consciousness – Perspectives & Possibilities

Tag: consciousness

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I–It, I–Thou, I–THIS

“We cannot avoid using power, cannot escape the compulsion to afflict the world, so let us, cautious in diction and mighty in contradiction, love powerfully.” —Martin Buber I first came across Martin Buber when I was in college. I had had no exposure to spiritual thinkers at the time. Buber, a Jewish philosopher best known for his philosophy of dialogue, was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature ten times and the Nobel Peace Prize Read More

(Left: Title: Shoes taken off of the Jews-Holocaust Museum | Author: rpavich | Source: rpavich | License: CC BY 2.0) (Right: Berlin Holocaust Memorial)

The Menace of Mendacity

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. —Albert Einstein There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. —Buddha Truth is not a trivial thing. Words matter. Being accurate requires curiosity, diligence, and rigor. I know that everyone has a different idea about what is truth. Much of the debate started when Pontius Pilate asked Read More

Title: Cnidaria, MultiView Light Sheet Microscopy (3 of 4) | Author: Helena Parra | Source: ZEISS Microscopy | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Evolution of Consciousness

My wife sometimes accuses me of selective engagement. She says I am much more open to conversation with people whom I find physically attractive, intellectually stimulating, emotionally responsive, or spiritually evolved.

Guilty as charged. As it turns out, the idea of selective engagement goes back 500 million years.

The Fragility of Freshness

“If you can’t smell the fragrance, don’t come into the garden of love.”  –Rumi “Let me not die while I am still alive.” –Hasidic prayer   Knowing when to cut your avocado is a tricky task. One day too early and the fruit inside is too hard. One day too late, and it turns brown and mushy. Finding optimal freshness is a challenge with fruit and with life. I hate it when my strawberries get Read More

Author: Insomnia Cured Here on Flickr | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tom-margie/3087375315

Gauging Gurus

As Lao Tzu suggests, “when a person crowns himself as a guru, he is not.”

We should always be able to ask and answer: At what level are the people we entrust with power operating? In this post, I share my guide to evaluating leaders, gurus, and practitioners.

"July 15, 2014," www.thezendiary.com

Reacting and Responding

People deserve to be understood.

Many people are suffering from crushing pain that they just can’t seem to beat.

How can we respond–without reacting?

Animal Locomotion; Eadweard J. Muybridge (American, born England, 1830 - 1904); 1887; Collotype; 17.8 x 39.4 cm (7 x 15 1/2 in.); 84.XM.628.49. Courtesy of The Getty Museum

Thinking about Thinking

My wife often asks me, “What were you thinking?!!!” My response is usually, “I have no idea!”

But thinking about the way we think is a crucial part of making our lives, and the world around us, better.

"Basalt Columns of Giant's Causeway" Credit: pictruer / 一元 马 | License: CC BY 2.0

Fast-Slow-Stop-Look-Listen

My nickname growing up was Rapid Rick. I always got things done quickly. Not always accurately or perfectly, but fast. After 70 years of taking pride in this reputation, I finally realized that slower is better. Ouch!

Yes, there were some advantages to my “now is good” approach to life…but now I wonder at what price.

Image from page 295 of "Bell telephone magazine" (1922) | Source: Internet Archive

Pain and Empathy

Pain may not be your friend, but it may be your partner. And pain may be the path to empathy.

www.thezendiary.com

Observation

When I look in the mirror these days I’m shocked that the old and withered face I see doesn’t reflect the way I think or feel. The image makes me acutely aware of how differently I’m viewed by people with whom I come into contact. Strangers see me as an old and irrelevant man – three steps from the nursing home. My friends know differently. And I feel more vital than I ever have in Read More

Title: Patterns of your past | Author: Aristocats-hat | Source: Flickr | License: CC BY-NC 2.0

Wishing and Willing

I am. I can. I wish. “I am” is being. “I can” is becoming. “I wish” is aspiring. Gurdjieff suggested that using these words could motivate us to tune into our higher selves. In his book, Life is Real Only Then, When “I Am”, Gurdjieff said these three impulses must arise and manifest themselves in an evolving person. These words are essential for “the entire sensing of the whole of oneself.” These words reflect the genuine “I” of a person who has reached responsible age.

“Modernism 2.0,” by Nick Stathopoulos http://www.nickstath.com

Timelessness and Transcendence

“This trip had dimension and tone. It was a thing whose boundaries seeped through itself and beyond into some time and space that was more than all the Gulf and more than all our lives.” -John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez We just returned from the Sea of Cortez on a trip with National Geographic to watch the whales migrate from the tip of Mexico to the Bering Strait. The beauty of Read More

Red Budlea | Author: Kevin Pulker | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Consciousness and Culture

“Love is the motive, but justice is the instrument.” —Reinhold Niebuhr I have had a lot of heroes in my life. There are, of course, the historically popular figures like Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Einstein, Churchill, and the Roosevelts (Teddy, FDR, and Eleanor). Add there are people currently living who make my list as well, like Nicholas Kristof, Gloria Steinem, and Barack Obama. As a result of some recent books Read More

Photograph of starry sky | Author: Michael Hull (License: CC0)

The Dance

“At the still point of the turning world, there the dance is—and there is only the dance. Yet the enchainment of past and future, woven in the weakness of the changing body, protects mankind from heaven and damnation which flesh cannot endure. Time past and time future—allow but a little consciousness.” –T.S. Elliot Lynnda Pallio vividly describes those wondrous still points in poetic prose in her multiple-award-winning new book, Trusting the Currents. Trusting the Currents Read More

"Stools," by Ai Weiwei | Photo Credit: Daniel Silliman

Stages and States

I just completed an on-line course through MindValley Institute entitled “Beyond Seeking” taught by Ken Wilber, whom I mentioned in my last post. The course triggered so many ideas that I wanted to filter them through my lens and write a post. So here it is. As the title of this post indicates, throughout our lives, we can experience many stages and many states. In my last post, Spiritual Awakening, I constructed scales for Wilber’s Read More

"Falling Leaves, Winter" by torbakhopper

Consciousness: Physics, Philosophy, and Possibilities

Since I am turning 70 today, I thought I would post a bold article on the possibilities and potential of expanded consciousness. Carl Jung once said, “In history, everything depends on consciousness.” There are, however, many conflicting views on consciousness, how it can be defined, and its relationship to the brain.

Title: Light | Author: Daniel Horacio Agostini

Harmonious Inclusion

I recently visited the Brooklyn Museum to see Judith Scott’s exhibit, “Bound and Unbound.” It was an amazing exhibition that displayed the chronology and complexity of Ms. Scott’s work with innovative sculptures, unique designs, diverse materials, and beautifully blended colors. What made it even more remarkable was her biography. Judith Scott was born deaf with Down’s Syndrome. At age 7, she was placed in a state institution and remained there until the age of 42. Her Read More

Grass | Author: Johan Blomström

Holism

Holism is the theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole or cannot be understood without reference to the whole, i.e. the whole is more than the sum of its parts. If you believe in the power of synergy, then 2+2 may equal 5. While it is sometimes very useful from a scientific point of view to break things down into smaller and smaller Read More

Title: June 24, 2016 | Author: David Gabriel Fischer | www.thezendiary.com

Free Will . . . or not

Copernicus destroyed the myth that we are central. Darwin destroyed the myth that we are special. Now, Crick and the neuroscientists want to destroy the myth that we are conscious. They suggest that all behaviors are simply manifestations of a conditioned brain – when the brain dies, we die. They posit that we operate simply out of habit. Essentially, they conclude that we are automatons with no free choice. Quite simply, our brain sends out Read More

Transcendental Possibilities

My hunch is that we are all searching for transcendental possibilities, but what in hell does that mean? I have been on a long journey trying to figure out what those possibilities might look like and how I can have any real degree of assurance that what people claim can be true. Thirty-two years ago I co-founded Possibilities, Inc. with Barry Cohen, a PhD philosopher, as a discovery vehicle for this journey. I’ve covered a Read More

Title: Interconnect | Author: Samuel

How AND Why

We hear a lot of either/or options in our lives. Either you can do this or you can do that. And how often is an acknowledgement of a different point of view accompanied, by a “but…?” Ya, but I think…! This post addresses the need to see the complementarity of differences and the need to ask “how” AND “why.” As the eastern philosophers would say, “there is a yin is in every yang, and a Read More

Credit: Valeria Boltneva | License: CC0

Possibility

As the world veers ever more perilously toward the precipice, it doesn’t seem like a giant leap to suggest that we need a major shift in thinking and relating. Essentially, we need to start thinking about ourselves as connected vs. separate and we need to start relating to each other interdependently vs. competitively. This post will address the possibilities of making that shift and the planetary potential if we can make it happen. I will Read More

Kudan / Taku Kimura | Credit: Taku Kimura, Links DigiWorks inc.

Narratives

The power of belief is not necessarily related to the strength of evidence. People create different stories from the same set of facts, but the truth does not necessarily rest in the middle. In most cases, it rests wherever the science is, where the evidence is, where the facts are. That’s probably not in the middle. I wish we would quit having debates based on inferences, assumptions, beliefs, and stories and start having them on Read More

Title: The $1.50 Roll | Author: ffunyman | Source: Flickr | License: CC BY-NC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/ffunyman/3414045884/

Freedom

It’s a terrible feeling and a freeing experience to have your illusions destroyed. As I walked down the streets of Saigon and watched the army trucks full of terrified, tough kids purposely drive through mud puddles so that they could laugh gleefully as the brown, polluted water splashed randomly on the elegant, white, long dresses of the beautiful Vietnamese women I knew my view of the world had been irrevocably shaken.  In the name of Read More