Tag Archives: meaningful futures

Book Proposal for “The Coming Consciousness Revolution”

Regular readers of this blog might remember my project The Coming Consciousness Revolution. (Note the previous title: The Great Mind Shift). I have previously written three posts on the topic.

In this post I am making public the book proposal. A book proposal is written for book publishers, of course, but this proposal also provides a good overview of the project to date. As stated in the proposal, I intend to interview many people as part of the book project. Not all those listed in the proposal have been contacted yet. So these names might change according to who agrees to be interviewed or not.

You can read the full PDF of the proposal by clicking on the link below, or just read the excerpts I have cut and pasted on this page.

Anthony TGMS propsal small

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.

Regards,

Marcus

GMS cover basics

 

Brief Description

There is a major shift emerging in science and society which will mark a dramatic change in education, business and life itself. Just as the twentieth century was one of disconnection and alienation, the twenty-first century will increasingly be the era of connectedness.

This connectedness will not merely be technological (a trend that is now universally accepted). Another powerful connective trend which is in its infancy is the acceptance of the extended mind – consciousness that is in dynamic relationship with other people, the environment and the cosmos itself. With this dramatic shift in the understanding of mind, the human intellect will be greatly expanded by “integrated intelligence” – the successful employment of the extended mind in solving problems. The way that integrated intelligence will dramatically impact the future is the central theme of The Coming Consciousness Revolution.

This inevitable revolution in cognitive science heralds an era of almost unimaginable opportunity for those informed enough to foresee what is coming.

In The Coming Consciousness Revolution, futurist Marcus T Anthony points the reader in the direction of change, and outlines what it will mean for life, work and society in the twenty-first century.

 

Not just a book…

The Coming Consciousness Revolution is more than merely a book. It is a multi-tiered project which incorporates the following elements:

  • Workshops and public talks. The Coming Consciousness Revolution project is taking these ideas and the practical tools to organisations and public groups around the world. Steaphen Pirie (author and change agent) will work with Marcus T Anthony on the Asian leg of the tour, which begins April 2014 in China. (e.g. see Marcus T Anthony’s 2012 TEDx talk in Hong Kong).
  • The Coming Consciousness Revolution app. This app will assist people in developing their integrated intelligence by allowing them to simply and easily input intuitive prompts, and then providing feedback about how effective their intuitive decision making is. The app is being developed with the help of Alick Lau, PhD, Director of Mind and Matter Ltd.
  • Radio, TV and social media interviews. I consider myself to be a confident and engaging speaker, and will be making full use of multi-media to promote the project.
  • Google hangouts and social media promotions.

 

Overview of the Project

What will happen once the extended mind becomes widely accepted in mainstream science and society?

There is a tendency for discussions about the extended mind, ESP, clairvoyance and so on to become strongly polarised into proponents versus skeptics. While part of The Coming Consciousness Revolution will highlight the key debates, I take the view that such arguments rarely alter the worldview of the debaters, and much energy can be wasted rehashing the same issues over and over again.

The position I take in The Coming Consciousness Revolution is that the evidence from parapsychology and other fields of enquiry is now strong, and that it will only get stronger in the coming years. The data is now compelling enough to begin to ask what this shift means for all of us.

 

The domains

The Coming Consciousness Revolution explores developments and opportunities in many different fields and disciplines – referred to as domains. These domains include biology, physics, consciousness studies/neuroscience, computing, social media, education and learning, the arts (creativity), health and healing, business, and spirituality.

Each domain is given a chapter in Part 3 of the book, and each chapter will include the following:

  • an overview of some of the most important current ideas and/or scientific developments in that domain;
  • informed predictions about where that domain will most likely develop in the coming decades as the great mind shift takes more definite form;
  • suggested opportunities for learning, business and personal growth in that domain;
  • a list of recommended reading for those wishing to explore that domain in more detail;
  • a interview at the end of the chapter with a leading thinker/practitioner within that domain.

 

The Book’s Purpose

The purpose of The Coming Consciousness Revolution is to create an effective bible for progressive thinkers and thought leaders who wish to be at the leading edge of the great mind shift. The book is designed to excite the thinking of the reader and open his/her mind to the wide array of possibilities and opportunities that the great mind shift will create. The cross-disciplinary nature of the book will allow the reader to glean insights from a wide array of fields of knowledge – something that is increasingly important in the modern age.

The book is particularly aimed at people who would like to seize opportunities in any of the domains covered. The Coming Consciousness Revolution is presented as a stimulus to encourage those with imagination and foresight to explore practical opportunities in business, career or life orientation in related areas.

 

Predictions

Prediction is notoriously difficult for futurists. In my own futures work and academic writing I have tended to avoid prediction, instead focusing upon identifying critical insights into human development.  In The Great Mind Shift I break my own general rule.

Predictions can be classified into two forms. The first and least risky are based on trends – readily observable changes that are already occurring. For example, predicting that the internet will become far more pervasive in our lives, and that human intelligence will be enhanced by it is clearly very likely. Futurists – and many laymen – can often see obvious trends even as they are developing.

However a second class of prediction relates to what futurists call “wildcards” – developments which arrive in a hurry and often take everyone by surprise. The 911 event in New York was such an event, and it changed the world dramatically. Another example from global politics and economics – where timeframes can be longer – the “sudden” rise of China over a period of only two or three decades was completely unexpected by many.

These kinds of unforeseen changes can be the most destabilising for business, society and life in general. They often involve a paradigm shift, a new way of relating to the world and knowledge itself. Wildcards can be disastrous for organisations that are not prepared for them. Few foresaw the dotcom bubble bursting just before the turn of the century, but many companies failed completely as a result.

Nonetheless, for every wildcard event there are signs which people fail to acknowledge. There are often trends and data which are ignored by almost everyone. Yet that information is often freely accessible. The reason why so many people and organisations ignore the data is because the information lies beyond the dominant paradigm and suggests a shift that is too far “outside the box” for most laymen and experts to consider feasible.

The main argument of The Comng Consciousness Revolution is that the coming change in the way we see, access and employ consciousness is one such wildcard. The book will make clear that the data and historical evidence are already here, but mainstream thinking in science, education and business is too tunnel-visioned to acknowledge it – yet. Of particular importance is what Dean Radin calls “the psi taboo”, which effectively forbids open discussion of related subject matters.

When the great mind shift arrives the implications will be as far-reaching as is possible to imagine, possibly matching the seismic shifts of the Copernican revolution, Darwin’s natural selection and the scientific enlightenment.

The Coming Consciousness Revolution is not merely about data. It deliberately pushes the boundaries of the conventional. It therefore moves beyond the known to suggest possible and probable futures in each of the domains. This includes developing likely scenarios and visions which the reader can explore as possible opportunities.

 

The style

The Coming Consciousness Revolution is written in reader-friendly language and in a style which will allow laymen to grasp the content and enjoy the possibilities put forward. Some of the chapters on subjects like physics and biology will contain references to recent and complex debates, but they will be reduced to their most essential nature, with references provided for those wishing to explore them in more detail.

This book is written in a different style from my recent book Discover Your Soul Template. The market here is a more “serious” one, and so the style is less flippant and the language less colloquial. Nonetheless, the writer’s voice remains friendly and relaxed. The tone is not quite as formal as my first book Integrated Intelligence (Sense Publishers, 2008). That book, which covered similar ground to The Coming Consciousness Revolution was primarily for the academic market.

One of the great challenges in writing this book will be the introduction of my personal experience with Integrated Intelligence. My intention is not to feign pretense of impartiality in the subject matter, but to be quite open with my own wide experience in living with and teaching this innate human capacity. However the book is not about me (Marcus T Anthony), but about the great mind shift itself; so personal anecdote will be minimised. Insights taken from my life, my personal meditative and contemplative practice will form part of the text, but will not dominate it.

In short, The Coming Consciousness Revolution is written for the popular market of intelligent laymen. It targets those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of frontier areas in science and philosophy, how these will affect their lives within the next few decades, and the opportunities which can be taken advantage of.

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

The True Cost of Living Your Bliss (2)

delusional

(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

 

 

Guerrilla War, Unfair (part 1)

killzone_shadow_fall_021

 

This is the first part of a three posts I am writing about this topical issue.

 In this post I will introduce the problem.

  • In the second post I will make some general points about what should be done, and why. I will also write why certain approaches are likely to be counterproductive – and potentially spiritually regressive.
  • In the final post I will provide some more practical tools and strategies, and suggest how this entire situation can be of great benefit to anybody on a path of awakening.

 

There’s a story doing the rounds amongst the pro-psi crowd at present (The pro-psi folks are those who take the affirmative side in the debate about the existence of psi phenomena such as ESP, telepathy and clairvoyance – I include myself in that group). The story involves the recent activities of the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia group. The guerrilla skeptics are a well-organised group of self-appointed online vigilantes whose prime mission is to attack and discredit all claims of the validity regarding spiritual, intuitive and alternative truth claims (including alternative and complementary medicine).

The notable issue with the guerrilla skeptics is the revelation that they have taken to Wikipedia in an to attempt to discredit wiki pages that they find contradict their way of seeing the universe. Robert McLuhan wrote a good account of the problem on his paranormalia blog about six months ago. Rupert Sheldrake and Craig Weiler, who have discussed the problem together, have recently written about the issue.

Sheldake is a favourite target of hard-core skeptics in general, and his Wikipedia page is one that has been targeted by the Guerrilla Skeptics. Here’s what Sheldrake wrote about them in his recent newsletter:

Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia have been subverting Wikipedia in areas concerned with spirituality, psychic phenomena and complementary medicine…  a squad of guerrilla skeptics captured the Wikipedia page about me, and have controlled it… editing it in the most biased possible way. Several other editors have tried to restore a more neutral point of view, in accordance with Wikipedia policies… Wikipedia has strict rules against editors working in groups and against people advocating a particular point of view. The Guerrilla Skeptics have been flouting these rules for more than two years, coordinating their groups through secret Facebook pages. It’s time their activities are brought to a halt, because they are undermining the basic principles of Wikipedia, and rendering hundreds of entries untrustworthy.

Wikipedia is – in theory – publically owned and controlled. It portends to allow free editing of its pages, according to certain protocols. For example, if a credible citation is given, then one can challenge a point made on any given page. In this way alternative viewpoints are posited side-by-side.

As Sheldrake points out, here are guidelines on Wikipedia which are aimed at preventing vested interest groups in targeting pages in order to control and overpower free speech, or deliberately distort the information to suit their own agenda. For example, if a Japanese conservative group attempted to edit the Wikipedia page on the notorious Nanjing Massacre (which was perpetrated by the invading Japanese forces in 1937) and filled it with nonfactual propaganda, it would obviously be considered unacceptable. That would be a case of one group attempting to distort history because it did not have the moral courage to face up to the atrocities that its ancestors perpetrated.

The actions of the Guerrilla Skeptics are not dissimilar to the hypothetical case mentioned above. As Sheldrake writes:

The Guerrilla Skeptics are well trained, highly motivated, have an ideological agenda, and operate in teams… (There are now) over 90 guerrillas operating in 17 different languages. The teams are coordinated through secret Facebook pages. They check the credentials of new recruits to avoid infiltration. Their aim is to “control information”… They have already seized control of many Wikipedia pages, deleted entries on subjects they disapprove of, and boosted the biographies of atheists.

The actions of Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia are clearly inappropriate and contravene the site’s regulations. This is given more significance because the Guerrilla Skeptics appear to have connections with militant skeptics organisations like the James Randi Foundation. These are organisations which have a very clear agenda, and vested financial interests in ensuring that certain data and knowledge claims are not permitted free expression. Skeptics have a long history of deliberately distorting and misrepresenting information about psi-phenomena, spiritual experience, and alternative medicine. For example, Richard Wiseman, one of the most influential skeptics, appears to have deliberately misrepresented the positive results he obtained when he attempted to replicate a Sheldrake experiment. This involved an allegedly telepathic dog that seemed to know when its master was coming home, regardless of any sensory cues.

Given the political agenda of militant skeptics groups, they are about as far from being impartial arbiters of truth as is possible to imagine. I am in strong agreement with people like Sheldrake, Weiler and McCluhan that the situation is unacceptable in that it distorts information about a very significant realm of human enquiry. There needs to be a fair and open discussion of these subject matters, free from bullying, personal harassment and misrepresentation of the data.

 

My position

The question that really interests me is this: what is to be done about this deliberate and aggressive attempt by the Guerrilla Skeptics to discredit ideas that contradict their worldview and beliefs? I will address this more clearly in my next post.

But before I sign off for today, let me make my general position on the issue of psi-phenomena, alternative medicine and so on quite clear (for those who have never read any of my work on the subject). After years of intensive first-person introspective investigation, working with some very gifted spiritual teachers, and having written and researched many books, papers and a doctoral thesis on the subject, I am now certain that psi phenomena like ESP, clairvoyance, precognition and so on are genuine. They represent perfectly normal human cognitive capacities, despite the fact that they are not readily on tap for most human beings.

I am hardly a neutral party in this anymore, as I now teach people how to develop what I call integrated intelligence – expanded intuitive perception which engages the extended mind.

It is my conviction that current mainstream psychology and neuroscience are founded on the false presupposition that consciousness in merely a product of neurochemistry. I maintain that consciousness has non-local properties which are essential to understanding the human condition and our place in the universe. Science has made tremendous progress in human understanding and technology since the 1700s, and the benefits are obvious. But we have become obsessed with technology and abstract cognition to the point that we have bought into a false universal story – that human beings are biological machines. I call this the Deckard Confusion, after Harrison Ford’s character in the movie Blade Runner. Deckard wasn’t sure whether he was a man or a robot (in fact it is somewhat ambiguous in Ridley Scott’s director’s cut).

Similarly, contemporary science has become deeply confused about the essential nature of consciousness and the human condition. Science and society have become obsessed with the machine, so much that it now confuses the entire universe for a machine. The mechanistic paradigm which dominates science and much of modern society is a direct result of this. Skeptics organisations and hardcore skeptics in general are thus a product of the modern era, and have bought into the Deckard Confusion at such depth that they have completely lost the capacity to access Integrated Intelligence.

They have lost touch with the human spirit.

The problem is not that science is intrinsically wrong or evil, nor that the so-called left-brained mental functions need to be erased. It’s all a question of addressing the limitations of science, and also of analytical reasoning.

And while the limits of science is often a topic for discussion amongst scientists (who are generally very interested in the topic), the issue is rarely addressed at the required depth within mainstream scientific institutions, and within mainstream education.

In part two of this discussion, I will say a little more about this as I address what can be done about the problem of Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia.

Marcus

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.

Slide 2a

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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The way out of the TED mess, # 2: This moment in time

This is the second post on “The way out of the TED mess”. The first (“The problem”) is here, and the third and final (“Beyond the struggle”) is here.

I concluded the first part of this discussion about healing the divide between skeptic’s and idealists involved in the current TED censorship saga by asking the question, “What is the way forward?” In this second and third posts I will answer the question. The way I am suggesting is not the only way to approach the problem, but it is one that has many benefits. My take here will focus upon what those with a spiritual perspective can do, as this is the “camp” that I am with. There’s no reason why someone with a skeptical or conservative scientific mindset cannot apply my suggestions. However I suspect not many will be too keen, as their worldview typically precludes a familiarity with the kinds of introspective methods I am going to advocate as part of the solution.

 

Don’t take it personally

The most important thing is to not take this TED drama personally. What we are in the midst of here is a resistance to a paradigm shift that will inevitably arrive in some form during the next fifty years or so. The shift will come to fully acknowledge that the materialist dream has not only proved to be greatly faulted in its description of life and the cosmos, but that it is inherently pathological. It cannot sustain human civilisation beyond this point in time. There will be a slow shift in global consciousness, and if anything the fact that masses of people have come out in support of Sheldrake and Hancock shows that this shift is now well underway. But there is a sharp division in the modern world – which reflects the split in the modern mind. I have called this the “skeptics versus the idealists”, which is a simplistic way of making the discussion on a blog like this manageable.

Behind the conservative forces of scientific materialism lies great power and great wealth. It is inevitable that a power game will play out as those who are in control begin to see that power slipping away. This is part of what is happening in the current TED controversy.

I want to make one thing clear. There is nothing that can change the dynamic that is underway. This is why I suggest you see this as impersonal. But there are minds that are resisting what is happening – on both sides. The materialists are resisting the change because it is tearing at the foundations of their view of reality, and that is frightening. Typical of this is Stephen Pinker’s recent ridiculing of Thomas Nagel’s book Mind and Cosmos, which correctly points out that materialist science has greatly exaggerated the certainty of its case for a strictly neo-Darwininan, materialistic take on life, nature and the universe. The truth is that Pinker does not know as much as he thinks. He cannot, simply because the ways of knowing he uses – critical analysis and abstract reasoning – are self-limited in what they can perceive and understand. When such cognitive processes are not balanced with Integrated Intelligence, the mind is extremely limited in what it can perceive and understand about consciousness at its deepest, connecting levels. If my argument is correct here, it then logically follows that this point will not be intelligible to anyone who has not explored mind deeply at a first person level. So it is not necessary to take it personally when a materialist does not comprehend a deeper spiritual perception of the world.

The very act of berating anyone else’s perspective on this issue shows that the critic is still stuck in the mind and emotionally attached to the world of thought. The person’s mind still resides within the predominant ego-based level of consciousness.

 

Don’t fight them

My next main point is that there is no spiritual freedom in fighting the other guy, or the system. You cannot win, because the act of fighting traps you in that very system. At a deeper level of awareness there is no struggle. There is no fight to be won. The system will shift as surely as consciousness itself, as surely as the shadow of night passes upon the day.

But wait! some may plead. My whole life is about fighting these ignorant bastards! I’m not just going to sit around and be a victim, and let them walk all over me! That would be pathetic!

The truth is that a huge number of idealists are fighting from a victim consciousness. There is no law that says you have to fight anyone or anything. But there is a law of consciousness which finds that those who fight against something expand their experience of the very thing they fight against.

A higher truth is that in surrendering to the joy of being, wherever you are, you automatically begin to light the darkness around you. It is your joyfulness in the present moment that will shift humanity at the deepest level, because that shift occurs not at the personal, institutional or paradigmatic levels, but at the deepest level – the level of consciousness.

There is a price to pay for this shift. No longer will you be able to bond or find intimacy with other idealists, united in a sense of collective anger or blame at the evils of the system or the dreaded “atheists”, “Godless scientists” or “materialist zombies”. No longer will your mind be able to identify with the struggle. When the struggle is gone there will be… just this moment.

Emptiness, without struggle.

And that is why “spiritual” people keep fighting. Paradoxically, at a deeper level of awareness, the resistance to scientific materialism is actually a resistance to spirit.

So the way forward is…?

There is no going forward. That is the illusion. There is nothing to push into, just something to allow. And that is the perfection of what is.

What follows such a shift in attitude is peace, the peace that emerges from compete forgiveness of the system and all those stuck in that system. And the forgiveness for yourself for not seeing this for so very long.

A time will come when the confrontational binaries that dominate our science and education will give way to something much gentler, much more humble and much more joyful. When people hold knowledge that differs in fundamental ways, they will come together in a state of non-judgment. Only then will they be able to receive each other without violence. Only then will they be able to truly listen to each other. Their minds will be grounded in deep presence, not in attachment to ideologies and beliefs – no matter how “spiritual” they may be.

The irony is that both the idealists and the materialists believe that their view of the world exists in a state beyond belief. The materialists believe that they have left behind religious dogma to embrace a rational take on the world. The idealists believe that they have left behind both scientific materialism and religious dogma to embrace the spirit or some transcendent reality. In fact, everyone who is struggling against another does so from the world of the mind and its beliefs, not deep knowing.

With deep knowing, the awareness that another person does not understand the spirit cannot be taken personally.

 

Deepening the problem

There are multiple levels to this current TED censure impasse, and this is what we should keep in mind before putting emotional energy into it.

All of us are embedded in this historical moment in time, skeptic and idealist alike. However, as I describe the historical context of the problem, I am going to focus upon an idealised hardcore skeptic, because scientific materialism is still dominant in the hard sciences, and those behind the censorship of the TED videos hold a similar worldview.

The first level is the personal level. This is the one you deal with face to face or online. It may seem as if the other person’s opinions and thoughts are their own, but the lower levels of the systems underpin the way they see the world, use their minds and think in general. In terms of skepticism, this level is influenced by the ego’s refusal to surrender power to deeper psychological and spiritual forces. This is perfectly understandable. The ego is simply trying to protect itself from two things. The first is the prospect of death, which is how the surrender process appears to it (although it is not strictly death, but metamorphosis). The second thing is avoiding the deep emotional pain trapped within the body and psyche. The surrender process requires that one relax and feel all that is within. This can be a very difficult and terrifying experience. Trust is a key issue here. But why should anyone trust in such a spiritual process given the massive history of death, suffering, and violence on this planet? Each person has to find the answer to that question within himself or herself. Most people are not ready to cross that line, but more will be in time.

Next there are specific institutions and their culture. For example, if a person works for a university, there are generally domains of inquiry that are effectively forbidden for all of teachers, researchers and students. Spiritual and intuitive ways of knowing are rarely permitted. A lecture isn’t going to begin a lecture with “This morning I had a vision where the spirit of the Tibetan antelope spoke to me and clarified the nature of historical relationship between the Tibetans and the Han Chinese.”

What can and can’t be said in an educational institution will vary from faculty to faculty, subject to subject, institution to institution. I teach in a Masters of Foresight programme, and people there tend to be very liberal and progressive. I actually used the TED censorship issue in my last class as a subject matter to explore ways of mapping the future. Most students were sympathetic to the speakers. I know other universities are also exploring spirituality in various ways. La Trobe University here in Melbourne has a popular spirituality in literature class run by David Tacey. Tacey is Associate Professor and Reader in Arts. He teaches literature, spirituality and Jungian psychology. His book The Spirituality Revolution outlines the programme and his belief that many of today’s students are crying out for spirituality in education.

Despite the fact that there are more programmes like this getting around, few of us have been exposed to them. This brings us to the next level of the problem. This is the paradigmatic. As Sheldrake has so often pointed out, the mechanistic paradigm insists that the universe is a great machine and that – to quote Dean Radin – we are machines made of meat. This paradigm is still very strong in biology, neuroscience and cognitive psychology. It remains very influential across many branches of science and academic disciplines.

Beyond the paradigmatic we have a cultural and civilizational thrust. Anglo culture in particular has developed a very detached approach to science.

This is not the case in all western cultures. As Bruno Bettleheim reports in Freud and Man’s Soul, the Germans developed an empirical science similar to that which dominates in Anglo civilization. But they also developed a softer science which more readily incorporates the intuitive and spiritual dimensions of human experience.

Then we have to realise that science has not always been practiced the way it is currently. Before the industrial revolution the entire idea of the “scientist” did not exists as it does today. The idea of the detached, aloof individual in a white lab coat began to take hold after the 1850s, at the same time that experimentation really took hold in the hard sciences. The fathers of modern science like Newton, Galileo and Copernicus were very religious individuals. Put in perspective, the modern idea of the scientists is barely 150 years old.

Further, there has always been a very strong mystical and spiritual thrust in Western society. The Romantic Movement which flourished in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was a recent expression of this. This Romantic thrust existed alongside the more “left-brained”, intellectual side of the west. But the scientific enlightenment eventually became the dominant culture, and this same culture now heavily influences the way our education systems teach us to think and feel.

Even the ancient Greeks, often anachronistically depicted as rational reductionists, had a strong metaphysical component to their society in the six centuries before Christ. Ancient Greek philosophy became more “atomistic” over time, but the mystical aspects of their culture always remained strong. This even extended to Aristotle and Socrates.

And then of course we should remember that all other non-western cultures have had strong spiritual and mystical histories. African, Russian, South American and indigenous cultures have been no exception. The Chinese and Indian civilisations have produced some of the greatest spiritual thought on the planet. Sadly, it is increasingly becoming pushed aside by western mechanistic science, especially in China.

But even beyond these civilisational and historical perspectives, there has been a much longer-term evolution of consciousness. This has been referred to by innumerable thinkers, philosophers and mystics across many cultures – Teilhard de Chardin, Meister Eckhart and Rabindranath Tagore; and more modern mystics and philosophers like Ken Wilber, David Hawkins and Leonard Jacobson. My sense is that there is a movement towards an integration of consciousness which transcends the rational mind in its state of separation from the world. This is not the same thing as biological evolution, because as far as I’m aware it cannot be traced to any physical process in our genetics, nor natural selection. Of course the two are related at some level, as they are both part of the greater expression of mind and intention.

Given all this, why should we judge a person who finds himself embedded within a civilisational and conscious evolution which valorises the material world and separation? Why should we condemn those unable to see out of the system that they have been placed into? Regardless of what we see and perceive, whether we are skeptics or idealists, we are all limited by our level of awareness; and all our awareness is limited.

 

Blessings,

Marcus

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Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided? Important paper by Ehrlichs

I am including here an important article (click on the link below to download the PDF), which addresses the major concerns regarding possible collapse of the global economic/political system. It paints a grim picture, but is highly recommended reading for all serious researchers concerned about sustainable human futures. I have also cut and pasted the first few paragraphs, below. This was forwarded to the mailing list of the World Futures Studies Federation by Ruben Nelson, Director of Foresight Canada.

Marcus

 

Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?

Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich
Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Proceedings of the Royal Society

rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org

Cite this article: Ehrlich PR, Ehrlich AH. 2013
Can a collapse of global civilization
be avoided? Proc R Soc B 280: 20122845.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2012.2845
Received: 28 November 2012
Accepted: 7 December 2012
Subject Areas:
environmental science
Keywords:
population, consumption, environment,
agriculture, climate, culture
Author for correspondence:
Paul R. Ehrlich
e-mail:

 

Click for the PDF

Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided, Ehrlich, 2013

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Environmental problems have contributed to numerous collapses of civilizations in the past. Now, for the first time, a global collapse appears likely. Overpopulation, overconsumption by the rich and poor choices of technologies
are major drivers; dramatic cultural change provides the main hope of averting calamity.

1. Introduction
Virtually every past civilization has eventually undergone collapse, a loss of socio-political-economic complexity usually accompanied by a dramatic decline in population size [1]. Some, such as those of Egypt and China, have recovered from collapses at various stages; others, such as that of Easter Island or the Classic Maya, were apparently permanent [1,2]. All those previous collapses were local or regional; elsewhere, other societies and civilizations persisted unaffected. Sometimes, as in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, new civilizations rose in succession. In many, if not most, cases, overexploitation of the environment was one proximate or an ultimate cause [3]. But today, for the first time, humanity’s global civilization—the worldwide, increasingly interconnected, highly technological society in which we all are to one degree or another, embedded—is threatened with collapse by an array of environmental problems…

 

 

Book Trailer: Discover Your Soul Template

Discover Your Soul Template is my most successful book, and I am happy to present this book trailer, which I created myself. Please feel free to spread the word about it, and give me any feedback! Twenty years of intense spiritual discipline and research went into the writing of this book, which I am very proud of.

Happy New Year!

 

Marcus

 

 

 

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Are you ready to be a conscious leader?

INSIGHTS: We are at a turning point. The world must make the transition to a deeper level of consciousness. We need conscious leaders who understand what that deeper consciousness is, and how to allow it. They need to access it not for personal gain, nor to elevate their sense of specialness, but to serve humanity. Yet the truth is that most of our current leaders do not have an understanding of this requirement, and are ensnared in the illusions of mind. This means that we must start with a bottom-up approach, teaching the young, the common people, and those leaders at (mostly) ‘lower’ levels of the system how to be conscious. These people will be the leaders of tomorrow. Some of them will be great leaders.

What about you? Are you willing to assume the responsibility to be part of this? As a leader? Are you willing to step beyond everything you know and believe to embrace Integrated Intelligence? This does not mean that you need to develop “psychic” abilities” or become Christ-like or Buddha-like. In fact you don’t need to become anything more than authentically human. It just means that you need to return to a default position of surrendered and relaxed presence, and act upon the immediate knowings that come to you. In this space you cannot rely on beliefs or past knowledge or empirical data (although you don’t necessarily need to discard these things). You just need to trust your genuine intuition. It is a shift that requires great courage. Are you now willing to take the next step?

Marcus

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