SCIENCE AND THE PARANORMAL – THE QUESTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS

BY Brendan D. Murphy, Guest Waking Times 

With so many people (many indeed being iconic scientific and historical figures) experiencing what they are supposedly not meant to, according to materialistic thought, the reasonable individual might be forgiven for wondering if there is something more to consciousness than our present “scientific” paradigms would have us believe. Can we go further than questioning the assumed legitimacy of orthodox materialistic theories which reduce consciousness to a mere epiphenomenon (by-product) of physical matter (the brain) and even—heaven forbid—suggest that they are not merely incomplete, but actually types of superstitions in themselves?

Etymologically, the word consciousness derives from the words scire (to know) and cum or con (with). Consciousness is “to know with.” So if you, the persona, cognize (to know or be aware of), who are you cognizing with? Is there more to consciousness than the Freudian ego and unconscious?

Mathematical physicist Roger Penrose has written:

A scientific world-view which does not profoundly come to terms with the problem of conscious minds can have no serious pretensions of [sic] completeness…I would maintain that there is yet no physical, biological, or computational theory that comes very close to explaining our consciousness or intelligence.[i]

Indeed, in the past (and even today?) some scientists had taken the absurd position that consciousness is an illusion. This, while providing a nonsensical reason to ignore the problem of consciousness, obviously fails to sate the curious inquirer’s queries regarding how we got here and what we are doing here as conscious beings. Materialistic philosophy as we know it—derived from the mechanistic worldview—had, more or less since the dawning of the Age of Reason in the 1700s, steadfastly maintained that what we call experience arises solely as a by-product of the brain’s internal workings. No brain, no consciousness.

But is it really that simple? What about functions of consciousness that appear to transcend the cranial boundaries of our heads? The Age of Reason said that these forces had only ever existed in man’s imagination; only reason could show man the truth about the universe. “The trouble was,” according to Colin Wilson, “that man became a thinking pygmy, and the world of the rationalists was a daylight place in which boredom, triviality and ordinariness were ultimate truths.”[ii]

The Age of Reason glorified the rationalist, who, enamoured of his endless linear cogitations, was blinded to faculties of consciousness that actually transcended them: faculties that would have allowed him not to merely philosophize about deeper levels of reality, but actually access them. “This is the great tragedy of modern man,” wrote occultist, philosopher, and composer Dane Rudhyar. “His much acclaimed scientific spirit frees him of the compulsions of subrational and subconscious states of mind, only to bind him to an empty rationalism and a quantitative analytical intellect, both of which actually entomb him in a sarcophagus filled with only the mimicry of life. This sarcophagus is the ‘megalopolis’—the monstrous city.”[iii]

But something stirs in the bowels of the concrete jungle. An international online survey of paranormal experiences had met with an overwhelming response, according to Australian researchers in 2006. The survey, on phenomena that cannot be explained using the current “laws” of science, is by researchers at Monash University in Melbourne. A recent (for the time) Gallup poll revealed that 75% of Americans hold at least one paranormal belief, and a UK newspaper poll showed that 60% of Britons accept the existence of the paranormal, say the researchers. According to the researchers, the survey is not about beliefs or whether parapsychological phenomena exist, rather it is about what people have experienced and the impact it has had on their lives.Some 2,000 people had made contact via the internet within six weeks of the survey beginning. A whopping 96% of respondents claim to have had at least one brush with the paranormal. The exercise seeks to gauge the frequency, effect, and age of onset of unexplained phenomena such as premonitions, out-of-body and near-death episodes, telepathy, and apparitions. Results as of 2006 showed that 70% of respondents believe an unexplained event changed their lives, mostly in a positive way. Some 70% also claim to have seen, heard, or been touched by an animal or person that wasn’t there, 80% report having had a premonition, and almost 50% recalled a previous life.[iv] In May 2000, the New York Times Sunday Magazine published results of a poll conducted by Blum & Weprin Associates; a huge 81% said they believed in life after death.[v]

Virtually all of these beliefs hint at (and require in order to be true) the existence of other realms or dimensions in which consciousness can operate. A 2005 poll taken by the Scottish paranormal society showed that more people are likely to believe in ghosts and the paranormal than have faith in any organized religion. A Gallup survey taken in 2005 showed that about three in four Americans profess at least one paranormal belief.[vi] This is a massive amount of “paranormal” experience and belief—all of it depending on the existence of other levels of reality, without which such experience can only be labeled as delusion and fantasy.

Did you know that the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has now been amended so that genuinely psychic people are no longer considered “disordered”?[vii]

Intuition and Creativity

Srinivasa Ramanujan (below, left), born in India, 1887–1920, has been called the strangest man in all of mathematics, probably in the entire history of science. Working in isolation from his peers, this genius was single-handedly able to re-derive a hundred years’ worth of Western mathematics. As Michio Kaku reports in Hyperspace, the tragedy of his life is that much of his work was wasted rediscovering known mathematics.[viii] Most interesting to us, Ramanujan said that the goddess Namakkal inspired him in his dreams; in other words, the source of his creative genius was this other realm within his sleep, rather than ordinary waking consciousness…

more…

About the Author

Brendan D. Murphy – Co-founder of Global Freedom Movement and host of GFM RadioBrendan DMurphy is a leading Australian author, researcher, activist, and musician.

This article (Science and the Paranormal – The Question of Consciousness) was originally  published and is copyrighted by Global Freedom Movement and is published here with permission.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/06/20/science-paranormal-question-consciousness/

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Scientists Found That The Soul Doesn’t Die – It Goes Back To The Universe

According to two leading scientists, the human brain is in fact a ‘biological computer’ and the consciousness of humans is a program run by the quantum computer located inside the brain that even continues to exist after we die.

As experts explain it; “after people die, their soul comes back to the universe, and it does not die.”

The debate about the existence of the soul and whether it is immortal or dies with the person is an endless story that for centuries has occupied the time of the great thinkers of universal history. Its mysterious nature continues to fascinate different areas of science, but now a group of researchers has discovered a new truth about it: the “soul” does not die; it returns to the universe.

Since 1996, Dr. Stuart Hameroff, an American Physicist and Emeritus in the Department of Anesthesiology and Psychology, and Sir Roger Penrose, a mathematical physicist at Oxford University, have worked in a Quantum Theory of Consciousness in which they state that the soul is maintained in micro-tubules of the brain cells.

Their provocative theory states that the human soul is be contained by the brain cells in structures inside them called micro-tubules.

The two researchers believe the human brain is in fact a biological computer and the consciousness of humans is a program run by the quantum computer located inside the brain that even continues to exist after we die.

Furthermore, both scientists argue that what humans perceive as ‘consciousness’  is in fact the result of quantum gravity effects located within the so-called micro-tubules.

This process is named by the two scientists “Orchestrated Objective Reduction – (Orch-OR).

The theory indicates that when people enter a phase known as ‘clinical death,’ the microtubules located in the brain lose their quantum state but maintain the information contained within them. In other words – as experts explain it after people die, their soul returns to the universe, and it does not die’.

peaking to the Science Channel’s Through the Wormhole documentary, Dr. Hameroff said:

“Let’s say the heart stops beating, the blood stops flowing; the micro-tubules lose their quantum state. The quantum information within the micro-tubules is not destroyed, it can’t be destroyed, and it just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If the patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the micro-tubules and the patient says ‘I had a near-death experience.’ If they’re not revived, and the patient dies, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body, perhaps indefinitely, as a soul.”

According to this theory, the human souls are more than just ‘interactions’ of neurons in our brain and could have been present since the beginning of time.

https://www.peacequarters.com/scientists-found-soul-doesnt-die-goes-back-universe/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=Facebook&utm_campaign=itfb

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THE MIRROR AND THE CHOICE

by Zen Gardener, Guest Waking Times

The concept of judgement has many meanings but there are two basic types as I see it so far. One is a very necessary operational function whereby we make continual choices – what to think, speak, and decide upon for personal adaptation and decision making. The other is a more polarizing determination in the heart or mind by which we classify, categorize and even label external ideas, situations and people in a more static sense. These can blend into a mix that’s difficult to unwind, never mind untether from our egoic selves and operational identities we take upon ourselves, but it’s very doable.

The fascinating aspect of this is very similar to language. Judgement, like words, can either be empowering and liberating or very deleterious to our spiritual condition as well as those around us. This is especially true regarding those whom we deem to “judge” if we project such low vibrational information to others via thoughts and resultant words and actions. But much more so it affects our own spirits which we emanate, thus leading to attachment to similar low vibrational energetic “clusters”.

The Mirror and the Choice

“When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself.” – Earl Nightingale

The incredibly empowering and liberating aspect of a detached observation of ourselves in this process resides within one simple understanding. Everything we perceive is a mirror of our own created reality, including any external or shared realities we’ve chosen to accept and adopt. It’s all choices. There’s nothing external to “blame”; we choose the reality in which we live.

The agreed upon denser and darker collective “reality” is simply a group energetic construct, and again a reflection of individual consciousness’ who’ve agreed upon something that appears “convincing” or “believable” in some way, shape or form, thus “solidifying” it in a sense. Although we’re inherently much more enlightened and aware and capable as beings that have access to true reality in several dimensions, being born here in a 3D reality it is very easy to identify with this lower destiny framework and thus forget who we truly are.

We chose this challenge, and we were very adventurous and courageous to do so. We accepted the challenge of separation knowing it would be a struggle to live in forgetfulness and then to truly awaken and remember who we are. This is the thrill of being on this amazing planet, a very special experience to be savored and enjoyed to the maximum. When we remember this is simply an experience, a sort of adventure or test to come here and go through all of this, everything becomes extremely clear.

Polarity, or dualism, is illusory from the standpoint of our true nature within much more profound realities, yet it exists here for our learning. The difference between the dark and the light provides contrast in which we are able to discern the workings of this 3D construct, as well as the forces that manipulate it. But we’re not to dwell on that continually, but to let our true nature supersede this experience and thus help bring the overall energy to a much higher dimension.

All energy seeks to expand – – as the light, so the dark. Each collects according to what vibrates or resonates in tune with it, due to lessons to be learned by those with that proclivity or fascination for the workings of lower dimensional power and control games. Again, all to be learned from individually, whether due to some form of karmic or fractal resolution, or simply new hurdles to learn and grow from.

We’re Here to Learn and Remember

Even more than seeing these machinations for what they are, we are learning about ourselves by what draws us or gets its grip on us. Much of the trauma we’ve experienced being born and raised in this 3D reality appears to be inescapable – whether it was parental abuse and neglect which led to a lifetime of related traumas that need understanding and undoing, or later compounded stages of issues that developed due to the earlier years of contamination. It’s all a mirror to learn from and thus release collected energies that are holding us back…

more…

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/06/02/the-mirror-and-the-choice/

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Money and U.S. Dollar Occult Symbolism

Waking Times

The great seal on the back of the US dollar bill (above) is full of occult symbolism. Even the most hardened sceptic would have a difficult time dismissing the following features on the bill as mere ‘coincidence.’

  • 13  leaves in the olive branches
  • 13 bars & stripes
  • 13 arrows
  • 13 letters in: ‘E Pluribus Unum’
  • 13 stars in the green crest above
  • 13 stones in the pyramid
  • 13 letters in ’Annuit Coeptis’

Then just below the pyramid there’sNovus Ordo Seclorum’   that translates, ‘New Secular Order’ or ‘New World Order.’  Why the number 13? What about the other features?

I will answer later. First, a couple of significant questions seldom asked.

What are the 2 biggest forms of enslavement on humanity?

-Answer: The monetary system and religion.

Both are massively entrenched in deception which is the basis of how the enslavement on humanity works: In many ways, the more attached to either the more immersed one becomes in illusion… I’m sure you’ve heard it saidIt’s a mad world’. Indeed, it is a mad world and in many ways connections to money andreligion have been the causes.

Both were invented by the hidden powers that be  about 5,000 years ago in the first ever known cities such as Babylon, Mesopotamia and Nineveh in ancient Sumer. Basically, the invention of the monetary system has enslaved humanity on the physical level, while religion has enslaved on the spiritual level stultifying genuine spiritual growth. Many people are totally unaware of this, that they have been stitched up and how over the years the inventors the ruling elite have used both money and religion purely for power, financial and political gains.

I will be covering religion extensively in other messages (apologies for putting this subject on hold in the way I have).  This message is a brief expose on the money scam and how it is symbolised in the Western world using the American dollar bill as an example, giving rise to how the hidden powers that be work behind the scenes and what you can do after you’ve got the realization that you’re being played.

What is money?

-Answer: Money is a means by which energy is exchanged.  The economic system is based on work energy exchanges from person to person during the supply and demand.

Let me give some simple examples. I am a musician and let’s say I have received payment for playing a live musical performance.  This payment represents the energy I had to put in to make that performance happen.

Let’s say I then give money earned from this performance to a mechanic. The money or payment the mechanic receives is for the energy he had to put in to repair my car. Then, the mechanic gives this money earned to someone else for their work energy related services to him… and so on.

-In short, throughout the working world money goes where the energy flows in the exchanging, but here’s the rub.

In the above examples let’s say in every case the money paid out was fair and fitting to the amount of energy each person had put in for their services. However, in the world of work this is definitely not the case. There is a great imbalance:

Most people (like yourself?) in order to earn their pay check will have to put in far more than they’ll ever receive. That is, instead of receiving a balanced payment for their efforts most of the money made will go to their corporation.  The fact that giant corporations make huge pre-tax profits each year and can get away with paying some of its workforce minimum wages tells you there is a huge imbalance.  –This imbalance, unfair returns on people’s daily work energy contributions occurs on a global scale. It has been orchestrated by the hidden powers that be and it doesn’t end there.

 

The Biggest Scam In The History Of Mankind – Who Owns The Federal Reserve? Hidden Secrets of Money

There’s a whole list of other bloodsucking systems including many unfair taxations, banking and financial scams… (video) designed to siphon off the people’s hard earned cash to just a few very wealthy individuals: The ruling elite have deceptively manipulated the world financial system to such an extent that they control more money than the entire world’s governments stuck together. This means that they have usurped the energies from we-the-people to such an extent that we have become physically and mentally enslaved.

Now back to the dollar bill

As I have said in previous blogs the hidden powers that be or ruling elite are heavily into the occult. As seen printed on the back of a dollar bill (page1) the pyramid and all-seeing-eye embodies the secret occult organisations that continue to control America.  Since this symbolism is frequently used in numerous corporate logos it may also serve as a statement by the ruling elite that they control the world through business and banking.

Since the creation of the 1 dollar bill it has apparently been understood that number 13 indicates the colonial states with a Christian nation social order representing freedom, equality and peace… but actually the symbolism represents the opposite, something quite unchristian and sinister in its secrecy.

The 13 not only represents the number of families making up the ruling elite but it is also rooted in satanic occultism. It was a mystical number to the Babylonians and Egyptians.  Today, it is a mystical number to the Masons. Each item count of 13 given on page 1 represents in occult terms the plans for a one world government takeover New World Order (NWO) where we will be living in a global fascist dictatorship like that in George Orwell’s fiction novel 1984. So, in more detail:

  • 13 bars & stripes – Represents opposing God and the churches of Christ.
  • 13 arrows in the right claw of eagle -Represents war and military power.
  • 13 letters in: ‘E Pluribus Unum’ – ‘Out of Many’ is the plan to bring together all the world’s governments, religions and money systems into one for control in the NWO. Incidentally, the planned new religion is Satanism.
  • 13 stars in the green crest above the eagle -Stars arranged in a hexagram known as ‘mogen David’ used in occult practice to evoke Satan.
  • 13 stones or steps in the pyramid -the number of satanic families controlling the planet.
  • 13 letters in ’Annuit Coeptis’ -’Announcing the beginning or arrival’ (of the NWO).
  • 13 leaves in the olive branches -Symbolises peace (oh really?!)

In the bill, the all-seeing eye is that of Lucifer (Satan). Notice how it is surrounded with light. This represents the illumination and those in the satanic occult practices are the ‘illuminated ones’ because they have the secret knowledge and understand the hidden meanings. So called the all-seeing eye because it knows and sees everything, just the kind of thing you’d expect in a big brother is watching you global fascist dictatorship…

more…

About the Author

Paul A. Philips is the author of NewParadigm.ws.

This article (Money and U.S. Dollar Occult Symbolism) was originally created and published by NewParadigm.ws and is re-posted here with permission. 

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/04/11/money-u-s-dollar-occult-symbolism/

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Why You Should Invite President Trump Into Your Meditation Practice

Why You Should Invite President Trump Into Your Meditation Practice
Photo by Jnzl’s Photos | https://tricy.cl/2notJTE

Trump Practice is accepting fear, rage, and uncertainty. Feel into it, sink into it, let it overwhelm and overtake you.

By Dr. Jay Michaelson

MAR 30, 2017

“May God bless and keep the czar . . . far away from us!”

This, the fictional rabbi in Fiddler on the Roof offered, was the Jewish blessing for an oppressive ruler who brought suffering upon the vulnerable.  These days, is there a Buddhist equivalent for Donald Trump?

In fact, I’ve found “Trump Practice” to be of enormous help during these last few weeks, and I want to recommend it to you. There are several kinds of Trump Practice, but I’m going to focus on one in particular: Mindfulness of Trump. It derives from this line in the Satipatthana Sutta, which outlines the four foundations of mindfulness:

A [meditator] understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; the consciousness with hate, as with hate; the consciousness without hate, as without hate; the consciousness with delusion, as with delusion; the consciousness without delusion, as without delusion.

In these deceptively simple instructions (which are then repeated for a number of other mind states), Gautama Buddha is offering a counterintuitive way of being in the world, one that runs directly against four billion years of evolution.

It can handle four years of Trump, too.

All animals, and most plants, move toward the pleasant and away from the unpleasant. This is how the living world works. And yet, as Mick Jagger Buddha noticed in 1964, it doesn’t work: you can’t always get what you want. Humans are intrinsically wired for dukkha [suffering], wanting the pleasant, not wanting the unpleasant, and yet unable to arrange the world accordingly.

Both Jagger and Gautama Buddha agree on the remedy: if you try sometimes (i.e., if you practice), you might find that you get what you need even if you can’t get what you want, and can’t avoid what you hate. In other words, you can notice the pleasant and the unpleasant with equanimity, and thus coexist with both. You don’t have to be pushed and pulled by the desires and aversions that have been with us since our paramecium ancestors wiggled out of the primordial ooze.

Notice the Buddha does not say the meditator runs away from, wallows in, banishes, denies, or extinguishes greed, hatred, or delusion. Of course, we want to cultivate the conditions that lessen these unwholesome states. But in the moment of mindfulness, there is only knowing and seeing—nothing more. This mindstate is present. Adding in awareness of vedana, or feeling-tone, one might add whether it’s pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. But no judgment, no avoidance, no denial.

So what about Mindfulness of Trump?

The feelings Trump evokes are often unpleasant, so it’s natural to make them want to go away. He says and does things that many of us find odious, and the more we contemplate them, the more the feelings multiply into mind states like anger, concern for our friends and neighbors, fear, uncertainty, rage. Indeed, these feelings are often quite appropriate and grounded in reality.

Of course, many people, particularly undocumented people, Muslims, people of color, Jews, trans folk, many women, and others, face not just mental threats but real physical ones as well.  But let’s stay with the mental ones for a moment. They’re what the Satipatthana Sutta is talking about. They’re also doorways to liberation and to being better allies to those who are in danger.

When unpleasant Trump thoughts arise, we, in accordance with billions of years of evolution, want to make them go away. There are many tactics available. We might pretend they aren’t there (“I’m not feeling anger—I’m Buddhist.”) or channel them into political activism that may or may not be actually useful. (Helping refugees, useful; arguing on Facebook, not useful.) Or we might escape into television, meditation retreats, alcohol, sex, whatever—again, not bad in moderation, potentially destructive and irresponsible in excess.

Trump Practice, Satipatthana practice, what I call The Gate of Tears practice (that’s a plug for my book) is to do the exact opposite: to look inside, see what’s there, accept it, and act skillfully from a place of knowledge rather than ignorance. What those actions are is the subject of another article (like this one) and another practice. But the core of Trump Practice is accepting the fear, rage, uncertainty, and so on…

more…

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/invite-president-trump-meditation-practice/

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The Origin, Purpose, and Destiny of the Earth Game

by Jeff Street, Contributor, Waking Times

Understanding the origin, purpose, and true nature of the earthly reality that you are experiencing can be instrumental to transcending your current level of consciousness and moving up to the next level of the game. For some, especially the unawakened, this information might be a bit overwhelming or hard to believe but it could prove to be very important to the future course of your life both, during this one and the next.

Within the Construct

As with all realities created within the One great cosmic mind, and there are multitudes, our earthly reality is simply a mental construct. There are many individual parts/aspects of the One who have chosen to put their focal point of awareness within this construct — to dive into, and play the Earth game. And they all chose to do this for the same fundamental reason — because it provides extremely interesting and formative experiences that drive the evolution of consciousness. And this is the point of all realities because the foundational stuff of existence IS CONSCIOUSNESS.

YOU are one of these aspects of the One that is playing the Earth game right NOW. Whether you know it or not, your true essence IS, and ALWAYS has been, a thread of the universal consciousness. And you, and the higher levels of you, on behalf of the One, have been exploring the nature of yourself and existence by creating a multitude of realities and playing a multitude of roles (lives) within those realities.

The Separation Game

In most of the multitude of realities that we created and played within we knew, to varying degrees, what we were — creator beings that are integral parts of the One creator being — Source consciousness, prime creator, God, or whatever else you like to call it.

But within this great diversity of realities, there were none in which we completely forgot what we were — and this possibility intrigued us immensely. What would that be like? And what could it teach us? It certainly seemed like it might be very interesting, to say the least.

So in our eternal quest to know ourselves “we” (e.g., higher levels of ourselves) set out to create this new type of reality — one where we would completely lose our connection to our divine source, forget that we are creators of our reality, and forget that we are all one. A reality where we would think we were separate from the creator and each other — a reality that could aptly be called “The Separation Game.”

Our entire Universe is a manifestation of the separation game. It’s like a huge multi-stage set where the separation game is playing out on many worlds and at many levels. It’s an immensely fascinating multi-level game that I will be exploring further in future articles, follow the blog to stay tuned. One of the worlds where the separation game is in full swing is our very own planet Earth.

Even though the separation game isn’t limited to Earth, I’m focusing on its manifestation on Earth for two reasons; (1) For the obvious reason that everyone reading this article is currently immersed in this game right here on Earth — I doubt many ET’s are following my blog, and (2) The state of the game on Earth is fast approaching a great transition point which should be of great interest to all the participants — it certainly is to a wide array of non-physical beings as well as ET’s that are observing and even assisting.

Players Within the Game

Some of you may object to my characterization of our earthly reality and lives as “a game.” And that’s because you have forgotten the real you, and become deeply immersed in the illusory drama.

The term “game” is actually quite appropriate — just as both kids and adults choose to play games for fun, entertainment, and to learn so do our souls choose to play within the earthly reality construct.

In fact, our experience of the earthly reality works in a way very similar to how our computer games work. In a computer game, you are the player and your consciousness controls an avatar within the game world. You perceive, experience, act and react within the game world as your avatar — the character you are playing. But because you can’t completely forget that the “real you” is outside the game, you never get completely lost in the game and think that it is “real” — you know that it’s an illusion.

In a very similar way, your soul is the consciousness that is directing your avatar (your body) within the earth game world. The big difference is the earth game was designed is such a way that we would forget that we are souls playing within an illusory world. And so we get deeply lost within it and begin to believe that it is “real” and that there is nothing else. And our souls willingly CHOOSE to play the earth game just as people willingly choose to play computer games.

Designing and Creating the Separation Game

It was not at all obvious how to create a reality where we would feel completely separate from our source and each other and forget we are creators. We experimented with many designs before hitting on something that worked. The key elements that allowed the objective to be achieved were the “veil of forgetting”, the role of “the adversary”, our limited physical senses that perceived the world as discreet and separate objects, the substantial delay between our thoughts and their manifestation into reality, and the very strong contrast between the polarities present…

more…

About the Author

Jeff Street awakened about a year and a half ago, after having been an atheist/agnostic scientist type with absolutely no spiritual beliefs for most of his life. After many ‘magical’ new experiences, he is now passionate about learning and sharing his insights about spirituality and metaphysics on his blog www.divine-cosmos.net. You can also follow Jeff on Facebook via

This article (The Origin, Purpose, and Destiny of the Earth Game) was originally at Divine Cosmos and is posted here with permission.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/02/19/origin-purpose-destiny-earth-game/

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Alchemy and the Transmutation of Ignorance Into Truth: Lewis Thomas’s Prescient 1983 Manifesto for the Humanity-Saving Value of Social Science

Art by Alice and Martin Provensen from a vintage pop-up children’s book about Leonardo da Vinci

“In all of nature there is nothing so threatening to humanity as humanity itself.”

Perhaps the greatest hubris of historical hindsight is knowing that everything we call progress has been made by systematic trial and error, yet tending to dismiss — even scoff at — the errors as embarrassments to the process of progress rather than essential parts of it. Take, for instance, Joseph Weber, whose spectacle of failed experiments made him the most derided scientist of his time yet paved the way for the detection of gravitational waves — one of the most monumental discoveries in the whole of modern science, as full of potential for revolutionary knowledge as the invention of the telescope. We rarely know which missteps will become stepping stones in the advancement of knowledge, for the pursuit of truth requires a certain discipline of deferring judgment for periods longer than our appetite for instant answers allows.

That’s what the great physician, etymologist, poet, and essayist Lewis Thomas (November 25, 1913–December 3, 1993) explores throughout his timelessly rewarding 1983 essay collection Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony(public library).

Although Lewis was educated at Harvard and Princeton, served on the President’s Scientific Advisory Committee, and presided over the prestigious Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute, he wrote humbly and poetically from the self-described position of “a citizen and a sometime scientist.” In one of the essays, titled “Alchemy,” he starts someplace unlikely and leads us someplace monumental:

Alchemy began long ago as an expression of the deepest and oldest of human wishes: to discover that the world makes sense. The working assumption — the everything on earth must be made up from a single, primal sort of matter — led to centuries of hard work aimed at isolating the original stuff and rearranging it to the alchemists’ liking. If it could be found, nothing would lie beyond human grasp. The transmutation of base metals to gold was only a modest part of the prospect. If you knew about the fundamental substance, you could do much more than make simple money: you could boil up a cure-all for every disease affecting humankind, you could rid the world of evil, and, while doing this, you could make a universal solvent capable of dissolving anything you might want to dissolve.

With an eye to our haughty hunger for deriding yesteryear’s errors, Lewis reminds us that every error inches us closer to the truth, but not all errors are created equal — those undergirded by a great deal of scholarship and earnest scientific effort are more likely to yield byproducts that can eventually be transmuted into some proto-truth. Noting that the alchemists were serious professionals in their time, who honed their skills through “long periods of apprenticeship and a great deal of late-night study,” he writes:

We tend to look back at them from today’s pinnacle of science as figures of fun, eccentric solitary men wearing comical conical hats, engaged in meaningless explorations down one blind alley after another. It was not necessarily so: the work they were doing was hard and frustrating, but it was the start-up of experimental chemistry and physics… They never succeeded in making gold from base metals, nor did they find a universal elixir in their plant extracts; they certainly didn’t rid the world of evil. What they did accomplish, however, was no small thing: they got the work going… As time went on and the work progressed, error after error, new and accurate things began to turn up. Hard facts were learned about the behavior of metals and their alloys, the mathematics of thermodynamics were worked out, and, with just a few jumps through the centuries, the helical molecule of DNA was revealed in all its mystery.

[…]

[Now] alchemy exists only as a museum piece, an intellectual fossil, so antique that we no longer need be embarrassed by the memory, but the memory is there. Science began by fumbling. It works because the people involved in it work, and work together. They become excited and exasperated, they exchange their bits of information at a full shout, and, the most wonderful thing of all, they keep at one another…

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WIKK WEB GURU
WIKK WEB GURU
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