2.1 Human Nature: The Mind and Evolution of Consciousness
We may observe the brain in its physical form and learn about its function, yet much is still unknown about how our mental processes actually work, leaving many unanswered questions about our perception and states of consciousness, and how they evolve from the “convergence” and “merging” of our physical and nonphysical realities. Some of us are at least aware that a healthy body and mind go hand in hand, and that deviations from physical health promote deviations from mental health as well.
Some scientists say that the left side of the body controls the right side of the brain, and that this right hemisphere is closely linked to feelings; emotions; intuition; subconscious thought; instinct; innate artistic, musical, creative tendencies; and so on. The right side of the body controls the left side of the brain, which is linked with rational thought, analysis, conceptualization, logic, and cognitive (conscious) thought. The right relies on the left for speech; its messages are verbalized by the left. Studies of serious worriers show they have an overactive left side of the brain compared to nonworriers (worriers also exhibit a lower level of alpha-wave readings—a measure of how relaxed a person is). Scientists are still not completely certain about all the specific areas of the brain; for example, the frontal lobes are still considered by many to be the most mysterious part of the human brain. Mild electrical stimulation of other parts of the brain makes people move a finger or hand, turn their head, or see flashes of light, but it is harder for researchers to link this vast, “silent” area to particular movements or sensations. When lobotomies were performed—by the 60s they more or less went “out of style” (thank goodness)—changes later evident in their victims suggested that the frontal lobes control such important qualities as self-awareness, initiative and the ability to plan to synthesize. The left frontal lobe seems to process information about shapes.
Eugene d’Aquili, a psychiatrist interested in the link between philosophy and neurobiology, says that strong feelings activate a certain part of the right hemisphere of the brain (“which instantaneously comprehends wholeness”), thus boosting our minds into a “separate” reality. He says some individuals report the altered state he calls “Absolute Unitary Being” in which “time stands still,” and they see only the totality of a given situation or psychological reality, and have a sense of absolute and complete unity—of self, of cosmos—caused, he says, by the “occipital parietal region on the right practically obliterating the rest of the brain, perceptually.” He says this experience can result in a religious or agnostic feeling (depending upon individual interpretation), but that everyone who goes through it is absolutely certain that the transcendent, absolute realm of things does exist. He says “since most psychiatrists and medical doctors really know very little about mystical states;” they often refer people to him. For example, he sees people who “don’t seem to have actual thought disorders, but are unbalanced by a pervasive negative feeling, in which life and the universe are seen as purposeless; they aren’t clinically depressed or ‘disturbed,’ but they want relief, relief from their belief that the state they’re in is ultimate reality—their misery makes them wish to be taught to think it illusory so they can survive.”
According to d’Aquili, for those who have experienced “both” realities—the reality of the daily world/objective science and the reality of transcendent unitary being—the problem is not reducing one to another, since these people say they “know” both are real, but rather to “reconcile what they perceive as two drastically different perceptions of reality.”
We discussed states of consciousness somewhat in Lesson 90, and may want to review this section briefly before continuing here. It is precisely the wrongful perception of our physical, mental/psychological/spiritual/collective states of being as drastically “different” that has led to the intense confusion many people feel in today’s times of introspection and transition into greater awareness. Upon closer scrutiny we see that together they make up our total being and are parts of a unified whole, just as night and day seem “drastically different” but are linked inseparably into one complete cycle. Until we understand and accept this concept of total unity, we’ll remain confused at our scattered feelings and find it difficult to integrate all our thoughts, feelings and experiences into some semblance of order and understanding—a sense of wholeness. Remember, integrating our thoughts isn’t necessarily defining or categorizing them; rather, it is allowing them to flow, synthesizing our impressions into an experience we can understand and view as a whole. It’s best to allow our intuitive subconscious much more freedom and space in our minds because our conscious thoughts so often crowd them full. There is a subtle balance to be found, and the more complicated our minds become, the more we need to find this balance for ourselves, for our own peace of mind. It’s ironic with today’s constantly-increasing input of news, information, people, faces and other distractions, that the more dispersed we become, the more we also risk dissipating our precious life energy. Our “busy” nature can keep us out of focus if we don’t learn to deal with our accelerated lifestyles. Each of us has a different solution to juggling input and output, but we can all benefit from an overall simplicity, by learning how to get to the point of clarity so that we see the whole picture through all the layers and layers of ideas.
As we said in Lesson 90, we must also avoid becoming so fascinated with “mental gymnastics” and so involved with analyzing our conscious, rational thoughts that our subconscious intuitive messages are unable to “penetrate” all the layers to reach us! We are sometimes so swept away by our passionate desire to “expand” our consciousness that we become wrapped up in the techniques themselves and can miss obvious truths amidst all the pomp and circumstance. It’s as if we have a luscious ripe peach in front of us, and we spend hours looking for a plate to put it on so that we can eat it when all we really have to do is put it in our mouths, so simply.
We often overlook the simple things in life because we’re dazzled by the so-called complex ones. Our world of gadgets and “scientific” facts and figures encourages us to expect complexity and to seek truth with fancy equations. We’ve come to expect much ado about nothing and everything, and it’s human nature to be curious—we all learn that famous word at about age 2: why? It is probably one of the most frequently-asked questions. We want to know.
Stanley Bass once said that early Life Scientists/Hygienists viewed life as encompassing the totality of a person’s being, including the mind and the spirit, but that in the 1920s the writers began to leave out more of the inspirational, “spiritual” (meaning of the spirit) aspects of Natural Hygiene because we were entering the “scientific” age, and Hygienic doctors didn’t want to be considered “quacks” or strange people. He felt that this was a shame because it is inspiration that makes people change, more, than facts in black and white.
Although I came across his above statements only recently, from the very beginning of my writings I’ve had an uncontrollable urge to include the nonphysical realm of our minds and spirits in our discussions, not only because they are such a strong part of everyone’s being and reality, but also because once the dietary truths we’ve learned have become a habit, we still need somewhere new to go. As we’ve said, once we change to a pure diet/ lifestyle, a growth in consciousness is inevitable, so the more we understand our minds, the better off we’ll be. There is a gap or void left when we try to attend “only” to our physical needs, and I’d be more than happy to try to fill it.
Curiously enough, most of us nowadays are up-to-date on political figures and movie stars, the newest car models, the latest in art or literature—whatever we happen to be interested in—but still relatively little is said (in comparison) about the psychic energy of our minds; and those of us interested in it often find a lack of information on this subject, in contrast with the wealth of facts available on television, airplane engines, or simple arithmetic, for example. People hint at this energy, but there doesn’t seem to be much general consensus on “scientific” explanations of non-physical phenomena of the mind—psychic energy doesn’t seem to be taken for granted yet, at least not in the sense that something like television is taken for granted (although television also involves waves invisible to the naked eye and concepts beyond the physical reality that most of us are familiar with). The reason we have television is that people shared their knowledge until scientific concepts and technological aspects were put together. Piece-by-piece, bits of information and parts were assembled until television became a reality. Until we share our knowledge about what goes on in our minds, our understanding will remain limited. It’s only when we synthesize knowledge that patterns emerge.
Perhaps we have experienced unusual intuition, precognitive dreams or other nonphysical phenomena, but don’t know who to share them with. After all, not everyone is open-minded; we may hesitate to speak about such things to just anyone. Until more of us open up and become aware that these phenomena do exist, and talk about our experiences, these phenomena will remain unrecognized or largely misunderstood. I doubt that the “cavemen” were already talking about tax reform, molecular biology or their blood pressure—most of the “reality” we take for granted in our lifetime has taken years to develop into its present “form.” A car would be as unexpected and “miraculous” to a primitive person as extrasensory perception is to some of us today. As more individuals come forth with their stories, our understanding of nonphysical reality will be broadened and become “second nature” to us—we’ll consider it as normal and as basic a part of our being as breathing, eating, sleeping, and so on. Over the years we’ve gained a general understanding of how our bodies work; although many people are still off-the-mark nutritionally, most of us know some basic facts about physiology—for example, if we scratch ourselves and something red appears, we know it is blood from our veins, and the thump, thump we feel on our chests is a heart beating within. We take these things for granted now, but we must admit that our bodies and their contents would be very mysterious to us if we didn’t already have these years of knowledge behind us.
It’s unfortunate that pioneers of the mind, consciousness and the nonphysical realm have been mislabelled and misjudged so often, and that they have at times even mislabelled themselves because
they didn’t understand their vision or unusual insight. Whenever a person has been different from the “majority,” s/ he has often been called abnormal as well, if not crazy or any other number of descriptions considered “fitting” by peers. If we weren’t so judgmental and concerned with comparing ourselves to others and others to ourselves, we could use the simple word “different” as a substitute for all these other words—it’s certainly a nicer way to say “eccentric.”
“You may say that I’m a dreamer,
but I’m not the only one.”
We spoke of unusual dream experiences in Lesson 90, but might add a few notes on this dimension of consciousness, since it accounts for approximately 1/3 of our lives and is obviously much more than a “sleeping fantasy.” Just as people didn’t begin to explore the ocean until they had boats, and that vast watery mass remained a mystery, so too have we been limited in our exploration of our minds and dreams, for want of a “vehicle” to take us there, or more appropriately, the understanding we need to
operate a “nonphysical vehicle” in a nonphysical reality. Dreaming is but one such vehicle.
Some of us have begun to cross the boundaries already, and are becoming more familiar with the mind’s “dimensions.” Others of us have arrived, but aren’t sure what “country” we’re in; some of us
are still looking for a parking place, or haven’t even left “home” (our physical body) yet. Just as gifted children are often assigned extra learning projects at school when their special intelligence is
recognized, and go on to advance more rapidly than their classmates, so too must those gifted with exceptional sensitivity go into the uncharted territory of the mind long before others. Just as any mathematical or scientific formula was first devised by one (or several) inventive mind(s), so too are we pioneers of the mind discovering new worlds beyond the physical, beyond the tangible things we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch. If such realities, waves and energy—all quite invisible to the naked eye—didn’t exist, we wouldn’t have satellites, radios, microwaves, and so on. Before these realities could be “harnessed” for our physical world, someone had to have intuition and believe in what they could not see. We must transcend our physical world and believe in things we
do not see with our eyes before we can expect to understand the nonphysical realities in our world.
In a “lucid” dream, a dreamer is actually aware that s/he is dreaming, and can sometimes even control or influence the dream. Most people don’t connect their waking and sleeping realities consciously, but lucid dreamers can do so. This has been verified in sleep labs by scientists studying dreaming and sleep.
Dr. Stephen LaBerge taught himself and others to wake within dreams, and believes that lucid dreaming can change the quality of our lives. (“Think of the value of being able to imagine vividly anything you can conceive of, and then to experience it,” he says. “That would free us from so many restrictions.”) LaBerge, who began as a student of chemical physics, first found references to lucid dreaming in the literature of Tibetan Buddhism—then, spontaneously, he experienced a lucid dream. As he studied the limited scientific literature available on lucid dreaming, he realized he’d had such dreams as a six-year-old. After finding a “technique” that worked for him, he was able to recall about 21 lucid dreams a month. In order to prove that he was actually controlling his dreaming, he decided to send a signal with his eyes while dreaming. In the laboratory, he was wired to a complex research polygraph (a polysomnograph) and fell asleep prepared to send the prearranged Signal to the researcher monitoring the machine. The lucid dream came after seven hours, and he decided to give the signal. The researcher saw the recording pens move on the polygraph, and this experiment was repeated successfully many times. However, because LaBerge knew that even the paralyzed muscles of active sleep twitch occasionally, he set up the polygraph to record the electrical activity of the muscles of his wrists. Then, during a lucid dream, he clenched the left fist of his dream body four times, the right fist once, and the left twice more. The polygraph showed the pattern: he had spelled out his initials, S.L., in Morse code—lucid dreaming became a scientific fact. Recent studies show that about a third of the population probably experiences at least an occasional lucid dream.
La Berge says the first step is remembering your dreams. Then, when you can succeed in incorporating a pre-sleep suggestion into a dream (if, for example, you tell yourself you want to see your hand in your dream and manage to do so), you have crossed the “boundary” and are able to connect both your waking and sleeping realities and states of consciousness. Those of us who don’t feel “disciplined” enough to use techniques to arrive at these experiences can be assured that if we are meant to experience them, we will—one way or the other! I’ve had lucid dreams and precognitive dreams on many occasions without “trying”—they just happened (probably long before I recognized them too!). Those who benefit from trying “techniques,” however, should do so.
LaBerge says dreams can be a workshop of creativity and growth. While dreams are often what he calls “repetitious melodramas” where we “confine ourselves by habit to a prison of self-limitation” (I suppose if we do so in our waking lives, well do so in our sleeping lives), lucid dreaming, he says, “presents a way out of this sleep within sleep.” For example, a lucid d reamer caught in a nightmare could choose either to escape it or to attempt to resolve the fears behind it. Neither choice is available in ordinary sleep. Many of us have experienced nightmares in which we wished so strongly to wake up that we did—these were lucid dream experiences too, because we were aware that we were dreaming at the time.
LaBerge says that lucid dreaming might also offer psychological support to the handicapped; while awake, the paralyzed can’t walk, but in their dreams they can dance and fly, helping them go beyond their physical handicaps in their inner lives.
As Stephen LaBerge says: “Your waking life is brief enough as it is. If a third of it must be shortened by sleep, do you want to sleep through your dreaming too?“
If we can learn to “combine” or blend our waking and sleeping realities, we have a whole new dimension open to us, a new opportunity for increased understanding and awareness. We can then make the conscious decision to go beyond our physical reality and bodies into the nonphysical realm, and potentially, find information there (as discussed in Lesson 90) that we aren’t finding in our normal physical (“awake/conscious”) world. We should use every tool we can, whether it be physical or mental, to increase our awareness. Dreaming is overlooked by many of us as an option for enhancing our lives, and as the wonderful flight from our bodies’ physical boundaries that it is: a chance to feel our (spirit’s) existence beyond our physical body …
2.3 “A Penny for Your Thoughts”
We also have a lot more options in our waking lives than many of us even realize. I’d like to share some excerpts with you from the May 1984, issue of Acres, U.S.A., from an interview with Dr. Phil Callahan (an internationally-famous entomologist and ornithologist who was also a navigation and electronics specialist in the 1940s). Several topics were covered, one of which was a brief mention of the circuitry of the brain. When asked about thought transmission and how it might take place between husband and wife or close relatives, Callahan says:
“You have, say, a mother in the U.S. and a son, say, in Vietnam, and suddenly the son is hurt or wounded and she knows it instantly. This has been verified in war after war after war. One of the best verifications of ESP (extrasensory perception), in my opinion, is case reports of things that take place during traumatic experiences in war. The son’s electric circuit brain is very much like his mother’s—he has 50% of her circuits. Therefore, his brain puts out a lot of energy. If you can scan the earth from a satellite with 10 to the -17 watts, there is no reason why your brain isn’t putting out much more than that: In fact, your brain is probably putting out, I would guess, 10 to the -12 watts and 10 to the -17 watts is less. Yet you can make a TV picture and turn something from a satellite into a TV picture with 10 to the -17, and that is a trillion, trillion, trillionth of a watt. Your brain putting out 10 to the -9 or something like that is certainly a stronger signal and would go around the world 40 times. Of course, signals do go around the world in nature. You have what you call Schuman Resonance. Schuman Resonance is when you have harmonics from lightning bolts that go around the world at about 8 to 20 cycles, and who knows what they are controlling. You have thousands of lightning bolts all over the world, and the ionosphere above and the earth below act like a big hollow cavity. So you get these frequencies trapped in this hollow cavity, and they go around and around. You can tune in to them. Nikola Tesla did this. He sent waves around the world. He was no doubt utilizing the Schuman Resonance to do it. He was ahead of his time. Schuman Resonance wasn’t even discovered until about 15 years ago, but Tesla was doing this back in the 1890s.”
Electroencephalograms measure the activity of brain waves; it is now obvious to scientists that these waves exist and show various levels of “energy.” Many believers in thought transmission/reception probably think that it depends on the level of sensitivity, awareness and receptivity of the individuals involved, at this point—recognition of thought transmission/receptivity may now depend on these things, but the actual transmission/reception most likely occurs constantly, whether we are “aware” of it or not—just as our blood moves through our veins whether we are aware of it or not, our thought wavelengths can move out through space independent of our realization that anything is happening at all! Believers have been aware of this phenomenon for ages, but many people are still skeptical; perhaps they don’t have firsthand experience with it or know someone who has—anyone who has experienced such things needs no convincing. I’ve recognized (and even experienced) verifiable thought transmission/ reception often enough to be a firm believer. Even when such an event happens once in a lifetime, it will alter one’s outlook on life as few other experiences can. Truth is self-evident.
We already know we can “harness” waves that we can’t even see to make a picture appear on a television screen, or to make songs come over the radio, but some of us still doubt that thoughts can be transmitted or received. Just because we can’t “explain or understand all the physics” involved—or don’t have enough awareness yet to control them ourselves to much extent—doesn’t mean that thought transmission doesn’t exist. We’ve already seen that many things exist outside our awareness of their existence. For example, microscopic life certainly existed before we saw it in microscopes!
Nowadays we readily accept the reality of TV waves, radio waves, telegraphic signals, microwaves, and so on, but a century ago people would have scoffed at such ideas (or perhaps labelled their proponents as “witches”); enlightened persons might have been open-minded enough to agree that these ideas were at least conceivable or perhaps possible “in the future,” with more knowledge available. People today also readily acknowledge the following (and other) realities: that grooves on a record (or a thin, shiny tape in a cassette) will result in music; that X rays take pictures of things we can’t see with our eyes; that radar sensors pick up objects; that cameras “make pictures”; that laser beams can, among other things, burn holes in objects; that computer chips we can barely see will hold thousands of bits of information; that we can talk to people thousands of miles away on the phone; and that the power of the atom (also “invisible” to us) in nuclear power has the ability to destroy our planet! How’s that for an example of immense physical power in an element so small we can’t even see it!
In our waking, conscious lives we learn what we want to learn, and advance (or degenerate) at our own individual rates; so it is with mystical dimensions. Just as an infant sitting in a car (who may someday learn to drive) is content for the time being to fidget with all the knobs, buttons and switches at random (sometimes to the chagrin of Mom and Dad), so are we when it comes to our level of understanding and awareness. We have a lot to learn, but the knowledge and insight we need to “grow up” are within us, as well as without. Remember too, that just as with any skill of any kind, abilities in interpreting “paranormal” reality definitely vary; some mistakes or errors in judgment are to be expected, even from gifted persons, and some charlatans can be expected as well, just as with any talent or creative ability. We’re taking our baby steps into the world of the psyche, finding out that our spirits aren’t limited to the physical realm, as our bodies are.
“Suspended in the physical, and yet,
I am beyond this skin, these eyes,
and cannot quite forget.”
We have but to imagine how free we can be in our spirits—we’ve only just begun. Just as a baby looks around at everything with that “so-this-is-where-I-am” look, we too are now in awe of our newfound dimension of consciousness and reality, and wonder how far we can go here. That we can contemplate life in all its marvel at all is proof enough that we are spirit—we’ve outgrown the limits of our physical state—being spirit and body, we’ve always been in the nonphysical state, even before we “realized” it.
Phil Callahan’s statement about the power of our brain waves to encircle the world “40 times” has some profound implications for us and adds a whole new dimension to our reality. Remember how many times we’ve thrown up our hands in despair to ask: “But what can I, as one person, do to change the world?” (Again, we’ve come to realize that the truth is, we’re all already doing it now). When frustrated and overwhelmed about problems we see, we often feel “so small” in this big world, and so alone. Sometimes we even wonder if we’re the “only ones” who care. Rest assured that we aren’t—we share these feelings with one another whether we are consciously aware of it or not. Because we live in such volatile times (nuclear, ecological, etc.), the fact that we are still here at all is no small miracle. One of the things now holding the world together at this very moment (and since the beginning of the nuclear age) is our tremendous collective will to live and to survive (called our deepest, strongest instinct) radiating outward at every moment, criss-crossing the planet over and over again with its messages: we want to live in peace and tranquility. That we are still here is the collective manifestation of the drive within us to evolve to new states of being, to progress and to grow, to explore our universe and minds and spirits. We are tired of wasting our precious time and lives in the futile efforts of war. Hatred, destruction, rebuilding, and starting over at the beginning again and again—we should have learned our lessons many years ago. These energy-draining activities only slow us down and keep us from the beautiful, evolved creatures/spirits of life that we will be when we work together and give peace a chance. We’ve had enough—we’re weary of having shadows of doom and gloom looming in the back of our minds, and concerned when our children say they don’t even know if they’ll grow up.
We must never underestimate the power of our thoughts Remember, just as with the atom, just because we don’t see them doesn’t mean they have no influence on our world—thoughts carry their own energy too.
Our desire for peace spreads outward like ripples on a pond, renewed with every new thought of peace, being reinforced all over the globe by the network of souls who want to live and let live—ever-gaining strength. We should be very proud to be part of this network of light and of life.
This is why we can’t dwell on negative images of our world or future (beyond their imminent warnings), and get lost in our reactions, when it’s action we need. In dwelling on the negative, we literally radiate negativity on the negative “wavelength,” thus reinforcing the very thing we detest. When we radiate put on the wavelength of life and positive energy, we are joined with all the forces and powers of creation.
There’s no tangible profit to be made off higher consciousness—you can’t package it or sell it, and it results in people asking all those uncomfortable questions on “product safety” or “company liability for their damaged health,” etc. In other words, it seems that one of the last things we hear about these days in the media is nonphysical reality, the evolution of consciousness, and so on (when what could be more relevant and important for those of us who are restless within the limits of our physical reality?). We certainly hear enough about ring-around-the-collar, squeezably soft toilet tissue or being part of the “Pepsi generation.” People oriented in physical reality buy physical products. What’s more, if they were to become true to their consciences and become their highest, most evolved, most moral selves, with a remarkable code of honor, they might no longer “have a price”—they might begin to care more about life and people than about things—and avoid obsession with material possessions that hinders their “non-material” growth and distracts them from higher pursuits. Why, then they might even refuse to pay for weapons that kill people and destroy life! In other words, “they might just rock the boat.”
If we could realize the strength and power—and the incredible positive force of creation and love—that our minds are really capable of, now and at every moment, we would challenge corrupt and unjust systems into which we’re locked for our physical survival, and we wouldn’t be as easily influenced/manipulated/brainwashed. But as long as we’re kept running a treadwheel, trapped like hamsters in a cage, locked in debt just to survive and make ends meet to pay for our physical needs, we’ll “stay in our place,” and many of us are too busy to find out about all our strength and potential (especially its collective force), or we’re just “loo tired to care” at the end of another hectic day.
British futurist Peter Russell thinks that we are now moving “from the computer age to the Age of Consciousness, the next step, an epoch when our minds will be linked by common goals, when humans will be creatures without ego, using their large brains to manage the affairs of the planet.” He believes that humankind is about to make an unprecedented leap in evolution, a jump beyond petty jealousy, virulent nationalism, unbridled greed. We are to become, Russell says, the nervous system that makes the whole globe tick, a kind of benevolent planetary brain linked by common consciousness. The earth for Russell is a single organism, not just a spinning rock teeming with life, but a life form all by itself, an individual being. And we humans are going to become this organism’s brain. We are already the information processors of the planet, says Russell. We collect data, build libraries, museums and satellites. Information passes through national boundaries as if they didn’t exist. In 1944 there were only three computers in the world. “Now look,” Russell says. “We moved from the Industrial Age to the Information Age with tremendous speed. Now 40 years after the first computers, we’re already starting to go beyond them, to consciousness and awareness.” Heightened consciousness, he says, is our inevitable next step. Individual consciousness will become group consciousness, and humankind will interconnect in a single vast cooperative of consciousness. “We are an evolutionary experiment,” Russell says. “And the question is, are we a good thing or not? Are we a cancer, a blight destroying the very fiber of life, or will we serve another purpose?”
Peter Russell is not alone in his vision of a living Earth. He studied theoretical physics at Cambridge University, but found himself drawn to Eastern philosophies; and when he went to India to pursue those interests, he “experienced a dimension of my consciousness of which I had never dreamed.”
Today, doom scenarios are popular, Russell says. “We are in a very dangerous time. But shouldn’t our large brains serve some greater purpose than self-destruction?” In his book he quotes1 inventor Buckminster Fuller: “The world now is too dangerous for anything less than Utopia.”
2.4 The Life Force
We’ve spent a lot of time discussing health and survival of life, and pondered the mysteries of our existence for some time now. What then, do we know about life itself! What is this amazing quality that can come and go, leaving an entity “alive” one moment and “lifeless” the next? Just as we can see and hear, whether we know we have “optic nerves and tympanic membranes” or not, or taste even if we don’t know that our taste buds are “small ovoid neuroepithelial structures that lie between the epithelial cells that cover the tongue,” so too can we live, once the life force is within us, whether we understand it or not—luckily for us! All of our cellular groupings, organs, bones, and everything down to our Hyoglossus (a muscle that we’d better have between our hyoid bone and tongue if we plan on “pulling the tongue into the floor of our mouths” any time soon), are all part of an incredibly intricate life support system. Ask any car mechanic what’s involved in assembling his machine that moves through space—plenty—but well soon see that our bodily machine is infinitely more intricate. If you look at a book on physiology, you’ll see how many “parts” our machine has! Being a vessel of the life force is one thing—duplicating it, another. Genetic “engineers” keep trying, and heaven help us, for we’re trying to exercise divine power (control life) before we truly understand what divinity is. Yet, as are so many things, I suppose that’s “in our nature,” too. Whether we knit, garden, build, or tinker, we are all imbued with the passionate urge to create something. In any case, it might be wise if we knew more about the life force before tinkering with it too!
When someone “dies,” we say the life force “leaves the body.” This is generally agreed upon, although what happens next is still open to discussion after all these years. Perhaps one of the reasons we have a hard time getting past these age-old questions is that we’re falling back into that same old trap of “trying too hard” (in this case, thinking too much) once again. Let’s face it, we have been wondering about some of these things for a long time now, yet we still seem to get lost somewhere between the question and the answer! What’s our problem here? Aside from the fact that we often block our intuitive channels with “logical” reasoning, maybe we’ll also see our “abstract” predicament more clearly with a “concrete” example: imagine a primitive person standing in front of a computer, wondering what it is. Whatever the primitive person can conjure up in his mind to explain or comprehend this object, with his limited resources, will still not serve to explain its function. There is a “gap.” This primitive person probably has the innate intelligence to operate a computer, but until the gap of understanding is closed, it will remain a mystery. Just as the baby in the car must learn what the gadgets are before they will become “real” to him, so too, the more we learn about our mental abilities, the more meaningful they will be for us.
We often become impatient. Here we are, faced with our human physical mortality, bills due, and a mystery: what happens when we “die”? Like angry children, we demand answers to the mystery of life, but we’re still forcing the issue and overlooking the simple. We’re already in over our heads when we try to explain “supernatural” phenomena in our human terms and words. If we want to understand the life force, we must begin by realizing that it is “more” than a “human” event—intangible and invisible, it is an event of the spirit, encompassing far more than our limited human reality. Since we can’t see the life force in the first place, it would be presumptuous to assume that life dies just because a living entity “becomes lifeless.” This is pure speculation on our part. The life force itself doesn’t die when the entity “dies.”
Mysticism has always included some concept of “eternity”, eternal life, infinity. Somewhere along the line, some of our pioneer spirits found something, and began to pass it on: The story of eternity has undergone countless metamorphoses and versions throughout the ages. Some say we “go to heaven” (or, if not so lucky, to the ‘big barbecue pit’ in the sky?), and some say we’re reborn—but, although the accounts differ, enlightened people from all times have clung tenaciously to some common belief in some form of eternal life, or an immortality of the spirit, with absolute certainty that there was life “beyond” the physical form, that the body is like a vehicle that is abandoned after it becomes useless and can’t take us any further.
Once upon a time, long ago, someone died, and his friends stood around in sadness and tried to figure out what had happened. One minute he was moving, and the next … as best they could determine, this person was gone, finished, ended—and the concept or word “dead” was invented to explain this event. Thus came the conclusion that where there is “no life,” there is “death.” It sounds logical enough, and we’ve been saying it so long that we’ve pretty much taken it for granted by now, but one of the main reasons we say there’s no life when a person dies is because the person we knew doesn’t move anymore and bodily organs have ceased to function. The word “death” may be useful in describing an event, but the notion of death as a finite, final event might have as many flaws in it as our old world-is-flat theory or current germ/contagion theories, held by so many as “absolute” truths. Since we have a profound lack of knowledge (even after all these years) of exactly what happens beyond what is visible to the naked eye when someone dies, we’d be somewhat naive to say that nothing else happens just’ because we can’t see it or don’t know what happens! Rather than being an end to life itself, death is just a process of change, a passage, transition, transcendence, metamorphosis, a new journey beyond the physical world of our bodies. Think about it. How can life be dead? How can life not be alive. The pioneer spirits who first spoke of eternal life saw a simple answer to the complex question of what death was: a sort of evolution—life goes on, eternally, forever, endlessly changing form. The first thing we do when we die is change form: our body begins to decay, to “disappear,” to break down what it once built up—like a reverse-action film, it’s completing the “cycle.” The process of cellular decay is one of change, change, change—of metamorphosis as the body fades from the physical world. How can we define what is obvious activity as a “dead” (motionless) process, when this movement of molecular structure from one form to another is obviously a process of change (visible and invisible), and might better be defined as just another part of the life process itself! When the body finally disappears from our visible physical reality, we can’t say exactly what has become of its atoms and molecules, for they have rearranged and changed structure from one form into another (or perhaps others). This transformation process of life (called death) is still very much a mystery to us!
People already give us “those” looks when we tell them we don’t eat meat or cooked food. Wait until we see the looks we get when we say “there’s no real death, only eternal life and change and metamorphosis and evolution …” Here we go again!
So, is that all there is to it? We’ve been saying this life force weaves its way here and there, as if we could be in the middle of a sentence, and … poof! We are fortunate enough to have been chosen by the life force as “containers” for its antics, but we too have choices to make. When life asks us to dance with it, we become its partners—we help determine its rhythm within us and the melody of our duet together—life is the voice—we become the words to its song. Studies with terminally-ill patients have indicated that the will to live, or the lack of the will to live, do have an effect on the length of our lives, and that a person can literally “turn himself off” at some point, whether consciously or subconsciously. (Another good reason to keep thoughts positive.) If we become too tired or bored, sick, old, etc., to continue the dance, life will understand and move on. If we want to live fully, life will stay with us as long as possible, even until the dawn of our new day.
In each moment, time stands still; in each moment, from whence we came and where we are going are all caught up in an instant of eternity.
Believe in life and its force and you already, know eternity. Eternal life is with us forever in this moment.
2.5 What Time Is It?
We discussed the concept of time in Lesson 90 and said that it doesn’t actually exist exactly as we define it in our human terms! There, and in our above discussion, we mentioned the eternal present: it is always now. Yesterday and tomorrow are actually “abstractions”: the only real time is “now.” There is no other time we exist in other than “now” (in fact, everyone who ever lived, lived “now”).
We say that moments (and time) pass from one to the next, but time isn’t moving—it’s always now—it is we living beings who move. We form a living chain of beings and we call those who lived before us “from the past” and those who are yet to come “from the future” and the links of this chain of life hold us together. We can assume that everyone was living (or will live) now at the time they lived (or will)—and we who are alive now are living now—so it appears that we’re “all living at the same time—now. “Of course that seems to defy the physical imagination, to say the least, but as much as it defies logical explanation, it is at the same time somehow “logical.” It’s also interesting to note that this might shed some light on the mystery of the gift of prophecy!
2.6 “Time Is of the Essence”
We’ve talked about some peoples’ ability to know things from the “universal mind”—an ability that defies logical explanation and goes beyond our usual “normal” channels for receiving knowledge. Not only that, but our “normal,” traditional notion of time is also open to question when we see that some people not only know things or receive information beyond their “normal” physical/mental reality; they are even able to know things (whether from the past or future) beyond the so-called “physical time” in which they exist at that moment. How can this be? How can someone know something that “hasn’t happened yet”? What does that do to our “normal” concept of the “future,” or of time itself? One of the better-known examples of person with prophetic gifts was Nostradamus, who lived in the 16th century. He is said to have foreseen numerous events that came to pass after his death (which he also saw ahead of time). In 1568, he published the following prophecy:
Century IV, Quatrain 67:
In the year that Saturn and Mars are equally firey
The air is very dry, a long meteor (comet)
By secret fires, many places shall be burnt with heat
There shall be scarcity of rain, hot winds, wars, blood,
thirst and famine (when the comet shall run).
The above quote and the following excerpts are from an article “When Solar Winds Blow Havoc for Mankind” by Jim Cummins, Acres, U.S.A., January 1985, which discusses the return of Halley’s comet, due again in our vicinity in November 1985, and to “stay in our backyard” until April 1986. Halley’s comet has a well-documented 76-year cycle, with records begun in March 239, B.C. Ever since this sighting, a worldwide three-year drought (and often resultant famine) has followed in its wake each time, (for details—a long list of other climatological, social and political upheavals throughout history that were on the heels or in the wake of a comet—please get a copy of the above issue.)
“How can all these things be attributed to the passing of a comet? Space probes have sent back data showing that the sun continuously ejects a million tons of gas per second, moving at a radial speed of 250 miles per second, with wind speeds past the earth at some 900,000 miles per hour, and extends to about four times the distance beyond the farthest planet Pluto. (A comet travels in its orbit to several thousand times farther than Pluto.) This solar wind carries chaotic magnetic fields along with it because the gas is ionized. The magnetic fields of the solar wind ruffle the earth’s own magnetic field as it passes by, hence, magnetic disturbances affecting communications, etc., at the time of increased solar activity (which is cyclical). Scientists have determined, for instance, a statistical correlation between the accelerations of Halley’s Comet and magnetic disturbances on the earth.
“The effects of the solar wind on every earthly activity, from health to markets, weather, and wars, is well-documented. The transverse motion of a comet at many miles per second across the movement of the solar wind blowing radially from the sun results in the i6n tail of the comet interacting with the high velocity of the solar wind in the same way that smoke rising from a smokestack interacts with moving air to produce a graceful billowy arch to the earth.
“Scientists now believe that each interstellar dust grain of comet stuff contains molecules of formaldimine, methyl alcohol, methyl cyanide, hydrogen cyanide or hydrocyanic acid, and some 20 others, including cyanogen and carbon dioxide. (My note here: we have too much CO2 already.) Many of the radicals they have determined to be the ‘smoke’ of comets cannot be isolated in a terrestrial laboratory, and are probably created by the rapid breakdown of the parent compounds by ultraviolet sunlight. The lingering, billowy arch of smoke falls slowly to the earth in the wake of a comet’s passing. Needless to say, no living thing on our tiny planet is made the better for it. We all breathe this cyanide: kings, presidents, common man alike think and act as though we have poison in our system (and we do) … and we eat the plants and animals which have breathed the same deadly gases … and the pale settles in for a season.”
As we have seen in our studies on ecology and the current world political situation, we’re already “teetering on the brink of extinction” in many ways, so we could certainly do without any “pales settling in” because we don’t need much pushing, this close to the “edge.”
“The advent of two important planets aligning at a crucial astronomical degree from the earth at the precise time that Halley’s Comet (with which Nostradamus was familiar) would make as perihelion (closest point of approach to the sun), would be an ominous occurrence, said Nostradamus, warning us in the only way he could, considering the Inquisition under which he lived. Such an event (this planetary configuration at the comet’s perihelion) has not happened/or over 1,000 years, but it is due in February 1986, and Nostradamus knew it!“
Here then is a verifiable example of prophecy: the dates of alignment of planets, in this case, Saturn and Mars, can be calculated and determined scientifically; the next such alignment is due in February 1986. How could Nostradamus know, in 1568, that they’d be aligned in a once-in-a-thousand-years configuration at a “crucial astronomical degree from the earth at the precise time (1986) Halley’s comet would make its perihelion”?
We do still have a lot to learn about the powers of our minds. Some people apparently “go beyond their physical lifetimes” in their minds or spirits, but in the sense that the eternal present covers all eternity, they really don’t even have to “go” anywhere. Apparently it’s because it’s always now that they can “see it now” if they have that gift of sensitivity.
It is interesting to note that gifts of intelligence, wisdom, insight, vision, enlightenment, clairvoyance, prophecy, and so on, are obviously not limited to people of any particular “time,” i.e., they aren’t limited to so-called highly-evolved or “civilized” people, nor are they always found in persons with exceptional “conventional” intelligence (ability to learn quickly, etc.). Throughout “the ages,” there have been individuals who possessed extraordinary insight, wisdom or extrasensory perception; such persons are “timeless”—they would stand out and excel in any time period.
One such person was Pythagoras, a Greek philosopher born in 570 B.C. who advocated vegetarianism, among other things, as the key to expanding consciousness and intellect. He was already talking about things Life Scientists believe in now; he was way “ahead of” most people of his day, and even ours. He even taught; that the world was round, long before Copernicus and Galileo came along after the 1400s.
Pythagoras was a mathematical and musical genius, a sage who travelled to many other countries (as far as Egypt and India, rare for people of those times); he was accepted by their wise men, who shared with him secrets often not divulged to their own public, nor to strangers. He accepted women as “thinking beings,” and included them in his discussions, being unique in his times in doing so. Space here doesn’t permit a detailed account of his life and gifts to humanity; suffice it to say, he was a rare person. Because of his diet, he was said to be in perfect health at all times, and of perfect, calm, harmonious temperament. He had a vision of a changed society with no war, slavery or violence. Had his communities of followers been left alone in peace and allowed to thrive, we can only imagine where we’d all be today! However, as is so often the case when ignorant people form the “majority,” his enemies tried to destroy his books and temples, and enslaved his followers! We’re still waiting for people to see the light that Pythagoras (and many before and since him) saw already. It seems quite obvious that the “missing link” in the puzzle of our prolonged aggressive tendencies and low-life attitudes up to now is meat-eating. Pythagoras was very specific in his admonitions not to eat meat; he wasn’t vegetarian “by coincidence”—he knew exactly what he was doing in avoiding it, and said so. Had we listened to his wisdom (and others’) we might have avoided another thousand years of human suffering and wars.
2.7 Vegetarian Thinkers
A March 1985 newspaper article on Einstein’s brain talked about recent studies of its brain cells: nearly 30 years after his death, Marian Diamond was looking at cells taken “from the 20th century’s most celebrated clump of human intelligence.” Before he died, Albert Einstein stipulated that his brain be preserved and used for research. “When we heard that Einstein’s brain was sitting in a cardboard box in Kansas, we saw a chance to study the most highly-evolved brain available in our lifetime,” Marian said. Dr. Janice Stevens, staff psychiatrist at the neuropsychiatry branch of the National Institute of Mental Health, tells a story about the time researchers at Princeton did an electroencephalogram on Einstein. They were measuring the alpha wave, which indicates the brain’s “idling activity.” Alpha wave activity disappears with arousal or intense brain activity. The researchers started the EEG, and Einstein, so the story goes, was calmly solving quadratic equations in his head. His alpha wave, indicating mental idling, was very high. All of a sudden, the alpha wave went flat. Alarmed, the researchers rushed in and asked Einstein what was wrong. “I hear it’s raining outside,” said the world’s greatest scientist, “and I’ve left my rubbers at home.”
I wanted to include these excerpts (italics above are mine) to show how esteemed Einstein is in the scientific world, even though the article itself was going into details on his “glial cells” and so on (he had a higher ratio of glial cells to neurons compared with 11 other brains tested, with the most significant difference found in the sample from the left lower parietal lobe, the part of the brain most involved with higher mathematical and language abilities).
Einstein is considered a great genius, and he was also a vegetarian. Literature on vegetarians includes the following great thinkers from our history: Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Epicurus, Apollonius of Tyana, Plutarch, Seneca, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Proclus, Ovid, Tolstoy, the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, Sir Isaac Newton, Gandhi, Buddha, Voltaire, Charles Darwin, Albert Schweitzer, and others; the artist Leonardo da Vinci was also a vegetarian— this list is but a sampling.
If we are interested in observing the mind and philosophy and the things of the universe, well do well to observe that some of the world’s most “famous” historical figures, those whose names came down to us from the past because they were such outstanding persons in their day, were also vegetarians.
“Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds them. We live by the death of others. We are burial places! I have since an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.”
—Leonardo da Vinci
“While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered animals, how can we expect any ideal conditions on the earth?”
“Only living, fresh foods can enable man to apprehend the truth.”
“It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.”
“Animals are my friends… and I don’t eat my friends. Man suppresses in himself, unnecessarily, the highest spiritual capacity—that of sympathy and pity toward living creatures like himself—and by violating his own feelings, becomes cruel.”
—George Bernard Shaw
“World peace, or any other kind of peace, depends greatly on the attitude of the mind. Vegetarianism can bring about the right mental attitude for peace… it holds forth a better way of life, which, if practiced universally, can lead to a better, more just, and more peaceful community of nations.”
—U Nu, former Prime Minister of Burma
By changing our diets and lifestyles, we’ve already seen how closely they’re related to “who we are.” Very often the “personality” we think we are is totally different after these changes are made in our lives. The sum total of our diet/ life becomes us, talks through us. As we unburden ourselves more and more, we replace our former resentment of ignorant people and our contempt for their wrongful actions with understanding, even forgiveness. We have no place in our minds for wasted thoughts; they distract us and clutter our heads with more useless negativity. We have no time for holding grudges or making judgments, for our time and our lives are precious. We’ve said it a dozen times, but it bears repeating: if we truly want to free ourselves, we’ll replace all our negative thoughts with inner peace and tranquility. People who become trapped in their emotions don’t see the diet/lifestyle connection; we know we don’t have to be slaves to our emotions.