To me it feels like weâ€™re at a real nexus point. So many stories, events, happenings are converging on this moment right now. All of the alternative news sites I visit daily are all a-buzz with the latest shenanigans and developments from all the infinite corners of our spherical globe. I couldnâ€™t possibly do an adequate summary of all thatâ€™s reportedly transpiring, so I wonâ€™t even try. Itâ€™s all I can do right now to keep my own personal shit together... without continually falling into overwhelm.
Weâ€™re turning a significant corner on this evolutionary road, so my strategy at this point in time is to finish up a few things from the old street and then conjure up a few novelties for the new avenue. So this will be a hybrid Newsletter-- meaning that some of the articles may be appropriate for the ongoing project of Book 3 of the Muse Trilogy, whilst others clearly will not. Itâ€™s time to get done those few remaining bits that Iâ€™ve been meaning to do forever... and then I can better focus exclusively on the road ahead... which promises to be nothing like the road already trodden.
Iâ€™ve often relied upon a tone of persuasion as though Iâ€™m presenting arguments to an audience of skeptics. I have to stop doing that now. I think I can finally accept that itâ€™s not my role to convince anybody of anything; I can only share what Iâ€™m already convinced of and offer perhaps a few gnarly speculations... and others can take that as support and encouragement for their own journeys... or not.
But first Iâ€™ll just tell the last of my â€œstoriesâ€ from the old world... these last tattered persuasions...
Once (More) and for All (Time)
In the relativistic Earth realm of our current experience, there is simply no such thing as the objective universe.
This notion of a machine-like universe existing singularly in space and time, being primarily composed of matter, and functioning largely independently from the consciousness of the living organisms within it is scientifically unsupportable. The cold, dead, implacable machine of Newtonâ€™s era is assuredly a fiction-- albeit a persistent one!
The role of the observer, of the participant, the role of consciousness at the very foundation of all human experience is reasonably undeniable. For many years I had taken the support for this position (orientation) from reading various New Age books about quantum physics. And since I had never actually read an honest-to-goodness physics book on the matter, I always held out the possibility that perhaps these â€œspiritualâ€ authors were taking some unwarranted liberties with their interpretations of quantum theory. Although their conclusions always made good sense to me, I nevertheless conceded the possibility that perhaps they werenâ€™t being perfectly scientific.
Now, in the past few weeks, Iâ€™ve read four proper physics books delving into quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology and specifically the quantum enigma. And now let me say it again: there is simply no such thing as the objective universe!
Letâ€™s delve into this further by first examining a few quotes from the pioneers of relativity and quantum mechanics. Letâ€™s see what the best minds who actually developed the theories have to say about their implications.
Weâ€™ll begin with Einstein. Who else, right? A very famous quote by the good doctor goes something like this: â€œI like to think that the moon is there even when I am not looking at it.â€ I call this Albertâ€™s lament. Einstein couldnâ€™t outright state that the moon-- or the objective universe-- is, in fact, there, but he would much prefer that he could. And despite a lifetime spent in pursuit of explicating that preference, the science just couldnâ€™t support it.
Next, weâ€™ll listen to what John Wheeler has to say. â€œNothing is more important about quantum physics than this: it has destroyed the concept of the world as â€˜sitting out there.â€™ The universe will never afterwards be the same.â€ And that fits very well with what one of the fathers of quantum theory, Werner Heisenberg, had to say: â€œThe hope that new experiments will lead us back to objective events in space and time is about as well founded as the hope of discovering the end of the world in the unexplored regions of the Antarctic.â€ It doesnâ€™t really get much clearer than that! But perhaps youâ€™re holding out the hope that Iâ€™m misconstruing the true meaning of these quotes by taking them out of context or something, so letâ€™s continue.
Eugene Wigner simply said â€œ[T]hrough the creation of quantum mechanics, the concept of consciousness came to the fore again. It was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.â€ Hereâ€™s John Wheeler again making it ever so clear. â€œUseful as it is under everyday circumstances to say that the world exists â€˜out thereâ€™ independent of us, that view can no longer be upheld. There is a strange sense in which this is a â€˜participatory universe.â€™â€ And just for emphasis, he goes on to add â€œThe strangeness of the quantum world, from which Einstein incessantly sought escape and from which Bohr saw no escape, is real.â€
Aye, thatâ€™s the rub, trying to get at whatâ€™s real. Hereâ€™s Heisenberg again: â€œBut the atoms or elementary particles themselves are not real, they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts.â€ And from a true pioneer, Max Planck: â€œMind is the matrix of all matter.â€ Another of Einsteinâ€™s most famous quotes was short and sweet. â€œThe field is the only reality.â€
Now letâ€™s move some eighty years ahead and see what physicists of the twenty-first century are saying. â€œ[T]odayâ€™s cosmology, our view of the universe as a whole, presents a quantum enigma, one seeming to involve consciousness on an ever-grander scale.â€ This is from two seasoned physics professors, Rosenblum and Kuttner, the authors of The Quantum Enigma. â€œThe physical reality of an object depends on how you choose to look at it.â€ And now this from physics professor Andrei Linde: â€œWill it not turn out, with the further development of science, that the study of the universe and the study of consciousness will be inseparably linked, and that ultimate progress in the one will be impossible without progress in the other?... will the next important step be the development of a unified approach to our entire world, including the world of consciousness?â€ And more from Rosenblum and Kuttner: â€œ[T]his reliable and useful physics challenges any reasonable worldview. It actually denies the existence of a physically real world independent of its observation.â€ And further... â€œQuantum theory tells us that physicsâ€™ encounter with consciousness, which is demonstrated for the small, applies, in principle, to everything. And this â€˜everythingâ€™ can include the entire universe. Copernicus dethroned humanity from the cosmic center. Does quantum theory suggest that, in some mysterious sense, we are a cosmic center?â€ I think youâ€™re probably starting to get the picture...
But just to be sure... â€œSometimes it almost appears that the theories are not a description of a nearly inaccessible reality, but that so-called reality is a result of the theory.â€ -Hendrick Casimir. â€œConsciousness is the ground of all being.â€ -Amit Goswami. â€œObservations not only disturb what is to be measured, they produce it.â€ -Pascual Jordan. â€œI think the important and extremely difficult task of our time is to try to build up a fresh idea of reality.â€ -Wolfgang Pauli. And finally, back to Mr. Heisenberg: â€œWhat we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.â€
For a moment now, let us leave the quantum arena and step into the even older and more established (if thatâ€™s even possible) physics of relativity. It seems perhaps a bit strange that Einsteinâ€™s own achievement already cast the existence of the objective universe into serious doubt. Oh wait, it actually obliterated it!
Being desk-bound at his job at the patent office, Einstein often employed thought experiments to resolve conundrums in physics. The one I am going to ever-so-briefly describe is actually a mainstay in modern physics texts. It deals with simultaneity.
Alice, observer A, is standing beside a moving train, aboard which Bob, observer B, is traveling in the very centre of a carriage belonging to the same train. At the precise moment when Alice and Bob are exactly adjacent to each other-- Bob inside the moving train and Alice standing outside-- two bolts of lightning strike, one at the front of the carriage containing Bob and one at the back. To Aliceâ€™s observation, and properly confirmed by her very sophisticated measuring equipment, the two bolts of lightning struck simultaneously, one at the front of the carriage and one at the back. For Bob however, who observes the very same phenomena, the lightning bolt at the front of the carriage strikes first and the one at the back follows a fraction of a second later. Bob has all the same very sophisticated measuring equipment as Alice, and just like Alice he measures that the distance of each strike from his point of observation is exactly the same. He also measures that the speed of the light traveling from each bolt is exactly the same. And yet the light rays did not reach Bob simultaneously as they did for Alice; the one at the front of the carriage was observed as being first.
Alice is 100% correct in declaring that from her point of view the two bolts of lightning struck simultaneously. Bob is also 100% correct in declaring that from his point of view the bolt of lightning at the front of the carriage struck first. They are both absolutely correct! So what does it all mean?
Here Iâ€™ll play it safe and quote the author of the physics book from which this was taken, lest you think Iâ€™m taking unwarranted liberties. Andrew Thomas, author of Hidden in Plain Sight 3, states the inescapable conclusion thusly: â€œIt shows that merely by moving relative to each other, two observers inhabit different realities. It is as if they inhabit two different universes.â€ Now ainâ€™t that interesting? And this comes from Einsteinâ€™s own work on general relativity a century ago!
The extraordinary result of this thought experiment, called relativity of simultaneity, is dealing with only the physical attributes of the universe(s). It matters not one whit what Alice or Bob believe about any of it. This result is not dependent upon their consciousness; it is derived solely from the fact that Alice and Bob are in relative motion to each other. Schroedingerâ€™s cat be damned! Simple relativity places every observer in relative motion into a unique universe where the order of events is strictly determined by the nature of the relative motion in play!
So in a very real and everyday sense, on the macroscopic level, it is safe to say that we each inhabit a unique universe wherein the events or experiences in that universe are unique to ourselves as observers. There is no objective singularity of what â€œreallyâ€ happened. To give an even simpler example which makes the same point, although not quite as compellingly, we could have simply asked the question â€œHow fast is the train moving?â€ Alice might answer 100 mph, while Bob might say itâ€™s not moving at all if the windows were blocked and the ride was perfectly smooth. A bird flying overhead in the opposite direction might answer 110 mph, while a car traveling alongside in the same direction might answer 50 mph. The thing is, when it comes to relativity-- and our reality, each of those answers is equally correct. Again, there isnâ€™t a singular objective answer to the question as it was posed.
And that brings us back to Heisenberg with his â€œWhat we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.â€ Already we inhabit differing physical universes, but what happens when we bring consciousness and belief into the equation? Donâ€™t worry, Iâ€™m not about to get all woo-woo and new-agey. Letâ€™s stick with the science.
Next, Iâ€™d like to consider the placebo effect. I think Iâ€™m safe in saying that there arenâ€™t many credible science-type people who deny that the placebo effect is real. In all FDA-approved drug trials, the drugs in question must be shown to perform statistically significantly better than a mere placebo. It is widely recognized that some patients will show measurable improvement of a medical condition when administered nothing more than an inert placebo. It is also widely recognized that the active agent in the placebo effect is the patientâ€™s own belief... the state of her consciousness... the method of her questioning.
To me itâ€™s rather frustrating and quite puzzling that the placebo effect is â€œscientificallyâ€ regarded as something to be overcome. For those on whom it works, itâ€™s the whole of the answer; itâ€™s the solution and the resolution! Instead of endlessly trying to find drugs that work marginally better than placebos, wouldnâ€™t it make much more sense to try to understand the placebo effect fully, and thereby obtain the cure for, well, everything?
And much along the same lines as the placebo effect, what about the medical phenomenon of spontaneous remission? This is when patients-- often terminal-- are deemed to be beyond the recourse of effective treatment and are left solely to their own devices... and somehow, miraculously, they cure themselves. Anecdotally, the medical literature is littered with cases of spontaneous remission. Although considered rare, over the centuries the number of instances is quite substantial. Interestingly, there is often no physical cause accounting for the cure. The patient often cites a profound change in attitude or belief as being the curative agent. Such anecdotal evidence is certainly not able to prove anything, but it sure does suggest that consciousness might play a central role in our human experience. And for the cured patient, Iâ€™m sure he doesnâ€™t really give a damn what the medical scientists think anyway!
We could further look into the mechanics of hypnosis to see how changes in mentation and mood can alter the physiology of the body, or how hypnosis can radically alter oneâ€™s perception of their physical surroundings. Or we can talk about how certain personality profiles are directly correlated with heart disease. Am I making my point yet?
Indeed. Isnâ€™t it time that we fully admitted that scientific materialism is a dead end? Itâ€™s bankrupt; itâ€™s unsupportable on any reasonable scientific basis. A science which seeks to explain the universe while excluding consciousness-- the very place where all of our experiences are registered-- is a science which explains sweet fuck all.
Iâ€™m so very tired of self-proclaimed scientific skeptics misusing science to narrow the field of our collective inquiries. Science shouldnâ€™t be used to shrink our world view unnecessarily. The existence of the objective physical universe-- along with Elvis-- left the building long ago. Why do we have such trouble accepting the centrality of our own psyches at the heart of every unique universe we each inhabit... and hopefully explore?
For long enough weâ€™ve clung to this outmoded orientation which has us as insignificant bundles of happenstance pitted against a cold, uncaring, entropic machine determined to obliterate any trace of our own significance. Look where itâ€™s gotten us! We need a new basic orientation within reality, one supported by the undisputed science of the last century. Consciousness matters! Got that? Consciousness-- not matter-- matters. Indisputably, the physical attributes of the universe I inhabit are different from the physical attributes defining your experience. Your history is very different from my history... and there is no objectifiable, verifiable â€œtrueâ€ history to be found anywhere. Itâ€™s just a red herring!
I was going to go further into the implications of all this for evolutionary theory, but rather than present more of my own ideas, Iâ€™ll just pose a question for you to answer however you see fit within the reality you inhabit. Here it is:
Can consciousness be both a prerequisite for bringing the physical universe into being as well as the end result of a random evolution?
The quantum enigma strongly suggests that consciousness must somehow exist first, providing the matrix for physical evolution to occur in the first place, but Darwinian evolution posits consciousness only as an end result. How does that make you feel?
Allow me to end with Rosenblum and Kuttner again: â€œThe experimental facts basic to the quantum enigma are undisputed. But talking of the encounter of physics with â€˜non-physicalâ€™ stuff like consciousness is controversial. Itâ€™s been called our â€˜skeleton in the closet.â€™ You can look at the undisputed facts, and ponder for yourself what they mean.â€
And that, my friends, is the whole of my point: you decide what it all means.
Proof of Souls
Souls are â€œthingsâ€ that can only prove themselves to themselves. I canâ€™t prove my soul to you, and you canâ€™t prove your soul to me. And whatâ€™s interesting is that even the most skeptical of entrenched atheists is uncomfortable being called soulless. Go figure.
For the purposes of this story-- or rather, stories-- Iâ€™m using the word â€œsoul,â€ but you can feel free to substitute terms like higher self, spirit, atman or even subconscious or psyche if it makes more sense to do so. Until our â€œmodernâ€ sciences begin to define and explain the realm of consciousness weâ€™re kind of stuck with this ambiguity in terms.
In a consumeristâ€™s world, the soul seems rather remote and ephemeral. Talk of souls doesnâ€™t often enter into the daily chitchat. It isnâ€™t thought about much, perhaps only in times of dire crisis. The soulâ€™s reality has little bearing on our everyday actions, or so it seems. However, in the two stories which follow, I intend to impress the immediacy and relevancy of the soulâ€™s reality... even for an average guy like me. After all, soul or spirit is more truly who and what we are than the painful artifice of our tortured egos.
It was EJ Gold who first introduced me to the idea that the soul can be â€œforcedâ€ to make an appearance in our everyday lives in moments of acute stress. Mr. Gold went on to make a spiritual practice of it, subjecting himself and some of his followers to deliberately stressful situations in order to acquaint themselves better with Themselves.
My first anecdote along these lines is less dramatic than the one which follows it. This first one is perhaps more relatable for the average reader too. I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if a significant portion of readers have had a similar experience.
It was an evening in September, approximately eighteen years ago, when I was still employed as a lifeguard at our local hot springs. It was still early in my lifeguarding career when the nagging thought of â€œI sure hope nothing serious happens on my shiftâ€ often played upon the backdrop of my mind. This is the story of my first face-to-face encounter with death.
An eighty-one-year-old man had a massive heart attack while swimming across the dive tank. I was on the opposite side of the pool awaiting the arrival of the other lifeguard as we were completing our regular rotation. The other lifeguard immediately asked me what was up with the guy face down in the deep end. I had been staring at him too at that precise moment. Just as she voiced her concern, the elderly gentleman plummeted to the bottom of the pool like a stone. We both knew immediately what was up! Er... down.
It was in that precise moment when my consciousness profoundly shifted, signaling the arrival of my higher self... a portion of my soul. My regular identity as Niels the lifeguard, my ego, experienced a marked discontinuity. There was suddenly no internal dialogue in my mind. It was perfectly silent and calm as I and the other lifeguard went about performing the procedures weâ€™d been trained to perform under such circumstances. I â€œshouldâ€ have been scared or at least nervous. Nothing could have been further from the truth. I was calm, cool and meticulous. It was as though I was another being entirely, one who could cope with anything, despite the novelty and seriousness of the situation. I didnâ€™t have to think about anything as I went about my â€œbusiness.â€
Emergency workers often speak of this shift in consciousness wherein an altogether different aspect of their consciousness just automatically kicks in. It is my contention that this is an example of the soul making a cameo appearance in everyday life. Soul isconsciousness, just in an expanded and hyper-aware form.
And just for the sake of proper storytelling, I can report that I performed chest compressions on the gentleman for a full thirty-five minutes until the ambulance arrived, while the other lifeguard attended to his breathing. I believe that I broke every rib in his body in achieving adequate compressions in order to detect a radial pulse coinciding with my actions. He died.
We did everything right, by the book. My normal consciousness with its attendant mind-chatter returned after only a few minutes when the pool manager-- who was himself a veteran of the ambulance corps-- knelt down beside us during the initial phases of CPR and quietly said to us â€œJust keep doing what youâ€™re doing, but realize right now that youâ€™re not going to bring him back.â€ It was the right thing to say. It completely diffused the charge of the situation. My regular ego-identity could easily handle the fact that an eighty-one-year-old man had had a massive heart attack on my watch, and there was no reasonable expectation that we would bring him back to life. Once the incident was placed into proper perspective, all stressfulness dispersed... and my soul essence was no longer needed to perform, and it slid quietly back into the familiar role of simply being a witness to my life again.
The next instance when my higher self was called upon to perform in the context of acute stress was considerably more dramatic, and there was no training for me to fall back on. It was a very novel situation for me. And as I detail the account in order to chart the mounting stress, you will quickly realize why Iâ€™ve hesitated to tell this story. At its conclusion you will have ample opportunity and motive to judge me harshly, but this instance of my soulâ€™s appearance is so fascinating that I canâ€™t resist to share it... even though Iâ€™m quite certain my mother will be reading this. Itâ€™s about the day that the police came to arrest me.
Perhaps it is best if I begin by saying straight away that I have never been arrested. I havenâ€™t even had a traffic citation in the last twenty years! But one day about twelve years ago, the local RCMP came to my house with the intention of making a bust. Well, it was a bust... but not the arresting kind.
It was early in the summer and I was feeling particularly tired from the heat, so I went to bed rather early. It was probably about ten-thirty when I crawled into bed in my basement suite. It was still light outside, but moving rapidly through twilight and into full darkness. I hadnâ€™t quite fallen asleep yet when I heard voices outside. I had renters upstairs, so I didnâ€™t think much of it. Someone was speaking rather loudly on my front lawn, but I couldnâ€™t quite make out the words. I just wished that theyâ€™d shut up.
In the next moment there was the beam from a high-powered flashlight shining through my window, sweeping through my living space. I had just enough time to wonder â€œWhat the hell?â€ before the light came to rest upon me in my bed. The next instant brought the very distinct words â€œHeâ€™s here!â€ And that was immediately followed up by a loud knock on my door which is on the opposite side of my house. My heart skipped a beat or two as I began to clue in.
I heard the door open at the top of the stairs. â€œNiels! This is the RCMP; could you come up here please!â€ Oh shit! Oh shit! Oh shit! I pulled on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and went up the stairs to face whatever awaited.
The officer I met outside on my deck was holding a one-inch binder with a label on its cover bearing my name. They even spelled it right-- a rarity. He said â€œThis is your file down at the detachment.â€ Gulp. My file? â€œWe understand that youâ€™ve been selling drugs.â€ Gah! My stomach sank. I think I stammered incomprehensibly for a moment. (I later learned that the binder with your name on it is a common tactic, especially for greenhorns like me, in order to scare the piss out of potential perps.)
The officer politely cut my stammering short and got straight to the point. â€œWould you like to go about this the easy way-- and let us inside and show us what youâ€™ve got? Or would you rather do it the hard way?â€ Easy decision. I didnâ€™t hesitate for a second. â€œCâ€™mon in,â€ I said as we turned and headed down the stairs.
They promptly informed me that they were specifically looking for marijuana. They had heard that I was a pot dealer. I found that really puzzling-- not that Iâ€™d never in my life sold a bit of weed to friends; I had, but I was certainly no â€œdealer.â€
For the past year and a half Iâ€™d been growing a few plants in a tiny space beside my bathroom. It was just enough to produce enough weed for one or two joints a day on a continuous basis. We hauled out about a dozen plants, each about a foot tall, and assembled them in the middle of my bathroom floor. The two officers looked at my pathetic grow-op and the junior officer said â€œWell this is f-- hardly anything.â€ He was going to say â€œfuck allâ€ but kept it all real polite-like. I nodded and said â€œI just grow enough for myself. Thatâ€™s it.â€ And I hoped that maybe this ordeal would come to a swift end right there... Yeah, not quite.
â€œWhereâ€™s your stash?â€ asked the senior officer in charge, not willing to give up so easily. I looked at him kind of puzzled. â€œWhat are you currently smoking?â€ he clarified. Oh! We went into the main room and I marched over to the coffee table and held up a bud that had about a three-inch stem, mostly bare, with just a tuft of bud still intact at the top. â€œIâ€™ve been working on this for the past week,â€ I told him as I handed it over. He sighed as I placed it in his hand. I could tell he was getting frustrated. I wasnâ€™t quite the major dealer heâ€™d anticipated. But he was diligent.
â€œIs that all?â€ he asked. Yup. I nodded. He reminded me that it was a serious offense to lie to the police, and then proceeded to ask about other drugs. Oops! Well that jogged my memory. I walked over to the kitchen pantry and retrieved a shopping bag that had about a handful of magic mushrooms crammed into one corner. As I handed it to him I noticed that once again he wasnâ€™t too impressed. â€œIs that all?â€ he reiterated. Again I nodded.
At this point I must say that I honestly thought that was the full extent of illegal substances in my house. We sat down in the living space of my open flat with a great deal of clutter scattered randomly on my coffee table between us. He continued questioning me about various illegal drugs while his partner poked around in the background seeing if he could find anything else. They asked me about various bags of herbs and such which I often keep on hand, some of which are psychotropic but not at all illegal. Some of the herbs I described were completely unknown to the officers and they found my explanations rather interesting.
All the while, the senior officer was opening jars and containers on my coffee table to peer inside as he continued questioning me. My heart skipped another beat when he picked up a Nivea tin, looked inside, replaced the lid, set it back down on the table and said â€œHow about acid? Any LSD?â€ I had totally forgotten! The jar he had just looked in actually contained 43 hits of LSD, but the blotter paper was upside-down so it just looked like a chunk of cardboard in a Nivea jar. My first thought was â€œIs this a trick question?â€ Once again I didnâ€™t hesitate to fess up. â€œYeah, that tin you just looked in...â€
At this point I was acutely aware that Iâ€™d twice now said thatâ€™s definitely it, I didnâ€™t have anything more... only to later have to admit that oh yeah, thereâ€™s just this one other thing. I didnâ€™t want to be perceived as a lying sod.
(As for the acid... Iâ€™ve only ever done LSD twice in my life, and this was the very first time that I had a supply of it. Itâ€™s not something that wouldâ€™ve readily come to mind.)
The officer appreciated my honesty as he confiscated the acid. Among the next items he scrutinized on my coffee table were a couple of jars containing cannabis seeds. When he explained that heâ€™ll be taking those too, I objected saying â€œPot seeds arenâ€™t illegal!â€ He smoothly replied â€œThey are when youâ€™ve been caught cultivating marijuana.â€ Fair enough. He had me there. There goes my seeds. (The main reason Iâ€™d been growing my own was because I was enjoying breeding my own strains.)
Okay, now weâ€™re getting to the crux, the climax of my tale. The next jar the officer laid his hand upon was one I hadnâ€™t opened in probably a year or more... and I suddenly remembered what was in it. Oh shit! Oh shit! Oh shit! This would not look at all good if Iâ€™m caught again having to concede that oh, thereâ€™s just this one other thing...
It was a very stylish stainless steel jar with inlaid glass on the lid. It had been a present from a good friend-- though I was solely responsible for its contents. It was a bit tricky to pry the lid off and the officer was struggling with it. If he managed to open it he would find more marijuana seeds-- no big deal-- but also two small vials of ketamine.
I had purchased the Special K from a raver friend a long time ago. Iâ€™ve never done ketamine in my life. I had thought Iâ€™d wanted it for experiments in my sensory deprivation tank. Yes, thatâ€™s right, I own a sensory deprivation tank. It was set up in the corner as all this was going on. Flotation tanks were invented by a brilliant man by the name of Dr. John C. Lilly. The movie Altered States was loosely based upon Dr. Lillyâ€™s work. There was also a Simpsons episode in which Homer and Lisa experienced sensory deprivation for themselves at a New Age salon-- in case you have no clue what Iâ€™m talking about. Anyway, Dr. Lilly used to inject himself with ketamine before subjecting himself to the sensory deprivation environment... and had utterly astonishing experiences as a result. It was my intent to emulate him in this regard (but snorting, not injecting), but once Iâ€™d floated a few times in my own tank, I decided that any and all drugs are totally unnecessary for wild and unique floating experiences. So the vials of ketamine sat in the bottom of that container long neglected.
As the officer now stood before me twisting and pulling at the lid unsuccessfully, I was sliding into full-blown panic. I figured this was gonna look really bad. If he found those vials it would likely be the last straw and they would really tear the house apart thereafter-- not that theyâ€™d find anything else... Iâ€™m pretty sure. I didnâ€™t know what to do!
Fortunately, my silent witness, my soul knew exactly what to do and stepped in at that precise moment. My panicked self was instantly displaced by this very cool presence. The whole thing thereafter was like a scene from Star Wars, involving a Jedi mind trick. My ego was relegated to the background as dumbfounded observer. My soul self, now in full possession of my body, stood up and reached for the jar. I took it from the officerâ€™s hands as I explained to him that it contained more marijuana seeds. I walked over to the kitchen where the garbage stood while further explaining that Iâ€™d like to keep the jar. I dumped the seeds and the two vials of ketamine into the garbage and returned to where the officer was standing. He agreed that it was a very nice jar and didnâ€™t blame me for wanting to keep it. Crisis averted.
Now I have to stress that my point in telling this story is in no way that Iâ€™m gloating for having fooled the police. It was my soul. No one stands a real chance in the presence of souls; they tend to know exactly what theyâ€™re doing when they deem it necessary to step in. So why donâ€™t souls act more often? Our life lessons are geared toward ego-refinement. The whole purpose is for the growth of our familiar consciousness, the operator in three dimensions. The soul will only intervene when that growth potential is seriously threatened by an unforeseen circumstance. Souls donâ€™t know everything, but they know quite enough to make instantaneous decisions of when to rarely act. It was a real holy-shit moment, and overall Iâ€™m rather glad for the experience. Iâ€™m also glad it was quickly over.
Anyway, once again in the interest of proper storytelling, I shall reiterate that Iâ€™ve never been arrested. After answering honestly all the questions as to where and how Iâ€™d obtained the illegal substances in my possession, the officers decided that nothing more than confiscation was warranted. They asked me whether Iâ€™d ever been in trouble with the law before, and when I told them no, they confirmed that thatâ€™s what their own investigation revealed. I wasnâ€™t worth the paperwork. Yay!
The thing Iâ€™d like to stress in conclusion is that the consciousness accompanying the appearance of souls is markedly and dramatically different from everyday consciousness. It is so confident, knowing, clear and calm that I can say that Iâ€™ve never met a human being who consistently operates as a soul in human form. Thereâ€™s still growth required of our humanity before souls will comfortably take up permanent residence here. But I sincerely hope that it's not too far off.
Message To/From the TOURS #15
The Demise of the Objective Universe
It has been extremely difficult for the average human on Earth to accept the demise of the objective universe. It doesnâ€™t seem to matter that it never existed in the first place!
The current discussion is not about convincing my readers of this verity. That was addressed in my most recent essay Once (More) and for All (Time), wherein I let the physicists and physics professors do most of the convincing. Here, I would like to delve further into the implications, especially for members of the TOURS.
Specifically, it is evolutionary theory which concerns me in this discussion. First, let me be perfectly clear: I do believe that evolution occurs; it is a very real process. Exactly how it occurs needs to be addressed in light of there being no independent physical universe sitting out there like some grand and complex machine churning out conscious lifeforms. Relativity and quantum theory have insisted that this universe is participatory, that observership causes the universe of our experience to come into being, that consciousness in some form is a prerequisite to the whole physical process. It appears that consciousness is the foundational matrix for all that is. For the purposes of this discussion, I will proceed on this premise.
First, what needs to be asked in light of this new view of evolution is: what exactly is undergoing an evolution? What is evolving? The old answer was: physical systems. But since physical systems donâ€™t exist independently from consciousness, our new revised answer is obviously: consciousness. Consciousness is evolving. The easiest way to think about this is that physical systems-- what we perceive as the objective universe-- are actually reflections or representations of consciousness. How the physical universe is structured and how its components interact are reflections of our collectively held beliefs, or what Heisenberg referred to as our â€œmethod of questioning.â€ In simplest terms then, what we observe as physical evolution is the reflection of the progressive development of our collective belief systems.
The universe presents itself to our perception according to our belief-- or our understanding, if you prefer.
We can use our imaginations to harken back to the times of Copernicus. The prevailing collective belief was that the Earth was at the centre of the universe and everything revolved around it. And that is exactly how the people of those times experienced it. â€œBut wait,â€ you insist, â€œthey were wrong! The Earth is not at the centre of the universe.â€ But in terms of their experience... yes it was! Even for a handful of astronomers and mathematicians who recognized anomalies and inconsistencies in their observations and calculations, they were just part and parcel of the inexplicable mystery. Their basic orientation underlying their experience as a universal denizen was still that the Earth was solidly at the centre. Whatever Copernicus would come to prove so convincingly in the future was powerless to influence the human experience at that time until the collective belief changed. Only then did humans begin to experience a universe in which they were not the centre.
Itâ€™s all about what we experience.
We have to drop this notion of â€œYeah, but the universe is really this way... or really that way.â€ No itâ€™s not. For the last hundred years or so, our very best science has informed us indisputably that a provable objectified reality having any intrinsic properties is scientifically unsupportable. It is always subject to-- dependent upon-- our method of questioning, our level of understanding... and that determines our individual and collective experience of it.
Modern physics has pretty much shown us that the very basis of all matter and energy is information.
Information is the purview of consciousness. How information is organized creates beliefs or belief systems. Can you see how evolution is the refinement of belief, the refinement of our questioning?
The universe is intelligent... because the universe is us.
So far Iâ€™ve suggested that we regard the â€œobjectiveâ€ universe as a reflection or a representation of our consciousness. But the image in a mirror is not intelligent; it merely reflects our own intelligence (or lack thereof). So perhaps it would be better to regard the universe as an extension of us. It is us stretched and spaced out through eternity. Indeed, our physical bodies are part of the physical universe and we feel them to be intrinsically us.
Physicality is another expression or extension of what we are... and we need to own this shit! All of it!
Clinging desperately to the old belief in an objective universe makes us necessarily small. We gaze out into the night sky and say â€œThatâ€™s not me; thatâ€™s something else. Iâ€™m insignificant.â€
Weâ€™re currently stuck at this evolutionary bifurcation point because we keep falling back on this notion of a vast universe â€œout there.â€ Weâ€™ve lost ourselves, and we keep insisting upon remaining lost!
It all seems so terribly counterintuitive because everything about our language gives credence to objects outside of ourselves. Every time we speak or write, we inadvertently affirm a universe which doesnâ€™t exist outside of our belief in it. Thatâ€™s the nature of the illusion... and we created it... and yes, itâ€™s insidious... now, letâ€™s get over it!
by The Anarchist
It was only the first day of deliberations. The initial tally had revealed a perfect split; half of the jurors were gung-ho on a guilty verdict, while the other half dozen were holding out for reasonable doubt. It did not bode well for a quick resolution.
Margot poured herself a steaming cup of tea from her thermos. At first the other jurors seated around the table took little notice. Then one of them remarked â€œWow! That smells delicious!â€
â€œWould you like a cup?â€ offered Margot. â€œIâ€™ve got plenty.â€ The thermos really was enormous, especially in Margotâ€™s hands which were delicately proportioned to her slight frame. A nod here and another there had Margot filling styrofoam cups all around the table. Between sips, the twelve returned their attentions toward the task at hand.
It was a murder trial... a mass murder. Or perhaps that should be alleged mass murder trial; none of the bodies had ever been recovered. Nevertheless, the prosecution had presented a very strong case, despite the conspicuous absence of the victims.
â€œWhere are the bodies?â€ insisted the jurors in the reasonable doubt camp.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t matter!â€ insisted the others. â€œHe killed them, and disposed of them. Heâ€™s guilty!â€
They diligently sifted through the available evidence again and again, but the impasse persisted. Without the bodies, how could they be absolutely sure?
It wore on to nighttime and everyone was getting frustrated and tired. Margotâ€™s delicious tea was all gone. Tempers had briefly flared here and there, so before they called it quits for this day Margot insisted that they all hold hands around the table and close their eyes a moment to remember that they were united in this task, to remember that they were not each otherâ€™s enemies. Surprisingly, they all agreed.
A few yawns escaped as they all reached hands to each other, and once the circle was complete, they let their eyes fall shut for a moment of peaceful solidarity. Afterwards, no one there could say for sure how long that meditative moment had lasted. But what had transpired during that respite had ample cause to change the world forever!
Excitedly, they stood up from the table and summoned the court clerk and informed him that they had reached a verdict. The clerk was shocked; it was most unexpected!
Within the hour they had been led back into the courtroom. The judge too looked astonished. He had anticipated the deliberations to last considerably longer. But he had been assured that the vote was unanimous. The jury was sure.
The verdict was guilty as charged... and then there was a little something more. The jurors had passed a note to the judge... who passed it along to the prosecution... who passed it off to the detectives in the gallery. The contents of the note were not discussed in the courtroom. There was no protocol for such a thing. No, the note-- which got everyoneâ€™s attention-- was instead the focus of the media circus which followed.
â€œWhat was in the note?â€
â€œThe location of the bodies,â€ explained the foreman.
â€œYou deduced the location from the evidence presented?â€ asked the reporter.
â€œNot exactly,â€ explained the foreman rather hesitantly.
â€œThen how did you know?â€
The foreman fidgeted a moment before answering. â€œWe saw it happen.â€
Now the reporter fidgeted. â€œYou saw what happen?â€
â€œThe murders... all of them,â€ the foreman said with resolve. â€œAnd there were more than the ones presented by the prosecution. It was ugly and gruesome. It was horrific!â€
Well, that sparked about a million more questions from the reporter and her milling colleagues. The foreman was visibly upset though with the recollection and was in no mood to elaborate. He pushed his way out of the throng.
In time, all of the questions were satisfactorily answered, but still there were many who refused to accept the answers. It didnâ€™t matter to the jury; they had performed their duty impeccably. The police had confirmed that the location of the bodies was indeed as indicated.
Usually a jury is assembled for the purposes of a single trial. This jury however, with its unique ability, remained as a unit. They were no longer employed in the courtroom; they performed their services for all manner of dire inquiries.
It turns out that they could remote view any time and any location; there was no secret on Earth or beyond that the combined energies of the twelve jurors could not penetrate... as long as Margot kept a full thermos of tea on hand.
And that changed the world in the twinkling of an eye!