Category Archives: Another way of looking at things

The internet and collective consciousness

I admit, I have a deep fascination with the paranormal.  I sometimes watch The Long Island Medium on The Learning Channel Sunday evenings.  And most Thursday mornings on my way to work, I tune in to Island 98.5 and Nadine the Suburban Psychic on the radio.  Both shows are regular reminders of what I long suspect–that there is literally much more to life than meets the eye.  Listeners call in asking Nadine one question for free (the bait).

Is my wife fooling around?  I interviewed for a job. Am I going to get it? My wife is pregnant. Are we having a boy or a girl? I’m going through a divorce. Am I going to get what I want? My grandmother passed away. Is she okay?

The drama of people’s lives are endless and tirelessly entertaining especially when the husband (or wife) is apparently cheating, a point the Wake-up Crew does not hesitate to exploit (the hook).  But underlying all the juicy tidbits is listening to Nadine at work, revealing intimate details she could not possibly know…unless…she is the real deal.

Suppose psychic mediums are real, how do know what they know? 

Psychics claim their information comes from a kind of volume of human consciousness, a storehouse where all human actions and intentions are recorded and documented for posterity, and accessible to all merely by asking a question.  Psychics are just much better at receiving information from beyond than the rest of us.  Nadine receives information in the form of thoughts or images in her mind’s eye, or even in the form of actual physical sensations.

It’s quite the fantastic claim, I know.  But despite my unchildlike skepticism for a telepathic library of human consciousness, I believe psychics are telling the truth about how they know things ordinary people don’t. 

Edgar Cayce plaque, Selma Alabama

Edgar Cayce, the famous Sleeping Prophet, was known in the 1900s for accurately diagnosing a person’s ailments and prescribing treatments while lying down, eyes closed, under hypnosis (and not physically inspecting the patient at all).  Educated only through the ninth grade, Cayce said the information came not from himself, but from the same mysterious place Nadine does.  Only, he gave it a name and called it the great Akashic records.

 

In Hinduism, akasha (the Sanskrit word for space or ether) is a primary element from which all others (earth, water, fire, air) are borne.  In other words it’s the realm of consciousness, of ideas and intentions, out of which physical things manifest.  Cayce asserts this non-physical realm contains records, or the energetic imprints of each thought and action of each human for all of human history.  

If we accept what psychics are saying, then somewhere in all that dark matter of the universe is a virtual encyclopedia of sorts automatically storing the thoughts, ideas and actions of every human being on the planet–our so-called collective consciousness. 

Really?  Sounds awesome, but still more like science fiction slash fantasy.  And yet, in today’s Age of Communication, the idea of the Akashic records, of a collective consciousness is not mere sci-fi, but very much down-to-earth. 

Everyday without fail, I use a remarkably vast, seemingly infinitely expanding thing.  If I don’t, I feel isolated and out of touch.  I use this thing to ‘travel’ instantly anywhere in the world, to ‘be’ at the Australian Open and watch a live tennis match, or to research ailments, or recipes, or to go shopping for anything I can think of, including dog food and light bulbs.  More recently I used it to enroll in a college course at Rutgers University while staying on location in Hawaii.  This mysterious, super-connecting thing is of course the internet.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The internet–a miraculous, hyper-evolving, ever-expanding, ubiquitous modern invention is organic and fed by each and every one of us who ‘plugs’ in everyday, adding, editing, deleting, watching, liking content.  The amount of information stored in this digital global cloud is beyond comprehension.  Thankfully, Google and others have made it a much more manageable place.  All I have to do is think of a question, type it, hit return, and quite instantly I can scroll through a myriad of pages of what other people all over the world, past and present, are thinking related to my question.

I might venture to say, that with the help of the internet and Sergey Brin, I am now somewhat of a psychic.

Image Source: blog.slideshare.net

People can record every thought, event, deed, rambling essay, video, all on the internet.  And at any moment, barring subscriptions and paid content, I have access to nearly all of it.  I can watch how Michelle Phan does make-up, read about some guy’s struggle with his new marriage, watch videos of people and their pets, peruse what others think about a certain restaurant or hotel, listen to a personal conversation between Donald Sterling and his mistress.  I can read ad nauseam the rambling thoughts of bloggers around the world or conversely share my own endless, rambling thoughts.

Its astonishing really.  And the more I think about it, it bears a striking resemblance to the idea of the Akashic records, a collective place to record human experience for the sole purpose of sharing.  We are awash with modern-day inventions aimed at doing just that: Twitter, YouTube, WordPress, Instagram, Facebook.  We dismiss it as socializing (well clearly a lot of it is), but really we are hell-bent, pre-programmed you might say, on cataloguing our collective experiences for posterity.  We’ve built a more tangible, albeit imperfect, version of the Akashic records.  

If, as some people believe, that everything we have ever invented in the physical realm is inspired by their nonphysical prototypes in the unseen Akashic realm, our digital library of human consciousness may very well be the best real evidence we have that a higher Akashic version does indeed exist.  If we can build a physical, clumsy version, then a non-physical, flawless, counterpart in the Akashic realm is not only likely, but a necessary precursor.  Either way, the resemblance is more than just coincidence and adds weight to an idea stretching back over a century ago through to present day and likely beyond.

There, our mere ideas and thoughts are themselves real ‘things’ that self-organize like things in the physical world.  Like water vapor released to the sky and finding its way to others of the same kind, eventually forming whole clouds of similarity, our thoughts and ideas do the same, released from our minds into the ether beyond and automatically organizing themselves to whole clouds of similarity within human history. 

What, if anything, does it all mean?

The existence of a collective consciousness, an actual mechanism behind the sentimental idea that what happens to one of us, happens to all of us, implies that beyond the sentiment, is something more hard-wired and grounded in truth: we are all irreversibly connected, cells of the same organism, agents of the same agency.

Our collective mission?  Free knowledge for all.  An enlightened humanity.  Peace for a thousand years.  Evolution toward higher Jedi-like powers.  Nothing.  I’ll save the possibilities for another post.   

Whatever our collective purpose, there is no denying the omnipresent existence of unseen, powerful, organized collections of information.  It’s hard to keep this intangible world in mind during the daily grind and demands of physical life.   And so every Thursday morning I tune in for my paranormal dose and am reminded of it, that everything isn’t as it seems or as Einstein much more famously said it, that reality is merely an illusion.  We are not as separate as we make ourselves out to be and because of a pervasive network we cannot see, our thoughts and intentions somewhere become thoughts and intentions everywhere.

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I meditate in traffic

AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Well I tried it this morning anyway, and you know what? Its do-able.
Yah, it’s far removed from the idealized image of serenity, quiet, and calm somewhere on a hilltop preferably with a gentle breeze and cherry blossom petals floating on its trails. But if I wait for that, I’ll never get to it (sort of like waiting for Prince Charming…just kidding). So I’m settling for reality and making do (exactly like getting married…kidding again) and not meditating at the break of dawn to a beautiful sunrise, but after sunrise during my daily morning bumper-to-bumper commute, which takes twice as long without traffic.

Its perfect when you think about it. I can meditate twice a day—morning and afternoon. I don’t have to set aside extra time somewhere from my busy day. It’s already allotted. And the best part is I can’t get out of it, unless I stop going to work. Normally, I have to shell out money to someone like a yoga instructor for that kind of discipline.

While commuting, I’m completely alone in my car; no co-workers, no kids, no spouses. Just me…and a boat load of other people, also mostly alone in their cars. Wait a second. Complete, un-interrupted alone time 1.5 hours a day? All of a sudden I’m okay with traffic. And I am beginning to wonder whether there is a larger force at work in these high-density cities. As if traffic is a divine plan to slow everybody down on purpose. So far the collective reaction to traffic is road rage and frustration, but what if we respond instead, with a collective sigh of relief for the new-found time to ourselves, and a spontaneous group meditation hour. Imagine that? Either way we are stuck in our cars everyday for that amount of time.

Logistics aside, my meditation in traffic is about breathing out all the worries and logistics of the day. It’s about my mind racing with a ton of things I have to do such as updating my credit card information on all my auto-bill payment accounts (electricity, cell phone, cable TV, YMCA etc) because my old credit card was cancelled due to suspicious activity, drafting a report that’s due, completing employee evaluations, deciding what’s for dinner, getting cash from the ATM machine, yada, yada.

I exhale all of the seemingly infinite details of the daily grind and breathe in peace and calm. I take a deep breath of ‘Everything is fine even though I am stuck in traffic’. I breathe out all the things I think are important and breathe in thoughts like, “Everything I need, I already have.” “For right now, this moment, there is nothing to do, but drive very slowly.”

Right away the background chatter is considerably subdued and I feel noticeably more relaxed and at peace. The chatter about my life is still there, but its background to the brilliant first light of the morning and to the last sharp, orange, light of late afternoon. Its background to the rain in the green valleys and the rainbows arching over them. Its background to an overall sense of well-being and a feeling that everything is exactly the way it should be.

It’s amazing what a difference it makes compared with the enormous amount of energy I normally spend on my To Do lists, or worrying, or worse–being angry and annoyed at all the damn traffic, which doesn’t get me to my destination any faster. Ironically (or not) meditating while driving is exactly opposite to texting while driving. I used to think meditation required shutting my brain down somehow and not thinking, and thereby transporting myself from here to elsewhere, in which case, driving and meditating would not be a good idea. But I’ve never been able to shut my brain off, which I have come to understand is not the point of meditation.

My definition of meditation now includes any time I can quiet that voice inside my head, enough to concentrate on doing only the task at hand, whether that is having a conversation with someone, or eating a meal, or playing tennis, or driving in traffic, or sitting quietly. In fact, I think the crux of meditation is to be able to do it in less than ideal conditions.

The vast, endless, sea of cars

And so I give my meditation muscles a big work out and sit in awe at the vast sea of cars stretching both as far forward in front of me and back behind me on six lanes of freeway. I think its worth a try. You might have a better day at work and return home to your families happy and refreshed. I know I am already feeling better about commuting home later today.

The declaration of the Higgs boson and what it means

This past Fourth of July was like most other Fourth of July holidays. It included getting up late, preparing an All-American meal (which turned out to be boiling some corn and cutting cubes of watermelon), swimming in the afternoon, and by late evening attending a fireworks show to commemorate the United States’ 236th birthday. Little did I know, this fourth of July, in another part of the world a different historical event was taking place—the declaration of the Higgs Boson.

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What does gravity and synchronicity look like?

Gravity has another name–synchronicity;  it’s a particular kind of synchronicity, the kind that deals with objects of mass whereas synchronicity is that mysterious convergence of events/people/ideas we often attribute to mere coincidence.  But what if synchronicity, like gravity, is predictable and always true?  What if both operated along the same law, different frequencies?  The former applies to ideas and thoughts while the latter applies to objects of mass.  What would that look like?

We know that apples fall off of trees down to Earth, but how exactly does Earth predictably attract apples to itself?  Albert Einstein gave us a plausible explanation when he published his Theory of General Relativity in 1916.  Einstein could ‘see’ space… at least enough to describe it with equations anyway.

According to Einstein’s theory, space is invisible to our eyes, but is itself a thing and profoundly impacts the universe and everything in it, in predictable ways.   Continue reading

Gravity, synchronicity, and magic

Portrait by Godfrey Kneller, 1689

One of the peculiar features of physics, discovered by Sir Isaac Newton in the 17th century, is the predictable attractive force of mass. Mass attracts mass. Hmmm.

How or why, you ask? We still don’t know the answers to that. Here we are in the 21st century and the phenomenon that mass attracts mass is still magic. Newton himself could not explain how or why and this truly boggled his mind. 

But just because he couldn’t understand why mass attracts mass did not stop him from producing the practical and well-applied laws of physics related to the phenomenon. The measure of how fast a certain body of mass attracts other mass is what we call gravityContinue reading

Fairy dust, nebulas, and thought clouds

Ever wonder what creativity looks like?

To me, it looks just like the ‘magic’ of pixie or fairy dust, you know that sparkly dust in Disney movies that turns pumpkins into carriages? Yah, just like that–matter from the ether mixed with imagination, transforming realities right before our eyes. Well not exactly like that.

In real life we don’t literally turn pumpkins into glittering carriages. And we each have more of an aggressive role to play in the magic of altering reality. Using the Law of Attraction requires ‘Cinderella’ to not only have a good heart, but to also dream the reality every day with discipline. Cinderella would have to imagine the dress, the carriage and the dance with the prince and how that all feels as if it were real, despite current conditions of menial chores and a wicked stepmother.

Maybe that’s the problem with our dreaming these days. We are a little too ‘Disneyed’ and don’t understand the prerequisite discipline of dreaming to get our fairy godmother to show up. We cannot cheat our way out of our part; we must do the work and use our imagination. And here’s why:

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