You can’t solve a problem
with the same kind of thinking that
created it in the first place.
– Albert Einstein
A new scientific truth is not usually presented in a way to convince its opponents.
Rather, they die off, and a rising generation is familiarized with the truth from the start.
– Max Planck
I spent four (very valuable) years at MIU – (Maharishi International University, now called MUM, Maharishi University of Management). It’s a liberal arts university in southeast Iowa, at which everyone (students, faculty, and staff) practices the Transcendental Meditation technique.
During this time I became convinced of the importance of consciousness (in general), and (specifically) in the reality and power of Group Consciousness.
During this period, certain experiments were being done by a group of Governors of the Age of Enlightenment (TM Teachers who had also learned [and were practicing] the TM Sidhis). They went to Atlanta, GA (I think it was) and inquired at the police headquarters – ‘Where in this city is the crime rate the highest?’ They then rented a space in that district of the city; and there (twice every day) gathered and did group meditations. That’s all. They simply performed the practices which they had learned. And after a couple weeks returned to the police station with the same inquiry … and learned that crime had dropped in the district where they had been meditating. So they went to (a new) district – the one where crime was the worst then …and (as before) did their Group Program.
They did this in 4 or 5 districts; and each time the crime rate dropped in that district where they were doing their meditation practices.
That’s when I became satisfied – that Collective Consciousness is more than a mere notion … it’s a reality.
Our paradigm – our agreed-upon/shared notion of Reality is reinforced and stabilized (agreed on) – by numerous (mostly subtle) transactions. However (I suspect) that the main mechanism for sharing and holding in common a given paradigm (and values) – is in the functioning of Collective Consciousness itself … in the (various) “clubs” that we have joined. Joining (any) ‘club’ (of course) involves the mind; but the actual joining (or staying) is a matter of the Heart. Maybe I am a Liberal; or a Pacifist; or an Anti-abortionist. Or maybe I regard myself primarily as a Human and a Planetary Citizen. All of us belong to numerous ‘clubs’; and we join them as our Heart directs. (It’s hardly a matter of choice.)
But once in a club, we (automatically … and to a certain extent) plug into the Group Mind, the Collective Consciousness of that particular group. I doubt whether there is any way of avoiding this altogether. Even if you claim that you are not a ‘joiner’, I still don’t think you can escape this phenomenon.
I think the best we can do – is to foster within ourselves a commitment to and a hunger for the Truth.
The prevailing paradigm of the dominant culture (here in the U.S.) is still that of Materialism (materiality = reality) … but its days are numbered.
Let me share with you a bit of my background – so you can better understand where I’m coming from … my personal relationship with Philosophy and the paradigm shift that we’re moving into.
I grew up in semi-rural northwest Ohio.
When I was 14, just after I entered Shawnee High School, I matriculated also into a school which I could not see.
I do not know whether I had more than one teacher, or of what order of being they were, but they were not human. I couldn’t see them.
Nevertheless, I was being taught.
There were no scheduled classes.
I was simply having my attention directed to certain things that were happening around me.
For example: to what was happening when a fellow student eagerly filled in a gap in their understanding. Clearly this was being done because they were not comfortable with the “hole”; and they didn’t much care what it got filled in with.
That very moment I vowed I would never do such a thing.
If I didn’t understand something, I would live with the “blank”.
(I would wait TILL I DIED if necessary.)
I would wait till the understanding came.
I gave myself – completely – to this Training.
I was more devoted to it than to the education I was receiving in the school I could see, and from the human teachers I could see and hear.
Fifteen years later I was living in Seattle, Washington.
One day (in the spring of 1976) I was “auditioned”.
I was asked to work through, to think through – the Freewill / Determinism Paradox.
(Do human beings have free will, or not? Is our subjective sense of freedom – an illusion?)
I agreed to do so.
It was not the first time I had thought about this issue. I had not thought much about it for some time. Anyway, I agreed.
After a couple weeks of thinking it through, it occurred to me that I had done what I could do with the idea.
So I “notified my Teacher”, and “handed in my work”.
There was nothing written down. I guess I figured they would be able to handle my thoughts directly (as perhaps they may have been recorded).
I sort of just “handed in my mind” to be reviewed and considered.
I didn’t hear any applause or anything like that; but I got the feeling that it was considered to be Satisfactory.
Soon after that (perhaps two weeks) a certain thought came into my mind: that there are two components (or aspects) of what we call (here & now) “Experience”. There is an outer, material aspect; and there is an inner, subjective, non-material aspect.
(As I look out my window, I see a pond. It has water and fish, etc. That is material.
Also there is my (inner) experience of it. And this is made of Mind Stuff. It is not material.)
Now … everybody knows this.
And I had no reason to be thinking about it.
Furthermore, attached to this idea – was an INTENSE sense of URGENCY,
Which I did not put there.
(And the idea didn’t come from me, either.)
I had been auditioned … and then had been given an assignment.
For the next year and a half (till the “answer” came) I was, I believe, as true to my assignment as I could have been.
Those next (4) years I spent at MIU (now MUM) in Fairfield, Iowa. A liberal arts college where everyone – faculty, staff, and students – practices TM (Transcendental Meditation). And since consciousness is there regarded to be the basis of everything, there is more than a little talk about it.
So whenever it seemed pertinent to a given discussion, I would interject something about my assigned idea (the outer and the inner).
Students came to talk to me. In a steady stream. To encourage me.
The environment was about ideal.
But it was not until late in the fall term of my second year there that the Insight finally came.
In the class I was taking we were watching one day a film strip about a baby in a high chair, playing with some toy on the tray in front of him. He knocked it off the tray, and the object fell out of his field of view. But he does not hunt for it.
Then the baby goes through a Transition. THEN when his toy lands outside of his field of view, HE HUNTS FOR IT.
This immediately struck me as very important. Significant.
But it took about two weeks for the Insight to present itself.
Then I understood it !
I had completed my assignment.
RECOGNITION is the key.
We watch the inner
And we recognize it
The people who sit in a theater
Watching a movie
(without much thinking about it)
That the film they are watching
Is being projected
(onto the screen in front of them)
From a place they cannot see
A projection booth
Above and behind
When a person falls in love
He sees a sort of Glow
Around his sweetheart. But
He probably does not realize
That the Glow he sees
Comes from within himself
That it is his own
(followers of Carl Jung)
Say that what is being projected
(when In Love)
Is one’s own Anima
Which is what they call the Soul.
But there is a
GREAT PROJECTION (compared to which, Falling in Love is child’s play)
Which we live with
All day every day.
we live THROUGH it.
We live IN it, even.
It is what allows us
To live and function in the world.
For it IS our own
It is This Projection
We recognize it
It is Our Dream of the world
In Real Time.
And as we recognize this Dream as the world
(as we construe that it IS the world)
The World Appears and
And we are left simply
With an experience of
This is the
We also experience the
Sleep state and the
But it is to the Waking State
That we all
A dozen red roses.
The colors of it
(by the way)
Come from us.
They are one of our contributions
To the Great Projection.
Color does not exist in the world itself.
Wavelength (and frequency)
Are properties of light.
And while there is a correspondence
Between a given wavelength
And a given color,
Color is NOT a property of light.
It is a property of US
A property of Consciousness.
All these Colors make the projection beautiful.
But what makes the Illusion
(and it is completely convincing)
Is the fact that we seem to see
The various things of our surroundings
Where the things ARE.
So, we live
INSIDE our projection.