “super civilization” or source culture).

Gurdjieff also asserted a sacred Law of the Threes — three basic forces of Nature that shape our reality — the forces were also:

Affirming – Denying – Reconciling

Gurdjieff had a prayer for these “holy” forces in his own work, Beelzebub’s Tales for his Grandson.

“Holy Affirming
Holy Denying
Holy Reconciling
Transsubstantiate within me for my being.”

In the summary of Gurdjieff’s work linked above, philosopher Jacob Needleman also describes, “the idea of the three centers in man is one of the most central ideas in the whole of the Gurdjieffian system. Man’s confusion, his lack of unity, his unnecessary suffering, his immorality—in fact everything that characterizes the sorrow of the human condition—come about because these centers of perception are wrongly related, wrongly functioning, and because man does not see or care to know this about himself.”

These three centers relate to the three forces obviously, but again what is striking is that the reconciling force does not “act” in the present moment, but actually, somehow, beyond our normal comprehension literally IS the present moment.

This interpretation seems to be shared by the Gurdjieff teaching, Cassaro’s interpretation of the GodSelf imagery, and the artistic deconstruction done by the producers and other contributors to the Magical Egypt series — which is a study of an ancient science of Consciousness.

It is also known that before bringing his teaching back to Russia, Gurdjieff spent many years in Egypt working as a tour guide at Giza and apparently studying the ancient monuments and texts.

I believe that this also relates to some of my own work because I am so interested in the confluence of DNA code and computer software.

As I have noted here and in my recent book, the notion that there can be code, that can be edited, without Mind as its progenitor is contrary to all actual experience and empirical evidence.

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

The key point here is that Mind is not “resident” only in the human brain. It may well be a natural force of nature and indeed the Reconciling or Third force known to the ancients.

Just as some cultures have numerous words for “love” or even “snow” depending upon their beliefs and connection to physical reality, so too may we need to broaden our concept of Mind to accommodate different “frequencies” — some of which may occur in nature beyond our current level of understanding.

For example, the Egyptian “deities” which we consider primitive were actual representatives of the various “intelligences” of Nature worshiped by Egyptians as part of Maat — the Natural Order — such as the floods that irrigated crops, wind, sandstorms, Sun and Moon and their radiant energy, and so on.

I also cover this in a book now available on Amazon.

One Spiritual Inquiry That Can Lead You Further Than Most Books, Seminars & Retreats

Recently someone on Facebook asked me why I have such an interest in finding out ‘who’ is raising the issues we are discussing – on his end.

I covered some of this in a recent article on meditation and it goes along with much of what Eckhart Tolle talks about when he harkens back to the Oracle of Delphi in ancient Greece and its tenet to “Know Thyself.”

Many teachers use this technique and it first came up for me during my work with Michael Jeffreys; early on he had another teacher, Bentinho Massaro, conduct “satsang” at his home.

At this meeting I was still actively looking for “answers” and asked a question I have long ago forgotten but Bentinho looked at me and said, “Who is asking?”

It was the first time the question was posed to me like this and instead of trying to answer, I fell silent – and realized that the question had come from a need to be noticed – for attention – and not for actual knowledge.

I also connected to a deeper more sincere depth of need behind the question but it once again led to – more questions.

In such instances, it is helpful to look inward to notice where such a question comes from: sincerity or ego.

But always there is something – or what Eckhart calls “no thing” that notices.

Michael would often describe his own inner inquiry and suggested that if you actually do it – not think about it – you will also reach a very interesting personal conclusion.

He would describe how he would get quiet and ask “who am I” and the first response was a series of thoughts – and they could be dismissed as “one’s self” because, as Eckhart describes so well – the thought cannot be “me” because “I” am what notices the thought.

So go deeper and generally one hits upon – as Michael described it – a “feeling.” This could be an actual emotion but more likely it is a sensation.  In either case it cannot be “you” because again “you” are what notices this – and probably labels it – an “itch” – a “sensation” – a “feeling.”

The result if you are sincere is a “full stop.” A recognition begins to form that there is always another layer. I have also written about how neuroscientists like Douglas Hofstadter have described this phenomenon in their search for the root of consciousness. Check out I Am a Strange Loop.

But again this is not a hypothetical question – you must actually do the inquiry just as with meditation – which is analogous to this inquiry – it proves beneficial only with consistency over time.

But after a while the “witnessing” faculty also notices that “you” can also notice your own voice. “You” can begin to identify different tenors of your own voice that connect to emotions – confidence, anger, frustration, need (for attention or recognition) and so on.

This can be helpful in therapy or with someone you trust who begins to encourage vocalizations that come from a sense of integration rather than separation or disconnection.

But the key benefit is dis-identification with thought. It leads one past the superficiality of “positive” thinking because one recognizes via experience that one is not one’s thoughts, feelings or sensation but the witness/“noticer” of these phenomena.

This was enormously helpful to me because it resonated with a branch of philosophy that I had been exposed to in college and had forgotten – aptly named “Phenomenology.”

Phenomenology does not posit a “self” because according to phenomena that can be observed or studied, there is not a separate self to be found. There is only what happens, or as some sages have said, only the experience of being here now.

One last point on the Cartesian misunderstanding underlying much modern stupidity – “I think therefore I am.”  If this were true we could control and actually make ourselves think certain thoughts.

Nassim Haramein talks about this when he says that looking for consciousness in the brain is like looking for the guy talking inside the radio or TV. Our mental activity is still very much a mystery and neuroscience in particular is beginning to understand that it is not “local.”

We can focus on a topic. We can create the circumstances that may lead to more pleasant or even more “productive” thoughts. But thoughts arise “unbidden” on their own. If you watch yourself with honesty you will see this. And you never know what the next thought will be.

Finally this comes back to the elusive sense of presence – or peace – that so many of us are seeking.

How do we apply this in our daily lives? One “trick” that was given to me by another teacher was that if you are overwhelmed or even in a conversation where you can notice that you are being triggered, begin to “feel the inside” of your arm or leg.

In other words, shift your attention inward while you are engaged outwardly. Connect to sensation to become present.

And then keep asking your “self” exactly ‘who’ or ‘what’ is making these choices.

This inquiry consistently experienced can lead you further than most books, seminars or retreats; as Eckhart also suggests. Stop expecting answers from the next book. Instead look inside with silence and sincerity. You are the world – and the answers – you are seeking.

If DNA is Code, Consider Ethnicity/Race as a Template

After my most recent article about my book and dialogue with Deepak Chopra, I had further contact through social media that made me aware that people were missing the point.

It seems that many readers took the title (“If DNA is Software, Who Wrote The Code?“) and assumed I was positing a “Designer” or “Programmer” as the point of the book.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The question posed by the title is not meant to be answered; rather it is posed as an opening to a much vaster notion of reality and existence. The subtitle provides the clue: “The Profound Significance of Life’s Programming Language.”

The recognition at this point in our evolution, as we have created our own computer software, of the significance of encoded intelligence at the heart of our biology, is unexplainable by normal science.

And yet every piece of computer software that we know and use is intellectual property — the work product of intelligence applied creatively and dynamically by teams of human programmers.

In my book I go through my understanding as a layman of computer code and demonstrate its infallibility if used correctly, and its dependence on math, logic, and syntax to work properly.

When the laws of math, logic, and syntax are adhered to, symbolic code operates effectively as a “program” — as geneticist Juan Enriquez describes DNA. Such a program is an “executable” that performs tasks. In the case of DNA, Enriquez describes an apple as receiving input from the sun and executing its various lines of code and dropping from a tree.

If we alter or edit the code using a technology like CRISPR, we might get a banana instead of an apple.

Or as Enriquez points out, we can view a similar collection of symbols A, C, T, and G and the result is the Ebola virus. But it operates as computer code, like HTML.

Knowing what we know do currently with respect to Google, Apple computers, and Microsoft, how can we possibly account for the evolution, according to mathematical principles, of an “organic programming language” that instructs our biology?

We can see this even more clearly in two other examples of code — templates and the use of properties and methods.

Every encoded object in computers, like a file, for example, has properties (or attributes) and methods (capabilities).

A basketball is a good example. Its properties are its spherical nature and colour; its methods are that it can be dribbled, shot, and spun.

DNA imbues organisms in the same way.  A dog and cat have very different properties and methods. Your heart, lung, and kidneys have different properties and methods.

And if you have ever used a template to create a web page or begin a Word document, you know that a template allows you begin with a block of code already in place to save you time.

In fact, our biology seems to use the same process; we call it race or ethnicity. Every human is already born with a set of properties and methods inherited from its parents based on the mathematics of genetics first proposed by early geneticists.

We get into trouble sometimes in discussing these issues because there invariably begins a discussion of whose properties and methods are betting or superior to others — whose racial template should be favoured or ignored.

But the reality of how biology operates in this way is unquestioned. Similarly, the laws of physics operate mathematically with perfection.

Where this might eventually lead us is to the recognition that we are not a ‘who’ but an ‘it.’

It might reveal that the basis of Life is impersonal. You can see this with the presence of predator and prey; the actions of the lion or the wasp when it renders a spider paralyzed to feed its young is not malicious — it is completely impersonal.

It would seem that when our ancestors began to confront the mysteries of nature they ‘personalized’ them with anthropomorphic projections of deities. But as science has taught us, these are not often actual explanations except, perhaps, in the case of the Egyptians, when these ‘deities’ were actually representing biological and astronomical known truths.

In seeing the perfection of encoded intelligence in genetics, we can evolve to a more balanced and impersonal view of ourselves and nature. For example, I have also written about how the “self” has not been identified neurologically except as a concept within our own thoughts.

This is the beginning of the reality of an idea or what I believe Plato called a “form” — essentially a mental template around which other concepts or memes can form.

For Plato this mental realm of forms was “more real” than what our senses tell us — hence his parable of the Cave, which speaks so eloquently about our limited sensory capacity with respect to reality.

So getting back to the question posed by the title of my book, I reach one main conclusion: namely that there must exist or have existed an immense intelligence that was the source of the organic programming language we have discovered as DNA.

But what if this “source” is not a WHO but an IT? What if it lies at the heart of nature and existence itself, so that infinite intelligence is a PROPERTY and METHOD of reality or existence?

A friend of mine, author and philosopher Tam Hunt, who also writes for CE sometimes, thought I was positing a designer, or what fundamentalists call Intelligent Design, as the “answer” to the title of my book, and then he wrote, “Are you suggesting that natural selection is intelligent in a way that is not normally recognized?”

The answer is yes. Natural selection is an aspect or property or method of evolution and it is evidence of intelligence. But it is not a simple answer because, as Juan Enriquez points out in his latest book, we are now able to reprogram our own DNA and make our own “unnatural” selections.

That can be dangerous, in the case of Eugenics, or miraculous, in the way we can cure disease.

Deepak writes in the prior article: “By taking for granted the obvious fact that it takes a mind to do science, we’ve reached the point where science is leaving out the very component that might answer the questions that urgently need answering.”

This is the “hard problem of consciousness,” within which everything arises, according to Deepak.

What I am suggesting is that we begin to fathom the stark significance that a property of consciousness is INTELLIGENCE — the same infinite intelligence that Eckhart Tolle tells us also manages our breath, digestion, and so on without “OUR” conscious intervention.

It is an intelligence that pre-dates humanity.

Our bodies evidenced by the miracle of biology and DNA are obvious manifestations of this infinite intelligence.

http://azurereadingbooks.com/if-dna-is-software-who-wrote-the-code

The threat here is to our individual and collective egos. If intelligence is ubiquitous and the self is an illusion, how can I be better or smarter than the next person?

These judgments, however, are always “personal” in nature.  When viewed in its impersonal perfection from a higher scale or perspective, Nature itself may be discovered to be impersonally perfect and infinitely intelligent — this is the MIND that we use to “do science,” as Deepak says, but might it borrowed for our limited duration on Earth, and not truly “ours”?

Seen in this way, we can begin to recognize that what we call “mind” or “intelligence” is a property and method of Nature itself and not necessarily a quality that natures requires humans to supply.

We are expendable along with the many other species that are now extinct.

 

What Role Might Virtual Reality Play In Shifting Consciousness?

My friend Phil Lelyveld is reporting on the current state of VR based on the events at Digital Hollywood.  It is telling that this very practical conference, focused on media and entertainment but delving into nascent technology, had a new track devoted entirely to Virtual and Augmented Reality.

A good differentiation between the two might be to say that VR creates worlds while AR (Augmented Reality) superimposes information on the “real” world.  My interest, as noted previously, is to try to discern where reality ends and virtual or augmented begins.  It is my fervent hope and belief that these new technologies may enable us to begin to “grok” the nature of consciousness – or whatever it is that allows up to perceive and receive information.

It is interesting to consider the needs of VR creators from a hardware and software perspective.

On a rudimentary level it seems that the creative efforts run in terms of advancing the areas of graphics and video; there is technology to capture video and “stitch” it together into an entire environment, reminiscent of the “panoramas” that were in vogue not long ago.

A major hurdle in any such endeavor is barrier to entry – mainly cost and learning curves, and Phil mentions that there is a Ricoh camera that was recommended for VR shoots at under $300 and that GoPro has acquired stitching technology that would enhance the VR potential of its cameras.

Cinematic storytelling is one target area for VR producers.  Phil writes that “David Marlett, the VR filmmaker at Cinemersia, is working on ‘MansLaughter,’ a VR film shot in four 90-degree quadrants. The four quadrants will playback simultaneously with coordinated overlapping dialog and choreographed action.”

Come have your own VR session at ILLUMINATE

Presumably the viewer is able to decide which of the four quadrants receive his/her attention; the question of interactivity is also important – is the viewer a passive audience or can he or she impact the narrative?  Again, presumably, the ability to actually participate in such a film created world is still a bit far off and will require even more processing power and bandwidth.

Marlett has encountered an interesting new and significant aspect of VR filmmaking – accuracy.  When the narrative “moves” in a linear fashion plot holes and details can be overlooked.  But in VR the viewer can “linger” within a scene and note anomalies.

A question for me is whether the roadmap for VR needs to follow in the steps of still graphics and video or whether we could eventually “bypass the eyes and ears” and go directly to the brain—at this point the lines between the real and virtual would truly blur.

For example, what about “real” space?  Going beyond the two main senses, one filmmaker is experimenting with a “walking around” VR experience, and eventually perhaps the notion of touch will be fully integrated using even more sophisticated interfaces.

What might this mean?  Another facet of reality will be tested; namely the notion of solidity.  Right now we are conditioned to believe in the existence of an external world beyond sight, sound, smell, and taste because we can tactilely feel it.

What happens when those “impressions” are “intercepted” technologically so that a different set of physical parameters are “beamed” into our brains?

Remember that everything that the brain calculates and that technology transmits is “information,” and an interpretive mind is required to make “sense” of it.

(This is probably the best possible “proof” of the primacy of consciousness).

Gaming still seems to be the most obvious market for VR so that participants can completely “experience” different realities and for the “real deal” prices as high as $60 for a single hit seem feasible.

In terms of the media industry much of the investment in VR is focused on entertainment.  But it seems apparent that as the hardware and software evolve to greater realism psychological and sociological applications will emerge.

For better or worse the military is already engaged.  Simulated warfare is a cost effective means of training for the real thing and allowing warriors to anticipate and experience different environments and situations will probably also propel the technology.

The final frontier, however, may just be metaphysics and philosophy.  After all, when people are already suing each other and falling in love in virtual worlds like Second Life, how long will it be before “players” are jolted deeply into the realization that they can’t really know or determine where “they” end and their “worlds” begin.

Hollywood, digital and otherwise, is built upon the notion of a suspension of disbelief and buying into a realistic experience.  But what happens when that experience becomes so compelling and believable that it rivals the world you can see, hear, feel, and touch — even after you remove the gear or leave the theatre?

And what exactly is the difference between information transmitted by the gear, and the zeroes and ones gleaned through your “normal” five senses?

To me that will truly be the grist for our Collective Evolution.

ILLUMINATE VR Sessions

We will be in Sedona for the Illuminate Film Festival this year in May. VR sessions will be available at the event if you are interested in experiencing one!

Research reveals that we don’t really discern between what’s actually happening to us versus an experience we are simply immersed in (like virtual reality!). Our physical chemistry can literally change based on our perception, whether “real” or not. Experience what’s possible when we put new virtual reality tools in service of expanding consciousness. See how it can contribute toward healing and soothing our nervous systems, and toward waking up our senses through awe and wonder.

How to Manifest Your Virtual Reality Experience

All Virtual Reality (VR) sessions are scheduled via a signup sheet on a first come, first serve basis. The session times run every 20 minutes, ending 20 minutes before the closing for the day.

VIP All-Access Badgeholders: Your experience is included with your badge. Please arrive the day of your desired session to sign up for for time slot for that day. Then return to the Virtual Reality Zone five minutes prior to your selected session time. You must show your badge to enter the VR zone for your experience. If you are five minutes late to your screening, the seat will be given to those waiting on standby and you will lose your spot.

General Public: Please arrive the day of your desired session to sign up for that day. Once you have selected a time, please go to any box office to purchase a ticket. Then return to the VR Zone five minutes prior to your selected session time. Present your ticket to enter the VR Zone for your experience. If you are five minutes late to your screening, the seat will be given to those waiting on standby and you will lose your spot.

All attendees may wait at the Virtual Reality Zone signup station on standby. If a slotted attendee is absent for their registered time, that seat will be given to those next in line at standby.

Location: Sedona Performing Arts Center, upstairs lobby
Process: Reserve your session onsite via signup sheet

Learn more