A New Idea of Who We Are: Part III July 26, 2016
Research reported in The Field (2008) was directed toward studying connections between quantum physics and human consciousness. The scientists sought explanations for a variety of theories and phenomena that have long permeated myth, religion, medicine and philosophy.
As we know from the experiences of Copernicus, Galileo, and countless others, science has always fought new ideas which challenge established theories until the research is sufficiently replicated and validated by independent observers. So it should be, and so it was for the studies discussed in this book.
In every field of human endeavor, progress begins with a tiny seed of intuition that grows into the bud of an idea, flowers into research and new discoveries, and culminates in nourishing fruits enjoyed by all. Each phase is essential to the process; each explorer contributes to our evolving knowledge. With this understanding, we remain open to possibilities suggested by author Lynne Mactaggart about who we really are and how we can make a difference.
“If we could understand the inherent potential available to us we might learn how to systematically tap into it, which would vastly improve every area of our lives, from communication and self-knowledge, to our interaction with our material world. Science would no longer reduce us to our lowest common denominator. It would help us take a final evolutionary step in our own history by at last understanding ourselves in all of our potential.” McTaggart, p. 225-6
“If we could finally work out the science of medicine that treats human energy levels and the exact nature of the ‘energy’ that was being treated, the possibilities for improved health [are] unimaginable.” p. 226
“The coming scientific revolution heralded the end of dualism in every sense. Far from destroying God, science for the first time was proving His [sic] existence—by demonstrating that a higher, collective consciousness was out there. There no longer need to be two truths, the truth of science and the truth of religion. There could be one unified vision of the world” (p. 226) which could reduce hostilities instigated by polarized thinking.
“This…could give us back a sense of optimism, something that has been stripped out of our sense of ourselves with the arid vision of twentieth-century philosophy, largely derived from the views espoused by science.” p. 226
“We [are] not isolated beings living our desperate lives on a lonely planet in an indifferent universe. We never were alone. We were always part of a larger whole. We were and always had been at the center of things. Things did not fall apart. The center did hold and it was we who were doing the holding.” p. 226 Perhaps if a critical mass feels this hope, it can spread to people who are deeply disillusioned and disappointed by outdated ideas of who they are, thus reducing meaninglessness and certain forms of depression.
“[A] living system of greater coherence could exchange information and create or restore coherence in a disordered, random or chaotic system. The natural set of the living world appeared to be order—a drive toward greater coherence…. By the act of observation and intention, we have the ability to extend a kind of super-radiance to the world.” pp. 138-9 Perhaps those who acquire greater coherence through meditation are on the right track when they send loving kindness into the world! Who knows? Maybe their efforts are behind our new interest in eliminating practices responsible for our increasingly chaotic ecological systems.
A finding that children are open to far more information in The Field than the average adult is especially heartening. p. 138 Just yesterday I learned that as of this fall, our grandchildren’s school will incorporate a few minutes of yoga and “loving kindness” meditation and mindfulness into their morning meetings. I’m so pleased!
Here are some thoughts offered by my readers:
Brian: “An accessing of universal unconscious material by an increasing number of humans brings forward new dialogues, understandings, new positive choices become available, routes away from the history of conflict. Hopefully also a synthesis of religious thought and a route for the previously agnostic to access a real connection to the”spiritual” nature of existence.”
Susan: “There is no question in my mind as to the power of critical mass having a profound influence on the world, hopefully for the benefit of all. And if we can…see, really see, the unity that is inherent in our lives, of all things big and small, our service in doing the hard inner work is thus meaningful. I’m taking away from your post the need to pray for peace around the world in the hope that my tiny vibration adds to the whole.”
Sally: Having read as much as I could understand about quantum physics for years, one of the most exciting developments is that it is destroying the divisive either/or controversy between science and religion and leads to a deeper understanding of the both/and reality of spirit-energy of all life.
Many of the new ideas discussed in The Field confirm insights and intuitions I’ve acquired over years of study, personal experience, practice, inner exploration and positive change. I no longer need to “believe” because I trust an “inner guru” or “Force” which I, like Carl Jung, call the Self. Perhaps it is simply my portion of The Field. Whatever it may be, the dreams, insights, intuitions and synchronicities it sends my way have improved every area of my life and brought a mystical awareness of the basic unity and connectedness of all life.
So, like Susan, The Field reinforces my need to pray for peace plus hope, intention, and determination to make a positive difference with “my tiny vibration.”
May we all grow in coherence.
Image Credits: Google Images
Jean’s newest book, Healing the Sacred Divide, can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc. Ebook versions of The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are also at Amazon as well as Kobo, Barnes And Noble, and Smashwords.
What Is God? March 23, 2012
How can human beings possibly know the nature of God? We can’t, of course. Yet ever since our species realized we were alive and part of a vast living Mystery, we’ve been trying. And whether we’re religious or not, most of us have some ideas about this Mystery. It seems to me we look at God from three major perspectives.
Objective Facts: Using mathematics and tools like X-rays, electrocardiograms, telescopes and microscopes, Science looks for factual information about the mysterious origins, forces, and laws of physical life.
Abstract Theories: Religion interprets the Mystery of life in words, theories, symbols, scriptures, and stories about enlightened spirit persons whose wisdom, compassion, and passion for social justice bring healing and hope.
Personal Truths: Psychology encourages us to explore the mysterious workings of our hearts and minds for insights that bring awe, compassion, and self-knowledge, and to express our experience of the Sacred in creative ways that reflect our individuality.
Until very recently these three perspectives were sharply separated. Scientific investigations took place in laboratories, religious ones in places of worship, and psychological ones in consulting rooms, art studios, and asylums. Moreover, since the invention of alphabets, the viewpoints of religions have predominately shaped humanity’s God-images.
But all this is changing. The universal access to information that technology brings is closing the gaps, and our differing perspectives no longer totally separate us from ourselves, each other, or God. In fact, they are merging into a deeper, more unifying vision. This is deeply disturbing to those who prefer separation to connection, simplicity to paradox, and certitude to dialogue.
However, people who seek truth and understanding above all else find it refreshing and inspiring. Why? Because the newest insights and discoveries from science, religion and psychology confirm the same intuition that spirit persons from every place and time have always shared: that a primary characteristic of the sacred Mystery is Unity in Multiplicity.
Consider the myriad forms of life on our planet. Each has a separate reality of its own yet all live together in one giant, inter-connected home. Look at the variety of religions that have sprung up over the millennia. Despite cultural differences they all speak the same language of love, compassion, tolerance, and the sanctity of life. Look at different individuals. No two are exactly alike, yet we all share the same matter, physiological systems, instinctual drives, and archetypal inheritance. And all our parts work together to help our bodies and species thrive.
Three perspectives; one Mystery. A Holy Trinity as it were. Unity in Multiplicity.
I can think of nothing more sacred than the miracle of life. Without it there would be no science, religion, or psychology. No miracles, healing, or compassion. No people with ideas about God. No God. If the nature of God is expressed in Unity in Multiplicity and we are each living, breathing participants in that Unity, then we are in God and God is in us. I wonder how things would be different if more of us shared this image of God.
The Power of Choice April 16, 2011
In this blog I use the framework of Jungian psychology to express my philosophy about life which can be summarized in four words: “Think psychologically; live spiritually.” Because Jung’s discoveries have been so meaningful to me, I’ve hoped to help others make sense of their lives by sharing what I’ve learned.
In my experience, most people drawn to Jungian psychology tend to be curious, progressive, open-minded thinkers who enjoy exploring old ideas and staying in touch with the newest theories in many fields other than psychology. Some of the most common in this mixed bag are quantum physics, astrophysics, astronomy, astrology, anthropology, archaeology, architecture, alchemy, literature, film, religion, mysticism, mythology, philosophy, brain research, dream research, gender relationships and women’s studies. Their goal in familiarizing themselves with such a broad range of knowledge is to gain a better understanding of the reasons for human thought and behavior in the hope of improving the health and wholeness of themselves, their clients, and all humankind.
A field currently yielding some of the most exciting developments is brain functioning, and in particular, the phenomenon of neuroplasticity. MedicineNet.com provides this definition of neuroplasticity: “The brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.”
Of most interest to me is the fact that a leading advocate of research in this field is the Dalai Lama who has encouraged Buddhist monks to become “guinea pigs” for scientists wishing to learn if there is a correlation between intentional mind-training techniques like meditation, and physical changes in the brain. The results of this unprecedented collaboration between science and religion point to the startling conclusion that we can change our lives by changing our brains.
The implications are mind-blowing. Until recently, mainstream science has been skeptical of reports that a regular program of meditation creates more compassion, peace, and well-being. But today a growing number of scientists take some of the traditional claims of psychology and religion very seriously indeed.
For example, Dr. Rudolph Tanzi of the Harvard Medical School says we are more than our brains and bodies, which are merely the instruments of an intangible “real self.” If this real self, (what Jung would call the Self), is not in charge of our intellect and emotions — i.e. if our egos do not listen to our thoughts and monitor our emotions and follow our intuition and make conscious, original and caring choices — we are their servant! But with regular mind-training practices such as meditation and dream work we can change our brains and transform ourselves from slaves to masters of our lives!
For more information check out this video of a conversation between Deepak Chopra and Dr. Tanzi. Meanwhile, consider this: Our mind has unimaginable potential; our ego is a small, but crucial element of that potential. Small, because its sphere of consciousness is like a grain of sand on the shore of a cosmic ocean of consciousness; crucial because that tiny grain has the life-changing power of choice. If our lives feel narrow and fulfilling it is because we, our ego selves, have not chosen to do what it takes to enlarge and enrich them. Why? Ignorance, complacency, laziness, fear of censure, retribution, failure or the unknown…you name it. But regardless of the reason, we can still choose to change our brains and our lives if we truly want to.
The Marriage of Science and Religion May 16, 2010
Plato and Aristotle’s identification of the two ways of thinking I call logos and mythos was based on the human tendency to perceive and classify all phenomena into pairs of opposites. Since ancient times, the supreme pair of opposites under which we have categorized all others has been the metaphors of masculine and feminine. When used as metaphors, these terms are not about gender or sexuality, but ways of helping us categorize related ideas.
When Jung set out to better understand the psyche he used the same metaphors to express the findings of his research. One of his major conclusions was that the psyche is a union of conscious (masculine) and unconscious (feminine). An even more ground-breaking discovery was the fundamental archetype composed of the union of the masculine and feminine. He called this archetype of wholeness the Self, with a capital S to denote its difference from the ego self, and defined it as our God-image.
Like Plato, Jung also thought of the masculine principle as logos, but he named the feminine principle Eros, after the Greek god of love. For him, logos represented all the spiritual phenomena of life (including mental discrimination, judgment, and insight), and Eros symbolized all physical phenomena, i.e. the things we mean by the term soul, including matter and our physical bodies with their instincts, emotions, and capacity to relate. While readily admitting that these concepts cannot be defined accurately or exhaustively, Jung believed they had great practical value for clarifying a field of experience that is particularly difficult to define.
One stumbling block for some Jungians is the use of the name of a masculine Greek God (Eros) for the feminine principle! This is why I prefer the term mythos, which is non-gender specific. A related issue is that associating “spiritual” phenomena with the masculine principle removes the feminine from the spiritual playing field. Today, however, science has dramatically refined these concepts with new research in brain-lateralization.
Neurosurgeon Dr. Leonard Shlain notes that the nonverbal “feminine” right hemisphere of the brain integrates feelings, recognizes images, and expresses being. More often than the word-oriented “masculine” left hemisphere it generates feeling-states like love, humor, or aesthetic appreciation, all of which are non-logical. These feeling-states are authentic experiences that are verified beyond debate by an internal voice. Among other things, they allow us to have faith in God.
In sum, associated with all that is mysterious, unconscious, felt, organic, imaginative, and personally compelling, mythos is the non-verbal way we experience the truths of spirit and soul. Moreover, using mythos to explore the enigmas of the outer and inner universes brings enormous psychological and spiritual advances because it is inherently integrating and self-validating. And it is the birthright of every brain, male and female alike.
Increasingly over the past five thousand years, we have exalted logos over mythos, repressing our “feminine” ways of thinking and imagining God in left-hemisphere ways. But we are living in extraordinary times. With the marriage of science and religion we are unveiling our unconscious and undeveloped feminine dimensions and integrating the wisdom of Sophia, God’s feminine side.