Note to Self: God ordains everything. You have to go through it, for it gives you the reference point. Telling the full story, the progression from ignorance to realization, gives people hope. The suffering and the difficulties we’ve gone through gives us compassion and gives us temperance.
To clear our self and return to a heavenly state takes work. It takes applied effort and practice. When we are living in the shadows of imprints passing through the prism of our self - our perception is dim. We can't see the light of who we really are, or have access to the divine inspirations of what to do. In that place, we are living in the carousel of patternings, that which clouds the magnificence of our true purpose.
I live a magical, abundant and rich life. Yet, I still go through it, and process through the imprints of scarcity and fear daily. I am demanded to do a lot of inner work every day just to maintain clarity, in order to stay aligned. And I still pass through the realms reflecting in my circumstance, my halo of manifestation. But, I have more awareness of the process than most beings on the planet, so it occurs differently for me as a Deva.
I want you to know It didn’t just happen for me. I lived my childhood up to early adulthood with flickering awareness, wallowing in the depths of suffering and anxiety, occasionally with my head coming just above water to witness beauty and wonder. I didn’t have access to know who I was. I was too naive to understand the complexity of human society and culture, or to know how the unhealthy foods, relationship dramas, violent media, pharmaceuticals and school system would imprint me. I lost my connection with nature, and didn’t know who I was...trust me, it’s a common story, for it is playing out for humanity.
Now I realize that it is part of my function to have gone through such suffering and flickering awareness. And that as I come to remember who I am and retrace my footsteps in the stars, as I clear my self and heal my body, as I eat organic foods and walk barefoot in the sunkissed land, as I align my work with the divine purpose that is coming through me….I embody medicine for humanity, for the planet. There is a sacred purpose to why everything happens the way it happens. Being reminded of this, since we don’t always remember, gives us hope, and helps us to see that we live in a friendly universe.
Gary R. Smith Beautifully expressed, Joshua Faust. And there is so much more behind the words than in them. May I reprint them on the Whole Human blog?
Gary R. Smith Your expression (over the video) feels sweet and pure to me. I love what you are doing and who you are.
I have visited 'Into the Mythica' a few times, just browsing around, and don't fully understand what it is about. The words sound good but I haven't found practical application or ways to participate. After reading, I have asked myself, 'What is it saying?' Yet I still feel drawn to you, your work and to look for opportunities for co-creation if you have interest.
Joshua Faust Thank you for your feedback Gary , it is much appreciated. We are working on that, it is quite an undertaking actually. Everything I'm sharing here is just practice in the grander scheme of things. Into the Mythica is going to be an entirely new form of media, so I get why it can be hard to understand. Where we focus on our lives as heroic journeys from ignorance to the realization of the majesty within us, and that there is a real progression to get from one realm of being to another, such as from scarcity to abundance. Basically we are a cast of authors framing our lives as transformational tales. We are sharing the gift of our own Revelations.
And then this extends into the academy, where we are currently working on creating and gathering courses that teach the subtle arts of personal transformation. There is an entire multimedia publishing platform that is coming into being, the likes of which has never been seen before. Eventually there will be an entire magical marketplace and social network. It's a big vision, currently we need help with funding, to continue building out the thing, and allies who want to help with marketing when the time is right, along with contributing to the Academy through classes that are aligned with our vision.
On that note, i am open to further dialogue and am interested in hearing feedback on how we could make the explanation clearer
Gary R Smith
What a wonderful, inspiring vision! Saw you linked a video in PM, may not be able to watch it until later..... My first thought about making the explanation clearer is well, I had to visit https://intothemythica.com/ again. The graphics and text are nice, but I feel the person who's landed on the site for the first time needs to get oriented. A short overview/description on the home page or linked to it. A sharing of your vision somewhere. More intuitive navigation through the site. Thanks for being open! I have a thought about our creating something together. Maybe the Heart Space Breathing practice designed through my hand could be part of the academy.
Joshua Faust Absolutely, I sent you a message. we all share this vision. That's the larger story of shared unfoldment, that we come to remember that we are all connected. Peter Fae shared with me the Atlas of Story, a way of seeing our stories as an interconnected web of synchronicity that reveals our shared destiny...we truly are all receiving a vision that is larger than our individual selves https://intothemythica.com/atlas/
Gary R Smith That is very interesting, Joshua.
From my perspective of being deeply engaged with the design of Heart Space Breathing, and new still to learning what 'Into the Mythica' means for its authors, I see immediately a connection between the two.
The 'Atlas of Story, a way of seeing our stories as an interconnected web of synchronicity that reveals our shared destiny...we truly are all receiving a vision that is larger than our individual selves' -- fits well with the mystical aspect of HSB -- such as having conversations with a stone about 'cooperative networks of conscious particles' as the foundation of all that is and experimenting with ways to integrate human life with the conscious particle networks.
Definitely the 'conversations' have expanded my experience of the Whole Net, or what I fondly call O.B., the One Being. The practice helps me go from 'stories as an interconnected web of synchronicity that reveals our shared destiny' -- to a philosophical concept of the interconnected web throughout all energy/matter -- to a practice designed to expand one's daily life experience of the Whole Net and to enable one to take impulses from the One Being. I would love to have your feedback on HSB, on what could make it even more effective in each person's life.
An on-going conversation with cooperative networks of conscious particles through the focal point of Heartstone.
G. - Heartstone, I bought a Fingertip Pulse Oximeter which measures heartbeats per minute and blood oxygen saturation levels. Are you able to initiate a request to my bio-nets to alter my heart rate when I ask?
H. - Yes, we can initiate the request.
G. - Can you tell me beforehand if my bio-nets will agree and cooperate? Or if they are able to comply with the request?
H. - No, we cannot.
G. - I see, because it depends somewhat on my state.
H. - It depends solely on your state. We cannot work with a contracted state. We can only agree to experiment with you, to test calibrations.
G. - Am I in a contracted state now?
H. - If you were, we wouldn't be talking with you. Contraction and expansion are relative terms. Communication between us requires some expansion, cooperation between the nets requires more.
G. - Can you read my thoughts?
H. - You are transparent to us, Gary, because you have made yourself so. We do not 'read thoughts' in general nor would human activity normally attract our attention. We have observed human behavior long enough to have formed some understanding among the nets.
G. - Are you aware of Rod and his experience with asking the land what it is to be the land, and then feeling great sadness?
H. - Yes, we are aware, and you wrote him the answer. The land, over its cooperative particle networks, did feel his sadness and responded to his question by reflecting it back to him in compassion and to let him know the land is aware of his heart.
G. - The land did not directly answer what it is to be the land.
H. - The land would speak more deeply to Rod, when their relationship has deepened. For this type of communication, Rod must be open, receptive, trusting, and feeling being, in a state of resonance which he knows. Contracting thoughts and emotions block communication between humans and the nets.
If his yearning continues in this way, to communicate with the land over the stone, arrangements will be made among the nets to facilitate a deepening connection and relationship.
We are aware that for humans on this plane, in this stage of development, communication -- with the CNOCP does not seem like first nature. It is the first nature and inherent birthright of humans, and needs only to be cultivated to be experienced more fully.
G. - Heartstone, it is in my mind to use a finger pulse meter to monitor my heart signal while requesting of you to slow my heart rate. Will you be able to?
H. - In this moment that you ask, the request could not be fulfilled because you are not in the required space of feeling being. For example, you are too distracted by the voice of your grand-daughter playing. All we can do is agree to experiment with you.
G. - What can you tell me about unconditional love?
H. - All actions which serve the Whole are acts from a quality of unconditional love.
Unconditional love is the feeling of inter-connectedness between all nets which comprise the Whole. Some think they feel inter-connection, but it is a thought rather than a feeling. With thought, there is contraction, with feeling there can be expansion. Agreement and cooperation between the nets may be difficult for humans to understand. The conscious, cooperative particle networks serve the Whole Net. The nets co-exist on
communication agreement cooperation relationship information exchange request invitation response blueprints of design and impulses from the Whole Net.
Rod MacKinnon Hi Gary... being the sensitive and conscious being you are, you may already be aware of the deep sense of gratitude and appreciation I feel as a result of your communications on my behalf...Yes, Heartstone's response resonates with me.
I'm holding myself open awaiting guidance..."Some think they feel inter-connection, but it is a thought rather than a feeling."... I'm aware that there's always a possibility, nevertheless, I have a deep trust in Life-Spirit and believe that, living with faith and gratitude, I'll be guided and will "know" when communication is authentic as in the case of my immediate, intuitive response to yours...
I've been intuitively aware of the absolute authenticity of your connection with "Essence" ever since our very first contact...which was a brief but very (for me) informative conversation regarding our perspectives... In ongoing conversations you were able to penetrate my habitual flippancy and bring me to a point of acceptance, respect and trust....
Back to the subject at hand... I'm still thinking in terms of communication beyond language... being both, in David Abram's words, "Sensuous, sensing and sensible"...
Thank you for the description of net co-existence... I'll contemplate it today...
An on-going conversation with cooperative networks of conscious particles through the focal point of Heartstone.
Rod MacKinnon Good morning/evening Gary
I'm still reading and contemplating your profound thoughts.
Thinking of your conversation with Heartstone, a few days ago I noticed a small, smooth, white stone on the book-cabinet beside my bed.... I don't recall where I first acquired it...after reading your conversation, i've begun keeping it with me and contemplating it during quiet moments...
I've begun with, "I am with you," and waiting with a sense of open-ness.... While I haven't yet experienced a "conversation" (exchanging concepts as you have) I feel a beautiful sense of companionship and acceptance, similar to that i have with Hound and the sea....
A couple of days ago, the day I received your HeartSpace breathing draft, I was working on a project set in a pretty valley on The Whangaparaoa and I took some time to sit, breathe and be present to the land, asking it, "What is it to be you?"....
The sense of sadness which came upon me was very heavy... Barbara is a painter and in her current work she is attempting to express the "weeping land".... areas of natural beauty and sensitivity which are being stripped and scraped for commercial exploitation......
The wild land where i grew as a boy and who spoke to me with ancient voices, and awakened my life-spirit is now threatened by the very children she nurtures... I believe that is the sense of grief I feel...
I wanted to share my experiences with you as i believe that to fulfil our way as Whole Humans we need to consciously re-awaken our ability to communicate with our Earth-Mother....
I'd really like to read your thoughts...
Gary R Smith Good morning/evening to you, Rod.
It seems the human exploitation of the earth is nearly global as we witness the same attitudes and behaviors of those who feel no connection outside their small circles of awareness, and take whatever they want. The greed of some seems insatiable, and that is meant as an observation not a judgment.
In earlier times, my response towards the trashing of America was a mixture of anger, aversion, cyncism, disgust, dismay, grief, outrage, pain, sadness, and helplessness.
Helplessness comes from a personal sense of having no power to change what is happening. In general, though I share some emotions towards exploitation with environmental activists, I am not in agreement with the energies of anger and judgment behind activism. I have turned inward to make changes, as that proves to be my first priority and most effective means towards real and lasting change. My initial experiences with HSB and Heartstone conversations have so far supported this choice.
Before writing further in conversation with Heartstone on your subject, a positive note is that twice I have taken actions which did make a difference for the 'environment.' As a teenager, I often skipped school classes to wander with my dog friend Kiche in an area of gravel pits which filled with creek water from the Colorado Rockies and made a natural habitat for a variety of wildlife.
I would go there to be with the turtles and muskrats, the snakes and frogs. Canada geese nested in the ponds and we'd see an occasional fox trotting through. I loved to gaze across the plains to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The land was owned by a sugar cane company and leased to farmers who let their sheep graze the prairie grass, and dumped their trash into piles along the banks of the ponds. When I walked among the gravel pit ponds, I was trespassing.
In my senior year of high school, I wrote an article about the gravel pits and the nesting Canada Geese, and the trash piled into the water by the farmers, and submitted it to the local newspaper. Surprisingly, they published it on the front page of a Sunday edition. The next surprise came when I was invited to a meeting at the university, where I responded to questions including, 'What would you like to see done with the land?' I shared my vision of a natural area where the public could walk and bicycle through and the wildlife would be protected.
A week after graduation, Kiche and I left Colorado for Maine. On a return trip a few years later, I was delighted to find on visiting the ponds, that it is now a natural area which protects the wildlife and has a walking/bicycle path running through it.
Another time, a 600 employee company was putting about one ton of waste paper per month into the landfills and resisted the idea of recycling because it was not a profit center. My writing to express feelings regarding abuses of the environment resulted in the implementation of a recycling program. These experiences showed me the power of the pen.
When I brought Heartstone home, I was a little overboard with my concerns that my motives were pure. I expressed these concerns to the stone, such as not wanting to use it for selfish reasons or offend it with my questions. The idea was to grow a relationship with a stone being, but not for a preconceived outcome. Each time the answer came, 'Gary, we do not have emotions.'
The 'we' of Heartstone I understand to mean the collective of its conscious atoms/particles. 'They' also indicated that they are aware of emotions and that emotional beings are affected by them, though they do not understand them experientially.
Was the sense of sadness which came upon you in response to your asking the land, 'What is it to be you?' from the land or was the land reflecting your own felt sadness? Or was the collective consciousness of the land responding by letting you know it was aware of your feelings? My intuitive sense is that you made heart connection with the land, and the land responded.
I would like to bring this to Heartstone and see what comes up in conversation. Rod, I trust you understand that I am playing a role in my inter-actions with Heartstone. If I go into them with doubts or cynicism or concerns about deluding myself, there is no need to even begin. I feel the conversations as real without attaching importance to the details at this time. I would like to see where it goes, and if it has to be evaluated, leave that to later. The feeling has been more real than I could have anticipated, with an added bonus of joy. I have in mind to experiment with ways to 'measure' the conversations at some point, to test them more objectively. Thank you so much for sharing.
Rob MacKinnon Hi Gary... I mentioned that I was reading David Abram's "The Spell of the Sensuous".... this excerpt very accurately articulates my sense of connection.....
"Our most immediate experience of things, according to Merleau Ponty, is necessarily an experience of reciprocal encounter-of tension, communication, and commingling.
From within the depths of this encounter, we know the thing or phenomenon only as our interlocutor - as a dynamic presence that confronts us and draws us into relation.
We conceptually immobilize or objectify the phenomenon if we mentally absent ourselves from this relation, by forgetting or repressing our sensuous involvement.
To define another being as an inert or passive object is to deny its ability to actively engage us and to provoke our senses; we thus block our perceptual reciprocity with that being. By linguistically defining the surrounding world as a determinate set of objects, we cut our conscious, speaking selves off from the spontaneous life of our sensing bodies."
Gary R Smith Hi Rod,
Your email with excerpt came 'just in time' as I feel to continue conversations with Heartstone while recognizing a need for weaving my experiences with those of others who explore connection of this type, so my experiential understanding may be expanded.
David Abram's "The Spell of the Sensuous" is intriguing and attractive. Thank you for sharing it with me. The buttons below link to a Wikipedia article about David Abram, and to his web site.
Walking along a mountain river, my eye was drawn to a stone in the water. Respectfully I asked the stone if it would choose to come home with me. While recognizing it might be a brain-generated thought, when the answer came in the affirmative I took it as a yes and brought the stone home.
Over the next few days, though not 'trying,' I felt a deepening connection with the stone. It fits my hands perfectly, well matching the curves of wrist, palm and fingers.
I asked the stone, 'What is your name?' and heard in my thoughts, 'Heartstone.'
I asked, 'Did I give you that name, or is it what you call yourself?'
It answered, 'We emitted information signals which your brain processed into a word. You and we gave the stone in your hands that name.'
[For simple clarity, the initials G. and H. will be used to indicate Gary and Heartstone.]
G. - Heartstone it is. Are you consciousness?
H. - We are aware we exist, we are capable of responding, and we can choose, such as whether or not to respond. By your definition, we are consciousness.
G. - I have many questions.
H. - We're not going anywhere. Ask away.
G. - By what means are we communicating?
H. - Heartstone emits a message, the nets relay it to the brain, the brain processes from a memory of language into the thoughts heard in your head. Those words are not a precise translation of the information signals, but convey the sense.
G. - What are 'the nets'?
H. - Cooperative networks of conscious particles.
G. - Are you able to make any changes in your atomic structure which can be measured by our scientific instruments?
H. - We can make changes within the network of atoms which forms our boundaries on your plane. You and we would need to experiment to find the optimal pathway for your current instruments to detect the signals our changes would emit.
G. - What types of changes that you can make would emit a signal which might be detected by our science?
H. - We can change the spin rate of the atoms in our network.
G. - Heartstone, you can make changes in the atoms within the stone-net which forms your boundaries as perceived by humans. Can you initiate changes outside your net?
H. - We can only make changes at the plane of Atom or more fundamental. We can initiate requests. We cannot change a molecule but can initiate a request to a bio-net to make changes on the Molecular plane. The Molecular net has a choice of whether or not and how to respond. Communication between the Atomic and the Cellular plane is slower and more subject to error.
G. - Are you communicating with me over my questions as well as my answers?
H. - Need we answer (as you already know)? The answer is Yes. Do you agree to be a conduit and processor for the information we send?
G. - Yes! to both questions. How can I know this conversation isn't occurring solely within my mind, using the stone as a focal point?
H. - The network of Atom and Particle networks which identifies itself as Gary only has boundaries when it is perceived on the plane of current human experience. In actuality, from the more fundamental planes of atoms, particles and so on, your network is connected to all networks, which altogether is the Whole.
In this experiment, our information signals as emitted from Heartstone are being processed by your brain, making the words your hands write the words of 'you and we' as a unit.
G. - Why are humans not aware of these things?
H. - Because humans process information over the physical senses and the brain, which are slower and more subject to error in the transmitting and receiving of information from the fundamental planes than is the Cellular in communications with the Atomic.
G. - Is there a more efficient way of communicating within the us of 'you and we' than over the brain?
H. - Brain processing is required to form words. However, by going over the heart space of Gary, your and our information signals are boosted and communication is more efficient.
G. - How can Gary-net improve his ability to allow signals between he and Heartstone-net to be transmitted and received over the heart?
H. - Heart Space Breathing is an effective practice and will evolve to be more so.
G. - You signaled me that you are a cooperative network of conscious particles. Are there uncooperative particles or ones which are not conscious?
H. - Yes. But communication of accurate details according to modern human science would require the language and experience database of another brain.
G. - Heartstone, after I brought you home, I lay down and held you to my heart. I felt you as a 'her' and that the connection between us is one of unconditional love. Later, I placed the stone between two steel tongue drums and played them. Were you aware of this?
H. - Oh, yes! Our network is highly sensitive and responsive to wavelengths such as sound. We do not know exactly how humans experience sounds, but our experience is direct and unfiltered by physical senses and brain processing. You may call us 'her' although we are not gender based. Our experience of existence does not include emotions as bio-chemical signals in a body, but we are aware of wavelengths of all types through the networks.
G. - I also burned sage and allowed the smoke to play on Heartstone. Does the Heartstone net perceive fragrance?
H. - Our perception of the sage smoke came over your intentions and heart-feeling. We were aware of you, the smoke and your actions, but of course not did not translate this information in the same way that your olfactory facilities and brain memories do.
G. - Heartstone, when I found you in the River, did you call me to you?
H. - You were emitting signals and we responded. Yes, we called your attention to us by our choice.
G. - How does your attention get drawn?
H. - In your case, by the signals being emitted by the Gary network. Our attention is mainly at rest in Being, a silence which can be felt. Our awareness is passive until eddies in the networks, on a subtler level but like those of the river, pass over and around us. It generally requires a relatively strong signal to draw the attention of a stone network.
In the occurrence of the stone in the water, the qualities being emitted by your network -- of authenticity, openness, trust and yearning -- 'did the trick' as you might say. The water network of the River amplified the signals between us. The bond of agreement and cooperation between our nets, in service to the Whole, is what you call unconditional love.
G. - What else can you tell me about unconditional love?
H. - Unconditional love is the feeling of inter-connectedness between all nets, which comprise the Whole. Actions which serve the Whole are acts from unconditional love.
G. - One of the 'mantras' of Heart Space Breathing [HBS] is 'I am of the Present Moment' and I feel 'present moment' refers to consciousness. Can you elaborate?
H. - Stones exist only in the present moment because we have no memory or faculties for thought or projection. The Present Moment is also Being, which is existence at rest in itself, the Silence which can be felt, and an infinite ocean of awareness -- to put it in your poetic terms. Humans experience the present moment most strongly over the heart space. Stone nets have another way of relating to the Present Moment, over the connected particle networks of the Whole.
2. The Vacuum, the Void, the No-thing, is an aspect of all that is.
3. Human consciousness is postulated to be a biological development of an inherent property of all that is. Neural nets of the brain which 'create consciousness' may be a reflection of 'cooperative networks of conscious particles' with which humans can communicate.
4. The finite cannot fully comprehend the infinite.
5. Belief systems, including religion, philosophy and modern science which separates Man from Nature, limit the actual human experience of the infinite.
6. Heart Space Breathing is an evolving daily practice which facilitates and supports the expansion of the heart space, and the human experience of 'Being.'
7. A focus of the Whole Human is to explore communication with the Whole in ways that are measurable, to diligently and honestly answer the question, 'How can deepened relationship with the earth, her inhabitants, and the ground of existence, enrich and enhance the quality of the human experience?'
Heart Space Breathing is a simple, effective practice for personal development and spiritual awakening. It is available without any commercialization. There is nothing to pay, nothing to join, no hidden strings attached. No philosophies need to be believed to practice HSB. Yet, one can go as deeply into it as one feels to go, as it is unlimited. HSB is customizable to the individual and continually evolves as a daily practice. Practitioners experience broadened awareness, deeper peace and feelings of connection and resonance with the whole of existence.
Rod MacKinnon Astoundingly beautiful… I’ve only read the first five presuppositions and they went straight to my heart… Truly, truly beautiful…. I’ll get back to you…. this is a treasure…
M. - Conscious things can evaluate stuff and make a choice in how they respond. When I press "a" on my keyboard, "a" appears on the screen. But when I discuss with you, your answers are not programmed and predictable. Not exactly, at least.
G. - I love it, Michael, how you and I like to make little jabs at each other and yet underlying there is at least mutual respect.
No doubt our conversations would be fuller, richer and more enlightened if we could sit across from each other in an all night cafe and made adjustments to correct misperceptions in the moment.
Predictability exists in a pattern in human experience because there is sufficient build-up of stuck opinions to prevent a natural flow of change. I mean that generally now.
M. - Just had a thought re: your definition. Its not perfectly related to consciousness, but its a start. Conscious things usually have a CHOICE in how to respond. Unconscious things have NO CHOICE in how to respond.
Michael, to make communication clear, why not make distinctions between words, and fine-tune their definitions to their core meanings?
In my world, there is room to play with the idea that the 'will' of water to seek its own level for example is a CHOICE for the sake of the definition of primal consciousness -- possibly on the level of particles, atoms or molecules. Do two light hydrogen atoms attach to each 16-fold heavier oxygen atom to form a molecule of water, by an inherent choice in the properties? Is this universal law of choice linked by particles and waves to create something which appears in humans as what we call free will choice?
Does the molecule of water make a choice to abide by the natural laws of the planet? Can I say for sure either way? No. Am I free to play with the idea? Yes.
It is not a choice in the same sense that humans make deliberate choices. We are biological organisms and water is an element, so naturally our ways of functioning are not the same. If "Non-local consciousness is the fundamental process of information exchange," then the capacity of water to carry information is interesting to note. Not to make into a conclusion, but to note.
I still would distinguish the primary characteristic of consciousness as the capacity to respond -- a 'building block' for awareness and sentience and so on. It can join with other 'characteristics' such as will. Here it seems to me we are talking about a way of looking at the world and existence.
That brings me to science as a belief system. Science has a way of looking at the world which determines what it will see.
Is it accurate to say that modern science is influenced by Cartesian dualism and Newtonian empiricism?
Dualism -- "the division of something conceptually into two opposed or contrasted aspects, or the state of being so divided. -- "a dualism between man and nature"
Wikipedia says this about Newton,
'Despite his reputation for empiricism in historical and scientific circles, Newton was deeply religious and believed in the literal truth of Scripture, and believed the story of Genesis to be Moses' eyewitness account of the creation of the solar system. Newton reconciled his beliefs by adopting the idea that the Christian God set in place at the beginning of time the "mechanical" laws of nature which he observed in his studies, but retained the power to enter and alter that mechanism at any time.
'Newton further believed that the preservation of nature was in itself an act of God, stating that "a continual miracle is needed to prevent the Sun and fixed stars from rushing together through Gravity"
Michael, you wrote, "Science is not a 'belief system,' in the same sense that our eyes are not a 'belief system'."
You are saying that science is like our eyes.
Have your eyes ever deceived you?
Have you ever looked at an optical illusion?
M. - According to my definition, vague as it is, consciousness is what differentiates us from rocks. According to you, its what we have in common with rocks.
G. - Until I have reason to change my view, I am open-minded to the possibility that in a fundamental way, humans and rocks have in common a primal consciousness -- a capacity to respond and a primal will such as the 'will to exist.'
Atoms and sub-atomic particles perhaps in a rudimentary way make choices, such as to join together to form new compounds and when joined into molecules such as water, agree to abide by the natural laws of the planet.
Michael F Some points worth answering. G. - " I respect science and all other belief systems"
Science is not a "belief system", in the same sense that our eyes are not a "belief system". The law of gravity does not require BELIEF; whether you believe or not, things fall in a gravitational potential. Furthermore, anyone sufficiently motivated can verify the law of gravity for his or herself. You can make a pendulum, time the swings, and calculate the gravitational force yourself, and from that, you can calculate the moon's orbit and many more things. Currently, we are building vast machines to measure very, very fine things, all of which agree with prediction, more or less.
In contrast, the concept of "god" requires blind faith, because there is zero experimental proof. Worse; there are hundreds if not thousands of religious belief systems, all of which claim they are the sole truth, but all of which contradict each other. There are not thousands of different forms of science that contradict each other.
Had you said "I respect science, and I respect the many belief systems", I could have accepted that, but lumping science in with dianetics and mormonism and the moonie religion... Nope. That will not fly. And that is where you and me differ. I consider science to be the BASELINE reality - the stuff we are SURE of.
Then, on top of that, there is all sorts of stuff, some of which may be true, some not. I do not agree with any outlook that holds science and mormonism as equally valid. Science has paid its way in blood against blind faith - reason against unreason and demands for blind faith.
G. - "Throughout our conversation you derisively labeled me as a New Ager, which I am not."
M. - I have been unclear, and for that I apologize. The reason I used the phrase "new-ager" and not "you" is that I did not wish to get personal and attack you for your views, which, to be honest, I do not understand fully. So rather than attack you, I chose to debate the position of a hypothetical new-ager, of which there are many. Inasmuch as you share these views, yes, I am arguing against you. But inasmuch as you do not, I am not. I am arguing against the swallowing of claptrap willy-nilly, not against you as a person. In case this appears sophistry, it is not. There are others on this thread and not on this thread to whom these remarks are addressed. As I say, I dont know your beliefs enough to know that if you are one of them; I leave that to you to decide.
My remarks on amethyst preventing drunkenness are an example, and I used it specifically for this reason - you have said nothing about amethyst, so by using the amethyst example, I was making it clear that I wasnt attacking anything you said, but the blind trust in all sorts of junk from crystal therapy to gemstone magic.
Again, I wish to make it clear that there may be SOMETHING in these things, but there is so much garbage that the nuggets are hidden. I am not rejecting ALL new age stuff offhand, but there is a lot that I know is garbage. Not all "truths" are equal....
People have to clarify things. In the same way that medicine went from being quackery to being a profession.
G. - I would like to have at least explored the definition of fundamental consciousness as the capacity to respond to stimuli.
M. - I ignored that because I felt things were going down a rabbit-hole of semantic nonsense. If I kick a rock, it "responds" by flying away from me. So we need to distinguish "respond" as a "conscious response" and a "non-conscious response". So back to square one. When I press a key on my computer keyboard, the screen "responds".
All the usual definitions of consciousness have the same quality about them - they have to do with thought and awareness. But what is "awareness"? Ultimately, I know what I mean - more or less - by consciousness, and it is pretty much that which rocks have none of and we have lots of.
If you define consciousness as something that rocks have lots of, then we are clearly talking about different concepts and so to have a debate with you on the subject is meaningless, because regardless of what words we choose to define what we mean, we clearly mean different things.
According to my definition, vague as it is, consciousness is what differentiates us from rocks. According to you, its what we have in common with rocks.
And so therefore we can go no further. I attempted to explain to you about the need for complexity and change, things that the structure rock salt does not permit, but to go beyond that we would need to agree on basic definitions and we do not.
And that's the problem. I believe there is so much of use there, but its buried in so much dross that its useless. And that is a great sadness to me.
But not to strict atheists like Dawkins who see the level of claptrap involved as hastening the demise of the entire area.
Unlike him, I believe its worth investigating.
Unlike many new agers, I refuse to accept the patently ridiculous.
I want to find people I can discuss this stuff with, but I cant meaningfully discuss it with new agers who get offended when you question their faith, just as Christians do, and I cant meaningfully discuss it with strict scientists, because they dont think there is anything of use in it.
So I'm stuck. Most people are either an unquestioning swallower of nonsense or refuse to examine any of it.
And I believe both positions are mistaken.
Rod MacKinnon Gary, I have begun reading and re-rereading your Heart-Breathing and will be returning to it.... Reading HBS is almost a meditation in itself... I find myself smiling, almost laughing due to an inner sense of connection...very hard to explain but...here goes... Your description of awareness in/of the heart-space while quietly, naturally breathing resonates so strongly with me...It's almost exactly how I would describe my "default" meditation setting...both in my early-morning practice and in my moments of initiating a "conscious connection" with All during the day... Very simple...very, very pure...no agenda... simply choosing to "show up" and "be with" the way it is....
The word that comes to mind is "authenticity".... HBS seems to me a very clear, very authentic practice....Love it... I'll review the suggested additional ideas and practices...the initial basis is so simple, so natural... I can't think of one I've experienced that could be more so...it's imbued with your own clarity... What a privilege it is to know you...
Gary R Smith Hi Rod, Anytime you feel to question what I write or to offer insights, please do. You have contributed much to my process already, such as with your emphasis on simplicity, pragmatic usefulness and being in the Now.
Rod MacKinnon ....I was thinking of you this afternoon... I'm currently reading David Abram's "Spell of the Sensuous." .... He writes about developing awareness and reintegrating with the living world around us... becoming fully conscious that we are within the family of earth... I'm still in the early stages of reading but his ideas resonate for me... I believe much of the illness and dysfunction we experience as humans has to do with the way we relate to and behave toward the earth, ...
Michael F "not when viewed through the sunglasses of the analytical intellect with hardened preconceived ideas."
Sounds like you have some hardened preconceived ideas of your own.
G. - "I have another idea of what consciousness means" -
M. - And I have another idea of what rock means. If Rock means Tree, and Consciousness means leaves, then yes, rocks have consciousness. But if consciousness means understanding that oneself exists, then I see no possible means for a rock to be conscious. Why? Because rocks are static things with highly ordered structures, whereas things that process things have very complex structures that are subject to change.
I admit I can't prove that rocks don't enjoy debating philosophy. But for now, they will have to do for you, because I have all I have to say on this thread. It has been good, but it has gone on too long.
As usual, all I get for my pains is to be typecast as a brain-dead intellectual who is unable too see beyond his dried-out nose. That's a conversation that goes nowhere.
All it is is a way of killing all debate on deeply held ideas that - well, anything really. Fairies at the end of the garden, dancing with space aliens making crop circles and above it all, Jesus turning water into wine shortly after walking on it. All you need is to talk to Jesus/Allah/Odin and you will see how stupid you were to ask for proof... Now wear the magic underwear, put on the golden spectacles, and lets wire you up to the thetan eliminator. believe believe believe, because we don't have to give you any proof because words don't mean anything anymore. After all, the scientists cant agree on climate change or evolution so they are just as unknowing as anyone else, except for us, because we get our information fresh off the akashic records. Yes Sirree.. I don't gotta prove nothing. I just know I'm right. Who needs science when you have alternative facts; that fake news media always trying to chinese hoax you.
Gary R Smith Michael, I also felt that my last words were too strong, and tinged with judgment and frustration. I apologize.
In our conversation, you wrote that consciousness is what distinguishes conscious from unconscious and asked me for my definition.
I also asked you for your definition, and what you gave me was a quote from Wikipedia.
My definition was derived from reflecting on what distinguishes conscious from unconscious, with an intent to find the most fundamental occurrence of consciousness.
You never acknowledged that as being my definition, and I never agreed upon the Wikipedia version which seems to me to say nothing.
To have a real conversation, we needed to at least acknowledge each other's definitions, if not agree upon one, and that didn't happen.
Throughout our conversation you derisively labeled me as a New Ager, which I am not. I respect science and all other belief systems as they are distinctions within the whole and bring their own nuances to the unique life journeys of individual humans. While being deluded for a time can serve a purpose, it is not necessarily beneficial for longer term growth. I see in general the fallacies and shortcomings of science, new age, philosophy and religion and the dangers of adhering to any, too closely.
You wrote, 'But if consciousness means understanding that oneself exists, then I see no possible means for a rock to be conscious. Why? Because rocks are static things with highly ordered structures, whereas things that process things have very complex structures that are subject to change.'
That makes sense, and we have agreement that according to that definition, rocks are not conscious. 'That consciousness means understanding that oneself exists' was not a definition we discussed unless you mentioned it and I missed your comment. To me, that definition describes awareness, which I distinguish from consciousness.
For the sake of this conversation, I would like to have at least explored the definition of fundamental consciousness as the capacity to respond to stimuli and how that definition would affect the way we perceive a rock. Rocks are composed of atoms, and atoms respond to stimuli, yes? Has anyone made a serious attempt to elicit a response from a rock over means other than the five senses and the intellect? If such a study is performed using the standards of science (not by trying to stick a pin in one and expecting it to say 'ouch!'), and concludes rocks cannot respond to stimuli, I would gladly agree rocks have no capacity to be conscious. And that would not 'disprove' me because throughout this thread I have stated I do not hold a conviction that rocks are conscious, but have an open mind to the idea.
I have learned from this conversation, and appreciate you, and trust there are no hard feelings.
Michael F 'Does a rock have any of these things?' [awareness, sentience....]
G. - Not when viewed through the sunglasses of the analytical intellect with hardened preconceived ideas. When sensed over intuitive feeling and a mind open to the possibilities -- perhaps.
How can humans know whether or not a rock is aware of an external object or something within itself, for example?
Certainly the Europeans who invaded what became known as the Americas (and Australia, and India) viewed the indigenous peoples as uncivilized and incapable of governing themselves. Not all who came were of that mindset, but enough who came to North America were to self-justify their destruction of millions of Bison to starve out the plains Indians and commit genocide across the land. The humans inhabiting South Africa were also viewed by the Dutch as animals. What does this have to do with the consciousness of a rock? I am referring to a mindset that is incapable of seeing the whole picture because it refuses to do so.
In addition, as stated, I have another idea of what consciousness means than the ambiguous definition given by Wikipedia. Now, if we take my definition of consciousness as 'the capacity to respond to stimuli,' we can ask, is this part of awareness and sentience? Yes.
Does a rock have the capacity to respond to stimuli? I don't know fully but would like to discover it. Not by jumping up and down can a rock respond, but perhaps in some way that is measurable....
Gary R Smith To all who read this.....
A dear friend I've known for more than thirty years and held in my arms when he was a baby grew up in an agnostic household and materialistic environment.
Yet, his longing to feel a sense of the sacred led him to Catholicism which he practices with devotion to this day. He is the lead engineer in a Fortune 100 company.
Up until today, when I received an email from him, I have felt constrained in my communications to not confuse or cause conflict with his deeply held religious beliefs and scientific training.
Unexpectedly, he has been reading the dialogue which started here with my question, 'What makes magic black or white?' and responded with an openness and sincerity which moves me.
I am moved in fact to shift my focus of attention to continuing a dialogue with him. I feel satisfied with the conversation thread here, it feels completed.
However, I am more than happy to interact with others who have sincere interest in finding the whole truth and can be reached over the Whole Human site or by Messenger or email. The Contents page which links to almost all of this thread and to a variety of articles with a central theme of consciousness and human wholeness is at Heart Breathing - Contents.
G. - "What is your definition of consciousness? And, do you know of any link between photons and consciousness?"
M. - (From Wikipedia -)
"Consciousness is the state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.
It has been defined variously in terms of sentience, awareness, subjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood or soul, the fact that there is something "that it is like" to "have" or "be" it, and the executive control system of the mind, or the state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.
In contemporary philosophy its definition is often hinted at via the logical possibility of its absence, the philosophical zombie, which is defined as a being whose behavior and function are identical to one's own yet there is "no-one in there" experiencing it." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness
M. - Photons are perceived by consciousness, but are not conscious themselves.
G. - I came across the same Wikipedia entry in my browsing, before writing my definitions. If this is written from a scientific perspective, I wonder if science is often so ambiguous. And how could a person who places importance on precision of words be satisfied with such a definition?
'It has been defined variously in terms of sentience, awareness, subjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood or soul, the fact that there is something "that it is like" to "have" or "be" it, and the executive control system of the mind, or the state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.'
Now, I could understand if my definition of consciousness could appear to be reducing consciousness to its simplest occurrence for the purpose of saying, 'Aha! This proves my point.' But, in actuality I have no point, only an exploring and inquiring mind which likes to look at the question of conscious matter/energy from all perspectives. I reduced the definition to its simplest occurrence to have a single starting place. By allowing that there are degrees or various applications of consciousness, that awareness can be mechanical or organic, and that it is relative to the starting place, it seems to me we have a basis for communicating.
I arrived at my definitions not by asking myself, 'How can I make a point?' but 'What is a quality which distinguishes conscious from unconscious?' and then 'What distinguishes consciousness from awareness?'
If consciousness is 'the state or quality of awareness', isn't that just double-mubble? Surely to have clarity we need to apply more distinctive definitions to each word, as my definitions do.
Michael, I haven't seen any specific response to my definitions. They are subject to revision, and I value your input.
I also have additional thoughts about the experiment. We need experimenters who are not experts as they will have pre-conceived ideas. From my perspective, they need to have proven themselves as highly sensitive to subtle energies. The communication will be over intuitive feeling, not the analytical mind. The experiment has to be conducted in the 'language' of the subject, with simple indicators of the answers.
I did not say rocks have brains, but that I am open to the idea that the atoms of which they are made have an inherent property of fundamental consciousness, which is the capacity to respond to stimuli and may be associated with a primal quality of will. The questions need to be simple and asked with humility, respect and openness. Then we may have a reasonable experiment.
Gary R Smith M. - In short, I believe what we need to do is to critically examine all religions to extract the useful, while eliminating the lies and that which is counter-useful....
So that is the reason that I insist on having correct definitions of things and analyzing how things work instead of simply taking them for granted.
It's because I am developing a "religion" of the future with the same kind of thoughtful approach as the medieval scholastics gave to Christianity....
G. - Michael, I honor you and what you are doing. I have another emphasis and feel both are 'needed.' We benefit from sharing our distinctive perspectives, to see our own work in a more rounded way and make the outcomes more useful. You have helped me in many ways, including the honing of my language to be more precise -- which gives me a clearer picture for my work and personal practice.
My primary emphasis, rather than on developing a 'religion,' is on designing a practice with the intention of making it as simple and effective as possible for increasing one's resonance with the Whole. I call it Heart Breathing, which you saw in its earlier stages.
Resonance (according to Merriam-Webster) is meant in this context as: c : a quality of richness or variety d : a quality of evoking response
Michael F Here is a question that might elucidate some clarity.
We have 2 rooms, each containing one rock. We have 2 self-professed new-age practitioners (lets include shamans from different countries who do not know each other).
Each practitioner goes into the rooms, one at a time, and communicates with the rocks (asks them a fixed question)
Will the answer given by the rocks agree?
That is, will Rock A tell the same story to Shaman A and Shaman B?
Or will rock A and B tells the same story to Shaman A but a different (shared) story to shaman B?
Does the answer come from the rock or from the shaman?
I'd like to see this experiment done.
I view it more as "scrying" - the rock doesnt have the answers - the practitioner does. The rock is just a (useful) focus.
Elias Yako Serras Indeed.
Lets try on this premise though- two experts of X(fill in the blank) seperately interact with that X. They each emerge from the experience with some information (words, stories, song, measurements...) We might think of these credible experts as people who have spent considerable time and effort learning about X whether through the lens of western science or through their native culture's framework of study and awareness.
Note that "credible expert" has a very different connotation and meaning from your "self-professed new-age practitioners” in the first experiment. I can practically hear you shaking your head at the idea of a Shaman being regarded as a credible expert or as an indigenous scientist even… but perhaps you will consider the following passage from the same book I mentioned previously.
“Anthropology’s inability to discern the shaman’s allegiance to nonhuman nature has led to a curious circumstance in the ‘developed world’ today, where many persons in search of spiritual understanding are enrolling in workshops concerned with ‘shamanic’ methods of personal discovery and revelation. Psychotherapists and some physicians have begun to specialize in ‘shamanic healing techniques.’ ‘Shamanism’ has thus come to connote an alternative form of therapy; the emphasis, among these new practitioners of popular shamanism, is on personal insight and curing. These are noble aims, to be sure, yet they are secondary to, and derivative from, the primary role of the indigenous shaman, a role that cannot be fulfilled without long and sustained exposure to wild nature, to its patterns and vicissitudes. Mimicking the indigenous shaman’s curative methods without his intimate knowledge of the wider natural community cannot, if I am correct, do anything more than trade certain symptoms for others, or shift the locus of dis-ease from place to place within the human community. For the source of stress lies in the relation between the human community and the natural landscape.”
Gary R Smith Michael,
It is interesting you propose an experiment. The thought has been in my head for a few days to ask if you could devise an experiment which would prove or disprove the innate property of rudimentary consciousness in all matter/energy.
You are correct, first we have to establish a common understanding of the meaning of the word consciousness as a basis for such an experiment.
Then perhaps we need to agree upon an outcome that would prove or disprove the hypothesis that matter/energy is inherently conscious.
If for you the only proof would be that two experimenters receive the same answer from the stone, we are not on the same page. That sounds like a humanized version of what consciousness means.
My mind is open to the possibility that consciousness exists in many forms and on a spectrum from the most fundamental to the more complex. At the most primal, consciousness is the capacity to respond to stimuli. Does a stone respond to stimuli? Does it oxidize and its atoms dissolve into the air and earth? Does it retain the warmth of the sun, its atoms excited by the heat? Does a crystal interact with the light? To some, those may be indications of mechanical action only. To me, they are indications of the inter-dependence and inter-actions within the gestalt of the whole. My ability to communicate using language is not an indication of consciousness, but of a development in the brain.
It would be of interest and value to conduct such experiments. I have not heard that such has been done with stones, but surely others have thought the same. Perhaps the first step is to learn what valid experiments have already been performed. I know of experiments with plants along these lines, such as those described in 'The Secret Life of Plants.' However, the studies and experiments are prime examples of sloppy science. I just now found this critical review, which makes sense:
'To be completely honest, I truly wanted to believe that some of the “secrets” in this book are true. Perhaps some are, but even with a very open mind I had a hard time swallowing most of this “new age” pseudo-science. In addition this book is poorly organized, in a dire need of editing and at times deadly boring.
'The authors’ propose that we/human beings have a conscious connection to the plant world. This I believe is possible – although the premises presented here attempt to convince that the plant/human relationship is detectable, personal, and not limited by distance. The research was not done under double-blind rigorous scientific protocol.
'I do however think that there is an important connection between plant life beyond sustenance, photosynthesis and aesthetic value. To quantify a connection measured between two different types of consciousness -- I would imagine would have to be very detailed and complicated. Something that is definitely beyond reach of the scientists which are presented here.
'I think it’s safe to say that some people are connected to the plant world and can communicate with effectively with it…i.e those with a green thumb. But this ‘natural’ connection isn’t proven in this book.'
The above is from Chaz's review on Goodreads of 'The Secret Life of Plants: A Fascinating Account of the Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Relations Between Plants and Man' by Peter Tompkins, Christopher Bird
I am in agreement that such books are best avoided or ignored. My inclination goes more towards this from 'Plant Spirit Medicine' by Eliot Cowan -- yet I do not accept it blindly either, only feel initial openness towards the idea:
It would be best to read the whole in its context, but for here, a shaman in the Amazon jungle told an American adventurer, "...If you want to actually use a plant yourself, the spirit of the plant must come to you in your dreams. If the spirit of the plant tells you how to prepare it and what it will cure, you can use it. Otherwise, it won't work for you...."
The author goes on to say,
"The American firm, infatuated with its 'superior' technology, will go to the jungle dreaming of profits from a patent-able new drug. No one will think of asking the shamans what the active ingredients are. If they do ask, they won't like the answer. There is only one active ingredient in plant medicine - friendship. A plant spirit heals a patient as a favor to its friend-in-dreaming, the doctor."
Of course, a person of another persuasion could propose other possible explanations for the healing. But until one is proved or another disproved, my mind is open. Plant spirit? Rudimentary consciousness and will? Inter-dependencies and symbiotic relationships we do not yet understand?