Life does not require you to be consistent, cruel, patient, caring, angry, rational, thoughtless, loving, quick. But life requires you to be conscious of the consequences of each of your choice.
(c) Richard Bach
By: Andy Weir
You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.
“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” You said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
You thought for a long time.
“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
And I sent you on your way.
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They came through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You can give them your love, but not your t
houghts – because they have their own thoughts. You can give home to their bodies, but not to their souls, because their souls live in the house of Tomorrow that you can’t visit even in your dreams. You can try to be like them, but don’t force them to be like you – Life flows only forward. You are only a bow that was used to send forth live arrows you call your children. The Archer sees the target in Eternity, and it is His power that bends you to send the arrows flying far and fast. Let that bending be joyful for you – for He loves not only His arrows, but also His bow.
(c) Khalil Gibran
The Absence of Light.
…humankind was plunged into darkness – a darkness INITIALLY of the heart-mind…As a result of this darkness and absence of creative Light, the seat of consciousness or seat of negotiation with the outside world WAS MOVED FROM the HEART to the HEAD…As there was a coalescing of perception of form into a solidification that included internal organs, the seat of intelligence and of perception was drawn slowly, slowly away from the heart (the TRUE seat of perception) into the nerve center …- known as the BRAIN.
The JOSEPH Communications
“the Fall” you were there it’s why you’re here
A Consciousness-Based Science
Posted: 09/11/2012 1:00 pm
The greatest mystery of existence is existence itself. There is the existence of the universe and there is the existence of the awareness of existence of the universe. Were it not for this awareness, even if the universe existed as an external reality, we would not be aware of its existence, so it would for all practical purpose not exist. Traditional science assumes, for the most part, that an objective observer independent reality exists; the universe, stars, galaxies, sun, moon and earth would still be there if no one was looking. However, modern quantum theory, the most successful of all scientific creations of the human mind, disagrees. The properties of a particle, quantum theory tells us, do not even exist until an observation takes place. Quantum theory disagrees with traditional, Newtonian physics. Most scientists, although respecting quantum theory, do not follow its implications. The result is a kind of schizophrenia between what scientists believe and what they practice. When we examine this hypothesis of traditional science, we find it more a metaphysical assumption than a scientific assertion.
How can we assert that an observer-independent reality exists if the assertion itself is dependent on the existence of a conscious observer? This raises the additional dilemma of who or what is the observer and where is this observer located? When scientists in general describe empirical facts and formulate scientific theories, they forget that neither facts nor theories are an insight into the true nature of fundamental reality apart from any observer. What we consider to be empirical facts are entirely dependent on observation, in agreement with quantum theory. The scientific observer in this case is an activity of the universe called Homo sapiens usually with a Ph.D. in physics. However, many scientists have never really asked the question "Who am I?"
Most neuroscientists who still don't believe that quantum theory has anything to do with the brain would assert that "I," the conscious observer, is solely an epiphenomenon of the brain, that consciousness is produced by the brain, just as gastric juices are produced by the stomach and bile is produced by the gall bladder. The problem with this of course, is that any neuroscientist worth his/her tenure will tell you that there is no satisfactory theory in neuroscience that explains how neurochemistry translates into conscious experience. How do electrochemical phenomena in the brain create the appreciation of the beauty of a red rose, the taste of garlic, the smell of onions, the feeling of love, compassion, joy, insight, intuition, imagination, creativity, free will, or awareness of existence of self and the universe? There is no physicalist theory based on classical physics to explain these subjective experiences. Nor is there any obvious means for coming up with one.
When traditional science finds itself in such an impasse it might be time to question some of the basic assumptions about so-called independently-existing reality. We must revisit the idea that science is a methodology and not an ontology. Current science, however, is based on a physicalist ontology. This is the basic belief that reality is physical and mind is an epiphenomenon of matter (the nervous system). Nonetheless, we are baffled when asked to explain how matter becomes mind. We suggest here a fundamental revision in our most cherished scientific assumptions. We boldly suggest that matter, force fields, particles, waves, even the fabric of space and time are not denizens of fundamental reality, but that they are perceptual and cognitive experiences in consciousness. Actually, what we propose would be in agreement with what the great physicists who founded quantum theory almost 100 years ago would hold. But we are also going beyond, taking the statements of quantum theory to the next level: All of physical reality is a perceptual experience in consciousness alone. The experience may turn out to be different for different species.
What is physical reality to a bat, a honey bee, a nematode, a whale, a dolphin, an eagle, an insect with numerous eyes? There is no fixed physical reality, no single perception of the world, just numerous ways of interpreting world views as dictated by one's nervous system and the specific environment of our planetary existence. We propose that the worldview of current science as it is being practiced, which operates from the assumption that human perception and particularly facts emanating from observations made with human scientific methods are the only fundamental truth, is clearly flawed. Furthermore the subject/object split that is the basic premise of the current scientific methods has led to the creation of arguably detrimental technologies including mechanized death, petroleum products in our food, genetically-modified foods, global warming, extinction of species, and even the possible extinction of the human species. Building on the quantum view of the cosmos, which accepts a non-local, entangled reality that includes observers as fundamental, we suggest the next natural step, a new science rooted in consciousness, one that strives to interpret the entire universe, with all its observers, all modes of observation, and all objects observed as nothing other than consciousness and its manifestations!
Rejecting what we believe is the most reasonable and rational approach proposed here will lead nowhere and force us to accept randomness and lack of purpose as the hallmarks of the universe. Such a view is, ultimately, leading to no meaning for our own very existence. We suggest that perceptual objects experienced in consciousness, including our very brains, are not the source of consciousness. We suggest rigorous testing of this radically-different ontology. We feel a holistic science that does not separate observer from that which is observed would lead to the unraveling of the mysteries of the universe that at presently seem beyond reach, leading to an understanding of a conscious universe in which all are differentiated activities of a single field that is an undivided wholeness and in some sense bridges external reality with inner being.
Deepak Chopra, M.D., FACP, is the author of the forthcoming book, God: A Story of Revelation.
Menas Kafatos, Ph.D., Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor in Computational Physics, Chapman University, co author of the forthcoming book, Who Made God and Other Cosmic Riddles.
Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), co-author of the forthcoming book, Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-being.
By Deepak Chopra, M.D., FACP, Menas Kafatos, Ph.D., Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor in Computational Physics, Chapman University, and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)
"The existence of some common center of Knowledge...expressed in every Holy book...there is no mystery. But of acquisition and transfer of True Knowledge required great work...Knowledge is impossible anyone to impose, and unbiased study of the life of the average man (what he's interested in and what filled his days) convincingly shows that people either don't want this knowledge, or can't take it. Knowledge never comes by itself...We can gain Knowledge just...from who already knows. Our current knowledge is based on sensual perception...we need to change ourselves, open to a higher state of consciousness through the development of our BEING. We need to first know ourselves, then with the help of self-learning-> study how to change ourselves... Internal growth and changes in Genesis is entirely dependent on the work that man does himself.
Book: IN SEARCH of BEING, The Fourth Way to Consciousness.
Life is a woman. Try to understand life and you will be dizzy. Forget about understanding! Just live, and you will understand it. Understanding is not intellectual, theoretical; understanding will be total. Understanding is not verbal; it is non-verbal. That is the meaning of the phrase – "life is a mystery". It can be lived, but it cannot be solved.
37 Bodhisattva Practices Series
"When mothers who have been kind to one since beginningless time are suffering, what's the use of one's own happiness? Therefore, generating the mind of enlightenment in order to liberate limitless sentient beings is the bodhisattvas' practice."
Since time without beginning we have taken birth in cyclic existence, over and over again. In all these incalculable past lives we have had parents. If we were to pile up the bones of all our past bodies, it would be greater than Mount Meru. If we were to gather all the tears we cried, it would fill up a limitless ocean. Since we incarnated infinitely, there is not a single being who has not been our parent in a past life. At that time, they cared for us with great love and sacrificed their lives for our sake. Just like our present parents, they have committed many negative deeds in order to protect us. As a result of these negative deeds they now suffer in samsara endlessly. How could we turn our backs at them and leave them alone? Because they are our mothers, and thus very dear to our heart, we want them to be happy. The wish for the happiness of others is love. If you love someone you cannot bear to see them suffer. This is compassion. We wish for all others to be free from suffering. The root of suffering is the self-clinging mind. Although sentient beings are limitless, self-clinging is the single root of all suffering. If you give rise to love and compassion for all sentient beings, your mind will become vast and all-pervasive. When love pervades all beings, self-grasping diminishes. In this way you accomplish the dual purpose of others and yourself. Ultimately, there is a single ground within which all beings are one. Because we are connected to all beings on the ultimate level, we can pervade them with love. They can actually receive our love. For instance, a dog or a cat will naturally come close to a person with great love, and they will run away if one is very angry. This is a sign that of the single ground. In addition, when you think of others, you do not think about a self. If you are self-centered, your mind becomes narrow, like a block of ice. But when you let go and send out love to others, you will notice how your mind expands. The mind become open and spacious, like a vast ocean or the sky. Bodhichitta is the preliminary practice, bodhichitta is the main practice, and bodhichitta is also the result. Therefore be courageous and do not abandon even a single sentient being for as long as samsara exists.
Reminders of Kindness, Compassion, and Your Own True Nature by Kyabje Garchen Shedup Rinpoche
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