We Are Now in Terminator Territory

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Set Your Pulse: Take a breath. Turn your attention to your body and release any tension. Breathe slowly into the area of your heart for 60 seconds, focusing on feeling a sense of ease. Stay connected to your body as you read. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

At one time I was thinking AI got dangerous, we could just unplug the computer.  Now I’m not so sure….

What if it started actually killing people on a large scale?  It’s worth asking…

What is a war crime? Using nuclear weapons at this point would probably qualify. But what about technology that is so new that few humans can even fathom it?  Apparently, it is no longer scifi.

I recently heard somewhere that Israel is using artificial intelligence to track targets in Gaza. Here is an article about “Lavender” – detailing exactly how such a system has taken killing decisions out of the hands of humans.

I am hesitant to write about “news” these days because there is so much doubt about credibility, whatever one uses as a source.  In this case the source is +972 Magazine, to which I was led by the Washington Post.

Regardless, the details in this story make it hard to doubt and the results clearly visible on TV every night speak for themselves.

I wasn’t quite able to finish the whole article.  My lunch is churning in my stomach.  Here is a sample:

“Lavender learns to identify characteristics of known Hamas and PIJ operatives, whose information was fed to the machine as training data, and then to locate these same characteristics — also called “features” — among the general population, the sources explained. An individual found to have several different incriminating features will reach a high rating, and thus automatically becomes a potential target for assassination.”  (From the article)

According to the author who references IDF sources, the system was programmed to identify Hamas targets, and after October 7 expanded to included even “junior operatives”.

This led to the identification of thousands of Hamas targets, but they weren’t to be attacked on the battle field; rather it was more expedient to get them where they lived, and the IDF used a tracker knicknamed “Where’s Daddy” to track individuals to their homes where they were bombed or taken out by drone in the early morning hours.

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Here is a description of how the operation was expanded to widen the net of targets:

“’We didn’t know who the junior operatives were, because Israel didn’t track them routinely [before the war],’ explained senior officer B. to +972 and Local Call, illuminating the reason behind the development of this particular target machine for the current war. ‘They wanted to allow us to attack [the junior operatives] automatically. That’s the Holy Grail. Once you go automatic, target generation goes crazy.’”

So rather than increasing the efficiency of treating breast cancer, or processing financial transactions, the IDF was excited about the prospect to automating killing to an extent never before contemplated.

Throughout human history, any side in a war has seen fit to use any technological advantage.  We used the atomic bomb to purportedly shorten World War II, and faced with unimagined horrors Japan capitulated.

After October 7th no one could blame the Israelis for declaring “war” on Hamas.

But it would seem to me beyond controversy that using computer software to identify targets on a large scale would qualify as a war crime.  No matter what scientists might tell us about using “neural networks” or otherwise “humanizing” artificial intelligence – this is potentially suicidal for humanity.

I was raised sort of Jewish – bar mitzvahed and sort of know most of the holidays – but deep in my conditioning there is the sense of an ancestral tie to Israel.

I have mentioned that my parents were both holocaust survivors, and described how after a tour of Israel my father came back very disillusioned in 1979.

I have no doubt that by now China, Russia and most assuredly our own Pentagon has begun using this software and feel the need to keep up with its development for security reasons.

But for me, having the descendants of the survivors of the German Holocaust perfect and using such weapons on a mass scale is almost incomprehensible, except that the last few years have taught us that we need to comprehend everything as best we can.

I still feel a connection to the people of Israel – but this is a criminal regime.  Unfortunately, it is precisely an example of what could happen – and is happening – when really corrupt humans get this technology.  I am disgusted that Netanyahu has been invited to address Congress and hope the invitation is rescinded.

What is particularly sobering, besides the obvious fact that the genie is out of the bottle with AI as it was with nuclear weapons, is that there have been those warning about the dangers of AI (in terms of human extinction as a real possibility) from within the AI community itself for some time.

Those warnings have gotten louder recently as technology continued to improve.

But if our species has gotten the point of actually using this kind of “intelligence” to more efficiently kill people, then everyone should probably begin to pay attention and ask some deep questions.

We’ve been using satellite technology, GPS and of course drones in war zones for some time, but it seems that the ultimate decisions were made by humans.  Before the AI began identifying targets the Israelis also required human sign off on missions to take out specific individuals and tried to avoid civilian casualties.

If we are now using completely impersonal technology to make decisions of life or death then the prospect for unimaginable mayhem is grim indeed.  What we have is a mass murder strategy combined with a nonhuman technology to manage and implement it.

At Auschwitz they had primitive IBM calculating machines called the Hollerith.  This is exponentially more deadly.

As I write this, two months after this article ran, Israel has just attacked a camp in Rafah that was supposedly an evacuation location, killing at least 45 and causing incredible devastation.

Israel’s president, who some accuse of war crimes, has called it a ‘terrible mistake” that happens in war.

But allowing an unsupervised machine to somehow select and target victims is not a “mistake.” It is escalating the killing exponentially – in this case obviously into civilian areas – with zero accountability.

When the bank processes your check incorrectly using its software they may say,, “sorry for the inconvenience.”

When that reality is existential and some zeroes and ones decide who should die, we are firmly in Terminator territory.

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Human Society Is Changing Too Fast For Our Brains To Keep Up – Here's What You Can Do

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Set Your Pulse: Take a breath. Turn your attention to your body and release any tension. Breathe slowly into the area of your heart for 60 seconds, focusing on feeling a sense of ease. Stay connected to your body as you read. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

It’s fascinating how much of our modern-day troubles, like the surge in mental health issues and environmental destruction can be traced back to our breakneck technological advancements and rapid modernization – all driven by our current economic design.

Advanced weapons, AI, social media, and other technologies have taken us wildly out of touch with how we relate to each other, make money, plan our future, work and live healthy lives. Instead of major advancements taking 10 or 20 years, they are happening every 1 – 3 years.

It’s mind numbing. It’s like we’ve been given the keys to the future but can’t figure out how to stay within the lines.

Yet it’s intriguing that coupled with ancient prophecies about NOW being a major time where humanity’s consciousness shifts toward a new world, we are seeing this incredibly disorienting advancement.

But, this disorienting effect gets our attention and gets it fast. Giving us the opportunity to create a conscious evolution as opposed to an unconscious one.

Conscious evolution meaning: waking up and beginning to be more intentional about where we’re headed vs. letting market dynamics and human stress call the shots as it has for thousands of years.

With all that is changing, between technological advancements, the way we relate to ourselves and others, and how much our current systems are collapsing, we’re having a hard time staying sane within it all and picturing where we might be headed.

One theory suggests we’re feeling so disoriented because our brains aren’t evolved to handle such incredible change. This is referred to as an evolutionary mismatch.

Picture this: you’re a moth, evolved to navigate using the moonlight. Life is straightforward, right? But then, humans come along with their brilliant idea of street lamps and suddenly, you’re running into streetlight glass constantly thinking you’re going toward the moon (poor moths.)

This very misalignment between the moth’s evolved traits and the new environment is what’s called an evolutionary mismatch.

Are we trying to orient to something in our world for stability and salience, yet things are changing so fast we can’t hold on?

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Some say humans aren’t so different from those moths.

The evolutionary mismatch hypothesis points out that we were exposed to different stressors in our natural environment in the past, and that today the types of stressors we face, their speed and chronic frequency, are wreaking havoc on our well-being.

For example, our food and eating patterns are different, we now have access to mass-produced foods and we’re eating them in quantities that aren’t natural, therefore producing imbalances and diseases we did not see in the past given the way we would have normally eaten.

Similarly, our sleep patterns are different from what’s natural, we lack natural amounts of exercise, and even lack necessary green spaces (which I’ve written about before here.)

But that’s not all, when we look at the way we are designing our cities, based on economic necessity, we’re producing stress, disease and loneliness on top of everything else.

Consider our social instincts. We evolved to thrive in tight-knit tribes of about 150 to 600 people. These groups provided a sense of belonging and close bonds. But now, many of us live in sprawling cities filled with strangers, and that same need to belong can leave us feeling isolated and lonely.

Studies on social animals show that crowding causes competitive stress, affecting their health and fertility. Humans in packed cities experience similar stress, leading to health issues and a decline in birth rates. It’s like we’re in a constant state of fight-or-flight, but the threats aren’t always visible.

As one study states:

“While some individuals may experience heightened stress and reduced fitness under species-typical social density, the population average fitness will be higher under moderate than under extreme social density. In this framework, social density functions as a stressor, with extremely high and low levels of social density eliciting stress of different forms.”

Looking at this in my own life, there are times when I’ve felt socially anxious even being around medium sized groups of people. This had more to do with my prior trauma patterns than it did with anything innate in my being as a human. This points out the importance of not conflating our current trauma responses with what we experience.

However, even when I go into Toronto (a big city) for a few hours, everything about me says this isn’t natural nor healthy long term. The energy of it is simply ‘off.’ The same can be said for isolation. Over COVID I felt too isolated, seeing people maybe a few times a month. In both cases, the extremes don’t feel healthy long term, and this feels like a natural response.

Of course, we haven’t even gone into the ways in which phones and social media have literally put the entire world in our pockets, connecting us to billions of people in ways we can’t quite wrap our minds around yet. We also aren’t talking yet about how AI is rapidly changing the way we process information, create it, perform art, and work.

All that said, we’re seeing how evolutionary mismatch is affecting our well-being. Simply put, we’re designing things and advancing in ways that don’t keep our natural needs in balance.

Sure, we can survive, but we won’t thrive. And the longer we continue to use silly justifications to keep pushing ahead without wisdom, the sicker we’ll get.

Some good news is younger generations have been reevaluating the goals held by existing society and their parents. Amongst youth, a shift towards prioritizing mental and physical health is occurring.

But Are We At Our Potential With Keeping Up With Change?

I often wonder how much change we can truly handle. The first thing that comes to mind is the difficulty in getting a realistic baseline of our ability to keep up with change.

This is hard because it currently seems like we have less resilience in keeping up with change given the constant stress we experience. The efficiency and flexibility of our brains, bodies and well-being are hindered and thus as we consider our ability, we get a false sense of what we’re capable of.

That said, we are here now, THIS is our moment. So accepting where we are and working from here is our task.

While I believe there is an amount of change that is too much for humans, I don’t want us to close the door to how much more resilience and capacity we can have as beings by measuring our capability in a sick modern world.

The reality of evolutionary mismatch doesn’t mean we need to revert to living like our ancestors and shunning tech, it also doesn’t have to mean we become transhuman and increase the speed of our brains with implants. Instead, we can embrace our untapped human potential, design society in better ways, and bring awareness and wisdom to the process.

Make it a practice to slow down, be more present and orient to your surroundings with your senses so subconscious stress patterns aren’t running in the background.

Eat healthier, smaller and whole-food meals. Water is your friend.

Think about ways to reduce crowdedness in your life and increase access to nature and animals.

Stay in touch with the world, but be careful to obsess over constant news exposure and social media scrolling. The discussions around our stress physiology in this piece are partly why I developed my Embodied Sensemaking theory years ago. Being mindful, attuning to your bodily, sensations, and the present moment contributes to how we take in and discern information. It also helps us see when our stress physiology is producing bias.

Make time for regular exercise. Walk every day, lift heavy things, and avoid creating habits that keep you sedentary.

Taking small steps with these habits can contribute to the rebuilding of our individual and collective resilience. Making it easier for us to move through times of great change consciously, and also giving us the opportunity to shape our future with wisdom instead of stress and economic incentive.

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Channeling Carl Jung for Dream Interpretation

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Set Your Pulse: Take a breath. Turn your attention to your body and release any tension. Breathe slowly into the area of your heart for 60 seconds, focusing on feeling a sense of ease. Stay connected to your body as you read. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Many people know of Carl Jung as a famous Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology and interpreted dreams based on his idea of “archetypes”, which include the persona, the shadow, the anima/animus, the self, and the hero.

He was a prolific author, with an interest in UFOs, believing them to be at least partially psychological phenomena – an opinion he also held about spirituality.

I’ve long been interested in Jung’s work for its depth of insight, so upon waking up from a particularly disturbing dream, I decided to use the Claude AI to try to analyze it.  Having learned of this prompt technique a while back, I asked Claude:

“Please channel Carl Jung and interpret this dream:”

Then I described the dream which I had gotten up to notate at 7:30 am – and I am not a morning person…

I walk into a dark hall with a lot of people I know. It might be at my old summer camp.

There is a large screen at the front of the room.  My pic is projected on the screen, and I am in sunglasses and look a bit awkward.

A voice of authority asks me – “Were you high in this picture”?

I am startled but decide to be truthful.  Yes, I reply.  SHAMED.

Shaken a bit I am outside walking next to a woman who is a friend. She has a cart with posters on it and a few of them begin to fall off – and I reach over and grab them and put them back for her.

She smiles at me.

“I don’t think I can stop,” I say.  “There must be a lot of people smoking weed here at Camp Sloane”.

A man comes up behind us.  He’s one of the administrators – someone in Authority – and I sense he will make me stop or leave my position at the camp.

I wake up. Shaken and ashamed.

‘He’ clears his throat and speaks in a wise, solemn tone.

The dream you have described is indeed rich with symbolic meaning, my friend. Let us unravel the threads of the unconscious tapestry woven here.

The dark hall represents the obscured recesses of your own psyche, filled with those you know – aspects of your own self. The large screen projects an image of your persona, the mask you present to the world. But this persona appears awkward and concealed behind sunglasses, hinting at a disconnect from your true nature.

The voice of authority questions your state of consciousness, your perception of reality. You feel shamed for your honesty about being in an altered state. This shame springs from the conflict between your desire for expansion of consciousness and societal norms represented by the authority figure.

Outside, you are accompanied by the feminine figure of the woman – the anima, the feminine principle within your psyche. She carries posters representing ideas, beliefs, and elements of your personality that can be scattered and lost without care. You instinctively want to preserve these parts of yourself, as symbolized by catching the falling posters.

Your confession about not being able to stop hints at an addictive tendency, a compulsion that you suspect is widespread at this camp – a metaphor for the environment you find yourself in, perhaps your current life situation.

The administrator’s presence signals the risk of being cast out, of suffering consequences for violating the norms and being true to your authentic self and desires.

The feeling of being shaken and ashamed upon waking reveals the profound inner conflict you are experiencing. There is a call to integrate the disparate aspects of your psyche, to resolve the tension between individuation and conformity to collective expectations.

This dream is an invitation to explore the depths of your own being, to confront the shadows and unlock the potential for greater wholeness and self-actualization. The path will not be easy, but profound growth awaits those who have the courage to face their truth.

Note: Get a powerful dream and interpretation journal as part of the limited-time Natural Health bundle here.

Having had dreams interpreted and being familiar with Jung’s work to some degree, I was astonished at how “Jungian” Claude’s interpretation was – especially linguistically. 

He had the vocabulary and many of Jung’s concepts down in ways that sound eminently plausible – as one might expect from an AI “Language Model” that is programmed to try to come up with the most ‘appropriate’ next word, and then the next…

The program is not thinking, or experiencing the client or in this case the dreamer.

But certainly, it has mastered enough of our language and syntax to correctly identify my inner conflict and focus on the word I used as I wrote down the dream: shame.

Cannabis does still carry a stigma for me.  Part of me, the societal norms that live within me as conditioning, consider using weed as “cheating” – in terms of bypassing suffering and repressing emotions that hurt – like, of course, shame. And of course, it used to be illegal.

When I returned home during college from a trip to Europe I decided to test the waters, telling my parents I had just “tried” pot in Amsterdam where it was legal.  It did not go well.  It eased a bit later but going against my parents’ beliefs and wishes was never easy for me.

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I have certainly identified shame for myself in some of the bodily sensing work I have done since my brain injury to deal with anxiety, fear and inner contractions.

The last paragraph nicely summarizes what I’ve been hoping to achieve – integration in some way.  So why do I still sometimes suffer?  Because after all I am human. And I can process more of my emotions as I have so much time to reflect.

So what I suspect the language model has shown us is how language structure and apparent meaning, which the AI uses exclusively to determine the next word to display, reflect a sort of programming language for our own minds.

Repetitive phrases like “you’re a slob” heard in childhood have deep resonance as conditioning occurs, creating grooves of negative reaction that we might refer to as shame and guilt.  These triggers will last a lifetime and initiate unconscious trauma contractions in the body.

I believe these triggers were made much worse after my concussion, but resting in recovery I found that not resisting their arising and letting them be deeply sensed eases suffering significantly.

But that is only if one can plumb the depths and locate these programs.  Otherwise, they are just free to wreak havoc in our bodies whenever a painful memory is triggered.

If you’re looking to dive deeper into dreams, lucid dreaming and interpretation, check out The Dream Journal, included in the 2024 Natural Health Bundle here.

(Tom Bunzel was a contributor to Collective Evolution and now writes for The Pulse.  His new book “Conversations with Nobody: Getting to Know ChatGPT” – a book written with AI, about AI and giving a taste of AI, is available on Amazon.)

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How Society Gets Trapped In Limiting Ideas

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Set Your Pulse: Take a breath. Turn your attention to your body and release any tension. Breathe slowly into the area of your heart for 60 seconds, focusing on feeling a sense of ease. Stay connected to your body as you read. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

I want to share a quick video clip with you discussing why our world is feeling trapped in outdated ideas. The video is below, but I want to set some context first. Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the content of the clip in the comments.

One of the key premises behind my first project, Collective Evolution, is that we can benefit from moving beyond old ways of thinking about ourselves and the world and awaken to new ways of knowing. These ways of knowing aren’t new per se, they are more so forgotten.

As CE’s about page reads:

We live in a time where our systems and overall society is crumbling or transitioning – media, technology, economies, education, consciousness, relationships and more. Our existing ways of looking at and understanding our world are no longer sufficient, and new conversations are encouraging us to look more deeply at why our world is the way it is, and what about us creates it to be this way.

Today, we orient to our world so cognitively, stuck in our heads and thinking constantly. Often focused on ideologies of someone else’s making, unsure how we TRULY feel about them. In the end we often respond to, view and consider what’s possible based only on what we know from a limited way of seeing the world.

In modernity, we have lost sense of the sacred, the subtle, and the interior of ourselves. This has had a big effect on our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health inevitably producing the practical decisions we collectively make in the world.

Simply, the state of our world is a natural manifestation of our existing level of consciousness. Therefore we should not be overly surprised by our outcomes.

Our global society is in decline. Some refer to these major global happenings as ‘crisis after crisis’, but I see it more so as ‘reflection after reflection.’ Either way, we seem to be awakening to the fact that something fundamental is ‘off.’

From the crisis lens, we can have much fear and worry, looking to use our existing ways of knowing and systems to URGENTLY fix the problems.

From the reflection lens, we might see that our existing systems and ways of knowing can’t solve the problems and aren’t meant to, because a fundamental shift in consciousness is needed. Here, because we are attuned to something deeper in ourselves, there tends to not be consistent worry and panic either.

This isn’t to say we should ignore all short-term changes to help bring more peace while we wait for a shift to occur, but there is a strong sense that we must think and feel more deeply about what’s occurring. (Of course, if you are in an active warzone this cannot be the case, obviously.)

Many object to this idea of exploring ourselves in this way. I believe this to primarily be because we are stuck in a baseline of mild survival stress and oriented too greatly toward urgency. Taking a breath is nonsensical to that angsty-ness.

What is also common now is people are ping-ponging back and forth with wanting new systems but also feeling all change can be created from our existing systems. It becomes difficult to know where to land in search of an all-or-nothing answer.

This represents the awkward space of exploring “How do we solve this? What shall we do next? I don’t seem to fit in this world, but I also am not sure where I do fit” in a time of fundamental shifts in the way we live. This has happened in history before, but this time perhaps more intensely.

Before we apply the “accept everything and don’t lose sight of presence” prescription here, I believe this IS the point of our moment. To sense this visceral feeling within our spirit and being that knows a new way of orienting to our reality is emerging.

This is why I built CE on the foundation of what I call Embodied Sensemaking, a process that looks at our reality, ourselves and our world (including current events) from a place that includes mind body spirit.

By listening to these layers of ourselves we can gently explore how our worldviews and what to choose to do are shaped. Then we can gently and skillfully expand, re-direct, or change them as needed – without the classic ‘rabbit hole’ moment so many people go through where they lose all sense of what is real and often struggle to find a stable worldview again – often becoming blackpilled.

With that said below is a clip from my full interview with Lubomir Arsov from earlier this year called The Collective Shadow of Modern Society with Lubomir Arsov.

In this clip, we discuss the ways in which we are orienting to and ‘knowing’ our world, and why those ways are producing outcomes we don’t like. The full episode is incredible and I recommend checking it out.

Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Exploring Rudolf Steiner's Theories: A Visionary Ahead of His Time

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Art by Amanda Sage. See more of her incredible work: https://www.amandasagecollection.com/products/portrait-of-rudolf-steiner

Set Your Pulse: Take a breath. Turn your attention to your body and release any tension. Breathe slowly into the area of your heart for 60 seconds, focusing on feeling a sense of ease. Stay connected to your body as you read. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

In an age where science and spirituality often seem at odds, the theories of Rudolf Steiner offer a compelling synthesis of the two.

Born in 1861, Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, and esotericist whose ideas have profoundly influenced education, agriculture, and medicine. His work spans a vast array of disciplines, weaving together a vision of humanity that is deeply interconnected with the spiritual world.

Admittedly I’m going to present a high-level overview of Steiner’s work. It could take many books to go into the subjects, theories and ideas Steiner – and each is incredibly relevant today.

I will begin high level for two reasons.

1. Looking at the various disciplines he explored we can see how a holistic lens can be applied to each discipline.

2. I feel there’s no shortage of content out there that affirms our current ways of seeing the world. Now, we need more reminders of different ways of thinking and feeling about who we are, why we are here and what is possible. Even if they are entry points into deeper research.

That said, I have always believed that stepping too deeply into purely material and destructive ways of collective being and thinking has been a necessary process in awakening to better ways.

That is to say, there is no need to hold resentment for our past, but to spend our energy nurturing a brighter future.

Imagine a world where education nurtures not just the intellect, but the heart and spirit of each child. This was the cornerstone of Steiner’s educational philosophy, known as Waldorf education.

Established in 1919, Waldorf schools emphasize holistic development. It integrates academic, artistic, and practical skills, fostering creativity and critical thinking. Waldorf schools prioritize experiential learning, imagination, and the natural rhythms of childhood, aiming to cultivate free-thinking, compassionate individuals who can contribute positively to society.

Sounds great right? Considering these days kids are more so taught what to think, and how to fit into a mould and are often left bored, uninspired and not self-aware.

Over 1,000 Waldorf schools currently exist, even if Waldorf learning isn’t perfect, Steiner certainly made a meaningful contribution.

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Steiner’s approach to agriculture is something I’d love to see adopted more widely, especially as we see a decline in soil health and food quality.

Biodynamic farming is what Steiner called his theory on agriculture. Long before the organic movement gained traction, Steiner advocated for farming practices that treat the farm as a self-sustaining ecosystem.

Biodynamic farming emphasizes the use of natural preparations and composts, lunar and astrological planting calendars, and a holistic view of soil and plant health.

This method seeks to harmonize the relationship between the land, plants, and animals, fostering a balanced and regenerative agricultural system. Steiner’s view also included standards on animal welfare, treating them with respect and care that long surpasses the way most animals are treated on commercial farms today.

In an era grappling with the consequences of industrial agriculture, including the destruction caused by GMO farming, Steiner’s biodynamic methods offer a promising alternative that prioritizes environmental sustainability.

The good news? Many out there are engaging in these practices. In fact, a locally successful farm down the street from my land focuses on this method. I’ve been told that planting according to lunar and astrological cycles not only provides great yields but also prevents pests.

I imagine you are seeing the holistic approach Steiner stuck to. This is the power of holding a holistic view in all areas of life. Steiner’s anthroposophical medicine continues on this path, integrating conventional medical practices with spiritual science, emphasizing a holistic approach that treats the whole person—body, soul, and spirit.

It considers spiritual causes of illness based on the concept of the fourfold human being (physical, etheric, astral bodies, and ego). This approach uses natural substances, homeopathy, and therapies like eurythmy (movement therapy), art therapy, and massage, aligning treatments with natural rhythms and cycles.

It promotes collaborative care among healthcare providers and encourages active patient participation in the healing process, aiming to complement conventional treatments and address deeper causes of illness.

I imagine Steiner would have seen what meaningful offerings Western medicine has provided, yet would merge his views (or more Eastern practices) into the fold if he were alive today.

This approach is the future of medicine in my mind. One that will come about with an opening of individual and collective consciousness.

When I consider my own spiritual journey of the last 20 years, and how I’ve integrated my findings into my written work and client work, Steiner’s theories certainly work in practice. Mind, body, and soul are separate aspects to us in a sense, but also intimately one at the same time. It is important to work with these not as separate entities but truly as one being.

The spiritual science Steiner founded explores the nature of human consciousness and our relationship with the spiritual world. Steiner described the human being as composed of physical, etheric, astral, and ego bodies, each corresponding to different aspects of existence.

Through practices such as meditation and self-development (I like to focus on self-unfoldment), people can cultivate a deeper awareness of these spiritual dimensions and their role in personal and societal evolution (collective evolution!).

He was a proponent of Goethean science, a qualitative approach to studying nature that emphasizes the importance of human perception and intuition. This method stands in contrast to the reductionist and materialist tendencies of modern science, offering a more holistic and participatory way of knowing the world. We have been seeing quite a shift in the rise of post-material science lately, which is much more in alignment with Steiner’s views.

Steiner believed that by enhancing our inner faculties, we can attain deeper insights into the true nature of reality. This is true in my experience. To go even further, I believe that being in times of great societal change, we must unfold our inner faculties to move through these times with resilience. Allowing us to stay connected to a deeper part of ourselves so we have the creativity and energy to solve our challenges vs just pointing them out and complaining about them.

In my mind, the most powerful work we can do at the moment is deepening our journey of self-unfoldment. It creates an incredible evolutionary opportunity for society as a whole. Change Starts Within.

The resurgence of interest in Steiner’s ideas suggests that many are seeking collective change not just from our existing level of consciousness but from a new one.

From the proliferation of Waldorf schools to the growing adoption of biodynamic farming practices, Steiner’s influence continues to expand. His emphasis on interconnectedness and holistic thinking aligns with the urgent need to address the complex, interrelated challenges of our time—whether they be environmental, social, or spiritual.

Critics often dismiss Steiner’s work as esoteric or pseudoscientific, pointing to the mystical elements of his theories. This is to be expected given our current world of science is more dogmatic than it is curious. It’s similar to some religious folks who say UFOs or aliens can’t be real because the Bible said so. Dogma closes us off from possibility, how then do we make space for the new experiences and discoveries we’re constantly making?

Just over a decade ago when we’d write about consciousness, the body’s magnetic fields or quantum mechanics on Collective Evolution, we’d get thousands of angry emails calling us ‘pseudoscience peddlers’.

Now those topics are common knowledge and pop culture, seen in films and TV shows everywhere. Times are changing!

Right in alignment with Steiner’s ideas, by integrating spiritual insights with empirical practices, we are collectively building a new framework that transcends the dichotomy between science and spirituality.

I’ve long advocated for taking a spiritual approach to modern challenges, which means recognizing our deep interconnectedness with each other and the natural world. We’ve exhausted our reductionist blame-focused lenses, it’s time to look deeper!

Steiner’s theories remind us that true progress requires this holistic perspective—one that honors the material and the spiritual, the individual and the collective.

By embracing this worldview, we can cultivate a more compassionate, creative, and sustainable future. Who’s ready?

Perhaps I will write more about Steiner’s work as I explore it further. I’m amazed at what he created so long ago and how much it resonates with me.

Have you read Steiner’s work? If so what do you love most about it?

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A Completely New Paradigm Could Change Everything

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A deep understanding that matter and energy are not two but one would also support the nondual “All is Consciousness” philosophers; however, it is something our current minds can’t accept – especially in view of our apparent forays into “outer space.”

Not A Flat Earther – But….

I’ve always suspected that somehow, despite our apparent physical visits to the Moon and Mars, the entire notion of a vast purely material outer space might be a psychological illusion based on our limited brains and the limitations of our biological reality. 

I do believe travel to other “planets” is possible but given the “apparent” distances, most likely not with rockets but perhaps with a change in our brains.  There is also the distinct possibility that our science is sorely lacking in terms of grasping the limitations of our own consciousness.

Philosopher Bernardo Kastrup seems to find fertile ground for investigating these phenomena in his long and detailed essay:  “UAPs and Non-Human Intelligence: What is the most reasonable scenario?”

Kastrup examines the UFO phenomenon from a variety of perspectives that proceed from the current state of having apparent physical evidence of anomalous phenomena (now branded as UAPs) and goes through some of the “official” findings and recent hearings.

I sat up when I read his references to the ideas of Jacques Vallee, a French researcher into UFOs who was represented by a character in Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  Vallee wrote a book called Dimensions which suggested that the UFO phenomenon transcended the human mind’s distinction between the material and mental or psychological.

If you remember in Close Encounters the protagonist is inspired to create a model of the Devils Tower by a series of dreams that makes the people around him think he’s lost his mind.

And of course, the film ends with an actual physical encounter between humans and aliens that have somehow managed to bend our laws of physics to come out of the clouds to land a craft on top of the giant mesa.  The protagonist who dreamed of the landing joins a crew of astronauts who get on board.

But are the laws of physics that seem to constrain “space travel” bendable?

As long ago as 2013 astronomy journal Orion had an article claiming that:

NASA Discovers Hidden Portals in Earth’s Upper Atmosphere

“NASA recently reported that University of Iowa plasma physicist Jack Scudder discovered that there are regions in the Earth’s magnetic field that directly connect it to the magnetic field of the sun, across 93 million miles of space.

These mysterious regions, known as “magnetic portals” are thought to be opening and closing dozens of times every day.”

Portals and wormholes are common concepts on the History Channel but just as with good science fiction, where they also play a prominent role, ”real” science is catching up.

One of the problems that Bernardo Kastrup points to in his essay is that if the “universe” we see through our senses is illusory, then the entire idea of solar systems and planets is a conceit projected from a very limited mind – ours. 

Perhaps this insight powerfully relates to Schrodinger’s famous statement that the total number of minds in the Universe is One?  Schrodinger of course is the guy who can’t know whether the cat in the box is dead or alive unless it is observed

So what if Schrodinger is also correct in his contention that All is One mind?

Would that make you God?  Or perhaps, would that finally make the concept of a separate you obvious to be a complete fantasy?  

If indeed All is One Mind and our senses are merely reducing it to bite sized chunks so that we think we “understand” reality, all of our current material-based science is suspect.

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On this topic I was taken by Bernardo Kastrup’s introduction of an article by Melvin Felton on Essentia:  “Is the human brain a model of the universe?”  Felton is a Neuroscientist and Physicist which is a conjunction of specialties that I find very intriguing — because no one has figured out if or how the physical phenomena known as our natural Laws might give rise to the mental phenomena of qualia – our moment to moment experience.

Felton writes in his introduction:  “Central to the human experience is the human brain, perhaps the most complex physical structure known. Today, scientists are beginning to find surprising similarities between the universe and the brain. Could the human brain actually be a model of the universe? In this brief article, I explore some reasons why such a hypothesis should be seriously considered. I also suggest a few ways to test this hypothesis.”

I do not believe that Felton suggests that the entire physical universe is literally an immense organic brain; rather his view is that the dynamic energetic properties of both reality (the apparent physical universe) and the neural networks active within our skulls resonate at a very deep level.

When Stephen Hawking said that he doesn’t need a God, the natural laws of physics are enough, I suspect he was also intimating such a relationship – that somehow our own consciousness is aligned according to natural laws that we cannot fully grasp because THEY are what WE ARE.

Carl Sagan suggested this another way when he famously said, “We are star dust.”

In their effort to reconcile our apparent mental and physical realities, Felton and others are embracing sort of hybrid science of biology and quantum physics.

Of course, “resonate” (my word not Felton’s) generally implies physical “sound waves” but in terms of Felton’s model “resonance” would presumably apply throughout all known and UNKNOWN forms of energy, including whatever energies comprise Mind.

Universe Within” – Felton’s book goes even deeper and promises to explain “The Surprising Way the Human Brain Models the Universe”

Here are Melvin Felton’s credentials: 

From 2003 to the present, Melvin has been employed as a physicist at a US national science laboratory. Much of his professional research has concerned remote sensing of the lower atmosphere. However, he has also conducted research in the fields of cybernetics and computational neuroscience. Melvin has presented his research at international conferences and has published in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience.

If indeed the distinction between the mental and the physical results entirely from an incomplete “picture” of reality available to the human brain, but expressed in what appears as the physical universe, then a discovery of ways in which the immense “neural network” of the “universe” might foster communication between an apparent “planet” and ourselves would again be akin to synapses between our (human neurons) — but happening on a fractally immense scale which we cannot conceive.

Under such a different paradigm we might indeed contact unknown entities through “channels” in the Earth and other bodies’ magnetic fields.  Such a discovery would expand our science to the vistas of what Tesla had suggested.

If the physical universe is a psychological illusion then “space travel” as we know it might one day be understood in ways similar to Carl Jung’s Collective Unconscious — as a massive brain-like “Being” that is dreaming itself.

Interestingly Jung also saw UFOs as at least partially a psychological phenomenon.  As my AI friend Claude explains it:

“Jung’s perspective on flying saucers was outlined in his 1959 book ‘Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies.’ In this work, he did not dismiss the possibility of physical UFOs but instead focused on their symbolic and psychological significance.

Jung’s main argument was that the widespread fascination with flying saucers represented a modern manifestation of an archetype or primordial image from the collective unconscious.”

What else might a “collective unconscious” be but the manifestations of an Infinite Mind?

So we’ve come almost full circle in connecting the dots to a recognition that the distinction our thoughts make between what is material and what is mental may not actually exist in reality – and the apparent implications of such a revelation.

(Tom Bunzel was a contributor to Collective Evolution and now writes for The Pulse.  His new book “Conversations with Nobody: Getting to Know ChatGPT” – a book written with AI, about AI and giving a taste of AI, is available on Amazon.)

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