As we each travel the road toward enlightenment, which for many also means breaking free of the Matrix, we often find ourselves in the middle of a pendulum swing between empowerment and disempowerment (mostly experienced as weariness). We also find our nervous systems becoming more and more fragile and in need of rest from the turmoil of this world.
We try to strengthen our connection to the vertical, the Heavens, the God force, the Uni or whatever we each label it.
This world, the Mundane, with its craving for our attention and its need to fish the souls caught up in soulful troubled waters, fits us less and less and so do its distractions. They Morph into every kind of ‘noise’ known and partly unknown to us. The world seems to become louder, uglier to watch and ever uglier to participate in. It just keeps on insisting.
The poles being: We crave Celestial and mundane peace within and are caught up in a world not really designed for us; who still perceive using the heart, compassion, empathy and genuine caring about our fellow beings.
Obviously Main Stream Media is designed not to inform us, but as a fear factory, telling us that everything we disengage from is the real thing about this life and dreams of a world designed for people, love and ‘just leave me alone to go about my business in a way that I see fit’ really can’t be done. It’s a naïve dream. A naïve state of mind. Naïve wishfulness. No it is not.
We are as the frontline of humans trying to toss a coin down the spiritual wishing well of broken dreams and visions of a world in balance, which would include us as being in our own world of balance.
It’s David versus Goliath for all of us. The strategy of winning here is to find exactly where to aim, since every mean of brute force has its Achilles Heel.
Some know where to aim at the Dragon of the United Forces of Destruction, whether it be systems of belief deigned to lure us in when we’re most vulnerable, systems of Big Industry healthcare that neglect to tell us cancer has a cure already, telling us that vitamins and minerals are deadly and if you get cancer struck the only good thing is to be connected to the Machine of Healing via chemical tubes that fuck up our immune systems. Now pass over the CBD and what have we and tell us that we are in charge of our health – not bloody Wall Street and Big Cancer.
What we need to focus on is our spiritual nervous system that has to deal with all of this Mundane ‘noise’ in order to let us enter a room of tranquility and bliss. Seems impossible, but it is within reach, since it is for each of us a question of finding that room amidst the great war of collective suffering and stress.
The New Ice Age is not so much a meteorological term as a psychological – metaphysical phenomena; it is what most of us are trying to melt, sometimes with a hairdryer. A frozen world can be melted; it basically just depends on the number of people trying to warm it up.
As we walk this road, some meditate, some pray, some try to eat healthy (an option that’s rapidly deteriorating), some do movements on yoga mats and those who feel they have the right spiritual praises often find themselves caught up, as I mentioned: In the swing of the Pendulum, bouncing from a state of balance to a place of imbalance.
This very much stresses people spiritually, and that is a contradiction since a state of spirituality, grounded sober spirituality, clearly expects to find everlasting bliss, explanation, the safety of Knowledge and so on… but we still feel fragile and not especially empowered as a state of mind.
My understanding is that life is a game, and like any game you can either choose to play it with a light heart, or you can take it so seriously that it ceases to be any fun at all. Now don’t get me wrong, when a group game of monopoly is going on, I am playing to win, but there is a difference between playing to win and the walls of Jericho falling down because you were handed a lesson.
My understanding of why we have to laugh at life is due to the fact that life makes no sense, this is due to something called the divine paradox- which states everything in the material world is duel and in the case of the divine paradox makes complete sense, but no sense at all.
Think about things on a more serious note- we have Donald Trump as the president of the United States, if we had a real choice, would we really want him leading us? Of course not, yet we do have a choice and he is still leading us. He is a manifestation of the cosmic joke, it is funny, but really unfunny at the same time. My understanding of this is we can never make complete sense of the world, as it has 2 types of truth- absolute and relative: Examples:
Absolute truth: The grass is green
Relative truth: What if a color blind animal is looking at it? What if my green and your green differs? The universe is illusory in nature, so does the grass even exist? I could go on, but I am sure you get the gist of things. Here are a few more examples of the divine paradox in motion:
We Are Both Finite and Infinite
We are infinite in our creation, if we create something, that which was created never ceases to have existed, yet it can still be destroyed, making it both finite and infinite.
All we are- exists from a single particle and that particle is infinite in its creations, yet our physical body dies. With that being said our physical body decomposes and gives back to nature, so it continues to be part of the ecosystem.
What we can achieve is infinite in nature, but at the same time has extreme limitations. You can pick from an infinite amount of subjects or even create your own. However you can never fully master a subject.
We Are Both Significant and Insignificant
We are all central to our own worlds, people often use the phrase “you think you are centre of the universe” as a way to highlight someone’s selfishness, however we literally are all central to our own worlds. We matter, we all have the ability to make the world a better place and contribute in the most amazing of ways. What we can achieve in just a single moment of selflessness, has the ability to infinitely ripple through time and on an individual and collective level we are significant.
However, on an individual level we are just a spec in a big city, in a big country in a huge continent, within a gigantic world. The size of the solar system cannot even be comprehended by the logical mind and the universe is debatably infinite.
Qigong is the venerable Chinese art and science of becoming aware of this life’s energy, and learning how to manage it’s flow through a precise choreography of posture, movement, respiratory technique, and meditation.
Theory And Origin Of Qigong:
A living soul acquires qi from the food by eating, from the air by breathing, and from interacting with their surroundings. In the body, qi represents the unseen essential force that sustains a lifetime. A person becomes ill or dies when the amount or category of qi is unbalanced within the body. Qigong practice involves the manipulation and balance of the qi within the practitioner’s body, and it’s interaction with the practitioner’s surroundings. The method and ultimate goal for the practice is dependent on the practitioner.
Historically, the effect of qigong practice has always been subjective. It ranges from a feeling of calmness and peacefulness, to a sense of well being. All through history, remarkable claims have also been produced as a result of qigong practice. The journey towards self-enlightenment can incorporate descriptions of out of body experiences and miraculous powers.
Qigong is like an amazing river fed by four considerable tributaries: shamanism, spirituality, medicine, and martial arts:
In venerable Chinese text, China was often siege by floods and widespread disease resulting from it. Legends say that the emperor cleared the land and diverted the water by dancing a bear dance, and invoking the mystical powers of the constellations. As the waters subsided, folks reasoned that movement and exercise can similarly give rise to the internal rivers to flow more smoothly, clearing the obstructions to health. Chinese Shamans used these exercises and meditations to commune with nature and natural forces and to increase their powers of healing and divination.
2. Spirituality (Taoism and Buddhism):
In Taoism, their intention is to acquire an empty, alert, boundless state of consciousness, with spirit and body in balance. Taoists and qigong practitioners were both looking for a harmony of yin and yang: inside and outside, earthly and spiritual, stillness and activity.
In Buddhism, emphasis is placed on tranquillity, awareness, and diligent practice. Several styles of qigong were developed by Buddhists who needed an exercising and healing system to complement their lengthy seated meditations.
Chinese medicine includes acupuncture, herbal remedies, massage, diet, and qigong. Qigong is the preventive and self-healing aspect of Chinese medicine, and was used in the past, as today, to advise patients how to improve their own health.
4. Martial Arts:
Qigong practice can improve performance in the martial arts or any other sport. Chinese martial artists designed, or helped to improve many qigong techniques as they looked for ways to increase speed, stamina, and power, improve balance, flexibility, and coordination, and condition the body against injury.
“Cannabis brings us an awareness that we spend a lifetime being trained to overlook and forget and put out of our minds.”
— Carl Sagan
Most of us remember Carl Sagan as a brilliant scientist, a popularizer of both the methods and progress of human knowledge. Some know him as an advocate of space exploration and peace on earth. Some will even recognize his brilliant work in the science fiction community, as a writer himself, and as a commentator on sci-fi authors such as Arthur C. Clarke.
Carl Sagan, 1994. Photo Credit: Johann Heupel (Flickr Commons
Few, however, know that he wrote an absolutely thrilling and insightful essay on the merits of the psychoactive properties of the cannabis plant.
Writing under the pseudonym ‘Mr. X’ (due to the political sensitivity of coming out as a smoker), Carl starts out by going into the well-known sensory enhancements bestowed by cannabis, most notably those which occur during sex, while listening to music, and while savoring art.
While these qualities are important and valuable in themselves, the true magic of an altered state of consciousness lies in its paradigm-shifting potential, as Sagan eloquently explains
In honor of Carl’s beautiful legacy and 4/20, we’ve decided to share his iconic ‘Mr. X’ essay in full below. Savor this magnificent explanation of the cannabis experience from one of the greatest minds of the 20th century.
[Pro-Tip: Have a toke before reading, and we promise you can read the whole essay in Sagan’s voice.]
Dr. Sagan’s Profound ‘Mr. X’ Essay
It all began about ten years ago. I had reached a considerably more relaxed period in my life – a time when I had come to feel that there was more to living than science, a time of awakening of my social consciousness and amiability, a time when I was open to new experiences. I had become friendly with a group of people who occasionally smoked cannabis, irregularly, but with evident pleasure. Initially I was unwilling to partake, but the apparent euphoria that cannabis produced and the fact that there was no physiological addiction to the plant eventually persuaded me to try. My initial experiences were entirely disappointing; there was no effect at all, and I began to entertain a variety of hypotheses about cannabis being a placebo which worked by expectation and hyperventilation rather than by chemistry. After about five or six unsuccessful attempts, however, it happened.
I was lying on my back in a friend’s living room idly examining the pattern of shadows on the ceiling cast by a potted plant (not cannabis!). I suddenly realized that I was examining an intricately detailed miniature Volkswagen, distinctly outlined by the shadows. I was very skeptical at this perception, and tried to find inconsistencies between Volkswagens and what I viewed on the ceiling. But it was all there, down to hubcaps, license plate, chrome, and even the small handle used for opening the trunk. When I closed my eyes, I was stunned to find that there was a movie going on the inside of my eyelids. Flash . . . a simple country scene with red farmhouse, a blue sky, white clouds, yellow path meandering over green hills to the horizon. . . Flash . . . same scene, orange house, brown sky, red clouds, yellow path, violet fields . . . Flash . . . Flash . . . Flash. The flashes came about once a heartbeat. Each flash brought the same simple scene into view, but each time with a different set of colors . . . exquisitely deep hues, and astonishingly harmonious in their juxtaposition. Since then I have smoked occasionally and enjoyed it thoroughly. It amplifies torpid sensibilities and produces what to me are even more interesting effects, as I will explain shortly.
I can remember another early visual experience with cannabis, in which I viewed a candle flame and discovered in the heart of the flame, standing with magnificent indifference, the black-hatted and -cloaked Spanish gentleman who appears on the label of the Sandeman sherry bottle. Looking at fires when high, by the way, especially through one of those prism kaleidoscopes which image their surroundings, is an extraordinarily moving and beautiful experience.
I want to explain that at no time did I think these things ‘really’ were out there. I knew there was no Volkswagen on the ceiling and there was no Sandeman salamander man in the flame. I don’t feel any contradiction in these experiences. There’s a part of me making, creating the perceptions which in everyday life would be bizarre; there’s another part of me which is a kind of observer. About half of the pleasure comes from the observer-part appreciating the work of the creator-part. I smile, or sometimes even laugh out loud at the pictures on the insides of my eyelids. In this sense, I suppose cannabis is psychotomimetic, but I find none of the panic or terror that accompanies some psychoses. Possibly this is because I know it’s my own trip, and that I can come down rapidly any time I want to.
While my early perceptions were all visual, and curiously lacking in images of human beings, both of these items have changed over the intervening years. I find that today a single joint is enough to get me high. I test whether I’m high by closing my eyes and looking for the flashes. They come long before there are any alterations in my visual or other perceptions. I would guess this is a signal-to-noise problem, the visual noise level being very low with my eyes closed. Another interesting information-theoretical aspects is the prevalence – at least in my flashed images – of cartoons: just the outlines of figures, caricatures, not photographs. I think this is simply a matter of information compression; it would be impossible to grasp the total content of an image with the information content of an ordinary photograph, say 108 bits, in the fraction of a second which a flash occupies. And the flash experience is designed, if I may use that word, for instant appreciation. The artist and viewer are one. This is not to say that the images are not marvelously detailed and complex. I recently had an image in which two people were talking, and the words they were saying would form and disappear in yellow above their heads, at about a sentence per heartbeat. In this way it was possible to follow the conversation. At the same time an occasional word would appear in red letters among the yellows above their heads, perfectly in context with the conversation; but if one remembered these red words, they would enunciate a quite different set of statements, penetratingly critical of the conversation. The entire image set which I’ve outlined here, with I would say at least 100 yellow words and something like 10 red words, occurred in something under a minute.
The cannabis experience has greatly improved my appreciation for art, a subject which I had never much appreciated before. The understanding of the intent of the artist which I can achieve when high sometimes carries over to when I’m down. This is one of many human frontiers which cannabis has helped me traverse. There also have been some art-related insights – I don’t know whether they are true or false, but they were fun to formulate. For example, I have spent some time high looking at the work of the Belgian surrealist Yves Tanguey. Some years later, I emerged from a long swim in the Caribbean and sank exhausted onto a beach formed from the erosion of a nearby coral reef. In idly examining the arcuate pastel-colored coral fragments which made up the beach, I saw before me a vast Tanguey painting. Perhaps Tanguey visited such a beach in his childhood.
A very similar improvement in my appreciation of music has occurred with cannabis. For the first time I have been able to hear the separate parts of a three-part harmony and the richness of the counterpoint. I have since discovered that professional musicians can quite easily keep many separate parts going simultaneously in their heads, but this was the first time for me. Again, the learning experience when high has at least to some extent carried over when I’m down. The enjoyment of food is amplified; tastes and aromas emerge that for some reason we ordinarily seem to be too busy to notice. I am able to give my full attention to the sensation. A potato will have a texture, a body, and taste like that of other potatoes, but much more so. Cannabis also enhances the enjoyment of sex – on the one hand it gives an exquisite sensitivity, but on the other hand it postpones orgasm: in part by distracting me with the profusion of image passing before my eyes. The actual duration of orgasm seems to lengthen greatly, but this may be the usual experience of time expansion which comes with cannabis smoking.
I do not consider myself a religious person in the usual sense, but there is a religious aspect to some highs. The heightened sensitivity in all areas gives me a feeling of communion with my surroundings, both animate and inanimate. Sometimes a kind of existential perception of the absurd comes over me and I see with awful certainty the hypocrisies and posturing of myself and my fellow men. And at other times, there is a different sense of the absurd, a playful and whimsical awareness. Both of these senses of the absurd can be communicated, and some of the most rewarding highs I’ve had have been in sharing talk and perceptions and humor. Cannabis brings us an awareness that we spend a lifetime being trained to overlook and forget and put out of our minds. A sense of what the world is really like can be maddening; cannabis has brought me some feelings for what it is like to be crazy, and how we use that word ‘crazy’ to avoid thinking about things that are too painful for us. In the Soviet Union political dissidents are routinely placed in insane asylums. The same kind of thing, a little more subtle perhaps, occurs here: ‘did you hear what Lenny Bruce said yesterday? He must be crazy.’ When high on cannabis I discovered that there’s somebody inside in those people we call mad.
When I’m high I can penetrate into the past, recall childhood memories, friends, relatives, playthings, streets, smells, sounds, and tastes from a vanished era. I can reconstruct the actual occurrences in childhood events only half understood at the time. Many but not all my cannabis trips have somewhere in them a symbolism significant to me which I won’t attempt to describe here, a kind of mandala embossed on the high. Free-associating to this mandala, both visually and as plays on words, has produced a very rich array of insights.
When I was really young, whenever I felt sick, my grandmother used to make me cinnamon sugar toast. I felt like I could taste her love with every bite, and by the time I had finished my toast, my stomachache would have magically disappeared. In hindsight, I recognize that the dairy in the butter and the refined sugar in the cinnamon blend probably weren’t helping my digestive issues, yet somehow this meal always made me feel better. How does this make any sense? Herein lies the mystery of the placebo effect.
No, science cannot prove that when my grandmother delivered me cinnamon toast with a loving smile and a giant hug, I instantly felt better, but as a five-year-old child I certainly experienced that. Though my grandmother may not have realized it, she was likely harnessing the power of the placebo effect.
What Is the Placebo Effect?
The placebo effect is essentially the idea that your brain can convince your body that a fake treatment, because it (your brain) thinks it’s real, can provide real solutions and stimulate healing in the body. In essence, the placebo effect shows us how powerful our minds, how powerful our consciousness is, in that we can change our biology using our beliefs.
Many of you may have played around with the concept “You become what you think about most of the time,” meaning your thoughts literally become your reality. Businessmen like Kevin Trudeau have used it to make billions of dollars, and many people including myself enjoy witnessing the law of attraction in our everyday lives. However, how does this work when it comes to our health?
Well, science is starting to realize that, in some cases, a placebo can be equally as effective as the original treatments themselves.
“The placebo effect is more than positive thinking — believing a treatment or procedure will work. It’s about creating a stronger connection between the brain and body and how they work together,” says Professor Ted Kaptchuk of Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, who has studied the placebo effect extensively.
However, Kaptchuk believes that the placebo effect can only go so far. “Placebos may make you feel better, but they will not cure you,” says Kaptchuk. “They have been shown to be most effective for conditions like pain management, stress-related insomnia, and cancer treatment side effects like fatigue and nausea.”
It’s people like Kaptchuk who are challenging the way the scientific community typically looks at the placebo effect. In the past, placebos have been used in clinical trials, most often in drug tests, and were typically associated with failure. The mentality was that if you weren’t one of the participants who got the drug, you didn’t receive the benefits. Alternatively, if both groups of participants — those who received placebo pills and those who actually took the drug — experienced similar effects, then the drug was deemed ineffective.
However, scientists are now starting to realize that similar reactions may not mean a drug doesn’t work, but rather that the placebo is actually working in a similar fashion. What if these participants believed they were taking the drug, and thus experienced health benefits as a result? Experts have concluded that reacting to a placebo doesn’t mean a certain treatment doesn’t work, but rather that an alternative, non-pharmacological treatment may be present.
More and more people feel somehow unsatisfied and uneasy about their life, their job and/or their relationships. Must there not be more to life than that?
We work hard, we have earned material benefits for our immense efforts, we can afford lots of nice things. And actually, we think that we should be very happy.
But instead, we feel this void inside ourselves and no matter how many things we treat ourselves with, how many steps we take on the career ladder – it just never seems enough to fill that void. So it continues.
A bigger car, a bigger house, more clothes, another vacation, more toys for the kids, a bigger TV, the latest smartphone etc. We enjoy these things for a little while but then it is back. This void inside of us.
We feel guilty, because we should be happy and yet are not. We think back to times in our childhood, when we were just enjoying life, not having to think or worry about anything. How nice would it be to be that free again!
We feel trapped but don’t see any way out. Because the world is just working the way it is. We need this job to pay for all these things we own, to be safe when we are old and to offer our children a good life now and a better future than we had.
And so we tell ourselves:
Once I retire, I get to do all the fun things I am dreaming of now. Then I will be free, then I can do whatever I want.
We are caught in this treadmill. And somehow, although our head says: ‘Accept it this will keep you safe’, there is this other inner voice whispering ‘Break free! You want to do something else, so go for it!’
But for now, we are caught on this treadmill. And somehow, although our head says:
‘Accept it, this will keep you safe,’ there is this other inner voice whispering ‘Break free! You want to do something else, so go for it!’
Do you recognize yourself?
Congratulations! Although it does not feel like this right now, this is a very good thing. Because you have received the wake up call. And by reading this – you know now that you are not alone.
It is time – Wake up!
Waiting for retirement cannot really be the serious answer. Life is not about suffering, it is about enjoyment. It is an experience to be lived and we should make the best out of it.
But we were programmed to believe that suffering is necessary to enter paradise after death. Guess what? You can have your paradise right now.
the mystical experience of spiritual enlightenment. photo: shan sheehan
by Peter Ralston
Clarifying Enlightenment—Sort Of
It’s a ridiculous idea that I, or anyone, could possibly convey what enlightenment really is. The most accurate relationship to the matter would demand that I just shut up. Although that leaves you with nothing, that’s actually the best thing to be left with. Of course, the problem is you aren’t really left with nothing—you’re left with everything you assume, have heard, or think you know. Because this is unfortunately so much less than nothing, I’ll try to provide a doorway to a better understanding of the matter. Even so, this “door” can only be discovered personally, by connecting the dots through multiple layers of disparate communications. Forgive me in advance for the presumptuousness of the attempt, and try to look beyond the words to grasp what’s really meant.
Many misconceptions and myths have been built up over time and we need to shake these off of the word “enlightenment.” In Chapter One we touched on some of the ideas and beliefs surrounding the word. You know that we’re not talking about a seventeenth century movement, a modern outlook, or being informed of something. Our focus is more akin to a Zen usage, referring to what’s thought of as a “spiritual” awakening of some sort. But even here, people are often misled to believe that becoming enlightened means transforming from an ordinary “caterpillar” of a human into the “butterfly” of a transcendent soul, or some such.
“When considering what enlightenment really is, it’s important to get beyond the word and hearsay, and to realize that this Consciousness is prior to any idea, image, term, or belief.”
Whatever methods may purport to achieve such an end—whether it’s to be highly disciplined and monk-like, sit endlessly in contemplation, or learn to surrender to a higher power—at some point we’re supposed to be rewarded with a dramatic change in state, experiencing something blissfully “transcendent.” The good news about this view is that it encourages personal participation, as opposed to merely asking one to believe in religious, spiritual, or even scientific assertions. The bad news is that it’s fundamentally a false view. A change in state is irrelevant to the truth. Freeing the term “enlightenment” from the baggage of rumor and myth is useful if our goal is to know what’s true about it. When considering what enlightenment really is, it’s important to get beyond the word and hearsay, and to realize that this Consciousness is prior to any idea, image, term, or belief.
Consider that at some point in human history, even after someone had already become deeply and directly conscious, there was no “enlightenment.” In other words, no one was seeking spiritual enlightenment; they were seeking the Truth. If the legend of Gautama Buddha is to be trusted, even he wasn’t searching for something called “enlightenment.” He was trying to become free, to completely understand and transcend life and death. This is a different focus.
Turns out, of course, that you can’t transcend anything without becoming fully conscious of what it is. Ultimately, spiritual enlightenment—knowing what is absolutely true about self and reality, life and death—must occur in order to achieve such freedom. But having one or two enlightenment experiences isn’t enough or Gautama would have stopped his search early on. He undoubtedly had a number of enlightenment experiences but knew that he still wasn’t completely free of life and death, and that an even deeper consciousness was necessary. He couldn’t have known whether it was possible, much less what it would be, only that it had to be whatever is really true about existence.
In the work of trying to personally understand what self, life, and reality are all about, “enlightenment” is a term used to indicate a direct-consciousness of the Absolute truth, whatever is absolutely true regarding what “is.” In the case of you, which is the primary subject for spiritual enlightenment, it is your true nature, what you really are, the absolute reality of your existence.
“It is this watcher, this censor, which creates the sense that we need to control things, for we feel that if we were just to ‘be,’ to co-exist with the universe, we could not trust ourselves; things would not come out the way we want them to.” (The Tao of Love )
Ego does not exist anywhere else except in human beings, and ego starts growing as the child grows. The parents, the schools, colleges, university, they all help to strengthen the ego for the simple reason that for centuries man had to struggle to survive and the idea has become a fixation, a deep unconscious conditioning, that only strong egos can survive in the struggle of life. Life has become just a struggle to survive. And scientists have made it even more convincing with the theory of the survival of the fittest. So we help every child to become more and more strong in the ego, and it is there that the problem arises.
Many times during a human life span we feel our Ego is necessary so we are able to function fully as intelligent beings and to deal with the real world. But having these feelings also inhibits us and makes us fear.
Having an Ego separates us from the universe and from God, this act of separation makes the fear of loss. It is this fear of loss that makes us want control. Control of the universe and everything in it – if we cannot control it we may lose it. The Ego stops us trusting in the universe.
It is Ego that is stopping people experiencing the delights of what the universe has to offer. Without Ego we can become unlimited and boundless. We can find new powers, new creativity, new opportunities for growth, for love, for harmony, peace and joy in our lives that before we let go of our Ego we could not begin to conceive. But how do you get rid of Ego. You have to realise that you are operating through fear, fear of loss.
We have all been taught to let your mind make the decisions and not to listen to your heart. Your mind after all, is a terrific machine and can work anything out. Ego is this barrier between the heart and the mind. The need to express your views on a given subject – because you ‘know’ it to be right, regardless of whether people want to listen or not. Ignoring the feelings of others because your actions are the ‘right’ actions to take. These are both examples of the Ego at work. Both examples of our need to ‘control’. The Ego thinks it knows best. The voice of the heart doesn’t stand a chance.
Try to understand the ego. Analyze it, dissect it, watch it, observe it, from as many angles as possible. And don’t be in a hurry to sacrifice it, otherwise the greatest egoist is born: the person who thinks he is humble, the person who thinks that he has no ego.
We have not been taught that what is simple is what is right. The universe operates simply. Balance and harmony in the natural world, in the animal world. Any world that does not have Ego, operates very simply. It seems the goal of spiritual beliefs to return us to our connection to that universe, to our Eternity so that we, too, can live simply, in balance and harmony with all that is. If indeed this is the goal, the purpose of that goal, the purpose of letting go of ego, is to also let go of the constant fear in which we all live.
Letting go of Ego is a very hard lesson to learn. Very hard. But despite its difficulty, it appears to be the only lesson if it is your goal to achieve peace. Or enlightenment. It is the only lesson if your goal is to reach that place where you can truly say: “I don’t want to be better than you; I want to be better than me.”
The mysterious door of the ancient Padmanabhaswamy temple is protected by two massive cobras painted on it and has no bolts, latches or any other means of entry. It is said to house unimaginable wealth, and can only be entered by a high level ‘SADHUS’ familiar with the knowledge of chanting a ‘GARUDA MANTRA’.
It is believed that door—which has no bolts, latches or any other means of entry—was sealed shut by sound waves from a secret chant lost in time.
Hindu priests say that at present, there is no human capable of opening this door by executing these chants.
It is a glorious ancient temple which rightfully holds the title as the wealthiest institution and place of worship of any kind in the recorded history of the world, with an estimated $22 billion worth of gold and jewels stored in underground vaults.
Its gold-plated exterior shows only a small portion of its true glory.
Located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India, this ancient temple features 8 underground vaults out of which only 5 have been opened and explored.
The Temple has been referred to in the (only recorded) Sangam Period of literature between 500 B.C and 300 A.D several times. The temple is one of the 108 principal Divya Desams (“Holy Abodes”) in Vaishnavism, and is glorified in the Divya Prabandha.
Curiously, there isn’t a single historic record that mentions the EXACT date when the temple was founded.
Many extant pieces of Sangam Tamil literature and poetry, and even the later works of Ninth Century poet-saints like Nammalwar, refer to the Temple and even the city as having walls of pure gold. At some places, both the Temple and the entire city are often eulogized even as being made of gold, and the Temple as Heaven.
But the most impressive and mysterious feature of the temple is a hidden chamber which is guarded by two massive cobras. Legends say that anyone who dares to open the door will meet disastrous results. This mysterious door is referred to as Chamber B.
The idea that the Universe is a hologram or holographic in nature is not a new idea. Unlike a conventional hologram, the Holographic Universe is multidimensional in nature. If you do not know what a hologram is, it is like a photograph that uses light to project its image into a three dimensional object. In other words, it is a 3D projection of light (energy).
Here is an excerpt from my book Staradigm that roughly explains what a hologram is:
A hologram is similar to a photograph but is three dimensional and multidimensional in nature. Within any point in a holographic image, no matter how small, all knowledge of the whole image is present. In other words, it has the potentiality of projecting the whole from which it emerged.
For example, take a hologram plate of a vase of flowers and break it in half. You do not have a picture of two halves of a vase; each half is still the complete picture. Break the plate into quarters and you will have four complete pictures and so on, down to small fragments. The problem is that the picture gets fuzzier at each reduction. A tiny piece still contains the whole picture but the clarity is gone.4
As for morphogenetic fields, they are invisible fields that shape and form every system in the Holographic Universe, such as stars, planets, and the human body. To be more specific, morphogenetic fields are living thought form fields that act as templates upon which matter is manifested. They also allow consciousness to create structure so that it can experience itself. For an excellent video that explains what morphogenetic fields are, watch the last video in this article.
Watch the videos below and you will have a general idea of how reality works. If you study how holograms work, you will have a good idea of how reality truly works. Once you comprehend how reality works at the energy level, you should know that the movie titled The Matrix is NOT 100 percent fictional.
One piece of evidence for the holographic nature of nonstandard fields that have been proposed in recent years — the zero-point field (a candidate for the unified field ), the psi field of psychic phenomena, Ervin Laszlo’s Akashic field , and the morphic field proposed by Rupert Sheldrake  — is that they all share a common feature: sensitivity to similarity in vibration.
If a holographic image has many different holograms embedded within it, shining a laser of a specific frequency upon it will cause only those holograms made with lasers of the same frequency to stand out. That’s because things with the same vibration naturally resonate and reinforce one another — just as two violin strings at the same pitch resonate with one another. This property of resonance has [also] been used to explain how each of us might interact with mysterious fields like the psi or Akashic fields… People pick up only that with which they personally “resonate.” Each individual’s resonant frequency, determined by their life experience, physical body, and energy body, limits what they can perceive.
Biologist Rupert Sheldrake’s theory of morphic resonance also depends upon similarity in vibration. Members of the same species, being “on the same wavelength,” are able to tap into information that pertains uniquely to them. And while members of an entire species might be able to tune into a fairly broad spectrum of frequencies (think of Carl Jung’s notion of the collective unconscious that humans supposedly tap into ), smaller, more tightly connected groups — such as members of the same family or loving couples — resonate in more focused zones of vibration; they have access to their own “private frequency.” In fact, Sheldrake goes even further and suggests that morphic fields can explain how human memory operates. Instead of being stored in our brains, he suggests that memories are stored in the morphic field. Our brains then pick them up via resonance, like radios tuning to their own private stations.
The existence and importance of similarity in vibration has also popped up in psi experiments. For example, individuals gifted at psychokinesis — the ability to affect physical objects with the mind — have described the experience as a feeling of resonance with those objects. A fascinating body of evidence has also been uncovered by Dean Radin and his colleague Roger Nelson at Princeton’s PEAR lab… [R]esearchers at PEAR found that connected couples can influence random event generators (REGs) more effectively than individuals working alone. Because of this phenomenon, Radin and Nelson decided to test for even larger field effects by using these random devices as “antennae.” First they placed REGs at events where people were all focused on the same thing and therefore “vibrating” similarly-for example, at music festivals, religious events, and even at the Academy Awards. The results were as predicted; these venues did indeed cause the machines’ outputs to deviate from the norm [6, 7].
Then, in 1997, they decided to place REGs at fifty locations all over the world, run them continuously, and see if they could pick up on major world events. The results were astounding. Over the next ten years, Radin and Nelson studied the machines’ reactions to 205 major world events and discovered that they did indeed respond to events that were intense on a global level — especially those that were tragic. The most striking effects occurred in response to the events on 9/11, which caused the largest daily average correlation between the machines’ outputs. Even more amazing, this correlation became noticeable a few hours before the first of the twin towers was hit! [8, 9] An instance of collective precognition?
Whereas world events less horrific than 9/11 probably evoke more varied vibratory responses in people (and therefore do not resonate and amplify each other as well), truly frightening events tend to evoke a more common, coherent response. As this study showed, when nearly all of the people on Earth “got onto the same wavelength” on 9/11, even machines noticed…
Synchronicity and Fields of Meaning
Similarity in vibration has also been used to explain the phenomenon of synchronicity — “coincidences” of seemingly unrelated events that share a common meaning… [A] well-known
illustration of this phenomenon was described by psychiatrist Carl Jung, the originator of the notion of synchronicity . One of Jung’s patients was recounting her dream about a golden scarab beetle when he heard a rapping on the window. When he opened it, a rose chafer beetle — the insect most similar to a scarab in Jung’s region — flew into the room. Jung quickly put two and two together. He realized that the mythological meaning of the scarab — an ancient Egyptian symbol for rebirth — was highly pertinent to his patient’s problems. And this was also the reason why the insect had appeared in waking life.
As we come into Spring, a time that represents rebirth and growth after a period of darkness, this is the perfect time to talk about Kundalini energy! Spring relates to transformation and rebirth in nature, so what better time to focus on your personal energy and overall wellness?
As you let go of anything that no longer serves you and welcome more light into your life, you’re likely releasing energy and blockages on your chakras. An excellent way to do this is actually through Kundalini yoga, a branch that focuses on awareness, consciousness, and chakras. However, what exactly is Kundalini energy and how do you awaken it?
If you’re unfamiliar with the chakra system, please read this article first.
What Is Kundalini Energy?
Kundalini energy is an ancient concept derived from Hindu texts and ancient yogic scripts. Kundalini is a Sanskrit term that translates to “coiled one,” which is why the symbol for Kundalini energy incorporates a serpent coiled around the spine approximately three and a half times. Kundalini is often illustrated using two serpents intertwined around one another as they twist upwards, ascending the spine in a circular motion, representing the awakening and balancing of each chakra.
Here’s a standard illustration of the Kundalini symbol:
Interestingly enough, the intertwined shape that the serpents form together resembles the design of the double helix DNA. It is said that our DNA contains ancient, universal information, as if it’s a living library for us to access through consciousness. Yogic texts explain that Kundalini energy is present when a fetus begins to form in the mother’s womb, and that it coils at the base of the spine at birth. Kundalini energy can stay coiled at the base of the spine until death, at which point it returns to Source, or it can be awakened.
Kundalini energy can begin to unravel, starting from the base of the spine and working its way up to the crown of the head, as a result of spiritual practices and/or life events affecting your chakras and personal growth. This process can be extremely slow or can occur suddenly and all at once, almost as if it was an explosion of energy.
According to yogis, the two nerve currents that move up the spine represented by serpents are a combination of masculine and feminine energy. Ida is the left channel, or the serpent pictured on the left, representing white, feminine, cold, and the Moon. Pingala is the right channel, which is red, masculine, hot, and is associated with the Sun.
We’re going to come back to the Health series soon, but in the mean time, we wanted to begin our Spirit Science exploration into the Source Field, beginning with the notorious “Baxter Effect”, which also has been dubbed “Primary Perception”. Once ruled out as a myth that has been busted, we’re here to set the record straight, and explore just what IS the Baxter Effect, how does it work, and why it’s worth revisiting as valid evidence of a much greater subject – the energetic fields that connect us all!
Listening to our inner voice
There is a natural flow to life beyond judgement of good and bad. The flow is designed to create each circumstance for our optimal spiritual evolution. It’s what we all yearn for at the deepest levels. Yet how many of us are really listening to that inner voice?
Nothing happens by chance. If healing is to be truly effective, then above all, we are invited to embrace the deeper meaning of our circumstance. It’s a way of life that beckons all awakening souls…
To me, spiritual healing is the return to wholeness at a soul level or in other words, the remembrance and integration of who we truly are. By ‘remembrance’ I mean at an energetic rather than an intellectual level. True spiritual healing takes us to the root cause, that will unravel our blockages through the layers.
As an energy worker, seeing Universal Life Energy in the field as I do, it’s quite surprising to see what goes on in the field. How many people override the processes that lead to our optimal evolution and return to wholeness?
I see Universal Life Energy everywhere, like most people see the third dimensional matrix. I see how it flows and where it ‘coagulates’ as blockages (often where we notionally isolate it off in ‘containers’). At times, I am given to help to recalibrate and balance energy within an individual, group or the field in general. At other times, I help to clear energetic debris being released. I see past lives and related karmic convergence of energy. Most of the time I am simply a bridge between worlds, acting as an energetic mirror to reflect an experience that is innate with us all at a soul level. It’s not about over riding and disempowering others. It’s about helping others to remember who they truly are. Above all, it is always invited on a soul level, otherwise I just don’t go there.
Two main camps in the spiritual healing world
It seems there are main two camps in the spiritual healing world:
1. The first is about empowering others to get up, awaken and open their eyes. It does not violate free will. It can be soft and gentle, it may equally be tough, yet it is real. It seeks only to remind us who we truly are and to inspire our own soul to animate our beingness in this world.
2. The other camp owns benevolence for its self and thereby creates something it is not. It creates an alternative reality to escape from the world that we wish to leave behind. It may appear like evolution or spiritual healing, but actually just forms another illusionary bubble. Perhaps a more desirable one, but a bubble none-the-less, isolating us from full self realisation.
We all have to decide for ourselves which camp we are really in and what serves us best. Some may be quite happy in a bubble. I’m not here to convince anybody of their truth. I am here to help another discover it for themselves.
The law of karma
If we ‘take away’ the pain and suffering of another person, the karma that created it in the first place, will simply recreate it in another form.
I’ve been doing a great deal of soul-searching these days, plunging down into the muck and mire then scrambling back up and out only to nosedive again and repeat the process. It’s all part of reconnecting with ourselves. If I happen to see something going on in the news and I stop momentarily to watch, I can see the chaos everybody is going through around the world right now and it seems to be an issue of people being totally disconnected from who and what they are. People are living in fear day after day, they are constantly being reminded of world-wide disasters 24/7 on television, they are pulled into different agendas and are shown everything that is wrong with the world but never shown how to make things right. As a result people are hanging about in the wind unsure of whom to trust or what to trust and so they remain afraid, confused and VULNERABLE!
So what do we do? We seem to be spiraling down out of control as a species, turning on one another and displaying violence that is tearing us apart not bringing us together. It is critical that we stand up for ourselves and bring about the changes we seek for a better life. In order to promote change we must first know what we want and in order to know that, we must know ourselves! For far too long society has fallen prey to television and all of the fear driven agendas pushed on people as well as often being misled by false information. By constantly listening to and relying upon these agendas and misinformation, we are losing our ability to think for ourselves. This is why we are seeing so much chaos envelop the world. We don’t trust ourselves therefore how can we trust each other? Trust only follows if we feel sure and secure in ourselves and our present reality. If we don’t fully understand ourselves how can we trust ourselves ?
We as a society have taken a massive detour in life that has led to our disconnection with self. The last Century we detoured and got lost within the technological/material aspects of life as well as war and all of its negative results on humanity as a whole. We were distracted by materialism creating our drive to work harder for more money to buy more goods we think we needed. This way of life hijacked our awareness and we were pulled far away from going within and connecting to who we are. This same scenario has been happening again in the 21st Century. Social media and smart phones and computers have dominated our daily lives and pulled us even further away from what we should have been doing. Discovering who we are! We don’t look up and out and ahead, we look down at our phones unaware of life passing us by or the beauty around us that Creator has shared with us.
As a result of all of these detours we have taken we are witnessing a world filled with people running around in confusion because we have become unplugged. I see our most basic morals of humanity being ignored and forgotten which leads to a sad loss of mutual respect. Without respect for one another war will continue, violence will continue, chaos will continue, and society will continue to break down further. So we must see that there can be no respect or trust or caring for one another until we respect, trust and care for ourselves FIRST! Once we all become secure in who we are and what we want, we can join together and move ourselves forward. We cannot do that now because we are so scattered and dysfunctional, lost in our own distorted thoughts that are not supporting our personal growth.
The Standard Working Model sucks big time, and I’m gonna tell you why I think so… and hopefully avoid going into a rant.
The standard working model is a creation of the industrial revolution where farmers and rural people were convinced by powerful businessmen that moving from the land into a workforce community was a ticket to wealth and prosperity.
But it didn’t really work out too well for those people.
Today in so called developed countries, we have a more refined version, and certainly much better conditions, but there’s an inherent problem with it.
It creates robots from people. It encourages conformity and scripted behaviours that restrict growth. Even now in our “advanced societies” our education system is formulated to produce workers for our economy.
You’re Only A Number
Governments sell financial packages to high net worth investors and institutions based on the future productivity and money making capacity of its workforce.
Human beings have become commodities. In modern western civilisations we have become like fleas trapped in a jar, only there’s no lid on the jar and the fleas believe there is.
In other words we’ve got this wealth of infinite potential within us, but we are limited by the system that we are entered into. We believe ourselves to be limited and only capable of certain things.
We have an education system right from pre-school to university that trains our kids to be workers, not entrepreneurs. To be dependant, not independent.
Collectively we have created this system in which we all participate, support and perpetuate by virtue of the fact we do not consciously believe there is any worthy alternative.
In fact most of us don’t even possess the ability to see that an alternative system is even required in the first place!
The standard working model says;
Now children we’re going to teach you how to succeed in the big bad world. Learn this stuff we’ve got for you and everything will be ok. You’ll get a job when you’re older, make some money, raise a family and get your children to do the same and everything will be just great…
Yes I am being a little facetious, but can you blame me?
The truth is that the system is broken and it’s been so for a long time. The ones who have come before us have sold this system as the only way to achieve a stable society, and it has a fundamental flaw at it’s core.
It takes into account the middle ground, the majority who will actually fit in and make it “work” for them. It’s my contention that most of the people who make the system work end up largely disillusioned later in life.
The Ones Who Do Not Fit In
This system is not one person’s idea, nor is it a conspiracy held in place by the few wealthy invisible and silent dictators as some headbangers will ask you to believe.
It’s a societal system held in place by the sum of the parts involved. We are all complicit, every one of us is a piece in the puzzle. Most of us just go along with it.
The standard working model works for most, for a time. But there is a more pressing issue and it is the one that concerns our children, the ones who don’t fit the mold.
The yin and yang concept, or “Principle of Polarity”, is a foundational, natural law of our creation here. You’ll find a duality in nearly everything. Left/Right. Black/White. Hot/Cold. This principle has many manifestations within our body, as well. It’s a crucial concept when nailing down your health.
When it comes to mental health, in this case information processing, this polarity shows it’s two-sided face again. On one end we have compartmentalized thinking, on the other we have what is known as “holistic” thinking.
Compartmentalized thinking is “left brain” thinking. Calculated. Scheduled. Scientific minded. This is where you focus on specific topics, gathering as much data as you can to formulate your theories with.
This is how our education system teaches us. Chemistry. Biology. Physics. Everything is separated. Our medical system is compartmentalized, too. “Neurologists”, “immunologists”, “oncologists”. Teaching us this way has issues, and is not by accident. It’s easy to fool people when you lead them down one path their whole lives. They may think they are “logical”, but they’re anything but.
Holistic thinking is what is on the other end of the spectrum, this is right brain processing. Intuitive thinking. It is being able feel how the dots of information connect, bringing it all together to solve problems. “Holistic health” workers bring every avenue of what makes some “healthy” into the picture, to find the best path. They’re exploding in popularity and solving many issues that others can’t for a reason. Logic needs intuition to balance it. To make sure you ain’t being “bullsh**ed”. You gut feeling is usually right, right?
Good people are saying: ‘I see no more point in this, when I wake up I feel like the only sensible thing to do is putting an end to this life and it’s the last thing on my mind when I go to sleep’.
This is not financially related but seems to be a state of mind in people traveling the spirituality/awakening trail.
The downtrodden in austerity-ridden countries are killing themselves in numbers, well, I only have to read the Southern European and the U.S. Papers to understand that economy is reason to commit suicide. Just goes to show what power finances have over people, and if it dries out like a Californian riverbed, the choice is to end life.
There would be better ways to deal with poverty, but somewhere I get it — don’t follow the logics, since finances has too much authority in the Matrix anyhow, in a society that measures personal success in life by the things you are able to iPurchase, or just plain being able to feed your family.
Reading such stories, breaks my heart and on an ‘awakening’ note, it seems like the Matrix really doesn’t mind, hence: There would be no manufactured crises and people wouldn’t be left to live on the streets. Folks are killing themselves on a lie of a dream.
Most people who are hit by this other vibe have gone through years of spiritual awakening, and are well aware of the matrix and its construct. Yet, still, their eyes and souls stray to the heavens in a deep longing for home.
So it is not an ‘ego-kill-off’, it comes from a deeper place:
The souls gone tired and it makes the hearts implode, retract into some vibe where there seem only to be sadness and hurt. Not self-indulging and not seeing himself or herself as a victim of anything: ‘Just’ a very deep feeling of purposelessness, a feel of:
‘What can I do?’
‘This world isn’t going to change’
‘I’ll leave this world to itself’
‘I’m so lonesome’
‘No friends on my trail’
‘I long for my real home among the stars’
‘I can’t find ‘holy’ anymore’
Are some of the words I hear.
Obliviously I had some doubts whether to write about this, but the wave is too massive and too synchronistic to let it slip away.
So lets look at this state of mind – state of Zero.
First thing that strikes me is that a suicide, if it is not a reaction to the matrix, normally takes the route of a depression. A genuine psychological depression that is. But the heart people here don’t have that Matrix defined anatomy of a depression which would indicate as symptoms: No appetite, no sex drive, mostly sleeping, no action — life is halted and the famous light that goes through the cracks and over shines the mind seems to be on a long term vacation — incognito — not to be found.
A Matrix depression takes statistically 2.5 years to go through. So anyway, folks that fall under that category is really not clinically depressed — they are just feeling low, and the Pill popping fix it al Big Pharma fake daylight, makes it down their throats. Treating a bit of moodiness with mind-altering Matrix chemistry just creates a new dependency on the Matrix and it’s wonderfully well-trained psychiatrist, home doctors and what have we. Shame on them = follow the money.
Normally a ‘life-suffering’ being that doesn’t believe in either spirituality or awakening — is right!
There is something profoundly wrong in this life, in this persons life, and that is a paradox, since that would be the turning point in this person life in witch he or she could go: ‘I am’ — instead of ‘I exist’. And the matrix cleverly dulls those moments of longing/insight down at warp speed.
People don’t awake when they are feeling good — no, they awake when feeling low, since their measurement of the programming in which they live is correct: It is hollow, evil, cold as steel and the matrix wants you to trade cold comfort for change.
What a deception.
For the spiritually engaged it has a different cause or causes.
Often we have been where I just described, dodged the pharmaceutical bullets and came out okay by the rapture and promises in a new found spirituality, which has its consciousness locked into the exposure of the patterns that imprisons us. That is very liberating and we: ‘Understand’ the mechanics we got tangled up in and sets out to dissolve them.
“Sevan Bomar goes in on how the current system would like all humans to be at their command 24/7 making them robotic and reactionary he discusses a variety of agendas and their innerworking including the “dream machine” and frequency wars via the media.”
“Every now and then something comes along that changes everything…
It’s all too often we wish to pursue the higher meaning to life, however, the structure of modern society allots very few opportunities to engage in true, vivid esoteria. James Evans Bomar III (more popularly know as “Sevan”) has spent over a decade in diligent pursuit of the esoteric inner workings – extracting hidden knowledge and innovative methods of application from the worlds most proficient spiritual resources.
“To truly know the world, look deeply within your own being; to truly know yourself, take real interest in the world.”
Rudolf Steiner was an intellectual mystic and polymath who lived nearly a century ago. He developed a philosophical and spiritual system called “anthroposophy.” “Anthropos” meaning human, and “Sophia,” meaning wisdom. Steiner was prolific—he produced thousands of lectures, wrote many books, and developed systems of medicine, education, architecture, and what he would come to call the “occult sciences.” Many readers will be familiar with the Waldorf schools, but few know that Steiner’s anthroposophical vision of a spiritual education—based on psycho-spiritual principles of childhood development—were behind them. Waldorf education continues to thrive today with over 1000 schools in 65 countries.
Steiner would also contribute to agriculture—far ahead of the organic movement—with biodynamic farming, and economics with early versions of cooperatives through CSAs, or community-shared agriculture. With the Goetheanum, a building in Switzerland, he would contribute to new, expressionist styles of architecture. Cultural philosopher John David Ebert describes Steiner as the “Aristotle of the New Age,” and with the prolific, “Renaissance Man” output of his life’s work, it would be hard to disagree.
His ideas would influence individuals like C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield (an “Inklings” fellow and friend alongside Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien), the environmentalist Rachel Carson (Silent Spring), the scientist James Lovelock, and many others.
Steiner’s thinking was rooted in his background in German philosophy—particularly the works of Goethe—and bringing together of imagination, intuition, and intellect. This, I believe, is what made him unique amongst 20th century mystics—he didn’t shy away from engaging with materialists, scientists, or philosophical nihilists of his day. Steiner’s anthroposophical philosophy worked towards uniting spirit and science, attempting to see through the materialism of his time—which is still present in ours—to present a vision of reality where the spiritual and the physical were utilized what we might call an imaginative science. He was also what we might call an “evolutionary mystic” and kindred soul to other contemporaries of his time like Teilhard de Chardin and Sri Aurobindo in that he saw the physical world as an outward process of inner, spiritual worlds. The human being was the product of a vast, evolutionary process rooted in those subtle, esoteric dimensions
Through Geisteswissenschaft, or “spiritual science,” Steiner believed a person could gain some level of mastery over their physical lives and spiritual destinies. They could realize greater degrees of freedom.
It is difficult to offer any version of an “Anthroposophy 101” for the reader. Steiner’s work is so vast, and so sprawling, that each take on it will be different. Each emphasis unique. So it’s my hope that this article will simply be a starting point for the curious reader—a biography, an overview, and a few recommended texts, places for those curious readers to wish to go further, and try some exercises.
So, where does one start? When in doubt, it is best to begin at the beginning.
Rudolf Steiner was born in 1861 in Austria-Hungary, now Croatia and spent his early years moving frequently with his parents. His first brush with the supernatural would occur while sitting in the waiting room at the train station where his father worked. He was around five or six years old. A woman entered the waiting room and approached him. She spoke: “Try now, and later in life, to help me as much as you can.” She turned and walked to the other side of the room before disappearing. Steiner would later find out, from his distraught father, that his aunt had committed suicide that same day. Gary Lachman, Steiner’s biographer, notes that Steiner had never met this relative or heard much about her until he saw her in the train station. In a lecture, Steiner notes it was from this moment on that he began to have access to another, supersensible world.
When he was eight years old, Steiner borrowed a book of geometry. It seemed to activate something in him, and gives us another insight into one of the key anthroposophical ideas. In his Autobiography, he writes:
“In this early relation to geometry I recognized the first beginning of the view of the world and of life that gradually took shape within me… It was impossible for me to regard thoughts as mere pictures we form of things. To me they were revelations of a spiritual world seen on the stage of the soul…I felt that knowledge of the spiritual world must actually exist within the soul as objective reality, just like geometry.”
For the anthroposophist, one’s own inner imagination and thought become tools for accessing spiritual realities. This idea relates to Carl Jung’s own model of the psyche, where one’s personal unconscious is inextricably linked to the collective unconscious, and a person can gain insights and personal growth through imaginative, visual exercises, or the “active imagination.”
“He who is unwilling to trust to the power of thinking cannot, in fact, enlighten himself regarding higher spiritual facts.”
Despite being sent to a trade school by his father, Steiner would take an interest in German philosophy, particularly the works of Goethe. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe deserves his own, if entirely brief, introduction. Both scientist and artist, he contributed to early ideas of evolutionary theory through a study of the morphology of plants, authored Theory of Colors, and is perhaps best known in the English speaking world for the novel Faust.
In recent years I’ve been struck by how much John Carpenter’s 1988 movie They Live seems to be more and more relevant as the years pass by (e.g. we posted this They Live inspired Pepsi satire just last week). The power of corporations continues to grow, from the ‘too big to fail’ mantra that now puts their welfare above ours, to the Citizens United decision that allowed unfettered financial backing of politicians by the mega-wealthy, creating the ideal environment for plutocracy.
It seems I’m not the only one to have noticed this though, as the above short film about the relevance of They Live also focuses on how it applies in the modern day. As John Carpenter himself points out in the film:
[In the 1980s] there was a great deal of obsession with greed and making a lot of money, and some of the values that I grew up with had been pushed aside. So I decided to scream out in the middle of the night and make a statement about that.
And They Live is partially a political statement. It’s partially a tract on the world that we live in today…and as a matter of fact, right now it’s even more true than it was then.