Category Archives: Integrated Intelligence

Peter L Nelson and How You Can See the Secrets of Life

This article also appears on Conscious Life News

What if when you enter a room, instead of looking about with your eyes and listening with your ears, you first employed your feelings to get a sense of the place? If you did this every time you entered a new space, how would it change your perception of place? How would it transform the way you relate to the world, to people, to your experience of self as a conscious being?

There is a man who teaches people how to do exactly this, and his name is Peter L Nelson. A clinical psychologist with a PhD, Peter is no ordinary scientist. He is also a “seer,” a person who has been trained to sense what lies within the spaces that we normally do not look upon.

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Peter’s recent book Way of a Seer makes bold claims. The volume is founded upon the conviction that the human mind is connected to “second-stream of consciousness,” and that the information that this provides for the individual can be practically applied in our daily lives. This spiritual intelligence is innate, but our society and education system has forgotten it, instead conditioning us to tightly focus our attention on a very narrow range of perceptual experience. We are taught to push, to compete, to win. We are not taught to relax and look. We are not taught to listen. Instead, we impose ourselves upon the world, and in doing so miss its subtle essence and much of the information contained within places, experiences and people.

Peter’s induction to the world of seers is as remarkable as the teaching itself, as he told me recently on my podcast The Consciousness Files. In his early twenties Peter was a disgruntled postgraduate student spending his time cutting open rats’ brains in the university lab. He found the entire programme distasteful. Despite his inquisitive scientific intelligence, Peter never felt quite at home in society and modern education. He had long had disconcerting psychic experiences, which he tended to push aside.

One night he had a dream of flying over green hills, and had the profound sense that he knew the place he was seeing. The following night at the cinema he saw the exact same scene again, which was in Devonshire, England. He had a profound sense of longing to travel to the country.

In a series of coincidences, he soon met a wealthy woman who offered to take him there. He made the decision to quit his studies and soon found himself in London. To try to make sense of the experiences he was having, Peter visited the British Society Psychical Research (15:45 mins). It was there that the librarian began to act a little strange. She insisted that he read a letter, which she stated was very important. Peter declined, but he struck up a friendship with the woman. Eventually she convinced him to read the letter. It turned out that it had been written ten years before. It was apparently addressed to Peter himself, even though Peter had never met the writer. It described details of Peter’s life that appeared to be too accurate to dismiss as coincidence.

At first Peter thought it was some kind of scam, but the disorienting effect of the experience stayed with him. Despite his fear and the unsettling effect on his life, he maintained his relationship with the woman. She would, over a period of years, teach him how to become a seer.

According to Peter Nelson, perhaps the most important aspect of “seeing” is that it transforms our way of relating to people, the world and the cosmos. It is vital to helping us rediscover the connectivity that we have lost in our modern, economically-developed cultures.

What I particularly like about Peter is his honesty and the “scientific” approach to what I prefer to call “integrated intelligence.” He does not profess to know all the answers to life, the universe and everything. Indeed “not knowing” is central to his personal philosophy. We humans are very limited in what we can understand about the universe, he says. Yet even the simple act of noticing what we don’t pay attention to can be transformative.

Take a look around you now. What did you first pay attention to when you entered the room? What do you never pay attention to in this space? A minute of quiet meditation on these two questions can reveal much about what you have become – and what you have not become.

Perhaps Peter L Nelson’s way is not for everyone who works with the extended mind, but I think all “seers” can gain a great deal from his “critical” approach. Peter is not so much interested in laying down dogmas and certainties, as in problematising the way of the seer. He is sometimes critical of false or naive approaches to seeing, but I think this is a good thing.

The world needs people with the courage to speak and write openly about this often-maligned area of human perception. Seeing deeply is not merely an interesting aside to the human story, like attending a psychic reading or playing with a ouija board when you have had a few too many drinks. I am in full agreement with Peter L Nelson that non-ordinary perception is central to rebalancing the greater story of our civilisation and our species. Peter L Nelson makes an invaluable, fascinating and very accessible contribution to human knowledge.

What is Integrated Intelligence?

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I often refer to the term “Integrated Intelligence.” For example, it is a central part of The Future of Consciousness project and book of the same name, as well as my podcast The Consciousness FilesHowever, not everyone who visits this blog has read my books or knows what I mean by this term. So in today’s post I am going to give a succinct little summary of what Integrated Intelligence (or INI) is. I’m also going to outline what you can actually do with it, and give some fascinating examples.

Before we even begin to define Integrated Intelligence, we should stop for a moment to ask what intelligence is.

Intelligence is the mental ability which allows you to function successfully in a given situation

– and nothing more. Academics and philosophers have been arguing about this for centuries, and still can’t agree on much more than the definition I give you.

It’s from this definition of intelligence that I define Integrated Intelligence as:

The ability to draw on the extended mind and all its intuitive capacities to function successfully and solve problems.

The extended mind, in turn, is:

Consciousness that extends beyond the individual’s brain, and connects us with spiritual realms.

So basically Integrated Intelligence is using more of your mind, including the intuitive, to do what you really want. This does not exclude the “rational” functions of the mind, because both the intuitive and the rational have their valid functions.

It also follows that Integrated Intelligence is not the same thing as “enlightenment” or spiritual evolution. Nonetheless, Integrated Intelligence can be employed towards these ends. INI is typically described as being part of higher states of consciousness, as reported in many spiritual traditions. And the more acute these states, the more developed Integrated Intelligence tends to be.

Using INI
Let’s get a little more practical. How can you actually apply INI? There are at least seven core mental functions that INI allows you to perform.

Connectivity. This is the ability to sense the connections between and amongst things. Connectivity has several forms, and is probably not a single cognitive process (perhaps I will break it down in later writings). It includes the higher order enlightenment experiences where the individual‘s sense of self expands out beyond her immediate body.

A classic example comes from Maurice Bucke’s Cosmic Consciousness (1905), where he reported a profound mystical experience.

I was losing my consciousness, my identity, I was powerless to hold myself. Now came a period of rapture so intense that the Universe stood still, as if amazed at the unutterable majesty of the spectacle! Only one in all the infinite Universe! The All-loving, the Perfect One! The Perfect Wisdom, truth, love, and purity! And with the rapture came the insight. In that same wonderful moment of what might be called supernatural bliss, came illumination… What joy when I saw there was no break in the chain — not a link left out — everything in its time and place. Worlds, systems, all bended in one harmonious whole. Universal light, synonymous with Universal love!

Location. This is the capacity to sense where things are, without necessarily having prior information.

This can occur through a feeling, or might be visual in nature. Once I lost my credit card, and couldn’t find it for days. So I did meditation, putting myself into a light trance state. I kept asking where the card was, and after a few minutes a clear image came to me of the back pocket of a black pair of jeans. I got up immediately and went to the cupboard where my only black pair of jeans was hanging, and found the credit card in the back pocket.

Diagnosis. Diagnosis is the ability to intuitively find the cause of problems.

A friend of mine who worked for steel giant BHP some years back, reported that he used his intuition to repair machinery. Rather than trying to rationally analyse why a machine had broken down, he would often just stop, and allow the answer to come to him. He claimed he could do this anywhere, and referred to an incident when he was on a friend’s boat, and the engine stopped. He told the boat owner what he felt was wrong, and as soon as the problem was investigated, his hunch was proven to be correct.

Recognition is being able to immediately know some­body or something without ever being told about them or it.

In Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda tells a story from his childhood. One day he was walking along a street and saw a yogi (Indian wise man) walking towards him. He was filled with a deep and immediate knowing that this yogi was to be his master. He fell to his feet, and was full of tears. This began a teacher-student relationship which lasted many years till the yogi’s death – and even after, according to Yogananda (He was able to communicate with his master in spirit form).

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Precognition. When you sense what is going to happen in the future, this is Precognition.

A few years ago when I was on the phone to a friend of a friend. We were trying to arrange a meeting to discuss a certain issue which could help my wife. The guy in question told me he’d ring back to see if he could find the time to meet me that afternoon. When he hung up I asked my wife if she felt he would meet us (I was encouraging her to develop hr intuition). She said she had no idea. I then told her there was more chance of Dalai Lama becoming the next president of China than that guy taking the time to meet us. I could feel his complete lack of intention. He called back three hours later to say he was busy.

Evaluation. Evaluation involves being able to intuitively determine the wisdom or value of different options and choices.

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In Discover Your Soul Template I tell the story of a very long and protracted meeting at a school I worked at in Hong Kong, where we teachers and administrators sat through a tedious four-hour meeting, listening to representatives of text book companies give their pitch. After a couple of hours, and almost falling asleep, I simply felt the energy of the four options, and saw straight away that there was only one real choice. There was another meeting the following week before the admin finally chose that same book.

Inspiration. This term refers to creative knowledge and ideas that come to you from spiritual sources, not your conscious mind.

Many creators, artists writers and even scientists have reported being guided by inspiration that was beyond their conscious volition. William Blake, for example, said that angels inspired his poetry. For the writing on my thesis, I used a process I call Integrated Inquiry, which allowed me to write prolifically.

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There are also two outcomes which emerge from the successful application of INI.

Wisdom. Wisdom results from the capacity to use INI to create a life that is deeply meaningful and in alignment with a person’s highest needs.

Transformation. A core shift, lifting the person towards greater wisdom and intelligence, and creating a higher level of consciousness. This causes a transformation of hisa/her entire being.

So that, in a nutshell, is Integrated Intelligence

Marcus

The Consciousness Files Podcast has Arrived!

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The Consciousness Files has arrive! Expect not just the unexpected, but a fun and entertaining discussion, as I (Marcus T Anthony) chat with thought leaders from around the globe about these exciting developments.

  • What will the future look like once we expand our conception of consciousness to include the extended mind and integrated intelligence?
  • What changes can we expect in science, education, business and society as a whole?
  • What practical applications are we likely to see, including high-tech, low-tech and no-tech?
  • What role will artificial intelligence play?
  • Who are the men and women who will drive the ideas and innovation?
  • What will it take to trigger the revolution?

These are the exciting questions which underpin The Consciousness Files podcasts.

The extended mind is a term used to describe consciousness which expands beyond the brain and is entangled with other people, place and times. Once dismissed as the stuff of fantasy, delusion or sci-fi, the extended mind is now a subject of genuine scientific interest.

Integrated intelligence is a term I have developed to describe the deliberate application of the extended mind in solving problems, great and small.

My belief is that there is now enough evidence to take these ideas seriously, while popular interest is at an all-time high.

The wisdom and information gleaned from my guests will be used for my book project, The Future of Consciousness.

You will find links to the podcasts below even as they are completed, beginning around mid-June 2016. Individual posts for each podcast will also appear here on my homepage and on my mind-futures.com blog.

So tune in and raise your own consciousness level! The Consciousness Files promises to be a real trip!

PS. If there is anyone you would like me to interview in this field, please feel free to suggest him or her in the comments section, below. Or just email me: marcus@marcustanthony.com.

Marcus

Episode 1: Peter L Nelson. Beyond the Ordinary

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The Powerful Evidence for Telephone Telepathy

As part of the research I am conducting into my book The Future of Consciousness (yes, it’s the same book as The Great Mind Shift, only retitled) I am outlining evidence for the existence of Integrated Intelligence (INI). INI is the deliberate employ,net of the extended mind – mind which extends beyond the brain – to solve problems. Perhaps the strongest evidence for ESP in recent years comes from Rupert Sheldrake’s telephone and electronic media telepathy experiments. The results that Shekdrake has managed to glean are extremely impressive. I. This blog post I am going to outline some of the experiments, why I feel these could become the gold standard of ESP experiments. I am also going to address the perplexing question of why such potentially groundbreaking research is not be embraced and relocated, nor widely shared in scientific and popular media.

The Telephone Telepathy Experiments
The experience of apparent telepathy is the strongest of all such ESP in today’s society. People often have the experience of thinking about someone before they call them. Or they may have a strong feeling about who is calling when the phone rings. The obvious skeptical viewpoint is that people may simply be unconsciously extrapolating who is calling based on experience or statistical likelihood. Perhaps your mother usually calls in the evening on the weekend every few weeks, for example. If it has been a few weeks since she has called, and it is a Saturday evening, it would be natural to “feel” that it is your mother on the other end of the line. Clearly this has nothing to do with telepathy.

So what Sheldrake has done is put this urban myth to the experimental test, and with extraordinary findings.

Sheldrake and Pam Smart have conducted hundreds of trials to test the idea. The genius of the experiments is their simplicity. Each participant receives a call from one of four different callers. They are aware of who the possible callers are, but they do not know which one will be calling at any given time, as they are randomly selected. The person answering the phone has to guess the identity of the caller before they answer. This gives the caller a 25 percent chance of stating the correct name. In many of these trials, the participants were videotaped. (Sheldrake 2014, 29%)

While some participants scored at the chance level, many scored well above chance. The first series contained 570 trials with 63 subjects, and was not filmed. The average hit rate was 40 percent. The four best subjects were then tested and filmed under more rigorous conditions,. A total of 271 further trials produced an average hit rate of 45 percent, which represents an extremely significant result and at odds against chance of (p < 1 × 10-13).

 

The Importance of Confidence
As I have often pointed out in my books and workshops, intuition is usually most reliable when the feeling is very strong, either for or against a decision that is to be made. Sheldrake and Smart’s experiment add support to this idea. Some participants felt more confident about some guesses than others, and they were more often right when they were confident. Sheldrake and Smart then asked a female subject to record over 134 videotaped trials and state how confident she felt about her guesses before answering the phone. There were three grades of confidence: “confident,” “not very confident,” and “just guessing.” When confident she had a hit rate of 85 percent, but only 34 percent when not very confident. When she was just guessing, her success rate was merely 28 percent. This suggests that we should all learn to trust our strong gut feelings.

Empathy and INI
As with other ESP tests of this kind, it was found that personal and empathic connection was a key component in telepathy. Sheldrake and Smart conducted a series of trials where the participant knew only two of the callers. The other two were strangers whom they only knew by name. The results were remarkable.The participants managed a hit rate of over 50 percent with those they knew, whereas with strangers the results were at close to chance level.

Distance is no Barrier to INI
Telephone telepathy experiments also add credence to the claim that extra-sensory perception is not constricted by a distance decay effect. Again, this is consistent with some previous research on other kinds of telepathy, both with people with people, and with animals such as dogs, cats, and parrots.

Sheldrake and Smart found that experiments conducted within Britain were not any less successful with greater distance. To test this result further, the experimenters recruited recent arrivals to England from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other distant countries. They then compared local hit rates with friends and family members overseas. Remarkably, the hit rate for callers overseas averaged 61 percent, while with friends in Britain it was but 36 percent. Sheldrake suggests that this difference might have occured because the majority of overseas callers were people with whom participants were closely emotionally bonded, such as mothers. This is further evidence that personal and meaningful connection is a key condition in telepathic phenomena.

Email and SMS Telepathy
In 2002 Sheldrake began testing for e-mail telepathy with Pam Smart. The process was based on his telephone telepathy tests, again using friends or family members. The participants had to guess from four possible senders before checking the sender’s actual identity. Sheldrake tested 50 participants for a total of 552 trials, with an average hit rate of 43 percent. Again, this is very significantly above the chance. (p < 1 × 10-18). The 5 highest-scoring participants were tested again while being filmed, with an average hit rate of 47 percent, again very significantly above the 25 percent rate expected busy chance.

Sheldrake has also been very successful in gleaning significant results from having people guess the senders of SMS messages. In one such experiment were three senders. So with random guessing, subjects would be expected to be correct right around 33.3 percent of the time. Sheldrake has run 800 trials with an average hit rate of 37.9 percent. Although this result is not as startling as some of his other experiments, they are nonetheless statistically significant. As previously, Sheldrake retested participants with the highest scores and under filmed conditions. The hit rate was then an impressive 44.2 percent.

 

Animals and Telephones
Sheldrake has also collected reports of animals that appear to know who is calling on the phone. His database includes 141 cases, including 67 dogs, 60 cats, 13 parrots, cockatoos, and other members of the parrot family, and 1 pet pigeon.

Sheldrake cites the case of Sheila Geddes, of Yaxham, Norfolk, England.

”Our cat, Mr. Softy, always seemed to know when I was going to phone home, and he would go and sit on the phone seat and purr. Once when I was in Australia, he went up onto the telephone seat one afternoon when it would have been 1: 00 A.M. in Canberra. My husband knew how late it was in Canberra, and told Mr. Softy, “It’s no good, we won’t hear from her now.” But I had woken up suddenly, felt very far from home, and realized it would be early evening there, so five minutes later, the phone rang beside him. He was delighted to hear my voice. The distance between Sheila and her cat was about 11,000 miles.”

Such cases are report-based and thus subject to human misrepresentations, but fascinating nonetheless.

Telepathy or Precognition?
As a fascinating addendum to the telephone telepathy tests, Sheldrake decided to test a rogue possibility. What if the success of the tests was not due to telepathy, but precognition? In the latter case, in correctly guessing who is calling, the participants might be tapping into the future. To test this hypothesis, Sheldrake got the subjects to guess who was about to call them or send an SMS message before the computer selected the sender at random. The telephone tests yielded 240 hits out of 722 trials, or 33.2 percent. There was a similar result with the SMS messages, with 110 hits out of 339 trials, representing 32.4 percent. The results were not significant, given the chance level of 33.3 percent. The clear conclusion is that no precognition was occurring in these kinds of tests. Rather, it seems that telepathy was.

However, there is a “positive” conclusion which can be gleaned from the failed precognition tests. That the results were negligible is further indication that something was happening in the previous successful telephone telepathy trials, and that this positive result was not merely some anomaly, such as poor experimental method or cheating. If the latter had been the case, both sets of experiments would have produced similar results.

Real Life vs Experimental Telepathy
Sheldrake makes an important point about his experiments. Despite their striking success, they probably produce weaker telepathic effects than those which occur in real life situations. Firstly, under natural conditions people will have a precise motivation or requirement for calling. This will in turn bring emotionality and intentionality into the situation in a greater way than a dull experiment can, enhancing intuition. Secondly, the experiments probably made the participants self-conscious as they had to deliberately think about their guesses and the identity of the possible caller. As Sheldrake notes, thinking probably inhibits human intuition, as intuitive intelligence is neither reasoned nor analytical. Thirdly, there was a fear factor. The participants were sometimes afraid of making the wrong choice. When they did choose in error they tended to doubt their intuitive capacities, bringing forth negative emotionality which may have inhibited their integrated intelligence.

Thanks to people like Sheldrake and Pam Smart, we are now starting to understand the kinds of conditions that best facilitate the positive testing of Integrated Intelligence. Just a few important factors include providing meaningful situations for participants, using motivated individuals, having emotional connectivity, ensuring there is novelty and avoidance of boredom and excessive repetition, and we must also encourage relaxed states of consciousness and avoid pressuring those being tested. Further, it is likely that in the near future we will identify other factors, including the subtle.

A Platform for the Future
The innovative and adventurous research of people like Sheldrake and Smart provides a wonderful base for other scientists and organisations to step in and take us forward. That leap represents not just potential progress for science, but for the entire human species. It potentially revolutionises the way we see our species, our societies and our place in nature and the cosmos.

Why then, is science not coming on board and building on this research? That will be the subject of my next blog post.

Marcus

The Future of Consciousness

Some of you might recall a book I was working on which I was tentatively calling The Great Mind Shift. I then changed the title to The Great Transition. The main idea of the book is to explore the futures of the extended mind – and especially what changes might occur once this idea becomes accepted by mainstream science. I kind of became stuck on this project for a while. I didn’t give up, just put it on the back burner.

Well, I’ve had a genuine breakthrough recently, and am going great guns on the project. The shift has been simple. I have clarified the title and the audience. I am now calling it “The Future of Consciousness: Towards an Integrated Intelligence.”

Rather than try to make the book water-tight for the scientific community (which would make it too dry and detailed) I am going to aim at a more popular audience. I am going to address the science, but also move beyond scientific convention. I will focus upon practical applications of integrated intelligence in education, business, IT and social development, and even bring in a few extraneous futures such as with mental health and the military. This will allow me to combine research, critical futures studies and personal insight.

I am in the process of interviewing experts in relevant fields. I will turn the first 12 of these into podcasts – probably under the title “The Consciousness Files” – which will be made available to the general public. If the podcasts go well, I will continue to produce them. You will hear more about this soon. I hope you can join me in this adventure. It should be both fun and a great learning experience for me and my audience.

PS, if you think you have something to share in this area, especially in terms of possible practical applications of integrated intelligence, send me a message here on Facebook, and I will see if we can turn it into a podcast – and if not, it might be able to incorporate your ideas into my book, fully referenced to you, of course.

Feel free to share this post! Marcus.

The Stickiness of Soul Stories (and how to become unstuck)

I like to think of we individual human beings as bits of consciousness, embedded within greater fields of consciousness. Each of us is potentially evolving in awareness and understanding. Yet many of us remain stagnant, stuck in the world of the mind and it’s stories and beliefs.

This is very important to understand, because right now the human species is in a vastly accelerated transition phase of physical and consciousness evolution. This present time represents an incredibly rare opportunity for personal growth for the soul. To be unaware of this – and instead remain stubbornly locked in a rigid and inflexible story – is tragically wasteful.

The physical aspect of this evolutionary expansion has emerged via the technology which now allows us to manipulate genetic codes. This, combined with a massive and exponential capacity to store and process information via computers, means that evolution is no longer merely in the hands of the “gods.” We all have incredible power in our hands, a power that our ancestors could never have dreamed of.

The question then becomes: can we match this incredible physical evolution with a corresponding mental and spiritual evolution? This is of vital importantance. If we do not balance these two domains of evolution, then there is a strong possibility that we will abuse the power that we are being given. We are already abusing it in so many ways, as we all know from reading the daily news feed. How then, can we correct this imbalance?

Our education systems must make curriculum time for psycho-spiritual development. This must include not only conscious-mental reflection, but must help the young practice mindfulness and meditative presence. Without the capacity for meditative presence there is no chance for a person to be able to develop the capacity to witness the mind. And without the ability to witness mind, one remains imprisoned in whatever story the mind puts forward. And in turn that story will almost certainly be the one that reflects the trauma contained within our personal and karmic history.

When we fall for the delusion that we are the mind, we become stuck in the stories of the mind, in the pain of the past. And stories are very, very sticky.

From a grand cosmic perspective, you as an individual being trapped in a self-limiting story for a lifetime or a hundred lifetimes is a mere twinkling of starlight. Cosmic time dwarfs human mind-time. This is important to grasp, as there is no emergency from a grand perspective. And that means your getting stuck in the evolutionary mud is perfectly permissible in the greater scheme of things.

The truth is that most of our stories are a bit nasty, rather unpleasant and with more than a little suffering. There’s something wrong with me. I messed up. I’m not good enough. Basically, I suck and I got to try like hell to unsuck!

We also carry a story about the the world, and the themes tend to be repetitive. People can’t be trusted. They are mean and stupid, and trying to repress me. I’m a victim. The world is cruel, and we have to fight for survival. What is the point of trying anyway, when we all die?

The great news is that in perfect presence our stories dissolve, and along with them the suffering and fear that emerges from remembered pasts and fearful futures. So it is that our most empowered expression as individual humans arises in the present moment. The present moment permits a resplendent intelligence to emerge, a wisdom that simply cannot flower when we are stuck in the mind. In a seeming irony, perfect presence permits a far greater sense of the unfolding future. This is why wisdom is a natural expression of presence. We have a potential to make far smarter choices while in presence.

Most of us remain fixed in the world of story, and mostly this is because we are not present. We are not really in the wold when we are not present. We are living in an imaginary world of illusion, painting the world with such thick, dark colours that it’s natural light cannot be seen.

The mere acknowledgement that you are operating in the world of story is enough to dissolve the story, if only for a short time. The great news, as spiritual teacher Leonard Jacobson often says, is that presence never leaves us. It is we who leave presence. Yet the mere realisation that we are not present is an invitation to presence. With just a little understanding of what is required, we can return to presence whenever we wish. It truly is simple. Just be present with the body, the breath, or whomever or whatever you are with.

Once we are free of the story, we may begin to consciously construct a new, more desirable story, if that is what we wish. We can then play in the world of time and space again, only with greater awareness, joy and wisdom.

What story will you choose? And why?

Is the Force Really With You? (Star Wars)

Star Wars is generally considered science fantasy (as opposed to science fiction) as it incorporates elements of both mysticism and mythology. Many hard-core science buffs assume that its primary themes have no real-life equivalent in the extant universe. After all, ideas like the Force and the Dark Side (good versus evil) are mere human projections. Human values are arbitrary impositions painted onto an impersonal and mechanistic cosmos devoid of purpose or meaning.

Conscious Cosmos or Machine Universe?
Yet I believe that this latter take on a mechanical cosmos is in itself a kind of pathetic fallacy; a case of human beings projecting their own worldview out onto the cosmos and depicting it in the contours of their own psyches. My understanding emerges from several decades of having explored human consciousness at a first-person level, spending many thousands of hours in meditation, mindful presence and non-ordinary states of consciousness. I have also worked with some very powerful and gifted seers, and my understandings have been mediated by their wisdom.

Good versus evil
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Good versus evil, light versus darkness are assumed by many to be human archetypes, primal motifs which exist within the mind, but which do not reflect actual properties of life and cosmos. Yet I have come to conclude that this assumption is false. The images of light and darkness are metaphors through which the human psyche represents the play of energetic consciousness structures which are central to the experience of life and probably to the existence of the universe itself.

Ironically, the idea of a mechanical universe grinding out a purposeless existence according to preset cosmological laws is neither “rational” nor “scientific.” It is pathetic fallacy. Since the dawn of the industrial revolution the machine has become an archetypal image within the human psyche. The machine is probably now the most common single phenomenon that we encounter in our daily lives. As I write this in the Black and White coffee shop in Shenzhen, not far from Hong Kong, I am writing on my iPad. Outside the big window to my right shiny metallic machines glide past (cars). Above me and in my foreground is a large television set, and music plays softly through the sound system.

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Machines are everywhere. Today, in the twenty-first century, most people spend a large proportion of their free time with their eyes glued to the screens of the little machines they hold in their hands (and then put in their pockets when they are finished gazing at them). In days of yore human beings used to attribute acts of nature to human qualities. The volcano was angry; the thunder God cantankerous; that bit of bad luck arrived because the cosmos was in a bad mood. Yet in the modern era human beings are just as likely to attribute mechanical functions to natural events, projecting the idea of the machine onto the fabric of the universe. Could both the pre-modern and modern takes on cosmic operations be equally fallible?

The answer is that there is now an abundance of scientific evidence which suggests that consciousness (mind) plays an important role in life and perhaps in the nature of the universe itself. The evidence for ESP (clairvoyance, remote viewing, telepathy and so on) is strong, and supported by well-documented reports from both history and the modern world. There are certain (though not clear) parallels with quantum physics, and these suggest that non-locality may be an important aspect of both cosmos and psyche. The universe may possess an innate intelligence. The question then becomes, what is our relationship with that cosmic “mind”?

Is the Force Really With Us?
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This brings us to the idea of “the Force?” Can human beings tap into some kind of cosmic intelligence (with good or evil expressions) and employ it in their lives in ways that are either creative or destructive? The idea, of course, is not new, and it certainly isn’t exclusive to the Star Wars franchise. The idea that human beings can align their minds with the currents of universal intelligence is found in many religious and spiritual traditions. Sometimes this is given personified form, as with the ideas of God, Jesus, Allah and so on. In other traditions the universal mind appears to be similar to that represented in Star Wars, more a kind of impersonal intelligence that one can tap into.

Perhaps the closest classical equivalent in that of The Way (Tao) in Taoism, the ancient Chinese teachings which emerged from the spiritual master Lao Zi, half a millennium before the birth of Christ. Taoism drew strongly form Budddhist thought. Lao Zi spoke of a kind of feminine or receptive power that could be aligned with, but not grasped in the sense of more patriarchal expressions of power. Without leaving the room, one could know the world. One could be a master of men, but not by rising above them, but by lying below them. Softness could be strength. In silence all could be revealed.

My own experience as a mindful individual is that this intelligence is indeed an extant quality of life and can be activated and subtly employed. I call it Integrated Intelligence, and it has both an impersonal nature (reading the tones of fields) and a personal aspect (personal spiritual guidance from conscious spiritual entities). I have experienced a great deal of both, as I outline in my book Discover Your Soul Template.

It is, however, a skill that may require a lifetime of mastery, as the human mind is prone to impose its own wilful delusions upon the cosmos. We must learn to listen carefully with the heart, follow our deepest intuitions, and acknowledge the many errors we will inevitably make. In the Buddhist traditions they say “Not this way, not that way” as one follows the middle path. This means that we must be constantly mindful in each moment, even as the mind tends stray from the path. Another way of thinking of this is that the mind has a propensity to leave the real world of the present moment and travel to imagined fearful or expectant futures. Or it will return to painful pasts and the self-limiting beliefs embedded within hurtful memories. Once this habit is concretised, we become lost in the mind and its delusional thinking.

To the Dark Side!
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And what of the dark side of the Force? Is there any real-life spiritual equivalent? The bad news is yes, and in many ways it is very similar to that depicted in Star Wars. All life is embedded within fields of intention, within consciousness fields. Each species and life expression has both an individual and collective field. In fact, we are all embedded within multiple fields: such as family, race, religion, the human collective and so on. Each field contains a general “tone”, or energy structure. These tend to have a controlling or normative aspect. If your mind is part of the Chinese collective, for example, that collective will tend to pull your mind along with it. It is our beliefs, judgments and unconscious needs to belong that attach us to such collective fields. It is very, very difficult to pull one’s mind out of a collective field in which it is embedded. The simple recognition of being controlled by the group mind is insufficient to free one. The individual must first look long and hard within himself and identify exactly why it is that he has given his power away to the group. This is much, much more difficult in practice than in theory.

It is very possible for people to become ensnared within dark fields of intention without conscious knowledge. The most common reasons for this are twofold. The first is desire for power and control, and again this is similar to what we see in the Star Wars movies. Darth Vadar is the classic example, driven by anger and lust for power and domination. In this scenario the human ego seeks to set itself above others, to elevate itself in importance, status, hierarchy.

Given that many cultures on this earth explicitly operate according to honour, face and status it is unfortunately quite the norm for human beings to fall into collective dark fields of intention in this way. In fact, virtually all of you reading this article will currently be “possessed” by several fields in such a manner. We human beings like to think of ourselves as “good” (or victims of bad others), and have a strong tendency to deny acknowledgment of our own manipulative and deceitful intentions. But we all have such propensities. In fact, it is not a question of whether you are a “dark” human being. It is a question of how “dark” you have unconsciously allowed yourself to become. I believe that if we were beyond these dynamics of power, control and self-deception we would not be here on this plane of experience. For it is our relationship with this reality that defines much of the human experience here.

If we think of it like this, enlightenment or awakening becomes about fully acknowledging the unconscious parts of our minds that we generally prefer to avoid. This realisation is quite a shock to the human ego at first, because such awareness requires that you acknowledge how far you have turned away from the truth of yourself, of your life. Can you do this without self-judgment, without condemning the others who have unconsciously cooperated with you in your story of deception? Can you forgive humanity, life, and ultimately God for this development? For at the bottom of the human story many of us find an unspeakable rage at “God” for allowing us to fall so far into darkness. This is certainly what I found within myself, and I have witnessed it within many other human psyches as well.

What about the practical employment of such universal intelligence? Can we, for example, employ it in going about setting and pursuing goals, in creating our ideal lives? The answer is yes. But… and there is a caveat… the power that this afford us as individuals is directly proprtional to the degree to which we surrender our personal will to it. This is an irony, no? It means the more you seek power via the universal mind, the less available it is. It becomes increasingly unreliable as we turn away from the light.

Nonetheless, there are forms of human intuition which can be readily employed regardless of intentionality. You can employ these intuitive modes of awareness no matter whether your intention is to serve the light, or to serve the separated consciousness of the darkness. All you have to do is relax and allow your mind to sense the tone of a field in order to make its essential nature known to you. In this sense both Hitler and the Dalai Lama can simply focus upon the same field and get pretty much the same “data”. However, it is far more likely that the minds of the Hitlers of this world will be manipulated by the malevolent intentions of the darker fields of intention that they are connected to.

While dark consciousness fields are impersonal in much the same way that a destructive tornado is impersonal, the truth is that such darkness is channeled via individual minds. This means that certain individuals can become channels for demonic energies. They then become ensnared with a pool of minds with similar intent via the deceitful stories that they have come to invest with their intention. These other “dark” minds can be either other living human beings, or they can be discarnate entities. This is one of the most terrifying realities to personally witness. I wish I could write that it is a fantasy, but this would be a lie.

The Other Side of the Dark Side
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The best way to avoid dark energies is to ground yourself in presence, in your body and to witness your own mind’s lust for power and control over others. But take note. And here we come to the second way that “the Dark Side” can ensnare us. Much of the power and control of dark energy structures is not a classic lust for wealth, status and political power. It’s not simply a Hitleresque lust for world conquest. Much of the darkness emerges from a desire to control others such that we do not have experience our terror of abandonment and death. In other words we unconsciously seek power and control over others so that we do not have to experience the painful state of separation. We then seek to gain power over others for this purpose.

Now here is a very important point. Such power and control over others is primarily achieved through the projection of two contrasting human manipulative tactics: shame and flattery. Shame is an attempt to make the other feel worthless and “dirty.” The projection of sexual and toilet shaming is central to this. This represents body shaming. The light cannot shine through us while we are embodied in a physical system that we feel is dirty and disgusting.

Flattery is also unconsciously employed as a means to ensnare minds, as the human ego is particularly susceptible to the perceived elevation of status.

So the idea of going to the Dark Side as depicted in Star Wars, is accurate. It is just that the dynamics that underpin the process are more complex than than Star Wars suggests.

Success and Failure
Ultimately, what we humans consider success and failure may not comply with a greater cosmic appreciation of success. For Hitler, the invasion of Poland was a success. On a less demonic scale, your becoming CEO may be your definition of success. But from a deeper and more expansive perspective, there may be other factors at play in such scenarios which do not mirror your (nor Hitler’s) personal value hierarchies. When you become CEO your mind might become ensnared in your company’s story of power and control of a certain financial market. You might get rich. But from a universal perspective you may be playing a part of your soul group’s learning about the abuse of power and control. And there may be suffering in that, both for others and yourself.

So, we can indeed say “May the Force be with you!” as we go about living our lives. Yet to some degree it is a matter of grace as to how this plays out. We can invite such “awareness” through prayer and meditation, and by grounding ourselves in the truth of the present moment. But the rest is up to the cosmos. And if you fight that reality, well, you are resisting “what is” and this rejection and anger may open pathways to the “darkness.” It’s all a little unfair from the mind’s point of view. But that is the way it is. The best thing you can do is relax, surrender, be as transparently honest as you possibly can be, and enjoy the journey.

Marcus

How to Re-set Your Soul Story

Perhaps the single most important thing to become aware of if you wish to awaken from the dream of mind is being fully aware of how your mind attaches itself to stories – and in particular the story of you and the world.

It is my experience as a person who has long explored the human psyche that we all come into our lives with “soul issues”. These are essential tendencies and patterns of behaviour that recur from lifetime to lifetime.

There are other kinds of stories besides soul stories which impact our lives. Like soul stories, they are embedded within consciousness fields that impact how we experience life on this planet. For example, the consciousness structures of our ancestors become implicitly contained within our psyches when we are born, as does the energy of place, country, race and so on. Then there are planetary and cosmic influences. All of these things operate beyond our conscious control. An important point is that though highly significant, these other energies tend to be subtle. They are best dealt with by highly attuned masters of the spirit. In other words, addressing them is like doing advanced courses of math, and it is not much use for an average student attempting to explore such things.

This is not so with the power of story. It is your mastery of this level of mind that lays the foundation for your awakening. Without a strong understanding of the mind, you quite simply cannot awaken. This is true even if you are a master of the psychic realm. And this is why many people who are highly psychic or intuitive are not spiritually mature. Many clairvoyants remain trapped in drama and suffering because they do not become masters of the mind.

It is a very simple thing to become aware of your story. All you have to do is witness the thoughts that repeatedly enter your head as your life unfolds. Those thoughts contains patterns of belief, and macro-constructs about how life and cosmos operate.

The self-limiting themes that dominate humanity are easy enough to spot. We have the story of the victim, where life is unfair and has stolen your light from you. This is perhaps the most pervasive of all meta-narratives present in current humanity. It is a story of blame. It is always the other guy’s fault. Then there is the story of the bad boy or girl. This is one of guilt and shame, where the dominant idea is “There is something wrong with me.”

Of course we also have the stories of the bully, the unloved one, and the lost soul. In the story of the outcast, our hero must be vanished from the village, forever ostracised and alone. A related theme is that of the pariah, the dirty one who must carry the sins of the fathers.

All such stories have subtle variations and expressions, and the precise beliefs that underpin them vary from person to person. Nobody loves me. I can never get what I want. You can’t trust anyone. The world is a cruel and terrible place. People are crap. Life is unfair. It doesn’t matter what you do, you can never succeed. I am powerless.

There are, of course, positive stories and expressions of consciousness, yet they don’t tend to hold us back. Believing that “I am a beautiful and loveable human being” won’t get you into too much trouble. The exception is with narcissistic or delusional beliefs. Believing that you cannot fail may have certain advantages, but sooner or later the story will come unstuck, because we all fail at something sooner or later. So sometimes we have to bring awareness to how we set ourselves up for suffering by overestimating our capacities, and what is required to produce certain outcomes in life.

Every single thought that enters your mind, and every single life event you experience is an opportunity to deepen your awareness of your story. This is the great news. No matter at what stage of life you find yourself, you can bring attention to your soul story simply by bringing yourself fully present and observing thoughts and beliefs as they arise. One time I became more deeply aware of my story as the victim, when I saw how following a certain sporting team was bringing out my victim-centered story. When my team was losing, I found myself blaming the umpire (a very common theme!), the ground conditions, the media reports and so on. Anybody but the team. Have you ever met a person who, on Monday morning, admitted that the referee gave his team a leg up? It doesn’t happen. The referee is always against your team, the media biased against your political views, and the teacher always grades the other guy above you unfairly. Strange that, isn’t it? Like I said, the victim story – the idea that everything is unfair and the world is against me – is the prime story which currently holds back people on this planet.

Becoming present is simple. Whenever you find yourself in a situation where there is suffering arising from the world of mind, simply stop and bring your attention to any object that is within your physical proximity. It might be the photocopier, the chair, the tissue on the table. Plants are wonderful ways to ground yourself in presence, as their energy in completely here, completely now.

As your attention falls upon the object, say the words to yourself: “I re-set. I am here now in the truth of this moment.” Breathe deeply, centre yourself within your body. Then witness any thoughts that enter your mind in relation to the situation in which you find yourself. As the witness, you will be able to separate your judgments towards what is happening from the situation itself. Make an intention to stay in that state of presence for at least thirty minutes. As you ground yourself in the present moment you will be able gain a new perspective upon your situation, and from there you will be able to intuit the best course of action to resolve your problem; or alternatively simply relax and await the situation to run its course.

It is only from the truth of presence that you can truly see the world, can truly see yourself in your infinite magnificence. As long as you remain in the world of story you cannot live in the truth of who you are as a spiritual being. You cannot truly love yourself, nor this world where God has placed you.

The mind is a world of illusion. But most people tend to be so attached to their mind’s story and its interpretations that they cannot distinguish thought from truth. Your task on the path of awakening is to develop a full, experiential, embodied understanding of this. And once you do that, you will be a master of the mind, and a champion of the soul.

The 12 Secrets of Profound Intuition

This post is part of a series I am writing here on consciouslifenews.co about how to develop powerful intuitive skills (integrated intelligence). Integrated intelligence is closely related to the classical idea of intuition, connecting us with a stream of consciousness which transcends the limits of immediate space and time. Each of these posts is an extract from my upcoming book “How to Develop Profound Intuition.”
I have been employing intuitive intelligence for many years. During this time I have learned a great deal about how it works, why it sometimes doesn’t, and the common pitfalls people make when using such “integrated intelligence”. Normally I wouldn’t give away these hard-earned secrets for free (or for the mere price of the little upcoming book this article is taken from, How To Develop Profound Intuition). But I need the good karma.

So here we go. You may have seen some of these stated or implied in earlier articles, but it won’t hurt for you to see them again in this context, as a little repetition will help you realise how important they are.

1) Not all feelings are intuitions. Feelings arise from the mind-body system for various reasons. Some are conditioned or biological responses, like sexual attraction, fear of snakes, disgust, or physical pain responses. Just because you get a feeling deep in your loins for a beautiful woman or a handsome guy doesn’t mean it is an instruction from God to begin fornicating with them.

Your biological conditioning generates feelings, and these sensations may bubble up from the subconscious of their own accord. If a dog bit you when you were seven years old, it’s quite likely that you will have a conditioned fear response to dogs. This fear may be detected by any given dog you meet in your current life, and the dog may even respond aggressively as a result. Yet the key point in this scenario is that your initial feeling may have nothing to do with any threat or intention the dog initially has – the feeling emerges from your own biological conditioning. The dog just plays along.

Thoughts also produce feelings. Imagining something desirable or fearful produces an emotional reaction, for example. Conversely, intuitions (at least as I define them) emerge from an empathic connection with a person, entity, collective consciousness field, thing, event, time or place (and often a mixture of several of these at once).

And here is what you must realise. Feelings that emerge from the imagination, conditionings, biology etc. are largely indistinguishable from the feelings produced by intuition (although many intuitions tend to be more subtle). Therefore, the best way to develop profound intuition is to first quiet the mind, then focus upon the thing you wish to “know”, while in a state of presence.

Secondly, if you have a spontaneous “intuition” about something, simply relax and reflect upon how that feeling emerged within your mind. Were you imagining a fearful or desirable future? Do you have any bias, conditioned attitude or beliefs about the object of your intuition? If so, you might like to question the validity of the feeling.

After working with intuition for some time, it is often unnecessary to be so deliberate with checking them. You will become quite adept at discerning the distinctions amongst all these mental operations. Then you will often be absolutely certain of an intuition without needing to analyse it in at length.

2) Not all intuitions are feelings. I believe feelings are the most important kind of intuitions, and the kind that can be most readily developed. Intuitions can also be visual, auditory and olfactory, but these tend to be most pronounced in the gifted. The good news is you don’t need to be gifted, have opened your third eye or reached enlightenment to have feeling-based intuitions. They are innate to the human organism – and to many animals – and they probably emerge from evolutionary imperatives, at least in part.

3) The best intuitions to act upon are those that are either strongly positive or negative. I have found this to be true from experience. When your intuition tells you the situation is clearly good or bad, trust the process and follow through.

Nonetheless, many situations and problems are multi-faceted. Any given thing, place, past or future may have both positive and negative components. For example, some years ago I travelled to Thailand for a week’s holiday. I had a fun time, most memorable indeed. However, on the first day the ATM machine must have been a little hungry, because it ate my bank card – leaving me largely penniless, and without even enough money to pay for a hotel room. It was an absolute nightmare trying to get money wired through to a Thai bank. It took a full week. Yet serendipitously, I met a Thai woman who let me stay at her place for free. Well, almost for free, as the were one or two “requirements” on my behalf. Let’s just say the arrangement was highly agreeable to both of us.

I wonder what intuitions I would have gotten if – before travelling to Thailand – I had used an intuitive process to ask the universe “Will I have a fun time travelling to Thailand this summer?”

When intuitions are mixed or vague and you have time to spare, either wait for clearer guidance or begin to conduct research so that you gain more knowledge of the situation. Then you will be able to analyse the problem and make a more informed choice.

4) You do not need to be psychic to develop intuition. Some people have innate psychic and visionary capacities, and this may include the ability to connect with realms of being that normal humans just can’t see or hear. At least in some cases, including my own, this may involve the opening of the third eye. Major life events such as near death experiences or crises may also trigger an opening of those psychic channels. Such people may communicate with spiritual entities, or be able to perceive the thoughts within other minds. I know this seems incredible to sceptics, but I know it to be true from my own experience.

The key point is, you do not need to become the next Uri Geller to develop great intuitive abilities, because the simplest and often most profound intuitive capacities emerge from the feeling sense, and we all have that capacity. It’s just that most people have never spent the time to develop that intelligence. You too can develop that capacity, regardless of your sex, age or other abilities or non-abilities.

5) You do not need to be an enlightened master to develop profound intuition. You merely need to develop the capacity to trust your intuitive prompts and act wisely, based upon them. One of my favourite teachers, Leonard Jacobson likes to say that anytime you are fully present, you are an awakened being. Yet the difference between the awakened master and the novice is that the novice soon allows his mind to drift back into the world of thoughts, projections and stories. But even if you are a novice, you can develop the capacity to be fully present at will, where genuine intuitions are best accessed.

6) You strengthen intuition by trusting it and acting upon it. To do this you are going to have to be prepared to be wrong – because you WILL be wrong at times. Intuition is a fuzzy intelligence. It isn’t completely reliable. When you are wrong, simply admit it. Go back in your own mind and analyse the process you used. Did you allow the projections of your mind to influence your decision?

Begin practicing intuitive decision-making by investing in situations that have minimal consequences. Don’t begin by investing your life-savings on a hunch – for obvious reasons. You need to make lots of little intuitive choices at first – possibly making lots of mistakes – so you get good at the process, and begin to understand your mind better. Decide which movie to see, book to read or place to visit based on intuition – then see how correct your feelings are.

7) Intuition is compatible with reason. You just have to learn the strengths and limitations of both. Yes, intuition has its limits. It’s a fuzzy intelligence and it is not always easy to correctly identify and comprehend the feelings and images that emerge from the intuitive mind. This is why you also need to develop a strong analytical capacity to complement intuition. Careful planning and analysis of problems is often necessary. For example, deconstructing the learning process involved in learning a second language can be very helpful in optimising learning. Don’t make the mistake of devaluing the so-called left-brained learning and cognitive processes because you think your intuition is great. God gave us all these capacities so that we can use them. So use them well, and use them wisely.

When you develop profound intuition you will tend to allow it to lead your decision-making, because intuition often grants us insight into the big picture. But you will then also employ reason and analysis to complement the process. Lead from the right, manage from the left, as Stephen Covey used to say.

8) Intuition does not make you omnicient, and it does not grant you a free ride through life. Intuition offers you potentially transformative insight into the nature of things, people, places, times and life itself. But this does not mean you will become some kind of awakened avatar. Most people I know who have advanced intuitive skills are all-too-human, and they have the common strengths and weaknesses found in the general population. Nor does intuition necessarily free you from suffering. Don’t place these expectations upon the intuitive mind, for the promise can never be fulfilled.

9) Intuition can make you delusional. I deliberately use strong language here because the ego tends to like the idea that it is smarter and superior to others. So when you develop strong intuitive abilities your ego will tend to identify with the process and begin to see itself as special; superior to others. In the most problematic cases it leads to the Christ complex – the spiritual ego. And once the spiritual ego has a hold of you, it is very, very difficult to escape its grasp.

Developing some degree of spiritual ego is almost inevitable to some degree, so the key is to facilitate your capacity to witness the mind as it plays this game – and assume responsibility for the drama. Having an ego is just part of being human, so there is no need to feel ashamed or beat yourself up about it. Merely take the ego by the hand and offer firm and loving discipline – a bit like you might guide a child as he or she matures.

10) Don’t expect acclaim and public recognition for being intuitive. In fact, it is far more likely that you will meet strong resistance from others, especially if you try to explain to them how you came to make up your mind using intuition. So don’t even try to explain yourself, unless the other person has a strong understanding of such things. This is particularly true in corporate and academic settings.

You are just going to have to get used to disguising your intuitive decisions and communicating your insights as being driven by reason. What else are you going to do? Tell them you have a good feeling about it? Describe the vision you had during meditation? Communicate that the message came into your head while you were napping?

I don’t think so.

11) Intuitive intelligence expands with expertise. There are some expressions of intuitive intelligence which first require you to develop mastery over a subject matter, and this is particularly true of creative intuitions. Many people claim that Michael Jordan was a very intuitive basketball player, a real natural. Yet without the thousands of hours of practice and court time, such intuitive intelligence could never have flourished within him. The same can be said of the genius of Mozart, Steve Jobs, Einstein or my spiritual teacher Jessica (whom I spoke about in my TEDx talk). In short, hard work and deliberate practice may be necessary in many fields before you can apply your intuition in profound ways.

12) The true value of intuition cannot simply be reduced to material, measurable outcomes. The greatest value of intuition is that it potentially transforms the way you relate to the world, other people and to your own mind. It is a quintessentially spiritual cognition. Yet some people see integrated intelligence merely as a ticket to get rich or achieve power over others. And if they cannot utilise it to achieve these ends, they see it as worthless. A prime value of intuition is that it can help you awaken from the dream of mind, the illusion of separation. Never forget that.

So there you have the twelve keys to developing profound intuition. If you enjoyed the article or found it useful, please like this page and feel free to share the link. And do keep your eyes peeled for my book How To Develop Profound Intuition on my Amazon page.

Marcus

Are You Ready For the Coming Consciousness Revolution?

As I write this I am sitting in a street-side cafe in Bangkok. It’s the Landmark Hotel cafe, actually. I wish I could say that I am staying at the Landmark, but alas I find myself resident at the less resplendent Belaire Hotel, just across bustling Sukhumvit Road.

It’s very busy around these parts. The area is a sea of noisy traffic – old buses, taxis, mini-vans and tuk-tuks idle past. On the narrow footpath just below me, people – mostly western tourists – stroll past, their relaxed pace a measure of their leisurely holiday-mindedness.

Bangkok is rather crazy, with no apparent order. Street vendors pop up like mushrooms every few metres, and I have to wonder whether anybody regulates anything around here. Certainly, I have seen no uniformed police or other officials during my time here.

It’s madness, and yet this great leviathan of a city has its own perfection. There’s a kind of serenity in the hustle and bustle of life in this politically-turbulent Buddhist country.

As I sit here, cooling my body and mind with an ice-coffee, I watch the show roll on by. And I am contemplating the nature of time, space and free-will. And there’s a reason why I am deep in such existential thoughts. For I just came from my hotel, where I was following the result of an international cricket game played between Australia and New Zealand. The game played was part of the World Cup of cricket, so it was a major sporting event for the two antipodean nations. But for me there was something else about the game that was far more profound.

The thing is, precisely one week ago I awoke early in the morning and had a premonition about the outcome of the game. I often have these kinds of premonitory visions, as I have previously stated in my writings. The premonition of the game wasn’t so much a dream or a mind-movie. It was more a flash of immediate knowing, where information is pumped into the brain – from who knows where. In such experiences the knowing is immediate. It often requires no verbal input or sequencing of events. It’s just arrives uninvited, like a mysterious stranger knocking at your door than just as suddenly vanishing into the night.

The content of the vision was very clear. It indicated that the upcoming Trans-Tasman game of cricket would be a very exciting game. Australia would come very, very close to winning. Indeed, at the last minute they would be on the verge of victory. But ultimately NZ would snatch victory.

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Since many of my readers are North American, I won’t distract you with too many details of the game. As it turned out, today Australia batted first and posted a paltry 151 runs. In cricket terms, this is pathetic. Therefore when New Zealand began their innings (teams only bat once) I was feeling a little annoyed. It looked like my premonition was not going to unfold. The New Zealand batsmen raced away and were charging towards an easy victory, before they had a massive batting collapse. This meant that right at the last minute they were looking like losing. But I knew better. As the match reached its exciting crescendo I knew exactly who would win. NZ. And they did – by the narrowest of possible margins, one wicket.

I’ve had premonitory dreams and visions up to one month before sporting events. So it really does beg the question. Is the future already set? Is there really any such thing as free will? After all, players on a sporting field are making all kinds of choices. Some are well-considered, while others emerge from finely conditioned reflexes or pure inspiration. Yet if in the big picture the game is already won and lost before the first ball is kicked or hit, how can anyone really be making any choices at all? It’s a philosophical conundrum that would confound Confucius.

It gets juicier. The implications move well beyond the philosophical. What does the existence of premonitions tell us about the nature of time, space and consciousness itself?

Currently in psychology and neuroscience the dominant intellectual position is that there is no free will. This is based primarily upon one famous experiment. In the 1980s Benjamin Libet showed that our neurones fire a fraction of a second before we think we make a decision.

Despite this, and despite my experience with precognition, I believe that free will does exist. In fact, I believe that activating its full potential is central to human existence.

But there is nothing in mainstream science which accounts for human premonitions. Premonitions are considered “paranormal”, and not taken seriously. This is because they aren’t thought of as normal. Some have pointed out that this is circular reasoning.

So anecdotes and experimental evidence which pertain to seeing or sensing the future are rejected a priori, and often ridiculed. Yet millions of people continue to experience what they believe to be premonitions; and many also claim “paranormal” cognitive experiences related to ESP – intuitions that seemingly operate outside of localised space and time. I like to call this range of cognitive functions Integrated Intelligence, because I believe that they are a valid aspect of human mental life, and that they can enhance our mental capacities.

The scientific taboo against serious discussion of these matters is more than just a pity. It’s a cultural tragedy. For as we deepen our awareness and begin to fully understand that mind has non-local properties, it inevitably changes our worldview. Even more profoundly, it transcends our relationship with time and space. When we permit a full range of mental experiences to unfold, we begin to realise our deep connection to the world, to nature, and to other human beings.

Ironically, it is the philosophical and experiential refusal to allow such understandings that prevents so many of our academics and leaders from perceiving these things directly.

As I sit here, typing these words by a chaotic street in South-East Asia, there is a kind of deep tranquility which fills me as I simply allow what is happening around me, both in time and space, to be exactly what it is. This is the state of surrender that so many mystics have poeticised down through the ages. And therein lies our greatest capacity for free will.

And it’s a state that is not available to those who live within the delimited mechanistic representation of time and space which has come to dominate economically developed societies the world over.

I have no doubt that one day soon science will catch up with all of this. Although the precise pace and timing of the shift is unclear, I believe we are already in the initial stages of transition. The time will come when the evidence for Integrated Intelligence will outweigh the outmoded arguments of head-centric academics. Then slowly we will begin to correct this gargantuan cultural blind-spot which today has so deeply damaged the human psyche. Just think of how society will change, how people will occupy spaces in cities, town and in rural settings, once this deeper awareness filters into our hearts and souls. Science too, both as procedure and culture, will be forever different.

The transformations will be profound.

How such a future might look we cannot be certain. Perhaps, though, one can intuitively feel it.

What exactly are the limits to Integrated Intelligence? How might such an expansion of consciousness impact our lives, our societies, and our education systems? Our world? That is what I continue to explore with The Coming Consciousness Revolution project. I invite you to accompany me along the way, via these e-spaces which connect us all. If you would like to be a part of the project, please email me, marcus@marcustanthony.com, and I will keep you posted via my monthly newsletter. Or simply join me here as I blog regularly about related ideas, events and people. It promises to be a great adventure.

Marcus