Tag Archives: great spiritual books

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 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 a Master of the Intuitive?

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The following is an extract from my brand new new book, Champion of the Soul.

Some new age teachings place the intuitive – and especially the psychic ream – at the centre of the spiritual journey. This is a mistake. In order for you to awaken, the intuitive must be made subservient to the mindful. Many new age teachings elevate the psychic to the status of ultimate wisdom. This is probably because for the layman who has never experienced much of the psychic realms, either directly or through education (who ever does?), the psychic seems incredible and superhuman.

There are some very, very gifted intuitives in the world, and some of them are practicing psychics. I have met and worked with several of the most amazingly gifted clairvoyants you could ever imagine. Some are so far ahead of their time that current science fiction doesn’t have a patch on them. Some of these intuitives are well-balanced and wise people.

But others have poorly developed life skills. These individuals lack emotional and spiritual maturity. For example, one I know is constantly on social media wailing about how awful people are. She always has some drama going down. So being “psychic” is no guarantee of spiritual maturity or wisdom. Given this, you should not blindly follow the advice of a “psychic” just because he channels the Archangel Michael. Nor should you expect that just because you are very intuitive – or are training to become such – that you have an advanced understanding of human spirituality. Some psychics I have met know absolutely nothing about awakening.

I am very psychic myself, a cognitive capacity that spontaneously opened up when I was in my mid-twenties. I immediately had visions of spiritual guides and alien intelligences. I found I could peer into the minds of people regardless of physical distance from me. I often foresaw events before they occurred, had out-of-body experiences and was visited by long- dead ancestors. I had lucid dreams where I could fly or leave the body at will. But I knew very little about spirituality. Nor did I understand my own mind. I was certainly no Buddha merely because I had some profound dreams and visions. Indeed, I was a deeply wounded individual who was barely connected to his own body. The intuitive realm can be a useful source of information. But so is the Internet, and a person is not going to awaken simply because he spends twelve hours a day online. Give a fool a computer and you don’t suddenly get a genius. All you have is an idiot sitting in front of a machine.

The psychic can be distracting, and it can be confusing. I can tell you from personal experience that is very easy to misinterpret psychic information. The ego will tend to see what it wants to see and distort the rest. The mind will also tend to view psychic messages in black and white terms – as either positive or negative. This is especially the case if the person does not have a strong capacity for mindfulness. If the mind exists in a state of polarity, a psychic message has the potential to throw the individual right off course.

Most of the spiritual information I have received via the psychic is ambiguous. The meanings are often unclear, the messages foggy. And I believe that this is deliberately so. Spirit will not give you all the answers. It wants you to develop wisdom by figuring out the answers yourself. I struggled with the psychic for many years, attempting to work out what was being asked of me. Make no mistake. Ultimately, the information and guidance gleaned from so many years of self-reflection has made me a far wiser man. But it is not so much the data itself that has made me wiser; it is the process of self-reflection. Basically I had to go out and test what I was being led to explore. And nobody made me do it. Nobody told me how to do it. Nobody told me why.

The True Cost of Living Your Bliss (2)

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(Cartoon image by Paul MacLeod)

In my previous post I wrote of my own difficult experience in making my way in the world using spiritual principles. I am an educator, futurist, writer and speaker whose passion is for Deep Futures – futures where the technological and economic is more evenly balanced with the deeper spiritual aspects of human existence.

In that article I wrote of how, in the years after I begun my own spiritual journey, I had more than a decade of largely positive outcomes and experiences. But this was followed by several difficult years where I struggled, primarily at a professional level. During the “good” years I found work easily, almost effortlessly gained a PhD, successfully published books, academic papers and articles. Money flowed to me easily.

Then, during the difficult years I experienced a lot of professional rejection, mostly from mainstream educational institutions. I found that all my work and passion for Deep Futures had rendered me almost unemployable in mainstream institutions. To be honest, after years of things going well, I wasn’t psychologically prepared for the challenge of being effectively unemployed. I was not quite homeless and penniless, but was forced to rent a single room and my income stream withered away to barely a trickle.

I also separated from my wife during this time, and my mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness. So it was a great challenge to my sense of self and to my relationship with life and the universe. At times I became depressed and angry. It was difficult not to think that the future was bleak, and that all my years of hard work and creativity had come to nothing.

However there is no such thing as failure as long as you learn from it, or so the success gurus say. And I have certainly leaned a great deal from this period in my life. Most of all I learned of some of the unconscious errors that people who undertake a consciously spiritual life can make. And I am going to share them with you here. My hope is that you can be aware of these common pitfalls that spiritually-inclined professionals often make, and take positive action if you see any of these limitations appearing on your own journey.

Distinctions

The key distinction I have come to clearly acknowledge is this.

Just because you follow your bliss it does not guarantee you worldly success.

This is a bit of an affront to the Romantic notions of Thoreau and the new age movement, but I have concluded that it is true. Note that I did not say that success is not possible, nor even likely. I simply said that there is no guarantee.

Think about it. If worldly success inevitably follows passion, then almost every musician, artist and writer on the planet would be an international success, because the vast majority follow their heart’s calling.

A related point is that many spiritual seekers carry with them a barely-conscious delusion that “God” will reward them professionally and financially for doing “God’s work” (which they of course, define for themselves). They might even think God will grant them special dispensation for making personal sacrifices or experiencing suffering upon their journey. Sorry to break it to you, but it doesn’t work that way.

I know that in many churches and also in the movies suffering is given great value. But it has no intrinsic reward. “God” doesn’t care if you suffer! That ought to be obvious if you look at the enormous amount of suffering in the world. So if I were you I’d ditch this idea and start having a good old time of it.

Here is my second distinction.

Just because you develop psychologically and spiritually does not mean that financial and professional success will automatically follow.

For many naïve new agers and spiritual seekers there is an unconscious expectation that this will be so; and many of them get angry at God when personal success does not follow right after they became more mindful, peaceful, intuitive or whatever. Let me be clear on this. There is no guarantee one will follow now other! Spiritual maturity is not necessarily related to professional and business success. If this was the case the local Taoist monk would be a billionaire, and Donald Trump would be a homeless beggar.

Spiritual development and spiritual maturity should be valued for what they are intrinsically, not for what leverage they can grant you in the marketplace. The new age tends to conflate financial and spiritual intelligence, as do some Christian and esoteric traditions right across the world. This mindset tends to include a great deal of magical thinking – just believe it enough and it will happen.

The greatest value of spiritual development is that it awakens a new relationship with the mind, and with the world. It is a journey of love and compassion.

It is not a journey of cash. Well, not necessarily.

When naïve spiritual folks experience failure and rejection, they often take it very personally. (This is what I did, too – for a time.) They think that they didn’t believe in their dream enough to make it happen. They typically believe that they are being punished by God. They may even believe that they have become a spiritual failure. The self-talk goes something like this.

“I must have done something wrong.”

“I haven’t been spiritual enough.”

“I didn’t believe enough.”

“I didn’t clear my blocks.”

“I didn’t get rid of doubt and fear.”

In short the message they send to themselves is: “There’s something wrong with me!”

I have another take on things. Consider this another key distinction.

“God” doesn’t give a toss about your bank account or career standing.

Life rarely goes as planned. Nor does it always attune itself to our conscious expectations. As I have written elsewhere, I do believe that there is some general truth to the idea of the law of attraction. Life does generally reflect back to you your deepest beliefs and attitudes. But this is not the same thing as saying that you can always control what happens simply by focussing upon it.

We are all embedded within a greater cosmic story. We need to accept that there are many external influences upon our lives. These include social systems, cultural expectations, consciousness fields and perhaps even the very will of God itself. This is why it is important to allow yourself to mindfully acknowledge the eddies and currents of life, and to align with those currents without taking it personally. And if you go against those currents? If you judge and condemn and blame and complain? Well, by definition, there will be resistance. And when the mind resists, there will be suffering.

I am not saying that you should not challenge systems or embedded energy structures. Many of the great minds in history did just that. Sometimes it is actually necessary to do so. Steve Jobs, Einstein and Rupert Sheldrake are just three admirable figures who have challenged “the system”. Each was/is very successful; but each has had to endure some systemic persecution in order to achieve that success.

This brings me to my final distinction;

There is a price to pay for working outside the accepted worldview of dominant society. You have to be prepared for the possibility that worldly success and acceptance may not come your way. Almost certainly, such acceptance will be denied you many times and in many situations – even if you are personally and professionally successful in the long run.

So choose your battles wisely.

Listen to your intuition before embarking upon on a great conquest. Listen to your inner voice at all steps along the way, too, as it is easy to go astray. Correct your course where necessary.

Failure is often temporary, and it pays to keep in mind that the end of one story often opens up a new story. And it is often only when the new story emerges that we realise that the old story was no longer serving us. So when one story is ending, don’t hold onto it beyond its used-by-date. Don’t invest it with meaning beyond what it deserves. Judgments such as “I am a failure”, “That’s the end of everything for me!” and “I blew my chance” only lock you into the past and prevent a new story opening up.

Let it die.

Perhaps the most powerful thing I have learned so far upon my journey is how to be present to life. Presence grants the capacity to align your mind with the truth of life – not resist it. And the truth of life is whatever lies before you in the moment. If a person can ground themselves in the wonder and beauty of presence, then personal successes and failures do not have much power over him or her. The moment is where the grace of God is found, and the moment can never abandon us. It is only we who abandon the moment – through judgment. It is only we who abandon God.

Follow your excitement, but learn from your mistakes. Acknowledge your weaknesses and shortcomings. Be grateful to life for showing you these, even if the lessons are sometimes tough!

Most of all, be here now.

If you do this, your falls will be shorter in duration and less painful. Most of all you will grow in grace and wisdom.

Such an attitude is enriching. But even all this is not enough wisdom if you want to move out into the world and play games in society and in the market place. You need a little practical know-how. And that will be the subject of my third and final instalment in this little series about the price of spiritual engagement in the world.

Blessings,

Marcus

 

 

Is There a One True Spiritual Path?

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 How many paths up there?

 

The One Right Path?

Most human beings in developed countries and regions of the planet are presented with an opportunity to create a life.

Their life.

Once we are old enough to start asking questions and develop a capacity for critical thinking, there then arises the most fundamental of all queries.

“What path shall I follow?”

Sometimes this might be expressed as: “Whose path shall I follow?”

In countries with high levels of personal freedom, there are innumerable possible journeys and teachings that one might choose to undertake – or perhaps emulate. As we mature and are exposed to books, cinema and other media, most of us discover one or a few people whom we greatly admire or respect. We may think of these people as having lived a noble, powerful or model life.

In the current age there is no shortage of “teachers” professing expertise in the living of the ideal life. Some might be classified as spiritual teachers, others as self-help gurus. Other luminaries might simply have a notable philosophy which they have shared with the world, and their lives and ideas potentially offer wisdom.

We then have people who are set up as role models by our leaders; via education, history books and official media. Who is considered attractive or admirable varies from country to country according to the dominant worldview, values and religious structures. Conservatives in China consider Mao Ze Dong to be the greatest man in history. Yet many people in western countries revile him as a mass-murdering tyrant. In Melbourne where I live, many folks adore AFL footballer Gary Ablett, and see him as an ideal role model. My Chinese wife thinks all Australian footballers are buffoons.

 

Freedom to choose

Some people believe that there is no such thing as free will. If you are one of these people then obviously this discussion is not for you.

My experience has led me to conclude that while a great deal of life and personal expression is either conditioned or out of our control, the essential and most important choices remain open to us (or at least potentially open, if we can bring awareness to those choices). Here I wish to focus on two related queries.

  • Which religious/spiritual/philosophical path shall I follow? (I include scientific materialism as a philosophical choice).
  • What teachers or role models are worth emulating?

Now allow me to emphasise my main point here.

I believe that it is unwise to blindly follow the teaching of another person or philosophy, no matter how wonderful or successful it may seem. The essential reason is that each of us is a little different from the teachers we admire (sometimes very different). This is an obvious point, but it is one that many of us fail to fully acknowledge. It is important that we tailor ourselves a life process or path that is a fit for our own souls.

The idea is not difficult to understand. But there are some distinctions that each of us needs to keep in mind.

 

Which path?

When we are just starting out in life it is perfectly understandable that we choose a particular teaching or teacher, and try to model ourselves upon them.

When I was in my 20s I tried to be like mystic Stuart Wilde. But I discovered that being a visionary was a bit trippy. A bit later on I tried to be like Anthony Robbins. Later I realised that my teeth just weren’t big enough.

In my thirties I applied myself diligently in following the way of a master of presence – Leonard Jacobson. Leonard is a wonderful spiritual teacher. But I am not Leonard, and he is not me.

I’m a bit slow on the uptake sometimes, which probably explains why it took me a few years to work out something incredibly simple in relation to my attempts to apply Leonard’s teachings.

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Leonard Jacobson

 

Leonard and the river

Leonard’s story is remarkable. In the 1980s he had several spontaneous spiritual awakenings which involved transcendent states of consciousness. There was little or no suffering in this for Leonard. He wasn’t trying to achieve anything spiritual, nor escape anything. In 1981 at a retreat near the Bellingen River in northern New South Wales, he threw himself into the flood-swollen river. When he emerged he discovered that he was in a profound state of non-ordinary consciousness. Everything seemed to contain love and beauty. He was filled with a great sense of gratitude for existence itself.

While such exalted states came and went, Leonard’s experience of divine presence remains to this day.

My own journey has been quite different from Leonard’s. My family background was quite dark, and as a child and young man I was exposed to alcoholism, drug abuse and the literal insanity of several close relatives.

When each of us is born into this world our minds become instantly imbedded in a pool of consciousness – that of our family and caregivers. I was therefore born into a vortex of great darkness.

I left Australia at the age of thirty – in part – to escape that darkness. Not long after I arrived in New Zealand I undertook some intense spiritual training, and in the process became highly clairvoyant. I saw intuitively that my mind was still gravely affected by the mental projections of my relatives. It was truly frightening to see the depth of that darkness, and to have to acknowledge how damaged I’d become as a result of it. The heaviness of dark energy was such that it was often exhausting just to be.

It was the realisation of all this – and the suffering implicit in being trapped in such darkness – that spurred me towards my particular spiritual journey.

As you can see, this is quite a different introduction to “spirituality” than that of Leonard Jacobson. Do not get me wrong. I have come to accept the truth of what Leonard teaches, and I apply much of that to my daily life. Yet there were some things he could not teach me – things that he does not understand (as far as I can tell), because his journey did not traverse the darkness that mine did.

So it was that about twelve years ago I asked Leonard what the best way is to deal with the destructive consciousness fields that were plaguing me. I will not go into details here, but the answer he gave me suggested that he did not understand what I was experiencing; because he had not experienced such things in his own lifetime (at least not at the same depth).

I applied Leonard’s advice. Yet it did not free me from those mental projections. In fact, I eventually learned that I had to do something that no other spiritual teacher I ever met advised me.

I had to learn to fight. To fight the darkness.

Perhaps “fight” is not quite the right word. A better term might be to “stand in my power.” But the intensity of the projections that I experienced had been such that the solution required the embodiment of a warrior energy. There was no way around this, because at a soul level I had come to believe that I was worthless, unlovable and intrinsically “bad”. My soul story was that of “The Sacrifice” – the one who is taunted, haunted and enchained by those of dark intent.

Consciousness fields work like attractor fields in physics. At an energetic level I had become what I believed. I needed to change the story, change the beliefs, and embody a more empowered male energy.

Unfortunately – to continue the physics analogies – systems tend to remain at rest unless they are acted upon. Those with whom I was playing out a karmic story of the victim did not wish to relinquish their power over me. That was where the warrior energy needed to come in. I literally had to scream it out of my base chakra.

To this day I have to keep standing up for myself. Old stories – like old habits – die hard.

Often I have asked God why my mind came to be embedded in such darkness. The pattern appears to transcend a single lifetime. But I have never gotten a definitive answer. It seems to be part of my soul’s journey, something unconsciously “chosen” when I came to believe that I was “bad and worthless”.

My journey is different from Leonard’s and many other peoples.

Your journey is probably quite different from mine.

In the end I realised that I was unique, and that I had to draw from a variety of sources to learn how to deal with the specific soul issues and spiritual challenges I faced.

I also discovered that what works in one phase of life does not always work so well in another phase. I had to learn to modify processes and approaches, and emphasise them to different degrees during different periods of my life.

 

So..;

I suggest that you stop trying to be someone else – whether the person be a contemporary role model of yours, or a teacher who has passed on (Jesus, the Buddha, gandhi etc.). After all, how many of us has had exactly the same soul journey as Jesus? How many can endure the outrageous suffering of Gandhi? How many can afford enough toothpaste to be Anthony Robbins?

The key then is to observe yourself as you travel through life. By all means apply the teachings which you feel are suitable for you. There are many fine and beautiful teachings out there, and many great teachers.

And follow through with the process. Some processes require many years of application, and attitudes and skills often require a lifetime commitment.

You might apply different processes and tools than your friends. And that is perfectly understandable. Remember, your life experience, soul needs and soul story are unique.

Nor should you insist that what works for you will work for others. By all means share your wisdom and experience. But do not try to impose “the one true path” upon anyone else. That is an ego game of power and control.

Most of all, be gentle and forgiving of yourself. Have fun along the way. Be committed, but don’t take it all too seriously. As Anita Moorjani is so fond of saying, you are a magnificent human being who is totally worthy of divine love.

You are not here to be perfect. You are here to be human. You are here to be yourself. And there is nobody else that is quite like you.

So live that, and love it. Joyfully.

 

Marcus

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Why I rejected the chance for a six-figure income

Why I rejected the chance for a six-figure income: Diary of a 21st Century Mystic #14

 

Many of you reading this will be aware that I write a lot about both mindfulness and how to develop spiritual intuition – what I call Integrated Intelligence. In fact this is the main subject of my most successful book, Discover Your Soul Template. But sometimes even I struggle to apply my own understandings successfully in my life. Some decisions we have to make are of such importance that the mind (“ego”, if you prefer) can play havoc with the decision-making process. This is precisely what happened to me this past week or so, when I had to make one of the toughest choices I can ever recall making.

It was completely unexpected. About seven days ago, and (not quite entirely) out of the blue, I received an email from the EDB, Hong Kong’s education department. The email informed me that I had been successful in gaining a job interview as a regional coordinator in the Hong Kong NET scheme. The NET scheme is a heavily-funded programme whereby the HK government sponsors about a thousand Native English Teachers to teach in Hong Kong’s public education system. Being a NET is possibly the most highly-sought-after ESL job in the world. It carries a very high salary for experienced teachers at very low tax rates. I worked as a NET for eight years in Hong Kong before returning to live in Australia in August 2012.

Of course I did apply for the job several weeks ago, so that’s why I wrote that it was not entirely a surprise. But I threw the application in as an afterthought, in a moment of what Thoreau might call “quiet desperation”. For things have not been entirely rosy since I returned to Australia. I have been lucky enough to secure some work at Swinburne University as a sessional lecturer in their Masters of Strategic Foresight unit. But that is very irregular work and not enough to pay the bills. And most of the jobs I see here in Australia are not particularly attractive to me. I don’t want to go back into secondary education. Being a teacher in a public school in Australia can be an unpleasant experience. You may just as well paint a great target sign on a man’s back and send him out onto an army artillery firing range. Kids these days…

But there is more to this dilemma than finances. The reason I returned to Australia last year is because I got some very clear spiritual guidance to do so. I awoke one dark night in Hong Kong and suddenly a large, dark map of Australia appeared before my mind’s eye. There were red lights around Melbourne, which I knew represented places I could potentially go. Then a song started playing in my inner ear, an old 80s classic by LipsInc – “Funky Town:

Gotta make a move to a town that’s right for me

Gotta keep me moving keep me grooving with some energy

I knew Hong Kong was no longer “right for me”. So I moved to Melbourne. That’s where I am now. It’s just that it hasn’t been easy.

Such is life.

The recent interview offer really threw me. I was genuinely torn as to whether I should go to Hong Kong for the interview or not. After all, a NET regional coordinator is a senior position in the system, a job with high salary and high status. It represented a promotion opportunity. And to boot, an end to my immediate financial issues.

There was another problem. I would have to pay for the trip myself, and that would set me back about $1500; no small sum, given that my savings are getting eaten away with every day I go without a decent income stream.

I decided to ask the EDB whether I could have a video interview. Many organisations do this these days when hiring people from overseas. I wrote an email to the EDB representative who had initially invited me for the interview, explaining that it would be very difficult for me to attend the interview. They had only given me only one week’s notice, so I tried to use this as leverage. This is the response my email got in its entirety.

Dear Marcus,

Sorry that the interview cannot be conducted online.

Regards,
W

Ah, yes, that remarkable Hong Kong bureaucratic hospitality displayed at its greatest! I was suddenly reminded of why I had left Hong Kong in the first place. Working life in Hong Kong can be a truly dehumanising experience. Hong Kong is a like a giant meat grinder, where employees tend to get squeezed by whomever is above them on the pecking order.

When I make decisions of any kind – but especially for big decisions – I rely heavily upon my intuition. That’s why I used two kinds of intuitive tools to make my final choice about this interview offer. The first is what I call Meditative States, and the second is The Feeling Sense (I outline these tools and how to use them in Discover Your Soul Template). So that evening I sat down in my bedroom and allowed myself to relax deeply. My mind became silent, and all thought and emotionality dissipated (any strong emotions – e.g. fear, worry, anger, excitement, lust – distort genuine intuition). I made a short prayer to Spirit, asking that I be shown the truth. Then I connected with the energy around my heart, and deliberately projected that energy outwards and towards my possible new job in Hong Kong. As I did so, the entire feeling around my heart became essentially negative – dull and listless, with a slight sense of repression, of being trapped. It just felt wrong. The feeling was definite, so I opened my eyes and brought myself back to full presence in my room. I gave thanks to Spirit.

“My strong sense is that I should not go to Hong Kong. So my decision is that I will not go. If this is wrong, please guide me in my dreams tonight.”

That night I slept. No message or vision came. When I awoke in the morning, I stirred and turned my attention once again to the decision at hand. First thing in the morning is the perfect time to ask questions to the subconscious, and to Spirit, for the mind is already quiet. Staying relaxed, I repeated the process from the night before. The result was the same. The energy was not right.

I would not go.

Early that morning I wrote an email to my contact at the EDB. I wanted to keep the channels open and relations friendly. Further, I felt I owed them a decent explanation. This is what I wrote, responding to the previous day’s email.

Dear W…,

That’s very bad news for me (about there being no video interviews). I do realise that the EDB will have standard protocols on this matter, so I understand.

If possible, I would like to telephone in person to make a personal apology in regard to this, for I feel that emails are just a little too impersonal. Even though I am not able to attend the interview on Friday, I would like to leave things on good terms, given that I may like to apply again in the future. In this instance, the one week I had to get on the plane just proved to be too difficult.

So would you be kind enough to allow me to phone either you or the most relevant person in this regard?

Kind regards,

Marcus

 

To date I have received no response to this email.

I made the right choice. The world of Hong Kong administrative bureaucracy is not for me. Melbourne may not quite be a “funky town” for me right now, but here I shall stay… until the energy moves me on. That’s all part of the test. When Spirit moves us in one direction, it does not guarantee instant gratification, nor effortless bliss. All things take time, and courage and perseverance are required; especially when we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Who knows what will happen next? I sure don’t. If I did, there would be no requirement for the trust that lies of the heart of spiritual awakening. So thank you Spirit, for not telling me anything more than what I need to know right now.

Marcus

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Wanted: Courageous Pioneers for The Coming Consciousness Revolution (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this two-part post I stated why I think a shift in human consciousness is emerging, a shift which will revolutionise the way we view the nature of consciousness. Inevitably this will transform the way the human race views its relationship with nature, the cosmos and life itself. Here in Part 2 I will focus upon the practical side of the shift: what you can do about it, what difficulties you might encounter and the ideal attitudes to take. This is a long post, so I have used sub-headings to allow you to pick and choose what you want to read. Feel free to comment on this exciting topic! Marcus

 

The aftermath of the recent TED censorship saga strongly suggests that the way greater society views the human consciousness is starting to shift. Rupert Sheldrake, one of the speakers who had his TEDx talk censured by TED, states this clearly ín a recent interview on Alex Tsakiris’ Skeptico blog.

The internet is a big part of the shift that is occurring. In the pre-internet era, information was far less democratic. People basically could only read, listen to or watch what the media and publishing houses thought was suitable for consumption. Now podcasts and blogs, often run by one individual or a small team, can experience great popularity for no other reason than they meet the approval of an audience.

Self-publishing and the proliferation of e-books is another part of this expanded capacity for people to disseminate knowledge and opinion.

Those on the fringes of society finally get to have a greater voice, albeit often in a secluded corner of the internet. And one domain of knowledge which has greatly benefited is that devoted to spiritual life and a deeper understanding of consciousness. The blogs and podcasts range from those with a more rigorous scientific/academic bent (e.g. Dean Radin, Rupert Sheldrake, Richard Milton) to those with a more popular slant (e.g. Synchrosecrets, Craig Weiler, and Leonard Jacobson). All of these blogs have their own niche, but each puts forward the idea that the spiritual dimensions of human experience are genuine. It is true that there are plenty of more conservative – even skeptical – choices on the internet, but the popularity of spiritual discourses shows that we cannot go back to the way we were. Not ever. A comment written by Jason Orion on the TED site epitomised the sentiments of so many voicing protest at TED recently.

The philosophy of material reductionism is being challenged all over the world, along with its long held institutions. And that’s what this censorship is about: those institutions suppressing a growing sentiment. People are getting sick of being told they are just machines and there is nothing more to this universe than mechanics.

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

But where might this shift lead us?

 

What will happen?

Despite the impressive technologies that have arisen from it, the truth is that our current science is crude. There is much that is simply not amenable to our senses in a normal state of consciousness, nor by the machinery contained within laboratories. But this technology will improve in the future. And the future is a very, very long time. It is logical to assume that we will one day be able to detect aspects of the extended mind – consciousness which extends beyond the body to connect with other people, the environment and spiritual realms. Experimental evidence in parapsychology will likely only strengthen.

Inevitably there will continue to be conflict between those who wish to retain a foothold in the old system, and those wishing to extend the boundaries of the known. This is significant, because the system still generally rewards those with a conservative bent. It rewards them with status, employment, money and power. Those challenging the system will continue to face resistance.

Old school thinkers can wield a considerable amount of power. Hardcore skepticism is compatible with certain modern scientific and academic disciplines. Some have power within such institutions, and in turn they may have influence over powerful private groups. They may also wield influence in government and in the development of public policy.

This is exactly what has happened with the censoring of Sheldrake’s and Hancocks TED talks, and with TED’s recent decision to cancel the TEDxWestHollywood event. The latter gathering was given a now familiar label by TED: “pseudoscience”. The event featured people like Russel Targ (research scientist investigating ESP), Larry Dossey (alternative medicine), and Marilyn Schlitz (a parapsychologist associated with the Institute of Noetic Scientists).

Conservative neo-Darwinian thinkers Steven Pinker and Daniel Dennet are closely affiliated with TED, and are probably part of TED’s anonymous “science advisory board”. Notably, the recent censorship was initiated by pressure from committed skeptics Jerry Coyne and PZ Meyer, and their followers.

So if you are to develop a role in the great mind shift, you cannot expect to be received well by such people. You will just have to develop a thick skin. Better still, cultivate the art of mindfulness. Mindful presence will reduce your mind’s tendency to engage in drama with others with a differing opinion.

Still, as I wrote in my previous blog post, I predict that eventually the weight of evidence and public opinion will push ideas that are now “alternative” into the mainstream.

And that means opportunities will arise.

 

Endless possibilities!

Once the extended mind is an accepted fact and human spiritual experience is reinstated into education and society as a whole, it will open the floodgates in all manner of scientific fields, fields of philosophy, religious and spiritual movements, media/social media organisations, business and numerous other spheres. The opportunities for those with knowledge and understanding of these domains will be massive.

Just imagine the possibilities in computing, intelligence theory, evolutionary theory, cosmology, sociology, design, neuroscience, the military, healing work, writing, the arts, gaming, leadership, communication theory, teaching and learning… There are also many practical possibilities in research, as I outlined in my book How to Channel a PhD.

The possibilities are endless. I’ll just mention a few possibilities here. Feel free to use and expand any of them. If you can’t expand upon these, then you aren’t really trying!

  • Why not rethink the very nature of capitalism? Steve and Chutisa Bowman, authors of No More Business as Usual, have found abundant work traveling around the world teaching organisations the concept of “prosperity consciousness”. They see the world as being full of endless opportunity and wealth, and that the obsession with lack and competition keeps organsiation locked in an old world paradigm.
  • The Bowman’s work is also strongly related to conscious leadership. Surely it is time to rethink the nature of what it means to lead!
  • Think of the possibilities in education! How might teaching and learning be changed to allow students to acknowledge their intuitive side? If the extended mind really does allow us to tap into other times, places and fields of information, how might students be encouraged to creatively explore their subject matters? There have been recent studies into mindfulness and synchronicity in the classroom and education in general.
  • Artists, writers and film-makers may be able to seize an opportunity as the public becomes more open to spiritual subject matters. How might they employ integrated intelligence to create their works? I have been using this intelligence for years. I wrote Discover Your Soul Template that way.
  • Mind shifting bloggers and social media creators can make an impact. Just take a look at the London Real podcasts, Rob and Trish MacGregor’s synchrosecrets and Dancing past the dark, Nancy Bush Evan’s blog about distressing near death experiences.Many of these people have their own books and other services or products.
  • Mindfulness in business and education. How might decisions be made in business meetings if the intuitive mind is acknowledged? How might teachers and professors conduct a class if there is an acknowledgement that all can connect with the subject matter non-locally? If mindfulness can facilitate non-judgmental awareness, how might that shift a social science class examining racism, war, crime, misogynist projections and so on? Margaret Peterson, a psychotherapist, does exactly this in California, teaching mindfulness to groups of up to 1200 people! Another mindfulness practitioner is Gary Weber, an advocate non-dual consciousness in the Eastern enlightenment traditions. He is a strong advocate of neuroscience in the discussion on enlightenment.
  • If you are philosophically inclined you might like to consider the many possibilities as a futurist! The domain of Futures Studies that I work within – Critical Futures Studies – is very open to innovative ideas. Check out the thinking of Sohail Inayatullah, Willis Harman and Richard Slaughter.
  • It is reasonable to assume that eventually greater amounts of funding for research into alternative medicine and healing will be made available (although this will probably take decades). Do you practice a healing modality that could be of assistance to others?
  • I am no expert in computing. But surely the idea of the extended mind could have implications for this field. Although people who link consciousness to quantum physics get lashed by skeptics’ groups, entanglement and non-locality may ultimately prove to be highly fruitful ideas in computing, artificial intelligence and even in the transhumanist movement – those folks such as Ray Kurzweil, who fancy the idea of uploading their minds onto computers.
  • What about biology? Currently it is one of the most conservative of all the sciences, but once the idea of the extended mind gains scientific foothold, biology will have no choice but to make a radical upgrade. Rupert Sheldrake has been leading the way with his idea of morphic resonance. Sheldrake cops a bit of a lashing from colleagues, but I predict that in time at least some of his thinking will prove seminal in breaking the reductionist/materialist stranglehold in the field. Elisabet Sahtouris is challenging neo-Darwinism. Another fairly recent example of progressive research in this area is a paper published in the prestigious science journal Nature, by Elisabetta Collini and colleagues. That paper, entitled “Coherently wired light-harvesting in photosynthetic marine algae at ambient temperature”, provides evidence that quantum level coherence exists at room temperature in living systems. It suggests that that long-range quantum coherence between molecules can occur in living systems, even at low temperatures.
  • Once biology begins to shift, neuroscience and psychology will have no choice but to widen the scope of its thinking as well. This is because thinking in modern neuroscience is heavily linked to biology, and dominant thinking in psychology is in turn founded in neuroscience. Take a look at Stan Grof’s Holotropic mind and the wonderful work of Peter Fenwick on near death experiences. Or check out veteran researcher David Loye’s expansive take on a wide variety of related matters including re-thinking the legacy of Darwin.
  • Physics (and systems theory) is probably one of the most open-minded fields of inquiry. The list of physicists and systems thinkers probing a possible link between consciousness and the cosmos is long. They include Nobel prize winner Brian Josephson, Oxford’s Roger Penrose, and Fred Alan Wolf. Ervin Laszlo has been doing deep thinking in systems theory for many decades. Presently, these scientists and philosophers often have to face the slings and arrows of outraged fellow-physicists. Yet what immense possibilities lie here once consciousness is restored to its rightful place in the scheme of things?
  • Of course the field that stands to gain most by the great mind shift is parapsychology. As Dean Radin has stated, those working in this field at present face huge obstacles in gaining acceptance in the broader scientific community. Radin often says there is a “psi taboo”. Yet the field will inevitable boom once the great mind shift occurs.

These are just a few areas that provide possibilities. The world is an abundant place, and your imagination is vast. Get working on a few more!

 

No easy ride

That all sounds good, doesn’t it? But don’t expect an easy ride just because you follow your bliss and start putting time, energy and money into your brilliant idea. I do believe that things will improve gradually, but regular failures and rejections are very common experiences for many professionals in the areas I have listed above. In my previous post I mentioned by own struggle with acceptance in academia, despite having completed my PhD and publishing an enormous amount of work in academic journals and books. Let me tell you from personal experience that repeated rejection can be a real test of character! You really need to be committed to your idea. (Skeptics will probably agree with the idea of my being committed ;-).

Your personal shift will take time. If you are transitioning into work or a career which is part of this shifting mindset, remember to keep your feet on the ground. Keep your day job for the time being! Build your expertise, business or craft slowly on the side at first. Make connections, develop skills, learn how to communicate and sell – whatever it takes! For years while pursuing my doctorate and work as a Futurist I have worked in education, mostly full-time as a secondary high school teacher. This has simply been necessary, as the income from my books has not been sufficient to live on. Besides, the pay for blogging and writing academic articles is, well, precisely zero.

When I began research for my doctorate, my supervisor (a wonderful futurist named Sohail Inayatullah) told me that my research was ten years ahead of its time. Well, it is now a decade since he said that. Has anything changed, except for my having more grey hair? As I have suggested, I think things are shifting. The huge public support for Sheldrake and Hancock after the latest TED censorship drama is evidence enough. Still, it has to be acknowledged that such paradigm changes take time. Human egos will come into play, and when the human ego takes the stage there will always be struggles for power, betrayals, deception and unconscious projections at the other. Most power shifts involve upheaval or violence of some kind, though not necessarily physical violence.

If you decide to commit time and energy to being a part of the great mind shift, you are going to have to learn to be resilient and courageous. Don’t expect everything to be fair. Be prepared for a bit of ridicule and misrepresentation from those who would prefer things to remain as they are.

 

Beyond religious zeal

Another important piece of advice I would like to share here is to avoid the mindset that you have to convert anyone to your worldview. The desire to convert others or change their thinking stems from the ego’s fear and insecurity. Instead, begin with the attitude of sharing knowledge with enthusiasm. That will win far more hearts than the hard sell. Nobody wants another person to shove ideas and opinions down their throat. You see, there is a different kind of approach needed here. Science has been all about being “hard”, about detaching from intuition and emotion and seeing the world and its life forms as mechanical. Put the specimen on the slab and start cutting it up. Certain traditional religions have also tried to convert others, sometimes violently. I am suggesting that there is another way, a more gentle approach. It is quintessentially spiritual in nature. It requires a light heart and a light step. Unless absolutely necessary, avoid conflict. As you might note, most of the individuals involved in academic struggles for knowledge ever change their minds. In the so called psi-wars, people changing sides is rare. Skeptics and psi-proponents alike tend to stick to their guns.

The gentle approach does not mean being weak. You will need courage and resilience to stand up when the current is strong.

 

Don’t fight them

A related point is that it isn’t necessary to be against anybody or anything to launch a project or career in this area. That is a mistake an awful lot of people interested in this kind of path make. Don’t waste your energy on the extremists. Hardcore skeptics are never going to listen to an idea which is in any way connected with spirituality or subtle experience. So don’t even try. Remember, although their voices can be loud, and although some do exercise power and influence, these people are a small minority.

 

The importance of communication

With the great mind shift, there will be opportunities for people who are able to communicate with the large number of people who lie in between the extreme ends of pro-psi and skeptics crowds. As a practitioner, you will need to be able to convince the common people that your idea or product has value. A strong sense of audience is necessary to move out into the world. You need to learn to connect with people. So if you have been meditating away for twenty years, be prepared to learn a whole new skill set! This is not necessarily the easiest thing to do, so persistence is necessary.

The idealists and the pro-psi crowd can be the starting audience for your idea, but eventually you will probably want to expand your work into other “markets”. Marketing skills are always helpful, but this will not be the hard sell. The hard sell is violent and manipulative by nature, and incompatible with the new mind movement. Now there is a marketable idea in itself: the new spiritual way of selling!

 

Finally…

The fact is that the system will probably not be favorable for some time to those who follow their passion and work to help facilitate the great mind shift. I expect there will be breakthrough moments when new research or new media stories add value to all those working here. But you have to expect some resistance from the system in the meanwhile. I do not know exactly when the hard wall of scientific materialism will release its grip on the world. Most likely it will be a slow process, with a few gusts of rapid change here and there. Perhaps there will be a Berlin Wall moment, a sudden collapse of the existing order, and the floodgates of a greater understanding will open. For most, that would be what we futurists call a “wildcard”, something quite unexpected. But it will not be unexpected to those of us who have been walking the walk of spirit all these years. Nor should you be unprepared, given what I have written above!

Yes, committing time, energy and money to the great mind shift is a risk. We don’t know precisely what is going to happen, nor how quickly. I simply urge you to follow your calling. Is there a strong voice within you, inviting you to move into working, teaching or sharing knowledge within the great mind shift? If so, why not follow that voice of spirit? After all, that is the essence of the spiritual journey.

The great light illuminates the path but a short distance ahead. Do you have the courage to step forward?

PS: If you wish to be kept up to date about research and developments regarding The Coming Consciousness Revolution (interviews, videos, the book project, important links to other works etc.) just email me at newsletter@marcustanthony.com, and I will send you updates every month or so.

Marcus

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Wanted: Courageous Pioneers for The Coming Consciousness Revolution (part 1)

In this two-part post, I am going to outline why I think there is a dramatic shift in human consciousness coming, and how this will provide great opportunities for those courageous enough to invest time and commitment into this field knowledge.

 

I bill myself as a futurist. I have published and presented around forty papers and book chapters in Futures Studies journals and in several Futures-related books. I’m also a member of the World Futures Studies Federation, and speak regularly AT WFSF conferences. So I feel I’m perfectly entitled to call myself a futurist. The domain of Futures Studies in which I work is often called Critical Futures Studies. This branch of Futures is not so much concerned about prediction, but with analysing images of the future, looking to see who controls the power, and in particular asking “What is missing?” from ideas and visions of tomorrow. Futurist Richard slaughter introduced the term “Postconventional Futures Studies”, to accommodate critical futurists like me who like to think well outside the box; in particular exploring other ways of knowing (OWOK) and the spiritual and mystical dimensions of human experience. Those OWOK include the intuitive and spiritual cognitive processes that conventional science and education has tended to ignore.

I am happy to be labelled within either of these categories.

Despite the fact that these domains of Futures Studies are not focussed on prediction, one of the first questions I typically get asked when I tell people I am a futurist is “So, what is going to happen in the future?” I normally just explain what critical futures studies is, and don’t give a solid answer. After all, predicting the future is considered to be a fools game by many.

But sometimes I do like to prognosticate.

In my TEDx Hong Kong talk “Mind, Cosmos and our Brilliant Futures”(which mercifully hasn’t been taken down yet ;-). I actually make five predictions about the future. I present two of them here on the very slides I used in my talk.

1 slide

This is not exactly a brave prediction, is it? If there is one thing that the history of science and philosophy shows us, it is that knowledge expands from one era to another in ways that can barely be imagined by those in the era preceding such shifts. Being knowledgeable is of little assistance here. In 1900, Lord Kelvin, who was one of the most knowledgeable and highly informed men of his day, famously stated that “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” Just five years later Einstein published his seminal paper on relativity theory, and by the late 1920s the quantum field theory was initiated by Paul Dirac, throwing a huge spanner into the works of the mechanical universe. If a highly learned man like Lord Kelvin can be so wrong, it is logical to assume that you and I are also capable of such poor foresight.

By definition, we can’t know what we don’t know we don’t know (that’s not a typo – think about it!). We tend to see knowledge as expanding in a linear fashion. To borrow from Foucault, modernity always sees knowledge as progressing from a primitive past to the inevitable outcome that is the advanced and superior present. In 1900 the known universe was precisely one galaxy big. Now we know of an estimated 100 billion galaxies. And this is not even taking into consideration that dark energy and dark matter may comprise 95 per cent of the universe. Lord Kelvin could only go on what was known then.

What big shift is going to happen next? “Oh, the internet will expand to become incredibly powerful!” many would say. But no, that would not be a paradigm shift in my meaning of the term.  The idea of a super-internet is an extrapolation based on the most obvious recent historical game-breaker. It is an observable trend. On the other hand, paradigm shifts involve sudden changes in the very way we view knowledge itself. The publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859) and the theory of natural selection is a classic example. The idea of “evolution” is common-place today and used in multiple contexts, but before Darwin’s time the word – and the concept – was rarely used.

I believe that we are in the midst of another paradigm shift at this moment in history. And rather than a single thinker being behind it, the power of the internet is driving it.

This leads me onto my second prediction, which is really the one that is the real game-changer today.

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Once the extended mind is acknowledged, it will radically shift the way humanity sees itself, including its place in the cosmos. The implications for science, philosophy and society will be enormous. The extended mind is the idea that consciousness extends beyond the confines of the brain and skull, and is in relationship with the environment – including other people, places, times and spiritual dimensions. Integrated intelligence is my term, and describes the way that the conscious application of the extended mind can make us smarter and help solve problems. Most significantly, the expansion of Integrated Intelligence creates an inevitable shift in worldview, because one can no longer operate under the delusion that self and world are totally separate.

 

Why I believe this shift will occur

You might ask why I am so confident that this shift is coming?

The first reason is that the scientific evidence for the extended mind is strong, and it will only get stronger. The field that scientifically investigates concepts related to the extended mind is typically called parapsychology. As just one reference, Dean Radin is perhaps the foremost scientist doing such work. His meta-analysis of ganzfeld experiments – which test whether human beings can sense the contents of another’s mind at a distance – has produced the most impressive results. 0ver 122 experiments conducted in 20 labs and with 4674 sessions have yielded results of 300 trillion quadrillion to one (the latest results were published in Psychological Bulletin in 2010). Radin summarised these experimental procedures and the data gleaned from them in a talk he gave at the Electric Universe conference not long ago. The two videos are available on YouTube, and well worth watching for those who wish to familiarise themselves with the research done in this field.

It has to be admitted that the amount of money spent on this kind of research is miniscule, and the volume is insignificant compared to that spent on such fields as medicine and neuroscience. Further, there are various ways the research can be criticised (I will not detail those here, but parapsychologists have done a good job in countering those criticisms to date). Still, there is enough evidence here to make the claim that there is something very important worth investigating here. This is the only “rational” take on the research, in my opinion.

The second reason why I feel that an expanded conception of consciousness is inevitable is that there is just so much anecdotal evidence, with countless tens of thousands of reported cases. People throughout history and across all civilisations have reported experiences which can only be explained by the extended mind hypothesis. These experiences include crisis visions, near death experiences, premonitory visions and dreams, out of body experiences, ESP, remote viewing and so on.  While skeptics complain that “the plural of anecdote is not data”, only the most stubborn materialist could dismiss all these reports without at least some consideration of the possibility that many of these cases are genuine. Many defy any materialist explanation.

My third and final reason for optimism in the coming mind shift is by far the strongest for me. For over twenty years I have been exploring consciousness through meditative and visionary experience and have seen that the extended mind is a perfectly normal domain of human consciousness. After a period of committed scepticism in my early twenties I began meditating at the age of 26. I immediately discovered the world of psychic experience. I could not dismiss the many visions and experiences of connection with other minds and spirits that came to me. Five years later I began a systematic period of exploration of my emotional body, where I managed to dredge up unimaginable pain and hurt from within my psyche. This was not because I am masochist by nature, but because I sought healing of that pain. Although I barely read a book or watched any media, the knowledge that this six year period bought forth for me was profound, and helped me to understand in far greater depth the psychic experiences I’d had in the first phase of my spiritual development. But there then came a third phase of insight where I lessened my focus upon psychic and emotional experience, and began to allow longer periods of simple mindfulness. In bringing the mind into deep, silent presence, I came to understand at even greater depth the knowledge that I had received during the previous two phases of my spiritual development.

If I can summarise what I learned from all this exploration, it is that the human mind is embedded within a vast sea of consciousness, and that the way we experience “self” in modern society is but the surface level of the mind in its entirety. Twenty-first century life and education conditions us into a very constricted experience of consciousness, cutting us off from our essence. My inner journey helped me to see clearly that modern science and education have led us to a dead end. Scientific materialism has hit a wall that it cannot cross – at least not without a great shift in its core processes and in cooperation with those who have explored the human psyche in depth.

Science brought humanity out of mediaeval ignorance, but as currently practiced it is the single greatest hindrance to the advancement of human knowledge. Humanity has gone as far as it can go in the delusion of separation. As Huston Smith so elegantly put it, the twentieth century was the century of disconnection, the century where humanity lost touch with its spiritual essence. The previous century was the age of the talking head, where our elders and truth-tellers became detached from both the body and the human spirit. It was a century of spiritual trauma. It is time for the healing to begin.

And this is what I will explore in greater detail in part 2 of this topic. Join me in my next post as I suggest in greater detail what this means for us in our everyday lives, and how the coming mind shift can be a tremendous opportunity for those of us who are willing to pioneer the way forward.

PS: If you wish to be kept up to date about research and developments regarding The Coming Consciousness Revolution (interviews, videos, the book project, important links to other works etc.) just email me at newsletter@marcustanthony.com, and I will send you updates every month or so.

Marcus

 

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Council of Sages: extract from Marcus T Anthony’s “The Deepening”

The Deepening: The Art of Unconditional Love is futurist and mystic Marcus T. Anthony’s latest book. It is the follow-up to the successful volume Discover Your Soul Template. The central focus of The Deepening is how to find unconditional love within yourself, and then shining that light out into the world. The book relates the author’s personal inner journey of self-discovery and healing. The Deepening states that unconditional love is the ultimate destination of your soul, and of the oversoul of humanity.

This extract comes from one of the later chapters in the book, and discusses the idea of the emergence of Councils of Sages, and how they might help transform our world. The Sages on such councils will consist of those who have discovered the light within themselves, and learned the art of unconditional love. Some of you who read my old blog may recognise the idea of the Council of Sages from a post I wrote about the idea about a year ago.

Marcus

 

The Deepening: The Art of Unconditional Love. Council of Sages: by Marcus T. Anthony

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Diary of a 21st Century Mystic #10. Timing and Alignment

Finally, here is my latest update for Diary of a 21st Century Mystic. Why the delay? Well, I explain that in the video! I did make one small error in the video. I am not living with four other people, but three. My math needs a little work.

This video outlines two important distinctions about the law of attraction (timing and alignment), and an important distinction about learning to love yourself. An important aspect of this Diary series is putting to the test certain popular ideas about mystical experience, including the law of attraction.

For the record, as I outline in my book Discover Your Soul Template, I do believe that the law of attraction has merit. However I make several important distinctions about it which I feel many popular versions of the idea fail to address. Part of this Diary series is to actually test out the LOA, and I am going to be running some personal experiments in ‘manifestation’ later on. So stick around. Things are going to get interesting!

Blessings, Marcus

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