Accessing The Source…

There’s waking up in a dream and waking up from a dream, and last night it could be argued that I did both…

I’ve been purchasing a lot of secondhand books recently, taking stock for what will soon be my ‘meditation loft’ in the house, contained within it my very own ‘Noetic Nook’, a gallimaufry of works from Anthony Peake, Brian Inglis and J.W Dunne to name but a few.

After all but finishing Anthony Peake’s thought provoking ITLAD, my search for other mysterious tomes took on frenzied vigor and speed; soon books were being delivered at a high rate of un-nautical knots. As much as I am a gadget man, it must be said that I’d much prefer a book than a Kindle. I have dabbled with a Kindle before but for me the novelty soon wears off.

I went to see the rather excellent British psychedelic / space rock band Ozric Tentacles last week and engaged in debate with some friends over the pros and cons over digital versus the printed word. My argument was that as much as one can store ridiculous amount of books on these lightweight and portable variants, for me the digital experience cannot compare to aged or aging book (as detailed in my poem of last week). Coupled with the fact that I am such a slow reader and a soul that can only read one book at a time (and not having the need to carry several tomes around with me at the same time), it was a no-brainer. Books.

I quipped that come the apocalypse, any associated EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) from a nuclear blast would render the electric Kindle inoperable, which was met with ‘you can’t exactly read your book when your flesh has been ripped from your skeleton in the aforementioned explosion now can you?’, a good response, and a fair one…

And so to last night’s dream…

I am middle aged, I see my middle aged self in the mirror; a common sight these days. However, as I look in the mirror at my reflection today something is different, a vision or a memory from another “time” is flooding in to my mind. It’s a very odd feeling, a feeling that the memory is not from this lineage. It feels like a long lost time, a connection to another me in a separate lineage to the one I’m living right now. All of a sudden, it is clear to me. I have “lived” or experienced other timelines before, many other timelines.

Call it the eternal return, call it reincarnation, but this is not the first time that I have lived, nor is it the first time that I have seen myself from behind the mirror (even though only now have I recalled this).

That’s it. The mirror. I am looking at a subjective view on a material reality which is right now focusing on my reflection, but behind the mirror is another me. This other “me” has made contact with me, perhaps not for the first time. It has communed a message directly to me, a message which is saying that all is not what it seems.

It is clear; there is something beyond the material universe; there is a source. This source is where our consciousness is stored, not within our brain (our consciousness is not simply an epiphenomenon of an evolved brain, it is something more majestic, more divine), but somewhere else; somewhere non-local.

I leave the house and follow an untrodden path up an unknown hill. The sky is very blue and clouds are wispy, dreamlike. Atop the hill is a glass pyramid, and upon approaching I see some sort of display panel, but a display to what – the source? I approach it and see there is a keypad, which looks like it will require some sort of password to open the glass door. I search deep inside myself and key in the following letters: L A S Z L O…

The panel makes a noise and at once, the screen above the keypad presents an image, an image of an old man who is walking towards me. I recognise the man instantly; it is Dr Jacab Bronowski, creator of the Ascent of Man essays and documentaries.

“Congratulations” he says, “You have found the answer to the question you have been looking for. Welcome to The Source”. And with that the door starts to open, but everything around me starts to fade…

This was a not a lucid dream as I never gained that realisation that I was dreaming, but it felt quite profound as I lay in bed, reflecting. I was experiencing in a dream (or was it), what Anthony Peake refers to as the Eidolon (Lower Self – the “I”) and the Daemon (the Higher Self – the “Immortal Self”); the duality of human consciousness (or unconsciousness in this case) making a connection with each other. I guess the image of Dr Bronowski was my mind throwing me a curve ball, as the man in question believes not of externalism, but of materialism, chance and probability, all very unromantic.

A few days back I looked at the bibliography at the back of ITLAD and ordered some books from there, including Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything by Ervin Laszlo and there will be a joint effort released next week from Peake and Laszlo entitled “The Immortal Mind: Science and the Continuity of Consciousness Beyond the Brain” so maybe this is where my noggin is getting all of its dream content from (as well as keypad passwords to the other side).

As I was typing this up, the postman has just dropped of my latest book, “The Daemon – a guide to your extraordinary secret self”. Now that is quite peculiar…

I’ll finish on a song, the opening lines from Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody:

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality… Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see…

ADDENDUM:

Imagine my surprise when resuming my reading of ITLAD, and upon turning the first page I come across the following italicised statement, apropos NDE’s and OBE’s:

“…I was faced with an image of my own face (as if looking in a mirror)”…

Furthermore, upon leaving Starbucks (the location of my Friday afternoon read), I looked up to the sky, which was hours earlier very grey and very wet, for it now to reveal an incredible blueness with ethereal wispy clouds. As I approached the Marine Park, my focus turned to the roof of the wooden structure in its epicentre, a building painted dark brown, save the apex which was painted a brilliant white, for all intents and purposes the representation of a pyramid…

Human Universe: Apeman – Spaceman

I am a fan of Professor Brian Cox. I think his layman’s approach to science mixed with an obvious passion for what he believes in, and speaks of, has made physics, chemistry and biology much more accessible to the common man. On that basis, I have been looking forward for some time to his new series on the BBC entitled Human Universe (I didn’t cancel my TV licence in the end – due to this up-and-coming series and my son’s participation in a well-known Channel Four melodrama over the coming months), and last night saw the first episode “Apeman – Spaceman” (oddly there was no reference to Albert or Albert II – the first rhesus monkeys in space – probably due to their sad demise on those maiden voyages).

Although I had not seen any trailers for it, I got the general feeling that this was going to be an updated Ascent of Man, which was a remarkable insight into our own physical (but not spiritual) evolution from Dr Jacob Bronowski via a series of essays-cum-broadcasts. Brian has already explained (via the “Wonders of the Universe/Solar System” series) in quite majestic parlance, his “beliefs” on how and when the Universe was created, delving into easy-to-understand chemistry and physics, giving anyone who wishes to gain knowledge of the machinations of matter a solid foundation, before entering the often mind-boggling realm of quantum physics should they decide to make that quantum leap.

One of the key things for me for this series was to determine whether Cox was a materialist reductionist, and whether this series would address the who and the why. From what I understand of the man, he is a “confirmed” Athiest, but I’m yet to find out whether or not that is on the same scale as Richard Dawkins, I sincerely hope not. For me, this is an opportunity for Brian to reach out to the consciousness question neither asked nor answered during his previous broadcasts, and to hopefully bring out new theories like Everett’s Many World Interpretation, M-Theory and the likes. It is also an opportunity to see exactly where he as a man stands on what consciousness is.

And so to last night’s episode, in short for me, abit of a damp squib. The opening scenes were very familiar; with Brian setting foot (and forth) on the Rift Valley, Ethiopia where it all allegedly began. I know that dumbing down science to make it more marketable to the masses is the general approach, but last night’s episode went a little too far for me.

Following on from the plains of Ethiopia where he attempted to replicate the first spear heads and signs of a marked change in intelligence, the most interesting part of the show for me was his reference to the increase in brain size which seemed to coincide with the Earth’s most elliptical orbit around the sun two-hundred thousand years ago, which in turn brought about the most extreme changes in Earth’s climate.

According to Cox, the development of human intelligence was a response to rapid climate change, and it was the precise geography of the Rift Valley East Africa mixed with the precise precision of Earth’s orbit in the solar system, Earth’s spin axis, and the influences of the climate at that time which made our ancient ancestors physiology respond in such a way, increasing our brain size, increasing our intelligence. I think this was his attempt at describing “the missing link” although the exact phrase was “missing” itself.

That in itself seems just as likely as believing in God, given the fact that it seems an absolutely incredible coincidence at ridiculously long odds that everything that could forge that birth of consciousness just happened to fall into place rather nicely on Wednesday afternoon in Africa. I guess that is the main reason (at this point) why I am a nailed on Agnostic (with spiritual tendancies) in terms of whether God does or does not exist.

Brian then travelled north to Jordan and with-it came a high-level explanation on how the first civilisations were born, through agricultural revolution and trade routes, again something much better described by Dr Bronowski many decades earlier.

In concluding, his parting shot for Episode One was thus:

“After almost fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution, and some four billion years of life on Earth, the Universe became conscious, and in just two-hundred thousand years, we humans have transformed ourselves beyond all recognition”.

So from his point of view (citing my own interpretation), this was the birth of consciousness, implying that consciousness is in fact an epiphenomenon* of an evolving brain, something which I have just asked him about on Twitter (still awaiting a response for).

The graphics and scenes from the show are superb as usual, a stunning high definition vista of Earth and beyond, and like I said to a friend, the show is still ‘light years’ ahead of watching such drivel as X-Factor and The Jeremy Kyle Show.

I will stick with the series to see if anything else develops, I sure hope it does…

* Epiphenomenalism: A mind–body philosophy marked by the belief that basic physical events (sense organs, neural impulses, and muscle contractions) are causal with respect to mental events (thought, consciousness, and cognition). Mental events are viewed as completely dependent on physical functions and, as such, have no independent existence or causal efficacy; it is a mere appearance.

Fear seems to make the heart beat faster; though, according to epiphenomenalism, the state of the nervous system causes the heart to beat faster. Because mental events are a kind of overflow that cannot cause anything physical, yet have non-physical properties, epiphenomenalism is viewed as a form of property dualism.

Should I stay or should I go…

To quote the delectable Natalie Imbuglia on the topic of Scottish independence, I’m torn.

On the one hand, I think the devolution of power from the political behemoth that is Westminster (or any powerful centralised government for that matter) is a good thing, as it lessens the power and the might of the “UK” on the global stage, whilst at the same time it gives back to the people of Scotland a sense of being in control of the separate nation it once was, with the ability to administer policies and finances solely on and for the people of Scotland.

However, on the other hand, there would inevitably be the erection of yet another border (manned or otherwise, invisible or otherwise), yet another area of our little blue dot segregated from the rest, yet more nationalism both sides of the border. For those left in the UK who are not of the capitalist / nationalist persuasion, it could spell danger. There is the potential (if not inevitability), that those aligned to the right may swell in numbers, which could lead to further segregation (albeit from a social class perspective) if the Conservatives gain a majority government. This could herald a wave of neo-nationalism in England, including the potential (if not inevitable) rise of UKIP and pave the way for an extraction from the EU, as well as no end of multi-culturism problems.

As coincidence may have it (not that there is such a thing of course), I was doing my weekly ‘big shop’ and stopped off at the magazine rack to see if anything caught my private eye. Sitting next to The Private Eye was a copy of the New Scientist which I had never read before, so for the first time ever at the weekend I bought it, as its cover made reference to a special report inside which read “End of the Nation?” It was a very interesting read which went through the inaugural birth and associated definition of nation. It was full of very long words, so it was an article I would definitely have to read twice due to the offspring (not the punk band) vying for my weekend time so I only skim read it. I knew I was in London this week so decided to give it some serious “strokey beard time” on the train.

Many moons ago I purchased a DVD box set, a classic from the BBC archives. The “Ascent of Man” by Dr Jacob Bronowski is a series of essays made into thirteen documentaries, in which Bronowski details from his perspective the ascent of man through the ages. The series starts off with the story with Australopithecus, the first bi-pedal of the primates and in his opinion the earliest hominid which evolved four million years ago, and which arguably played the most significant step-change in human evolution. Sadly after six episodes Dr J seems to be a material reductionist, I hope that changes by the end of episode thirteen.

Dragging myself back on topic, one needs to consider the full chain of events that led up to the formation of what we call nation, the full chain of events and the concept of the hierarchy. The definition of a hierarchy is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being “above,” “below,” or “at the same level as” one another.

As Bronowski rightly points out, hierarchies can be found anywhere. Take the atomic hierarchy, atomic order. Particles join as nuclei, nuclei join as atoms, atoms join as molecules, molecules join as bases, bases join as amino acids, the building blocks of life itself. And so it is with geographic order. Homes joins as roads, roads join as villages, villages join as towns, towns join as cities, cities join as territories, territories join as nations. And so it is with social order. Selves join as families, families join as class, class joins as society.

So that which we find in nature seems profoundly to correspond to the way in which we join geographically and socially with our nation.

Following the path of biological order (on the basis that we are modern-man at this point), we evolved and started wandering the land as families, then extended families and eventually formed larger bands of hunter-gatherers, not bound by any rules or laws of the land, nor any boundaries as they did not exist (besides physical ones of course). That was until around 10,000 years ago, when the agricultural revolution started. Due to a “coincidental” amalgam of wheat grasses on the plains outside Jericho in then Palestine, modern man realised the theory of Neil the Hippy from The Young Ones: “We sow the seed, nature grows the seed, and then we eat the seed…”

The agricultural revolution moved man away from his previous hunter-gather, nomadic “camping and caves” lifestyle and developed the first settlements. Early agrarian collectives required little governing as they were largely self-organising and happy living the hippy life. But with the advent of agriculturalism came complexity, as collectives turned into settlements, existential complexity increased.

As time went on, places like Jericho, Damascus and Aleppo came into being (the first cities) and became fixed places on the yet to be penned map of the world, and within the city boundaries there began the production and storage of food. Once food surplus was being stored, inevitable skirmishes between the haves and have nots broke out. Once it was clear that in order to progress, rules and laws were needed to exist to keep law and order, and the first ruling powers took seat.

This was the true birth of the human hierarchy. Society was born and with it the hierarchical class system and more and more cities started to spring up around areas of natural resources. As the social complexity grew so did the concept of trade, with settlement exchanging produce, for produce cash or favour. As society was becoming ever more complex, the apparent need for leadership arose, whether that be monarch or government or warlord, as often territory warred against territory. I guess this also heralded the birth of greed, of capitalism (perhaps).

As lines started to appear on the map, so did the birth of the nation, both visible and invisible boundary lines were drawn segregating one nation from the next. And with the birth of the nation came the notion of national identity, a sense that a population which belonged to one area of a map was glued together by common language or cultural inheritance. For the first time people belonged to something bigger than their local environment, patriotism grew as man pledged allegiance to one’s nation.

Ever since, nation has fought against nation, over boundary lines and natural resources, over religious and cultural beliefs and there seems to be no end to it.

Mother Nature has a reset button and it has been pressed a few times already. Whether it be asteroid, ice age or biological (plague/black death), there have been times in our four billion year history that our little blue dot has changed course. It now looks like man will at some point press his own self-created reset button, that I am almost certain. It looks like Mother Nature has been put out to pasture, for now.

I’d like to see “Un Monde Sans Frontiers”, a world without borders, a world which devolves power to smaller territories in order to look after the needs smaller numbers of folks, where folks are free to roam and settle in places that suit them, where folks all work together for the good of everyone and not the self, all in peace. I think that’s called The Venus Project.

I for one am not patriotic. When I think about pride and allegiances, I am proud to be a father of three amazing kids, proud to be the husband of a remarkable woman, proud to be a friend and confidante to others I hold dear. I have a sense of belonging to my local community as well as Liverpool my home town but that is where it stops. I don’t see myself as English, or British or European, my allegiances lie with man in general, not any one kind of man but all kinds of man. My allegiances do not lie with political ideologies, corporations or boundary lines on a map, it lies with the Universe, with the global collective consciousness.

I personally don’t feel connected to Westminster or the UK one bit. I would feel more connected to a devolved territory, and I guess that’s the decision Scotland has to make next Thursday. They have an opportunity to reconnect. Good luck to them.

Slainte Mhath…