Tag Archives: spiritual intelligence

The Two Paths You Can Go By

 

“Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on.
And it makes me wonder.”
Led Zeplin, Stairway to Heaven.

We live in troubling times. Daily,  we twenty-first century hominoids are bombarded with disturbing news about the increasing number of perils that await us as individuals, and as a species. This is a volatile world, and we just have to live with fear and rage, knowing how it may all come to a screeching end at any moment. You want a disaster? Take your pick. North Korea is about to explode, and the kid-empower will take the rest of us with him. There are not only colluding Russians out to desecrate our precious democracy, but there are also them damn Nazis hiding under the bed. Indeed, the brown shirts are around any and every corner.

But even if Adolf’s latter-day descendants don’t dare show themselves, there are storms of unprecedented magnitude bearing down on us, threatening to blow away our houses and our existence. Then, if the gods disappointingly steer the typhoons elsewhere, we can still pop into the cinema where Al Gore will reassure us that the climactic end is nigh. And you betta stash some of that popcorn and coke, because it’s probably too late to do anything. Be careful on the way home from the movie, too, because we live in a rape culture (say some feminists) where a quarter of female university students are sexually violated before their leacherous professors let them graduate.

Finally, if all that doesn’t finish you off, you can just turn on the news and see for ourselves that Donald Trump, the man leading the free world, is Hitler incarnate. Such is the level of pure evil emminating from his black veins. This horror, the horror! And this is the tangerine tyrant with his finger on the atomic button! Oh, and he’s really, really stupid!

In such a world why would anybody even bother to get out of bed?

Let me confide in you that I wouldn’t get out of bed either if I believed this story. But I just don’t believe it. I reckon it’s mostly bullshit, the nonsense of click-bait journalists and bloggers desperate to get the hits necessary to generate a bit of attention or income.

And those foolish enough to click on such stuff mostly do so because the narrative is what they have come to believe. It’s what they want to hear. “Ain’t it awful! I told you so!”

Look, I know the doomsday story is really popular. It’s a ratings winner. And it gets all the awards at Golden Globes time, where some crusty celebrity (who has taken the precious time to leave her gated community to condemn leaders who build walls) will shed a tear for what has become of the world, and to rage against the monsters who lead it.

Meanwhile, what didn’t make the papers is the story about the old guy who walked down the street whistling, a skip in his step, smiling at babies and the pretty girls he knew fully well he shouldn’t be smiling at (because, as all decent human beings living in this rape culture know, only perverts do such things). That old bastard was enjoying himself far too much to make the news.

So… there is that other story – or those other ten thousand stories. They are the tales that I prefer to listen to. They are stories driven by intentional optimism. And by life itself. Not by the spin of media and social media and their enraged audience.

Intentional optimsm is the decision to be fully present in the real world of experience. And the decision to stay there.

The price to pay is a small one. Tune out of the electronic news media and social media and learn how to be present to life.

But make no mistake, this other narrative is not a story of delusion (relatively speaking, as compared to the doomsday narrative that we have all come to know and love). It doesn’t deny evidence or data regarding global warming, rape or political extremism.  But neither does it get sucked into the collective projections of the masses, preferring grounded experience. Instead it makes a commitment to withdraw from the fear-driven narratives and their doomsday noosphere and to make lived presence and intentional optimism the basis of life, whereupon an entirely new world unfurls before us as if by cosmic grace. The painful pasts and fearful futures that obsess the minds of the many suddenly disappear, seen as the illusions that they typically are. Abstract narratives are eplaced by the fullness of life.

And what is it exactly that becomes real? It is whatever arises in the moment. It is the mother and her baby that you stop to smile at as you walk home. It is the song you choose to sing, regardless of who cares to listen. It is the tang of the orange upon your tastebuds as you bite the fruit.

And in such moments these things are often joyful. And enough.

Yet we all know life is not always “happy.” We all experience a full range of emotions, including fear, anger, sadness, guilt, shame and so on. Intentional optimism doesn’t reject those. It simply addresses their root cause and permits them their natural expression (perhaps crying if you are sad). If action is needed, such as acknowledging that loneliness is creating sadness, then one commits to such action (for example, developing more warm relationships). If addressed in such a way, all such feelings pass in time.

The best thing is that this other story that we can choose comes with a very different attitude, and typically a different experience of life. You don’t live in fear of expected doom. You don’t blame anyone or anything for what is missing. You are just thankful to be here, now. There is little need for affirmation, visualisation, or imploring prayer to the deity. Instead there are words that form spontaneously: “Thank you. I love you.” Such words have more power to transform the world than any social justice narrative one can possibly imagine.

Thus there is a generosity of spirit that seeks sharing of experience.

Will the world be here tomorrow? Will you and I be here tomorrow? To be honest, I just don’t know. But one day soon, and in but the blink of the cosmic eye, the sun will rise and both you and I will not be here. That is an absolute certainty.

”But Marcus!” I hear you say. “My world is going to hell and you just don’t care!”And you would be (mostly) right. Unless you are my wife, someone I’m directly involved with or some twerp knocking on my door trying to sell me some contraption I don’t need, your hell is none of my business. I can’t save you from your misery, and even if I could, I’m too busy having a good time of it to give it much thought.

So am I against social activism? Against seriously tackling political and ideological extremism? No. Not at all.  If we are to consider this from a spiritual perspective (and I realise most people won’t) an essential aspect of engaging such problems is the consciousness that underpins that activism. Social activism can be like the “liberalism” that often drives it. The latter is a nice idea, but not actually commonly practiced – not even by liberals. As far as I can tell a great number of social activists in 2017 are too busy being morally superior and beating up enemies to actually demonstrate the justice and compassion that their souls (and all our souls) call them to actualise.

Human societies need people to develop good ideas and sound policies to create preferred futures. That includes having to deal with the darker side of human nature and of human propensity. World and local leaders do have to deal with psychopaths, extremists and despots, including those within our societies. My main point here is that working at the essential foundation of problems – their expression of consciousness – can help all of us make more intelligent and wise decisions. It can enhance insight, where upon we can pull out of the psychic dramas that we are so prone to engage in if we do not bring things to full awareness. If we fail to assume responsibility for our fear-based projections, we may fail to tackle perhaps the most essential aspect of the problems we experience. We may end up creating conflict and suffering – a kind of self-fulling prophecy.

What I am saying is that the most logical attitude to take in this mad world, under most circumstances, is this. Stop judging and condemning everyone as stupid and immoral. Instead, give thanks, dance and celebrate this moment of existence that the cosmos has very generously granted you.

Yes. Let us give thanks. Let us forgive those fucking Trump supporters and those fucking libtards. But most of all, let’s love everyone and anyone who is so generous as to cross our paths and smile, who cares to talk to us or just be present with us for a moment in time. For this moment in time is all any of us have.

Who knows, maybe in a day or two I’ll be singing a song, dancing in the park with some old Chinese ladies here in Zhuhai (South China) or helping myself to a nice big piece of chocolate cake… and I will look up to the sky and see a large missile with a beaming image of our Dear Leaders Kim Jong Il or The Donald on the tail. There will be just enough to to think “What the fuck was that all about?” before every molecule in my body is incinerated. Maybe the Nazis really will ride into town upon their murderous tanks. Or perhaps the damn Commies will ride in upon black horses, with a bare-chested Vladimir Putin leading the way.

And that will be it.

But at least I’ll know that I stood by what was of the greatest importance for this spiritual journey as an individual, and for this human species. I will know that I refused to live in fear, anger and blame. Not even for a good cause. I will know I took the time to share a little joy and laughter with just a few other souls. All without charging a cent.

And that will be enough.

Marcus

 

 

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

This article also appears on Conscious Life News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is Integrated Intelligence?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The extended mind, in turn, is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So that, in a nutshell, is Integrated Intelligence

Marcus

The Future of Consciousness

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

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

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

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

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

Feel free to share this post! Marcus.

The 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.

Is Following Your Passion Dangerous? (2)

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In a recent post I reviewed Cal Newport’s excellent book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You. Newport adopts a well-researched, “rational” approach to the issue. His main findings are that:

• It is foolish to dash headlong into a new career without first establishing career capital (skills, knowledge and connections).
• Innate passions which can be transferred into paid work are rare and it is better to experiment with life to find work you can become passionate about.
• If you cannot see any pre-existing people being paid for your “passion”, don’t try to turn it into work.
• By developing rare and valuable skills, a person’s work will be in demand.
• It is necessary to use deliberate practice to develop such high-level skills in your area of work. This may not be fun at all, and mastery typically takes some 10 000 hours of practice.
• A person needs to develop a mission which helps them focus their work into a precise area, and to avoid scattering one’s energy.
• Patience is required. It takes time and a great deal of work to become great at something.
• Newport heavily criticises the popular self-help-book suggestion that the most important step in developing blissful work is having the courage to quit your job and begin your new, passionate career. This is foolish and likely to lead to failure and rejection if it is done before a person has established career capital in his new field.
These are all common sense, and very useful insights.

However, having mentioned so many positives in that previous post, let me now move onto several reservations I have about Newport’s approach to finding passionate, meaningful work.

Spinning the cherries
Newport cherry picks his case studies. The fact that he does not offer a single exceptional case – one that contradicts his thesis – suggests that his conclusions may be exaggerated. He also appears to “spin” these cases to ensure that they support his argument, highlighting those aspects which are affirmative, but explaining away those things which might potentially contravene his line of argumentation.

For example, he dismisses the case of Steve Jobs – whose Stanford graduation speech on following one’s passion has twenty million hits on YouTube – as evidence for the passion hypothesis. Newport points out that in his youth Jobs studied literature, physics and history at Reed College, a liberal Arts school, and not business or electronics. Jobs was also passionate about spirituality, consciousness expansion and Eastern mysticism. If he’d followed his own advice, writes Newport, Jobs would have become a zen teacher. Newport says that all the Jobs’ biography proves is that it’s good to be passionate about what you do.

But is this really a fair assessment of Jobs’ innate passions?

Newport appears to be playing a semantic game here. Can Newport’s term “electronics” really encapsulate the passion of Steve Jobs? And is not “business” what most self-starters do to turn anything into a successful career? Perhaps terms like “creative inspiration” or “design” are more appropriate descriptions for the innate passions of Steve Jobs. His work at Apple would then seem like an apt fit. And clearly Jobs felt he was living his passion. This is not something that can be so easily dismissed.

In my own life I have found that my passion centres around my work as a writer and explorer of consciousness and spirituality. I certainly didn’t know this when I was twenty. In fact, I never had any genuine spiritual understanding till I was about twenty-six – I was actually a sceptic before that time. I studied English and History at University and loved sport as a kid. Thus it may appear to an outsider that my life affirms Newport’s thesis.

But the truth is that I was always deeply introspective. I just needed life experience to bring that out. So in a sense Newport is both right and wrong. It did require the travails of life for me to discover my calling. But I do not feel that this passion was created by my life experience: that passion was always extant. It was a mere potential.

Therefore I am not in full agreement with Newport that we may as well stick a list of ten appealing pastimes on a wall and throw a dart at them to choose which one to explore as a great career (as he states on a Youtube video). I believe that we must also develop an inner wisdom, and use that intuitive intelligence to help us develop our calling in cooperation with life.

Another problematic case study brought forward by Newport involves the story of Ryan and Sarah’s highly successful organic farm at Red Fire, Grandby. Ryan is a former banker who quit his job to set up the farm. According to Newport, Ryan stumbled into his new profession – he literally “grew into it.” However, this is not a logical assessment. From Newport’s description of Ryan, it appears the man always had an innate enthusiasm for working in nature. The fact that he followed a path consistent with his inner world is therefore indication enough that he had a passion for it.

Such problematic interpretations are one of the key limitations of Newport’s thesis, as he regularly twists passion-positive case studies to ensure that the passion hypothesis is nullified.

To be more specific, Newport dismisses the idea of “passion” in relation to Ryan’s work because there were a series of steps over many years as Ryan discovered his “calling.” Such passion only ever develops over time, insists the author. Yet my sense is that Newport is playing word games again when he implies that any unfolding process that is not instantaneous cannot be called “passionate” in the same way that an innate enthusiasm can be.

Obviously it is true that a person’s life process can help reveal his deep passions, as has been true in my own life. Yet it is not simply the case that such passions are conditioned by the life process, which is what Newport suggests. Newport’s thesis is thus sometimes too black and white, adopting an unnecessarily strict dichotomy between careers sustained by passion versus those developed via craftsmanship.

Nonetheless, Newport’s statement that an individual has to acquire significant skills and career capital to succeed in new career directions remains very valid – and Ryan did just this over many years.

Out with introspection
Another significant shortcoming of Newport’s book is that he appears to have little practical understanding of introspection or human intuition. He is a successful university professor, and so his education has clearly valorised “rational” and scientific ways of knowing. He tends to dismiss personal insight and human intuition, often with subtle contempt or even ridicule.

A good example occurs very early in the book, when Newport begins with story of Thomas, a zen practitioner with a master’s degree in comparative religion.

In interview, Newport relates that Thomas, is reluctant to communicate the meaning of a specific zen koan. Newport gets around this by googling the koan. He then essentially treats it with contempt, apparently failing to consider the possibility that the Zen masters might be correct in suggesting that most people would have trouble truly understanding it with a standard analytical approach.

It is here that Newport is at his weakest. Sometimes he mirrors the arrogance of modern scientific “skepticism”, apparently believing that he does not need to undergo any introspective education or training in order to develop greater depth of intuitive perception. This attitude is epitomised when he announces that he has “debunked” the passion hypothesis. He contemptuously denounces the idea as an “occupational fairy tale.”

Newport appears to be on a kind of semi-religious quest to ensure that the passion hypothesis is killed off. Personally, I do not believe that things need to be taken that far.

Further, Newport does not entertain the possibility that science may be limited when it comes to understanding passion and innate human drive. A common criticism of modern brain science is that it is delimited. Empiricism and third-person approaches to dealing with human intention or consciousness cannot really get inside a person’s head. They can only map the correlates of consciousness. In short, science is incapable of truly understanding the spiritual dimensions of life.

To find the answers to the questions he asks, Newport consults academic journals and avoids introspective domains. Is it any surprise then that he completely dismisses and sometimes ridicules passion and introspection? Newport’s argument ultimately becomes circular. Introspection is inadequate, therefore introspection will be avoided as a means of insight into the problem of insight.

Is this shortcoming simply a lack of introspective intelligence on Newport’s behalf?

Fine distinctions
Newport’s analysis does not distinguish between passion and intuitive intelligence – what some might call spiritual guidance. Likewise, the Canadian college students who were surveyed about their “passions” were likely not introspective types in general, being mainstream-educated. The survey, and Newport, fails to discern the difference between the excitement of personal interests and the “excitement” which emerges from an inner sense of guidance.

There is no evidence in the book, nor in the public presentations that I have seen, that Newport has a well-developed inner world. Newport’s world is apparently random and the individual is soul agent of his life. Yet there are inner and mystical journeys where inner voice is crucial. The failure to address this is a prime shortcoming of Newport’s book. He seems to deny all inner guidance, seemingly completely ignorant of its existence. Founding his work only on science, it remains delimited by its boundaries. Modern science has actively denied intuition and introspection for centuries, and Newport unquestioningly follows in its footsteps.

My sense is that both the strengths and limitations of Newport’s book stem from his being an academic. He does a wonderful job in drawing attention to the pitfalls of blindly following your bliss. But he is singularly incapable of comprehending the subtleties of the inner intelligence of the wisdom traditions. By limiting his approach to academic analysis of research papers and personal case studies, Newport effectively silences many of the wisest men and women of history. Thus So Good They Can’t Ignore You remains very good, but limited; just as Newtonian physics was a wonderful approximation of an observable universe, but woefully inadequate once finer cosmic truths had been gleaned.

Excellent but flawed
So Good They Can’t Ignore You is an excellent book. I will be recommending this book to my own clients (I advise people on how to activate a broader range of human intelligence in developing an ideal life – especially intuitive intelligence). The book systematically addresses many of the common pitfalls that “life of passion” advocates experience (including my own). Given that these are very rarely addressed in self-help and new age philosophies, Newport’s book is an invaluable addition to those wishing to develop such a lifestyle. It’s conclusions remain strong, based as they are on science and relevant case studies. However, I would encourage readers to be mindful of Newport’s personal biases and limited understanding of introspection and human intuition.

Newport’s “complete rejection” of the passion hypothesis is understandable given his worldview, but nonetheless premature. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Why Life is Cruel: A Spiritual Perspective

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

The soul’s journey is one of grace. The universe guides us and nurtures us, much like a loving parent.
But that parent knows the value of tough love. Oftentimes it leads us into places that lead to suffering, where that suffering can deepen our wisdom. And it is perfectly willing to allow us to make foolish choices which can lead to painful outcomes.

I have come to know this from personal experience, and from witnessing the lives of others.

Not that long ago I personally experienced this yet again in my life. I attended a teacher-training course run by Cambridge University, the CELTA course. This programme for teachers of English as a second language is well known for being very, very tough.

In fact, it was far tougher than any training I have ever done. All teachers were required to undergo eight trainer-evaluated lessons and submit four written assignments within the space of twenty days, not including weekends.

I received the evaluation of “unsatisfactory” for my second and third lessons. For the third lesson my evaluator gave me an unsatisfactory grade for ten of the twenty assessed criteria! This must have been close to a company record.

As you might imagine, I did not feel good about this. In fact for a few hours after receiving my feedback I felt quite depressed, and beat myself up. The possibility that I would fail the entire course was looking a distinct possibility. I wondered whether I should give up. I was certainly tempted to do so. But within a few hours I remembered why I had entered the course in the first place: to receive critical evaluation of my teaching, and use the feedback to become a better teacher.

I felt despondent, but resolved to keep going. Most of all I stopped beating myself up. I stopped taking it personally.

That night as I lay down to sleep I received two pieces of spiritual guidance. Often I hear songs being played to me in this state between waking and sleeping. To be honest, I don’t really know where the melodies come from, but it seems likely they are either initiated by spiritual guides or my higher self.

The first line to come to me was very simple: “Teacher, keep on teaching.” These words are from a Stevie Wonder song, “Higher Ground”. I knew that the words were encouragement for me to keep going. To keep teaching. I knew that I was making the right decision to continue the programme.

The second song that came through to my inner ear were from an old Nick Lowe song, and contained these lines:

Cruel to be kind, in the right measure
Cruel to be kind it’s a very good sign
Cruel to be kind means that I love you, baby
You gotta be cruel to be kind

The lyrics told me that even though the feedback that I was getting from my teacher-trainers was very, very critical, it was actually in my best interests. It was, in a sense, an act of love.

I knew then that I need not take the evaluations personally, but should see them as a means to improve as a teacher.

I returned to my lesson-preparations the next day with renewed vigour. For my next lesson I received excellent evaluations, and I passed all remaining five lessons, all remaining assignments and ultimately the course itself.

Best of all, I learned an incredible amount about teaching. And learning.

The truth is that life – and God if you prefer to use this word – is often like my experience on the CELTA teaching programme. Things may sometimes seem cruel or unkind. But all things are an opportunity to learn. All things inner and outer an opportunity to awaken from the dream of mind; from the delusion that it is “all about me”.

Trusting the cruel queen
Please allow me to share something else a little personal.

In between the two failed CELTA lessons – which were taught about four days apart – I had the following dream. I transcribe it here exactly as I wrote it down in my dream journal.

Two other students from the (CELTA) course are getting some kind of psychic reading from a female oracle. She towers before us like a giant statue, and seems to look somewhat like the virgin Mary, although her image in hazy. The oracle’s head has all the left side missing (her left), as if someone has taken a great knife and chopped the left side of her face off.

I am slightly frightened and overawed.

I think R. (another student on the course) is beside me to my right. He gets a reading first. There is a loaf of bread in front of him, and I know this represents the soul issue he is being shown.

Next, the oracle turns to me.

“You’ve been into the left-hand side of the sea.” She says to me. “If you are to ever have hope, you must deal with your anger.”

There is now a loaf of bread in front of me, round and brown, which seems to represent my anger. I say something like that the issue is old, but the oracle says, “No, it’s fresh.” I look again, and sure enough the loaf seems fresh-baked.

“Have you ever lost a finger?” the giant oracle says as she she reaches down with a sharp, metal, serrated-edged knife and begins to slice into the long finger on my right hand, just to mid-right of the tip (hand facing me). I do not know whether to trust her, scared she will cut off the finger. She seems almost flippant, with a callous kind of humour.

There then comes the idea that one has to trust the goddess in these situations, so I present the hand. The blade cuts into my finger, but stops just a short way into the flesh.

I am relieved.

I wake up.

In this dream the symbolism is clear. Sometimes God (or the goddess) will invite you into places that are frightening, which might be fearful or even trigger trauma and suffering. But there is an intention that through the experience you might be brought into deeper awareness of your soul issues, of the self-limiting beliefs and stories that you carry in your mind.

Although the meaning might not be apparent to you, for me the personal nature of the dream above was clear. In this dream my anger and blame was towards the world. The belief was that no matter what I did, I would fail, that the world would push me down. This is a victim narrative.

I might add that it is one of the most common soul issues amongst people in the world today.
The reference to going into the left-hand side of the sea was an oblique reference to allowing myself to become too caught up “in the head” and disconnecting with my body – including my deeper emotional body.

The term “the left-hand side of the sea” was an indirect reference to the left-hand side of my brain – and my developing an unbalanced cognitive predisposition which left me ungrounded and disconnected from my emotional and intuitive body.

The important thing is that no matter what your life circumstances, no matter what set of cards life has dealt you, you are still responsible for your anger and projections. God does not grant excuses. No matter how downtrodden you are (including your “people”), there is an opportunity to see through the story of the mind and into the clarity of the present moment. There is an opportunity to heal.

You just have to be prepared to own your story, assume responsibility for whatever pain lies behind it, and then release it all to God.

Never believe the story that your mind is trying to sell you. Never believe the story that your people are pleading with you to take on – no matter how morally vindicated you believe they are.

For that story is what locks you into the world of the past, into the world of pain.
And into the world of karma.

Marcus

A Great Wave Descends

I’ve been busy writing my new book The Coming Consciousness Revolution (edit: note it was previously called The Great Mind Shift). Below I’ve posted the introduction to the book (thus the title of this blog post), which covers some of the main themes, and tells you a little more about what is in the book. I’d be grateful for any feedback. Books don’t get written in an instant. They are a real work of art, and what you see below will probably change quite a lot before the book appears on the shelves. Any comments you make – positive or critical – will definitely be noted by me.

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

The Great Mind Shift: The revolution is coming by MarcusTanthony

Can We See Into the Future?

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Can we see into the future? This question was posed to me here on mind-futures.com recently, so today i am answering the question on The Five Minute Mystic. My answer is “Yes, we can sense the future”, and I also provide two simple and practical tools which will help you look into your own future.

Namaste,

Marcus