The Spiritual Consequences of Alcohol Consumption

by Zahrah Sita, Guest Waking Times

Although it is mass-produced, mass promoted, legal, and ingested by a multitude of people all over the world, most people don’t ever consider or understand the spiritual consequences of drinking alcohol.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the etymology of the Word alcohol. Etymology means the root of the word… where it is derived from.

The word “Alcohol” comes from the Arabic “al-kuhl” which means “BODY EATING SPIRIT”, and gives root origins to the English term for “ghoul”. In Middle Eastern folklore, a “ghoul” is an evil demon thought to eat human bodies, either as stolen corpses or as children.

The words “alembic” and “alcohol”, both metaphors for aqua vitae or “life water” and “spirit”, often refer to a distilled liquid that came from magical explorations in Middle Eastern alchemy.

In the words of writer and health enthusiast, Jason Christoff :

“In alchemy, alcohol is used to extract the soul essence of an entity. Hence its’ use in extracting essences for essential oils, and the sterilization of medical instruments. By consuming alcohol into the body, it in effect extracts the very essence of the soul, allowing the body to be more susceptible to neighboring entities most of which are of low frequencies (why do you think we call certain alcoholic beverages “SPIRITS?”). That is why people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol often black out, not remembering what happened. This happens when the good soul (we were sent here with) leaves because the living conditions are too polluted and too traumatic to tolerate. The good soul jettisons the body, staying connected to a tether, and a dark entity takes the body for a joy ride around the block, often in a hedonistic and self-serving illogical rampage. Our bodies are cars for spirits. If one leaves, another can take the car for a ride. Essentially when someone goes dark after drinking alcohol or polluting themselves in many other ways, their body often becomes possessed by another entity.”

I became aware of this phenomenon years ago when I was given a spiritual vision. In this vision, I was transported as an observer above a popular bar and nightclub. Above the venue where a variety of ghoul-like entities. Inside the bar were people drinking alcohol, socializing, dancing, and so on. I watched as certain people became very drunk. I saw their souls, while connected through a thread, exited the body. I understood that the soul was leaving the body because of the great discomfort of being in a body highly intoxicated with alcohol. When the soul exited the body, other non-benevolent entities entered or latched on to their vacant shells. Once the entities took hold of the body, they used the body to play out all kinds of dark acts, such as violence, low-level sexual encounters, destructive behaviors, rape, and more.

Years later, while reading a book called Mans Eternal Quest, by Paramahansa Yogananda, this spiritual master clearly explained the exact same thing as I was shown in the vision.

I began to look back over my life and remember situations where I saw dark spirits hanging around people who had become very drunk. Let me elaborate a bit when I say I saw these entities … I have had the abilities of clairvoyance (the ability to perceive things beyond the natural range of the senses … which can include: ESP, extrasensory perception, sixth sense, psychic powers, second sight; telepathy, and more) , clairaudience ( the ability to perceive sounds or words from outside sources in the spirit world), and the experience of being a spiritual intuitive and empath since childhood. I have the ability to see energies and spiritual manifestations that most people don’t see. As I looked back over my life I could remember many incidents of encountering non-benevolent spirits in the presence of intoxicated individuals. I also have had experiences of looking into the eyes of a few people who were surely “possessed” by dark energies that were not their own.

I also remember a psychology course I once took. In part of this course, we studied advertising and the effects on humans. We looked at the advertising for alcohol. A master teacher of this subject illuminated the fact that most alcohol advertisements are embedded with hidden messages and images – not typically perceivable to the common sight, yet perceived through the subconscious. Knowing how powerful the subconscious is in our decision making, feelings, reactions, beliefs, etc., the slick sales teams of alcohol (as well as tobacco and other products) used this sinister technique to trick us into buying their products and joining the societal cult of mental apathy and cultural obedience. Many of these hidden messages and images were extremely sexual – working to influence some of the basest urges and primal nature of humans. Let this example bring you to a place of curiosity and questioning. Why have the marketing teams felt the need to trick us and coerce us through subliminal messages to buy products that are harmful to the human body and to our soul?

How many times have you or someone you know, after becoming quite intoxicated with alcohol, behaved in a manner uncommon to them? Perhaps you experienced the changing of voice, violence, sexual promiscuity, ingesting of harmful substances, destruction to property, conflictual behavior, and other negative expressions. Consider these experiences and ask yourself – is this the manifestation of light, love, and positivity? Do these occurrences represent a path of consciousness and health?…


About the Author
Zahrah Sita is a holistic healer, health educator, herbalist, writer, spiritual intuitive, intitiate of the Great Mystery School, and more. Zahrah has healed herself naturally of several serious health ailments, including advanced stage cancer. She offers health and life coaching, intuitive counsel, personalized healing programs, and more. Contact Zahrah at for more information or to schedule a consultation. Follow Zahrah on Facebook at
This article (The Spiritual Consequences of Alcohol Consumption) was originally created by Zahrah Sita and is re-printed here with permission.



Is Matter Conscious?


Why the central problem in neuroscience is mirrored in physics.

The nature of consciousness seems to be unique among scientific puzzles. Not only do neuroscientists have no fundamental explanation for how it arises from physical states of the brain, we are not even sure whether we ever will. Astronomers wonder what dark matter is, geologists seek the origins of life, and biologists try to understand cancer—all difficult problems, of course, yet at least we have some idea of how to go about investigating them and rough conceptions of what their solutions could look like. Our first-person experience, on the other hand, lies beyond the traditional methods of science. Following the philosopher David Chalmers, we call it the hard problem of consciousness.

But perhaps consciousness is not uniquely troublesome. Going back to Gottfried Leibniz and Immanuel Kant, philosophers of science have struggled with a lesser known, but equally hard, problem of matter. What is physical matter in and of itself, behind the mathematical structure described by physics? This problem, too, seems to lie beyond the traditional methods of science, because all we can observe is what matter does, not what it is in itself—the “software” of the universe but not its ultimate “hardware.” On the surface, these problems seem entirely separate. But a closer look reveals that they might be deeply connected.

Consciousness is a multifaceted phenomenon, but subjective experience is its most puzzling aspect. Our brains do not merely seem to gather and process information. They do not merely undergo biochemical processes. Rather, they create a vivid series of feelings and experiences, such as seeing red, feeling hungry, or being baffled about philosophy. There is something that it’s like to be you, and no one else can ever know that as directly as you do.

Our own consciousness involves a complex array of sensations, emotions, desires, and thoughts. But, in principle, conscious experiences may be very simple. An animal that feels an immediate pain or an instinctive urge or desire, even without reflecting on it, would also be conscious. Our own consciousness is also usually consciousness of something—it involves awareness or contemplation of things in the world, abstract ideas, or the self. But someone who is dreaming an incoherent dream or hallucinating wildly would still be conscious in the sense of having some kind of subjective experience, even though they are not conscious of anything in particular.

Philosophers and neuroscientists often assume that consciousness is like software, whereas the brain is like hardware.

Where does consciousness—in this most general sense—come from? Modern science has given us good reason to believe that our consciousness is rooted in the physics and chemistry of the brain, as opposed to anything immaterial or transcendental. In order to get a conscious system, all we need is physical matter. Put it together in the right way, as in the brain, and consciousness will appear. But how and why can consciousness result merely from putting together non-conscious matter in certain complex ways?

This problem is distinctively hard because its solution cannot be determined by means of experiment and observation alone. Through increasingly sophisticated experiments and advanced neuroimaging technology, neuroscience is giving us better and better maps of what kinds of conscious experiences depend on what kinds of physical brain states. Neuroscience might also eventually be able to tell us what all of our conscious brain states have in common: for example, that they have high levels of integrated information (per Giulio Tononi’s Integrated Information Theory), that they broadcast a message in the brain (per Bernard Baars’ Global Workspace Theory), or that they generate 40-hertz oscillations (per an early proposal by Francis Crick and Christof Koch). But in all these theories, the hard problem remains. How and why does a system that integrates information, broadcasts a message, or oscillates at 40 hertz feel pain or delight? The appearance of consciousness from mere physical complexity seems equally mysterious no matter what precise form the complexity takes.

Nor would it seem to help to discover the concrete biochemical, and ultimately physical, details that underlie this complexity. No matter how precisely we could specify the mechanisms underlying, for example, the perception and recognition of tomatoes, we could still ask: Why is this process accompanied by the subjective experience of red, or any experience at all? Why couldn’t we have just the physical process, but no consciousness?

Other natural phenomena, from dark matter to life, as puzzling as they may be, don’t seem nearly as intractable. In principle, we can see that understanding them is fundamentally a matter of gathering more physical detail: building better telescopes and other instruments, designing better experiments, or noticing new laws and patterns in the data we already have. If we were somehow granted knowledge of every physical detail and pattern in the universe, we would not expect these problems to persist. They would dissolve in the same way the problem of heritability dissolved upon the discovery of the physical details of DNA. But the hard problem of consciousness would seem to persist even given knowledge of every imaginable kind of physical detail…



The Spiritual, Reductionist Consciousness of Christof Koch

FATAL INTELLIGENCE: Given the probable existence of trillions of planets, why haven’t we detected life elsewhere? It’s likely, Christof Koch says, that sufficiently complex and intelligent life would destroy itself.NASA


What the neuroscientist is discovering is both humbling and frightening him.

Consciousness is a thriving industry. It’s not just the meditation retreats and ayahuasca shamans. Or the conferences with a heady mix of philosophers, quantum physicists, and Buddhist monks. Consciousness is a buzzing business in neuroscience labs and brain institutes. But it wasn’t always this way. Just a few decades ago, consciousness barely registered as a credible subject for science.

Perhaps no one did more to legitimize its study than Francis Crick, who launched a second career in neurobiology after cracking the genetic code. In the 1980s Crick found a brilliant collaborator in the young scientist Christof Koch. In some ways, they made an unlikely team. Crick, a legend in science, was an outspoken atheist, while Koch, 40 years younger, was a Catholic yearning for ultimate meaning. Together, they published a series of pioneering articles on the neural correlates of consciousness until Crick died in 2004.

WHAT’S THE BUZZ: Bees have all the complicated brain components that humans have, but in a smaller package. “So yes, I do believe if feels like something to be a honey bee,” Christof Koch says.Pixabay

Koch went on to a distinguished career at Caltech before joining the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. Today, as the president and chief scientific officer, he supervises several hundred scientists, engineers, and informatics experts trying to map the brain and figure out how our neural circuits process information. The Institute recently made news with the discovery of three giant neurons connecting many regions of the mouse brain, including one that wraps around the entire brain. The neurons extend from a set of cells known as the claustrum, which Crick and Koch maintained could act as a seat of consciousness.

Koch is one of the great thinkers about consciousness. He has a philosophical frame of mind and jumps readily from one big idea to the next. He can talk about the tough ethical decisions regarding brain-impaired patients and also zoom out to give a quick history of Christian thinking on the soul. In our conversation, he ranged over a number of far-out ideas—from panpsychism and runaway artificial intelligence to the consciousness of bees and even bacteria.

You’ve said you always loved dogs. Did growing up with a dog lead to your fascination with consciousness?

I’ve wondered about dogs since early childhood. I grew up in a devout Roman Catholic family, and I asked my father and then my priest, “Why don’t dogs go to heaven?” That never made sense to me. They’re like us in certain ways. They don’t talk, but they obviously have strong emotions of love and fear, hate and excitement, of happiness. Why couldn’t they be resurrected at the end of time?

Are scientific attitudes about animal consciousness simplistic?

The fact is, I don’t even know that you’re conscious. The only thing I know beyond any doubt—and this is one of the central insights of Western philosophy—is Cogito ergo sum. What Descartes meant is the only thing I’m absolutely sure of is my own consciousness. I assume you’re conscious because your behavior is similar to mine, and I could see your brain if I put you in an MRI scanner. When you have a patient who’s locked-in, who can’t talk to me, I have to infer it. The same with animals. I can see they’re afraid when it’s appropriate to be afraid, and they display all the behavioral traits of being afraid, including the release of hormones in their bloodstream. If you look at a piece of dog brain or mouse brain and compare that to a piece of human brain the same size, only an expert with a microscope can tell for sure that this is a dog brain or a human brain. You really have to be an expert neuroanatomist.

We share much of our evolutionary history with dogs and even dolphins. But what about lizards or ants? What about bacteria? Can they be conscious?

It becomes progressively more difficult. The brain of a bird or a lizard has a very different evolutionary history, so it becomes more difficult to assert without having a general theory. Ultimately, you need a theory that tells us which physical systems can be conscious. By the time you get to a worm, let alone to bacteria, you can believe that it feels like something to be a worm because that’s ultimately what consciousness is. If it feels like something to be a worm, then it’s conscious. Right now, most people believe it doesn’t feel like anything to be my iPhone. Yet it may well be true that it feels like something to be a bee. But it’s not easy to test that assertion in a scientific way.

What do you mean when you say “it feels like something?”

It feels like something to be you. I can’t describe it to you if you’re a zombie. If you were born blind, I can never describe what it means to see colors. You are simply unable to comprehend that. So it is with consciousness. It’s impossible to describe it unless you have it. And we have these states of consciousness unless we are deeply asleep or anesthetized or in a coma. In fact, it’s impossible not to be conscious of something. Even if you wake up discombobulated in a dark hotel room, you’re jet-lagged and your eyes are still closed, you are already there. Before there was just nothing, nada, rien. Then slowly some of your brain boots up and you realize, “Oh, I’m here. I’m in Beijing and I flew in last night.” The difference between nothing and something is a base-level consciousness…






Atom, Archetype, and the Invention of Synchronicity: How Iconic Psychiatrist Carl Jung and Nobel-Winning Physicist Wolfgang Pauli Bridged Mind and Matter

Two of humanity’s greatest minds explore the parallels between spacetime and the psyche, the atomic nucleus and the self.

“Every true theorist is a kind of tamed metaphysicist,” Einstein wrote as he contemplated the human passion for comprehension in the final years of his life. He may well have been thinking about the great Austrian-Swiss theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli (April 25, 1900–December 15, 1958), who first postulated the neutrino and was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the Pauli exclusion principle — a monumental leap in our understanding of the structure of matter. Decades earlier, 21-year-old Pauli had published a critique of Einstein’s groundbreaking theory of general relativity. It greatly impressed the elder physicist, who wrote in astonishment:

No one studying this mature, grandly conceived work could believe that the author is a man of 21. One wonders what to admire most, the psychological understanding for the development of ideas, the sureness of mathematical deduction, the profound physical insight, the capacity for lucid systematic presentation, the complete treatment of the subject matter, or the sureness of critical appraisal.

Indeed, this uncommon fusion of psychological acumen and scientific rigor only intensified as Pauli grew older. Around the time he wrote the paper that spurred Einstein’s praise, Pauli became enchanted with the work of pioneering psychologist William James. After a three-decade immersion in it, and several years after the won the Nobel Prize in Physics, Pauli met the great psychiatrist Carl Jung (July 26, 1875–June 6, 1961), who in turn was deeply influenced by Einstein’s ideas about space and time.

Jung and Pauli struck an unusual friendship, which lasted a quarter century until Pauli’s death and resulted in the invention of synchronicity — acausally connected events, which the observer experiences as having a meaningful connection on the basis of his or her subjective situation, a meeting point of internal and external reality.

Although rooted in Pauli’s interest in dream analysis, their conversations and correspondence went on to explore fundamental questions regarding the nature of reality through the dual lens of physics and psychology. Each used the tools of his expertise to shift the shoreline between the known and the unknown, and together they found common ground in the analogy between the atom, with its nucleus and orbiting electrons, and the self, with its central conscious ego and its ambient unconscious.

Both men were deeply imprinted by this intellectual cross-pollination. In his posthumously published final work, Jung would write:

We do not know whether what we on the empirical plane regard as physical may not, in the Unknown beyond our experience, be identical with what on this side of the border we distinguish from the physical as psychic. Though we know from experience that psychic processes are related to material ones, we are not in a position to say in what this relationship consists or how it is possible at all. Precisely because the psychic and the physical are mutually dependent it has often been conjectured that they may be identical somewhere beyond our present experience, though this certainly does not justify the arbitrary hypothesis of either materialism or spiritualism.

Pauli’s parallel curiosity about mind and matter is perhaps best articulated in by his friend and collaborator Werner Heisenberg — he of uncertainty principle fame — who would later write:

Behind [Pauli’s] outward display of criticism and skepticism lay concealed a deep philosophical interest even in those dark areas of reality of the human mind which elude the grasp of reason. And while the power of fascination emanating from Pauli’s analyses of physical problems was admittedly due in some measure to the detailed and penetrating clarity of his formulations, the rest was derived from a constant contact with the field of creative processes, for which no rational formulation as yet exists.

In their conceptually daring correspondence, collected in Atom and Archetype: The Pauli/Jung Letters, 1932–1958 (public library), the two delve into these parallels between the physical and psychic dimensions of reality. In one of his early letters, Jung considers the analogy Pauli had proposed between the atomic nucleus and the self. He writes in the autumn of 1935:

Generally speaking, the unconscious is thought of as psychic matter in an individual. However, the self-representation drawn up by the unconscious of its central structure does not accord with this view, for everything points to the fact that the central structure of the collective unconscious cannot be fixed locally but is an ubiquitous existence identical to itself; it must not be seen in spatial terms and consequently, when projected onto space, is to be found everywhere in that space. I even have the feeling that this peculiarity applies to time as well as space… A biological analogy would be the functional structure of a termite colony, possessing only unconscious performing organs, whereas the center, to which all the functions of the parts are related, is invisible and not empirically demonstrable.

The radioactive nucleus is an excellent symbol for the source of energy of the collective unconscious, the ultimate external stratum of which appears an individual consciousness. As a symbol, it indicates that consciousness does not grow out of any activity that is inherent to it; rather, it is constantly being produced by an energy that comes from the depths of the unconscious and has thus been depicted in the form of rays since time immemorial.


The center, or the nucleus, has always been for me a symbol of the totality of the psychic, as the conscious plus the unconscious, the center of which does not coincide with the ego as the center of consciousness, and consequently has always been perceived as being external…




Evil Triumphs in These Multiverses, and God Is Powerless



MATHEMATICAL MULTIVERSE: According to Tegmark, for every possible way in which mathematical models dictate that matter can be consistently arranged to fill a spacetime universe, there exists such a

How scientific cosmology puts a new twist on the problem of evil.

The challenge that the multiverse poses for the idea of an all-good, all-powerful God is often focused on fine-tuning. If there are infinite universes, then we don’t need a fine tuner to explain why the conditions of our universe are perfect for life, so the argument goes. But some kinds of multiverse pose a more direct threat. The many-worlds interpretation of quantum physicist Hugh Everett III and the modal realism of cosmologist Max Tegmark include worlds that no sane, good God would ever tolerate. The theories are very different, but each predicts the existence of worlds filled with horror and misery.

Of course, plenty of thoughtful people argue that the Earth alone contains too much pain and suffering to be the work of a good God. But many others have disagreed, finding fairly nuanced things to say about what might justify God’s creation of a world that includes a planet like ours. For example, there is no forgiveness, courage, or fortitude without at least the perception of wrongs, danger, and difficulty. The most impressive human moral achievements seem to require such obstacles.

Still, many horrifying things happen with nothing seemingly gained from them. And, Everett’s many-worlds and Tegmark’s modal realism both seem to imply that there are huge numbers of horrific universes inhabited solely by such unfortunates. Someone like myself, who remains attracted to the traditional picture of God as loving creator, is bound to find such consequences shocking, and will wonder just how strong the evidence is for these theories.

The many-worlds interpretation arises from a problem in quantum mechanics. The Schrödinger equation, the fundamental law of quantum theory, is a description of the evolving states of particles. But some of the states it predicts are combinations—“superpositions”—of seemingly incompatible states, such as a coin landing both on heads and tails. We can wonder: What explains the fact that we don’t ever observe the combined incompatible states, but only observe coins that land on heads or tails? One answer many theorists provide is that there is more going on than the Schrödinger equation describes. They add a process called “the collapse of the wave function,” which results in a definite outcome of heads or tails.

But in the 1950s, Everett proposed a bold alternative. His theory has no collapses, but instead holds that all the parts of these combined—or “superposed”—states occur as parts of equally real but relatively isolated worlds. There are some complete copies of the universe in which the coin lands heads, and in others tails. And this applies to all other physical states—not just flipping coins. There are some universes where you make the train and get to work on time, and others where you don’t, and so on. These slight differences create multiple overlapping universes, all branching off from some initial state in a great world-tree.

Everett’s many-worlds and Tegmark’s modal realism both seem to imply that there are huge numbers of horrific universes.

Old-fashioned quantum theory assigns a tiny likelihood to things going really badly in the future. It also implies that, from any point in our actual past, things could have gone much worse than they actually did. Since the many worlds interpretation takes these possibilities as actual occurrences, it predicts that there are branching universes in which things do go as awfully as possible.

For example, whenever there is a minute chance of a catastrophe that leaves all human beings utterly miserable but just barely healthy enough to reproduce, there is a branch in the world-tree in which this sorry state of affairs actually happens, generation after generation. So there are worlds in which the emergence of the human race proves to be an unmitigated tragedy—or so it seems…



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…


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 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.


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…