web analytics
Menu

All Posts by Conscious Owl

Follow

About the Author

One conscious owl to another... sharing what we learned over the years, and from many wise owls before us.

sacred places meaning
Nov 09

How to Create Your Own Sacred Space

By Conscious Owl | Inner Power

We will discover that everything around us, all matter,
consists of and stems from a divine energy
that we are beginning to see and understand.

James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy

You may recall visiting a remote, exotic place that was sublime. You were transported beyond all mundane affairs. Stoned without drugs, you could feel a vibrant energy flowing through you that was clearly divine. In such a state, you could see God.

You may not now be in a position to visit the most celebrated places, such as the Great Pyramid, Stonehenge, Mount Kailash, Mt. Fuji, Machu Picchu or the Grand Canyon. You may even be far away from a national park.

What do you do?

What Is Sacred Space?

A sacred space can be outdoors, such as gorgeous beach on Maui, or indoors, such as within Chartres Cathedral. It typically entails trees and vegetation, coupled with large bodies of water. For so many of us, magic seems to lie in the forest by the sea. Often, there will be unusual rock formations and geological pressure points, or meridians. The sacred energy can be very physical.

Often sacred space is defined by the energy given and received over many generations. Think of Mount Sinai, Jerusalem, Mecca or Varanasi. If a place has been supersaturated with prayer and meditation, it resonates in a deep place within you. Entire religions were established in such places.

Sacred space is also internal. You might visit the catacombs of the Christian martyrs in Rome and laugh at all the bones. You would miss the whole point. You don’t know anything about it and don’t even care. For you as a tourist, it is all spectacle. Contrast this with a pilgrim who knows her journey is as much an inward, as it is an outward, trek.

Why Sacred Space Is Vital

Today, the majority of people around the world live in cities. In highly developed countries, many of us will spend over 90% of our lives indoors. We are increasingly out of touch with creation. Our world is all manufactured. We are reduced to our socio-economic status.

That which is sacred is, by definition, that which is set apart, that which is very special to us. Without a sense of the sacred, which may simply entail holding a newborn infant, we have lost all sense of perspective. To be human is to experience disappointment, anxiety, apprehension and distress. We need a place of refuge where we feel totally free to be ourselves.

We weren’t born into the earth so much as we came out of it. We are integrally enmeshed in all the winds and waves and tremors. As Chief Seattle advised a century ago, we are not apart from our Mother, we are a part of our Mother. What happens to her, happens to us. The way out is to re-enchant our world and sanctify our lives.

Where You Can Find Sacred Space

Sacred space can be found all over the world. Power spots, such as Sedona, Arizona, make it much easier to detect. Our planet is a conscious being, as demonstrated by the Gaia theory. Wherever people commune with Her, there she is. Just think of Carlos Castaneda with Don Juan in upper Mexico.

Sacred space may appear to you in a local park, a placid pond or even an old building. Chances are you can walk to the nearest sacred space. What is essential is that it speaks to you. Open up your senses: hear, see, smell, touch, taste. It will seem vibrantly alive. James Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy Movie illustrates this process in exquisite detail.

James Redfield observes that synchronicity is the divine guidance system that leads us to our destiny. When you arrive, you have the experience that, as strange as it seems, everything is perfect just as it is. When you unexpectedly see the same person or thing three times in one day, you should consider that as a sign and look deeper.

How to Optimize Sacred Space

When you finally experience the sacred, go with it. Just let your monkey mind rattle on without give it too much attention. Close your eyes and tune into your intuition. If you have a meditation practice, deploy your mantra. If you pray, expect God to talk back to you with the still, small voice.

Saint Francis, perhaps the greatest Christian ever, after a futile military escapade that brought him back to Assisi in shame, stumbled upon an old, crumbled church outside the city walls. He heard a voice telling him to “rebuild My Church.” Francis did literally that. With his own hands and those of friends, he rebuilt that little church and invited marginalized people to share it.

Because Saint Francis learned to optimize that little space, he opened up the great space, inspiring the Roman Catholic Church for centuries, such that the latest Pope chose his name to embody his ultimate vision. You never know the heights to which you are called when you open up to the Transcendent.

How to Make It Your Own

Each of us can create our own sacred space wherever we find ourselves, inside or out. We need to first tune into divine energy, which is everywhere. Visiting a famous holy site will definitely establish the impetus. How many Catholics were transfixed by visiting Lourdes, the famous site of miraculous healing? How many disgruntled Westerners found themselves in India, where a whole new Universe opened up to them?

personal sacred space

It might simply be a corner of your living room where you meditate with a pillow. You might keep flowers, pictures and books nearby. Essentially, it becomes an alter or shrine within your very own home. The more consistently you use it, the more special it becomes. When you sit down there, it automatically elevates you to the right frame of mind.

Even the greatest people who ever lived needed a place of their own. For Buddha, it was the Bodhi tree under which he sat seven days. For Moses, it was Mount Sinai in the wilderness, where he first tended sheep. For Christ, it was the Garden of Gethsemane. For Muhammad, it was the remote cave, Hira, where he retreated for years until he heard the Archangel’s voice.

How Sacred Space Can Transform Your Life

Finding and creating sacred space shifts your values and priorities over to the inner life, the spiritual, even the mystical. You begin to look at financial assets more as a way of buying freedom to pursue what truly matters to you, and less for display or conspicuous consumption.

With a sacred space, you can withstand even the most bitter assaults of life, even when you seem to lose everything. I recently met an inspiring woman mystic, Miranda Macpherson, who entered the cave of Ramana Maharshi and heard a voice telling her to hold onto nothing, even her very identity. At great cost to herself, she did just that, and became a living garden of delight to everyone who encounters her.

When you spend enough time in your own sacred space, you will open up to the possibility that, not only the Holy Land, but the entire planet is sacred, and ultimately, the Universe, itself.

embarrassment
Nov 02

Embarrassed? Get Used to It!

By Conscious Owl | Conscious Relationships

“He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.”

-Jesus Christ before a woman caught in the very act

If you are like most of us, you get deeply embarrassed when you do something totally stupid and everyone finds out. This issue came to the public’s attention with the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Christine Blasey Ford, a Northern Californian college professor, accused him of sexual assault when they were just teenagers.

Whether true or not, this is a very serious allegation for someone being considered for the highest office in the land. When Judge Kavanaugh got defensive, it made us think that he might be guilty as charged. Today, no one can run for high office without being a target of any number of aspersions.

You are utterly void of social intelligence if you haven’t been totally embarrassed at least once in your life. It can be something as simple as unwittingly calling a prospective client twice in a row, or as serious as a quarterback blowing the game in the last second of the Super Bowl.

You Are Never the Only One

At the moment you goof up, it is tempting to feel that you are the only one to do such a stupid thing. Perhaps you call a well-known friend by the wrong name. The prevailing assumption people operate from is that they can do no wrong. If they stop looking good, it must certainly be their bad.

If you have ever gone to an intense workshop where everyone gets underneath their skin and reveals the skeletons in their closet, you will be amazed how nobody actually lives the proper storyline. Nobody comes up to the legendary “Ozzie and Harriet” in the early days of television. People get fired, divorced and have painful operations. They flunk out of their finals. Once I got an “F” when the whole test was simply “True” and “False” questions. I would have gotten a higher score by simply guessing!

Nobody consistently looks good, because we are all human. We can scarcely be conscious five minutes at a time, let alone every single minute. Nobody on Facebook or LinkedIn celebrates their failures. They give us the best possible impression. Don’t think they never made a big blunder in their past!

Most People Hardly Even Notice

A deeper realization you get from attending any growth seminar is that everyone is too immersed in their own melodrama to give undivided attention to anyone else. Psychologists reveal that after 24 hours, people have forgotten 90% of a sales presentation.

Sure, a few characters in your outer circle may occasionally take cheap shots at you. But the wiser among them won’t be anxious to cast the first stone. They have a long string of mistakes they hope no one else scrutinizes.

A relationship guru once disclosed that no matter how much you might love a woman, and she loves you, no woman can think of any man more than 50% of the time. We all have our own lives to live. The miracle, as the late Psychiatrist Fritz Perls pointed out, is that when we find each other, it’s beautiful!

Why Take Yourself So Seriously?

A fatal assumption is that the world revolves around you. Your Big Self IS the world. Your tiny self doesn’t even have a chance. Your body, itself, is your token in the Game of Life. It is your point of view that lets you play the game. Yet, the whole point of this game is to take delight in everyone and everything else.

Related Topic >>>   Self Criticism Works Against You

A wonderful psych instructor of mine at Cal Berkeley, Stephen Levine, advised his students to do something every day that makes you burst out laughing at yourself. Go ahead, be embarrassed. Come alive!

People love screwball comedy because it is cathartic. We can all be low-grade morons when we let our patterns run us. We more fully love people who have gone beyond looking good. When President Trump played the villain, millions identified him as real. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton, who may have an unimpeachable character, wasn’t transparent enough to win those crucial electoral votes.

embarrassment meaning

You Are Fully Alive Only When On the Edge

Embarrassment is a sign that you are pushing yourself forward. If you are never embarrassed, then you are definitely not taking enough risks. Life is all about growth. We never stop learning. To be a top performer requires a massive amount of practice. World-class experts require over 10,000 hours of it. They make mistakes all along the way…and learn from them!

Creative people are happy experimenting with their lives. They never want to get too settled in any one thing. A master like Picasso had at least half-a-dozen discrete periods, such as the Blue Period, the Rose Period and Cubism. Each time, Picasso had to reinvent himself. This may be why he is widely considered the greatest painter of the 20th Century.

When I was in elementary school, I tried out drumming in my school’s marching band. I had no talent for it. Even worse, I chose the wrong drum for the parade. I stood out as a sore thumb. Years later, while in an ad agency, one of my colleagues told me that I was “one of a kind.” He actually meant is as a kind of compliment.

True Leaders Are in Touch with Their Humanity

When we think of the greatest people who ever lived, we can see unmistakable marks of their humanity. We all think of Jesus Christ’s glorious Sermon on the Mount. We never think of His exasperation with His flesh-and-blood disciples, who seemed never to get it. Neither do we think of the rope whip He used to drive the money changers out of the temple.

A close study of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King will disclose serious mistakes. Gandhi alienated his entire family in his attempt to practice egalitarianism. Fortunately, his wife stuck with him to the end. King has been accused of cheating on a paper at Boston University. This didn’t any less endear him to the adoring public. It made him seem all the more human!

The greatest achievement of any leader is to lead from behind, to lead more by influence than dictum. The Zen tradition focuses on ordinary mind and nothing special. Like an infinite fractal pattern, the perfection of life lies in its endless repetition, all the jagged curves which, when seen in totality, are deeply satisfying.

focus on growth

The next time someone singles you out as not thin enough, or smart enough or handsome enough, invite them to take the long view...

Please be patient. God is not finished with me yet

violence definition
Oct 26

Violence: A Conscious Response

By Conscious Owl | Inner Power

You have heard that it was said
“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."
But I say to you,
Do not resist the one who is evil.
But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek,
turn to him the other also.

Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount

The central problem in every religion and philosophy is the problem of pain, or suffering. Why do bad things happen to good people? Some traditions point to sin, others to karma, others to fallible human institutions. Just think of all the innocent people who die in conspicuous acts of terrorism, whether in Paris, Las Vegas or Orlando. In many cases, we are talking women and children.

An even greater dilemma is what to do in response. Should we pretend it never happened? Should we kill our attacker? Should we declare war? Should we begin to look at life as a victim? Should we get even through elaborate plots of revenge.

This is not what the greatest men who have every lived have taught us. Yet we must deal with the situation in a way that works for us as human beings.

Violence Happens

We must start by acknowledging that violence, directed towards ourselves, or to others (maybe even on the other side of the world) is a part of our experience. It doesn’t matter how clever our interpretation; we must deal with the fact that we have let it in as a part of our reality. Every time you watch a newscast or pick up a paper, you create even more violence.

We don’t have to interpret it if we don’t want to. It is very difficult to acknowledge pain without immediately going to judgment, evaluation, decision and conclusion. We seem to be wired that way. Yet the truth is simply that we experience pain, or extreme discomfort, disruption and destruction, either by ourselves, or through other people.

Whatever has happened, has happened. There is nothing we can overtly do to erase that fact. How we respond to that event is wide open. This is where our creativity comes in. Not every injured person seeks retaliation or revenge. This should give us pause for consideration.

violence psychology

War Is Broken

On a collective scale, we have institutions to protect us, from local police to militia to the armed forces. While we don’t really have effective structures on the global level, we certainly have them at lower levels. On the global level, we virtually live in anarchy.

The deeper problem, due primarily to “weapons of mass destruction,” is that the scale of their damage is too powerful to imagine. For example, one Trident submarine could launch enough missiles to take out all the major cities in North America.

President Nixon published a book, Real Peace, in 1984 that marked a shift in Cold War strategy. Nixon showed how total war no longer works as an instrument of public policy. Even limited intervention is risky and should be avoided wherever possible. Shortly thereafter, President Reagan, along with General Secretary Gorbachev, normalized relations between Russia and America.

No License to Kill

On an individual level, we are almost never granted the privileges of James Bond. Even his creator, Ian Fleming, couldn’t pull off James Bond in real life. An intriguing movie, The Man Who Would Be James Bond, portrays this.

To retaliate by killing someone, even for breaking and entering, results in a civil procedure, and you must hire a defense attorney. Even killing game with your rifle out of season is reprimanded. The best policemen and soldiers pray they never have to use their weapons.

Simply asking the question, “Is violence ever justified?”, will lead you to the truth. People justify violence all the time, usually dragging God into the picture. This hardly makes violence justified. When it comes to human beings, it is hard for anyone to feel good eliminating someone.

causes of violence

As Within, So Without

On a deeper level, we can ask where the violence actually happens. If we are honest, we will admit that it always happens within our experience. As long as we find ourselves in the land of the living, any violence we see, hear or feel happens within the context of our absolute being.

An ancient mystical saying puts it that whatever we find without, we find within. The implication is that all external people, places and things are ultimately within us. We know this to be true from quantum theory and neuroscience. Nothing is really “out there” in the classic sense.

At first, this realization may cause you great dismay. However, if you stay with it, you will find it liberating. If Who You Are is the Source of all your experience, then your True Self must be the Creator of your world. This is exactly what is meant by you being a son or daughter of God.

Compassionately Confront Your Opponent

We can learn much from Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. They took Jesus’ injunction to love your enemy to the streets. Gandhi didn’t take a passive stance to perceived injustice, which Pope Francis I calls “structural evil.” Even though Gandhi started as a subject of Her Majesty, he didn’t receive equal treatment, as he wasn’t white.

Gandhi learned, and Martin Luther King closely followed, acts of “noncooperation” or “civil disobedience” not as retaliation or revenge, but to awaken the British imperialists and appeal to their higher sensibilities. He was brilliant at that, as you quickly realize in Richard Attenborough’s masterpiece, Gandhi.

When Gandhi was asked how he would respond to Hitler in light of the Jewish holocaust, he maintained that there would be much pain and suffering in a course of nonviolence. He then paused to ask the journalist, “Is there not much suffering and pain now?” Gandhi emphasized that the one thing you must do is stand firm for justice. As he once put it, “I am not for passive anything!”

“An eye for an eye, making the whole world blind!”

-Mahatma Gandhi

Transform Violence through Love

We then go back to Buddha, and to Christ. Both are human, both are divine. Buddha taught compassion, Christ taught love. This was not a theoretical construct. Buddha made his followers “Bhikkus,” beggars, and taught humility and solicitous concern. Christ had his followers unconditionally turn the other cheek. The Apostle Peter asked, “If my brother offends me seven times in one day, do I still have to forgive him?” Jesus’ response was, “Not seven times seven (49).”

To those of us untutored in “ahimsa” or noninjury, this seems like a fairy tale. Certainly, people will take advantage of you, abuse you and walk all over you if you are a pushover. However, this is not quite so certain to happen if you truly love them.

Christ taught us to systematically pray for difficult people, blessing them, and wishing the very best for them no matter what they do. Not only Gandhi and Martin Luther King demonstrated the power of this, but throughout the history of Buddhism and Christianity, contemplatives have worked miracles of love. That love, Divine Love, is the most powerful force in all the Universe.

violence examples

You Are the Light of the World

Politicians and commentators keep asking what can we do about all this violence, an endless string of wars, terrorism, murder and violations to our Mother Earth. What they don’t suggest is that we do something radically different.

The Roman Catholic Church was recently in a sharp decline in public esteem. Charges of corruption and pedophilia were rampant. Pope Benedict XVI resigned, an unprecedented act. Then, an obscure archbishop from Argentina, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected pope. Jorge was an intensely practical man who had no other ambition than to live the Gospel. He invented the Papal name of Francis I and insisted on living in an apartment, not the Papal Palace. He insisted on using public transportation whenever possible.

Pope Francis I is but the latest example of people who seriously follow Buddha or Christ, and get the heart of the message right. Jesus called his disciples “the Light of the world.” He was referring to divine consciousness. When people awaken to Whom They Really Are, the world, itself, is transformed before their eyes.

It is not too late for us to carry that torch forward in our heart and our soul.

wabi sabi definition
Oct 19

Wabi Sabi: The Perfection of Imperfection

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Temple bells die out.
The fragrant blossoms remain.
A perfect evening!

-Basho

Today, everyone associates Japan with perfection, as in the Toyota Lexus, SONY laptops and Kurosawa movies. But it wasn’t always so. At one time, “Made in Japan” was a source, not of pride, but of derision. After WW II, the islands were in ruin with two major cities nuked.

In one generation, Japan rose to the top. It became an inspiration for Steve Jobs to beat the Japanese at their own game. Steve apprenticed for years under an American Zen master and maintained a meditation practice throughout his entire adult life. He was the only one to pull it off. Starting in the late 1990’s, Steve Jobs built Apple into the greatest company the world has ever known.

Japan invented perfection as a viable standard. It has irreversibly transformed our outer world and speaks profoundly to our inner world. What best embodies that perfection? Wabi sabi.

What Is Wabi Sabi?

Wabi sabi is a Japanese expression that connotes quiet isolation, poignant beauty, a contemplative celebration of the transitory nature of life. In the Zen tradition, all is ephemeral, like a fading rose all the more precious because it lasts only a few days, only a few hours.

Wabi sabi emerged with the tea house tradition in Japan, which offers, not dazzling, ornate china, but simple peasant pottery, called Raku. The ashes of burnt wood create an exquisite glaze that runs unevenly down the sides of a crude cup. It produces an intimate, homely mood in synch with the season.

Wabi Sabi opens up perfection as a living experience. When you can stop time and enter into the eternal NOW moment, everything is as it is, and you allow everything to be. Your life begins flowing. You discover stunning beauty in the most unlikely of places, such as a cluster of violets growing out of a granite cliff.

Is Art Life, or Life Art?

Japan, like France, is a culture and civilization wholly devoted to aesthetics and beauty. Art, music and poetry are never a waste of time. They are perfect vehicles for meditative practice. I have a longtime friend who went through their school system. He was required to take art and music all the way from Kindergarten through 12th Grade.

Japan is an enchanting cluster of islands that is 80% mountainous. Only 20% of the land is arable; yet the nation is 80% self-supporting. One out of three days is rainy, with two months saturated in mist. To flourish there, you must be extraordinarily industrious. Yet the Zen tradition, heavily influenced by Taoism and Shintoism, stresses perfect harmony with nature.

Life is art, and art is the ultimate expression of life. Just like form is emptiness and emptiness form. Creation is to be honored, yet enhanced. The trees and shrubs in a Zen garden are carefully groomed. The ideal always is to maintain a low carbon footprint. Sen no Rikyu, the supreme master of wabi sabi, would clean a temple and grounds until they were impeccable. Then he would stop and shake some leaves off a cherry tree to give the setting character.

wabi sabi life

Improving on Perfection

Perfection is not simply some abstract ideal or a silly concept. Perfection is the completion of that which is. It is easy to perfect the imperial palace. It is a far greater challenge to perfect a broken down hut in a remote forest with an aging couple eking out a living.

Wabi sabi takes a minute view of things, looking at them from all angles, ever seeing new possibilities. It may choose to depict a scene in black and white, as opposed to 32 million colors. It looks at fiber and grain, at infinite, irregular patterns. It takes special delight in all the transitory moments, the sound of a distinct bell and a delicious fragrance from invisible petals falling at dusk.

You finally begin to realize that the only place to look to find perfection is in the imperfect.

If you look close enough, you will find that every element of your life that you now consider imperfect is actually perfect. It may not seem to fit, but it actually belongs there. Altogether, the composition is irreplaceably beautiful. You can’t have up without down, light without shadow.

wabi sabi beauty

True Beauty Overlooked

A talent scout doesn’t go in search of the stars, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lawrence or Anne Hathaway. He goes to the suburbs and remote towns to discover new talent, the future Lady Gaga or Jennifer Lawrence or Anne Hathaway. He looks for star quality, that indefinable something that can launch an actress into the stratosphere.

So also, Japan has a long tradition of working with browns and greys, accented with black, red and gold. Its look and feel is unmistakable. No one can even approach it. For centuries, Japan was overshadowed by China and Korea, now Europe and America. Yet every time Japan goes within herself, she finds her sun goddess, Amaterasu.

No matter where you live, you will find little patches of beauty, even on city streets after pouring rain. A rainbow, even a double rainbow, can appear anywhere. Beauty is a major part of what makes life wonderful, and this is not entirely dependent upon your bank account. If you merely have eyes to see and ears to hear, you can relish beauty every day of your life.

wabi sabi art

Suchness, The Path to Perfection

Zen Buddhism has a word for all this, tathata, or suchness. As Werner Erhard once put it, “Perfection is a state in which things are the way they are and are not the way they are not.” Just allow something TO BE. It is never harder than that.

A good way to start is to allow that which you refuse to acknowledge to simply be. Many American bitterly oppose President Trump’s initiatives, and begrudge him any credit whatsoever. Yet, the simple fact is that he IS for now the American President. The question is not simply, “How can we get rid of him?” The question is, “How can we work with him at this time to make positive change?”

Not just politics, but many elements of your life might seem totally out of your control. It could be spiraling debt. You can curse it, or bless it. When you systematically bless everyone and everything in your life you will effect a transformation that has far reaching effects. Eventually, you will arrive at the place where you see that it was all necessary, that it is all perfect, just the way that it is.

Perfectly Human, Perfectly YOU

The greatest challenge of all is to see that you are perfect, no matter how human you seem to be. Somehow, you got it into your head that being human was the opposite of being divine. The truth is closer to your being divine to the extent that you are truly human. The world is waiting for you to be 100% YOU.

If you could just forgive yourself, you would discover that you can forgive everyone, even Donald Trump! If you are like me, you are too tall or too short, too fat or too thin, too stupid or too smart. You are not your own ideal, that’s for sure. You may be a stunningly gorgeous woman, yet you refuse that honor until you starve yourself to death trying to be a Twiggy. It is truly funny when you think about it!

Japan as a nation, like Apple as a company, has blessed the world with the direct experience of perfection. Perfection is an experience, if it is anything. It always lies in the moment.

Every day you encounter perfection, but almost never recognize it.

The next time you can, take a deep breath and go find a Japanese tea garden. When you lift up a Raku cup and smell the Jasmine tea, realize that you have stolen a moment in heaven and made it your own right here on earth!

evolution theory
Oct 12

Isn’t It About Time for Evolution to Evolve?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Power

I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels bless’d; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.

-Jalalludin Rumi

Do you believe in evolution? Or do you find it an extremely useful organizing tool for examining life and thinking about our origins, as well as that of the plants and animals that make Earth our home?

Why must we have faith in evolution, as if it were a fact? Charles Darwin conceived of one of the most far-reaching ideas in human history, and provided us highly convincing evidence. Yet, unless we can travel back in time hundreds of millions of years, we can’t be absolutely sure.

Have you ever asked yourself whether the very idea of evolution, itself, might evolve? Is it possible that we might just go beyond that idea, and put both God and the monkey together?

Evolution vs. Creationism: Why Does It Matter?

Evolution and creationism matter if you care about such questions as, “Who are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going?”. If life as we know it is totally a result of random mutations in genes, and there was neither design nor designer, what does that make us? Random flukes in a meaningless universe that couldn’t care less about us.

If creationism is true in any way, then we can safely claim to be made in the image of God. We have a divine spark within us; better yet, we are inherently divine! Even if Adam and Eve in the Garden is a poetic story, it hides a deep truth. Humans may be the first creatures on earth conscious of being conscious, life forms who celebrate the supreme Source of consciousness.

For 150 years, this debate has raged, long before the Scopes Monkey trial in Tennessee that made creationists seem like a joke, and long after. Nothing has really changed. Some people can’t get with the idea that this is all by accident and totally meaningless. Can you blame them?

Evolution facts

Why Darwinian Evolution Is Out of Date

The Darwinian Theory of Evolution is way out of date, like a vacuum-tubed mainframe from the 1950’s. It was conceived in the middle of the 19th Century during the early phase of industrialization that had children work 12-hour days in factories. It was developed during a period when England and France gained ascendency over most of Africa and Asia, and systematically pillaged resources from both continents to supply their factories with the raw materials necessary for continuous output.

Darwin carefully observed fascinating phenomena in the Galapagos Islands that showed the inherent competition among living systems for life-giving energy and water. He called it “survival of the fittest,” popularly known as the “law of the jungle”: kill, or be killed.

While the fossil evidence to support Darwin has become undeniable, his interpretation of that evidence leads something to be desired. He lived in an industrial era, and so thought in primarily mechanical terms. His concept of God was of a remote deity somewhere “out there” wholly disinterested in human affairs. We might wonder if he ever encountered the God within.

Is the Universe Really So Stupid?

One of the tragic limitations of the early form of evolution was the assumption that the Universe was stupid. It was the era of the steam engine. Everything was thought of in terms of processes. The French Enlightenment had advanced the idea of “the system of nature.” The world was a giant system that could be examined without any reference to God, or even to ourselves.

Every child is filled with wonder. I can still remember how brilliant the Christmas tree bulbs were when I was four-years old. When I look at Yosemite, or the Grand Canyon, or a pristine forest or an alluring tropical island, I am stunned by the exquisite beauty. Beauty is inherent in creation. What is accidental about that?

We no longer think of the world that way, thanks to such scientists as James Lovelock, who developed the Gaia Theory that earth functions as a giant living organism. Even when human beings set about to damage the ecosystem, it has a way of healing itself that no one could have predicted.

evolution examples

Could Spacetime be a Mental Construct

Albert Einstein, in his later years, wrestled with an inadmissible question: Is the universe really out there? Could both time and space actually be a mental invention, the software by which we make sense of our experience? An irreplaceable interface to our playing the game full out in this simulation?

With quantum physics, the notion of an “objective” universe “out there” came tumbling down. You can’t make an observation without the observer. The observer, herself, is a participant in it. However you cut it, the universe is inseparable from consciousness.

Not only that, nonlocality was experimentally demonstrated such that particles can communicate with each other faster than the speed of light, even when on opposite sides of the universe. Increasingly, this world came to resemble an immense hologram.

Could it be that our world is inside US? Whenever you have a single perception, idea, thought, memory or dream, YOU are the one with that perception, idea, thought, memory or dream. It is only an assumption that they are totally independent of you.

Contrasting Ecosystems: Competition vs. Cooperation

Dr. Elisabeth Sahtouris is an evolutionary biologist with a deep love for life, who continually asks the big questions, having been deeply influenced by the ecology movement of the 1970’s. She will never make the mistake of seeing the tree for the forest. She has distinguished two different kinds of evolution, one preceding the other.

Early evolution is, indeed, highly competitive, a true competition among the genes for precious sunlight and water. It starts at the bacteria level, then goes to simple one-celled creatures and then multi-celled plants and animals. This is the evolution that haunted Charles Darwin.

Dr. Sahtouris points out that the Soviets honored Peter Kropotkin, who focused on mutual aid and anticipated the environmental revolution. Kropotkin concentrated on mature ecosystems where mutual cooperation is the norm, not the exception. Organisms finally wise up and realize that helping one another is more cost-effective in terms of energy that devouring one another.

According to Dr. Sahtouris, both early and mature evolution are true. Any profound contemporary theory of evolution must honor both.

Evolution the DNA of Silicon Valley

Having worked in Silicon Valley for over 20 years, I have had the chance to see generation after generation of computer technology evolve, not organically, but by design. Gordon Moore predicted that computers would double their power and cut their cost by half every couple years. That trend has held true for over 50 years!

A human cell evolves from a single fertilized cell to an intricately complex adult with over 10 trillion cells in just 50 divisions. In every cell, a set of instructions allow the total organism to completely fulfill its life cycle. Cracking the human genome revealed that these instructions can be coded as on-off signals into binary language.

evidence of evolution

By designing advanced technology, we can gain amazing insight into our own genetic makeup. It is now possible to play “creator” with our own genome. However, we have to ask many questions about our relative wisdom before we embark upon such an endeavor.

Can we evolve our consciousness the same way we have evolved our bodies?

What’s Next in Evolution?

Whatever one accepts about biological evolution, social and cultural evolution is hard to deny. Despite the fanaticism of our contemporaries on the world stage, we have grown a lot more humane in the last couple hundred years. Legal slavery is no more. The average lifespan has more than doubled. Literacy worldwide is at the highest ever. While international conflict stubbornly persists, the number of people dying from wars has dramatically dropped.

Dr. Deepak Chopra spoke about “metabiological evolution.” It is less and less about changing our bodies and more and more about transforming our heads and our hearts. If we except the Hindu notion of God as “Being, Consciousness and Bliss,” then expanding our consciousness is the most effective way to evolve.

Consciousness expansion begins by losing all attachment to our egoistic definition of ourselves. We shift from foreground to background. We are not so much the players on the stage as the stage, itself. We are the context out of which the content of our lives occurs.

As the great Jesuit paleontologist put it: “Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.

moonshot meaning
Sep 28

How to Create Your Own Moonshot

By Conscious Owl | Inner Power

The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.

Dr. Peter Diamandis, Co-Founder, Singularity University

Many of us can remember the U.S. Apollo Program that sent a crew of three people up into space for the first lunar landing. This was the fulfillment of President Kennedy’s commitment in 1961 to land a man on the moon before the decade was out. In July 20, 1969, it actually happened.

For most of humanity’s history, the thought of doing this was all but impossible. Even though the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. had developed jet aircraft, no one was confident of sending a rocket straight up for 186,000 miles, let alone achieving a soft landing with an actual human being.

In the 1960’s, it took the U.S. a massive commitment of thousands of engineers and billions of dollars. But the investment was worth it. The moon landing was a landmark for all humanity, past, present and future.

Today, you can have your own moonshot, and it need not cost a fortune. After all, the smart phone in your pocket has more computing power than all of NASA enjoyed for the Apollo Program.

What Is a Moonshot?

A moonshot is any dramatic achievement that appears all but impossible and positively impacts the whole world. It has historically been the prerogative of only the military, government or multinationals.

Dr. Peter Diamandis of Singularity University gave a practical definition tailored for the individual. Identify a “grand challenge” that can impact one billion people and solve it within 10 years. It can be initiated by a single person, who can establish a mastermind and rally support from around the world. Key is to leverage the Internet and mobile devices.

While Dr. Diamandis is exceptionally brilliant, having multiple advanced degrees, having won countless prizes and having started 15 companies, he is utterly convinced that anyone with sufficient vision and commitment can pull this off. That, in fact, is the whole objective of the University he started with Dr. Ray Kurzweil.

moonshot vision

What Grand Challenge Waits to Be Addressed?

If you want to change the world, the best way is to take on a “Grand Challenge” that could make a massive difference. For example, a friend of mine from Pakistan plans to end illiteracy there and around the world. He has a brilliant approach to this leveraging smart phones, YouTube and Facebook.

This should be the global issue that speaks most directly to you, whether it is climate change, religious-sanctioned violence, hunger, poverty or spiritual emptiness. In the 1990’s, I had a passion to end the destruction of the tropical and temperate rainforests. Today, my passion is to create a world where nobody ever kills again in the name of God.

Look at what is happening in the world, study the major issues and welcome them. Great entrepreneurial ventures, whether social or commercial in nature, are based on a problem that people are highly motivated to resolve. No problem, no opportunity. The more problems, the more opportunities. Today, we have plenty of opportunities, which 30 minutes of any newscast will reveal. It could be something as mundane and beneficial as a global recycling program that would take all the junk off the sidewalks and roads.

What Has Been Done So Far?

The next step is to do your research on Google, social media and your own inner circle. Suppose, for example, that, like Dr. Diamandis, Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson, you dream of going into outer space. Your grand challenge might be to travel to the nearest star system, Alpha Centauri, 4.3 light-years away. At 186,000 miles per second, you will need to have a pretty fast rocket to get there in under a decade! The best we can do today is 36,000 miles per hour.

You research what types of technologies could dramatically improve our sustainable speed. For example, atomic-powered vessels come to mind. Other sources of energy are now being researched. Dr. Michio Kaku, a physicist who is willing to step out on a limb suggests we could theoretically reach one-third the speed of light.

If you closely study the New Paradigm, and the latest thinking in quantum field theory, nonlocality keeps recurring, as it has successfully been demonstrated in the laboratory.

quantum-mechanics

If you separate two particles to opposite sides of the universe, their spins will stay correlated faster than the speed of light. Would it be possible for a rocket to become “nonlocal” and re-enter locality in the vicinity of Alpha Centauri?

How Could You Go Exponential On It?

The next step is to go exponential in your thinking. Everyone in business is looking for incremental improvements, say 10% to 20% per year. That looks good to large enterprises. Instead, go orders of magnitude greater. Think 10x, 100x, 1,000x.

For example, if a rocket company can create a vehicle that goes 30,000 miles per hour, create a vehicle that can go 300,000 miles per hour, or even 3 million miles per hour. Then it becomes interesting! Your first reaction will be that this is clearly impossible. However, is anyone thinking about it and working on it? At this point, you might want to go to a major research university and meet with various physics professors.

When you go exponential, you differentiate yourself from the pack. Often, you will have no real competition, as no one is crazy enough to openly embrace that objective. Consider that the first men to ride in an airplane were bicycle merchants who flew off the ground in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Imagine flying when only gods and goddesses had ever done that before. How amazing!

Economics: Faster. Better. Cheaper.

After this, you need to address the commercial side. If you don’t gather the finances and broadbased support, you may never succeed in fulfilling your dream, no matter how noble your intentions. It need not be your money, but it will be somebody’s money.

A simple way to win at this is to identify a way to make a process faster, better or cheaper. The classic example is digital cameras, where you can shoot picture after picture with no expensive film to process. Without the lab, you can push images out in real-time as you take them. Ultimately, you can make better pictures than even the most expensive professional camera.

With high technology, processes in every industry are being transformed to go faster and cheaper. In many cases, the end product is even better. Just imagine the quality of Apple’s iPhones. They even manufacture their own chips for optimal performance.

Technology: Digitize. Disrupt. Democratize.

Your great ally in this whole process will be the digital world. Almost anything can be digitized. Apple has produced classroom software where you can make gorgeous books with photos and moving videos with animation. For example, you can see an insect close up in your digital notepad. The resolution is stunning. You can peel away layer after layer and turn the bug around 180 degrees.

When you go digital on any process, you become highly disruptive. You can go faster, cheaper and better than even the multinationals. For example, 3D printing is now as easy as laser and inkjet printing were. Advanced applications of it include manufacturing human tissues for surgery!

When you digitize and disrupt, the price falls. More and more people can afford it. The innovation democratizes. For example, Apple’s Garage Band lets you assemble a jazz ensemble, rock group or even symphony orchestra. It provides you your choice of rhythm. You can edit the melodies and even print out the music. You can then deliver your score to a symphony conductor. He or she might even give you the time of day!

moonshot challenge

Out-of-this-World Moonshots

If we look back at history, we see how moonshots have accelerated as we get closer to the present. Around 500 B.C., the Buddha invented enlightenment. Today, people all around the world practice mindfulness. In the First Century, Christ introduced the idea of loving your enemies in His Sermon on the Mount. Today, people all around the world pray for the troublemakers among us. Most people no longer respect or admire hatred.

As we get closer to the present, we need think only of Gandhi, who, thrown off a train in South Africa, vowed to establish an empire of human dignity. Fifty years later, Gandhi succeeded in bringing independence to India; he brought down the entire British empire in the process!

If we think of the 1980’s, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were locked in a futile Cold War that consumed billions of dollars. President Reagan stood his ground, convinced it didn’t have to be that way. Then General Secretary Gorbachev emerged who really knew how to negotiate. We saw glasnost and perestroika. Soon after, relations between the two nations normalized.

Finally, if we think of President Clinton and Al Gore, along with executives in Silicon Valley, such as James Clark and Marc Andreesen of Netscape, they successfully evangelized the “national superhighway.” At the time, we relied mostly on copperwire. In just two decades, the entire globe was united with interactive communications. Now you can conduct a videoconference around the world while walking down the street, all with your iPhone or Android.

Perhaps Dr. Diamandis is right. Perhaps any of us can create our own moonshot. If this is true, would you be willing to settle for any other life objective?

The world is calling you. Are you online?

remote viewing masters
Sep 21

Remote Viewing: How to See Far Away with Your Eyes Closed

By Conscious Owl | Inner Power

And on that clear day, on that clear, clear day
You can see forever and ever and ever and ever more

Lyrics of Alan Jay Lerner

Have you ever played with that delightful mobile app, Periscope? You can go anywhere you want and share a moment with anyone willing to open up their video camera. You can see them very clearly in vivid color. You can text them, but you can’t actually speak with them. It is a little like lurking. You can window shop your way around the entire planet.

Suppose your network connection suddenly drops out. What then? If you are a government, you have satellite, reconnaissance planes and paid espionage agents. For an ordinary person like you and me, it is possible to do something much simpler.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and visualize…anything…whatever comes to mind.

What Is Remote Viewing?

Remote viewing is a psychic technology inspired by shamanic visioning and prophetic powers. It was formally developed in the 1970’s by SRI, a prestigious research institute adjacent to Stanford University. Physicists were brought in to experiment with ways that they can gather intelligence about distant places, as well as events that have already transpired or is about to occur.

Remote viewing is far more than a parlor game or elaborate guess work. You work under quiet laboratory conditions with paper and pencil in hand. You focus on targets, typically given by the director. Very often it will entail people introduced to you driving out 10 or 20 miles away. It is up to you to identify the landmark they choose.

Remote viewing typically doesn’t involve photorealistic images, as you might enjoy in a lucid dream. It entails receiving signals involving form, shape, color and emotional feelings. You do your best to capture whatever impressions you receive on paper. You then verify the accuracy of the information you receive when possible.

remote viewing techniques

Remote Viewing Transcends Space and Time

Each of us is perfectly capable of seeing a distant time or place with our eyes closed. With our physical eyes and ears, we typically see or hear what is right in front of us, unless we have sophisticated instruments, such as a telescope. With vision our dominant sense, we tend to concentrate first on sight, then sound, then touch, taste and smell.

With remote viewing, we can see many miles away without any degradation of the subtle signals. Apollo astronauts actually ran psychic experiments tens of thousands of miles above earth on their way to the moon. They compared information with their contacts stationed here on earth.

Some remove viewers have successfully captured information about events decades ago, discovering unknown details which, with further research, were actually verified. Likewise, some remote viewers see places and events as they will unfold several days from now.

Why the Intelligence Community Paid Millions

Russell Targ became the leading authority on remote viewing at SRI. His work was so accurate that it caught the attention of the Director of NASA, and later the CIA. His experiments led to the development of a sophisticated lab that was funded by those agencies for 20 years.

Remote viewing became compelling to military strategists concerned about Soviet missile installations undetectable by the best satellites. Of course, the Soviets were doing the exact same thing. When the Cold War ended, Americans and Russians got together and compared notes. They were shocked at the accuracy of each other’s probes.

The ultimate in spying would be to get the information you needed immediately upon demand with no intrusions. Black ops and other nasty engagements are not the primary focus. They are designed to help government and military make the most informed possible decisions. Often, the lives of many men and women are at stake.

Remote Viewing Can Be Learned

While most of us are in utter awe of the prophecies of Nostradamus, and the uncanny medical diagnosis and cures of Edgar Cayce, we can develop our psychic powers to a basic level. From the yogic perspective, this involves opening your Third Eye.

The work at SRI has demonstrated that people who are not distinguished psychics can receive extremely accurate information under laboratory conditions. In conjunction with companions, you can train yourself to achieve promising results.

Start simple, perhaps within your own home. For example, a friend can identify a small object in another room, place it in a sealed box and bring it over. You are allowed to touch the box, as long as you don’t open it. This is not a game of 20 questions, but rather receiving intuitive impressions.

How to Conduct Your Own Remote Viewing Session

While classes, books and videos are readily available, the essential procedure is quite simple.

1.  Find a quiet place where you can close your eyes and concentrate, perhaps with a mantra.
2.  Breathe deeply and clear your thoughts as best you can.
3.  Deliberately focus on a particular time and place, as directed.
4.  Stay alert to any feelings, sensations or images that emerge, but refrain from guessing.
5.  Open your eyes and write down any shapes, forms or colors you saw, along with any descriptive words.
6.  Verify your results as soon as possible.
7.  Take an experimental attitude with no attachment to the results. Simply have fun!

Continue to practice over a period of time, sharing your experience with others.

remote viewing proof

What Remove Viewing Reveals About Who We Are

Remote viewing experts, such as Russell Targ, suggest that the greatest reward of such an endeavor is to find out who you are in the process. Russell, himself, is of great interest, since he is legally blind. For all practical purposes, he sees with his eyes closed.

Russell was so good at what he did that he decided to engage in commodity investment in the silver market. His prognostication was so good that his team scored nine times out of nine. The team racked up $200,000. Later, they suffered a disagreement, and the winning streak abruptly came to an end.

What is most revealing is what physicists call nonlocality. The information is coming from no particular place and time, since you can access information around the world, past, present and future. It is coming from what might be called the akashic records, wherein is stored everything that was ever experienced.

Remote viewing leads you to the direct realization of Cosmic Consciousness. You are one with the Universe.

If you find occasion, play with remote viewing. You might see your loved ones on the other side of the world. You will certainly take a major step toward Self Realization.

time travel
Sep 14

Is Interdimensional Travel Possible?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Power

If you don't believe when I talk to you about things on earth,
how can you possibly believe if I talk to you about things in heaven?

-Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John

When we think of the movies Star Trek and Star Wars, we think of objects popping in and out of space, both appearing and disappearing in rapid succession. Accounts of UFO’s attest to their ability to instantaneously accelerate to supersonic speeds, vanishing beyond the horizon.

Most space movies assume our ability to go well beyond the speed of light (Warp speed), just as we exceed the speed of sound with the sonic boom. There is one slight difference. Sound travels at just 761 MPH, while light travels at 186,000 miles per second. At the speed of sound, it would take several hours to cross the continental United States. At the speed of light, you could reach the moon and back in just two seconds.

Best estimates, such as those of Dr. Michio Kaku of the City College of New York, propose that the best we can theoretically do with our present understanding and our current technology is reach one-third the speed of light with an atomic-powered spacecraft. At the speed of light, we could then enter the fourth dimension of time. All stories of time travel are interdimensional in nature.

What Are Multiple Dimensions?

If we think about dimensions, we start off with the basic three: Height, Width and Depth. If we remember Einstein’s formulation of Spacetime, we can then point to Time as the fourth dimension. However, our own experience reveals these dimensions by themselves are insufficient to account for all of reality.

If we have seen spirits or taken psychotropic substances, we have directly experienced how malleable the Universe may seem. Objects melt into each other. This is also true of our dreams, as well as our ​Near Death Experiences

It is noteworthy that Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon, underwent a week-long coma where his brain wasn’t operational and he was placed on life support. Miraculously, he recovered and resumed a normal life. Dr. Alexander’s first book, Proof of Heaven, went to great lengths describing an exquisitely beautify landscape, much like the Swiss Alps, with rapturous music and an overwhelming experience of love. Given that Dr. Alexander was rigorously trained as a research scientist and MD, we should give his story careful consideration.

Flat Land: From Three Dimensions Down to Two Dimensions

When we look at going beyond the familiar four dimensions, we find ourselves stymied. How can we put words to it? This dilemma was masterfully portrayed in Flatland by Edwin Abbot Abbot back in 1887. This novel portrays the challenge of a 3D creature to awaken 2D creatures on a sheet of paper as to the reality of the third dimension. The 3D creature doesn’t appear in a proper light in a 2D world, but rather appears as a circle, rather than a full sphere.

The 2D creatures are terrified of the 3D creature, as he doesn’t fit into their world and threatens their slippery grip on sanity. His attempts to convince them of the new reality are futile until he lifts one of them off the paper into the 3D world. This mirrors the tension between Jesus Christ and His disciples when He tries to relate divine truth to human truth. They just don’t get it.

When we consider multiple dimensions, we have a very tough time visualizing them. The Dutch artist, M.C. Escher, managed to suggest this very effectively by drawing an illustration of a man’s hand drawing itself. When you look at it, you ask, which is the drawing, and which is the real hand?

Higher Dimensions: String Theory Requires Eleven Dimensions

In the wake of the astrophysics of Albert Einstein and the quantum mechanics of Werner Heisenberg, we are confronted with two conflicting views of the Universe where the laws are utterly opposed. It is all about scale, the scale of the infinitesimally small strings, vastly smaller than subatomic particles, such as quarks, versus the scale of infinitely large galaxies that can take thousands of light years to cross.

String theory emerged a generation ago to reconcile them. It has worked out a highly sophisticated interpretation that reconciles the apparent differences at Planck Scale, 10-35 . It visualizes infinitely tiny strings or membranes of energy. Only one problem. The mathematics require 11 dimensions, or the familiar four dimensions, plus 7. It is explained that they are all wrapped up somewhere, which is why we don’t see them.

Visualize an ant crawling along a wire over a roadway. At a distance, the cable seems to be a straight line. Up close, however, you see the strands of the cable spiraling. The ant does not actually cross a straight line, but circuitously walks along the spiraling strand. So also with the higher dimensions.

Starting the Interdimensional Journey Outward

If we are going to experience interdimensional travel, as in the recent film, Interstellar, we need to find an extremely fast spaceship and a worm hole, a tiny portal, to another star system, galaxy or even universe. This is extremely dangerous, as it we are uncertain humans can survive the passage between one side of the wormhole and the other.

Our heart’s fondest dream might be, like Marty McFly in Back to the Future, to grab a sexy DeLorean. Adjust the flux capacitor and rev up the engine to do 88 miles per hour. In that movie, you would land 30 years in the past, or 30 years into the future. You need not worry about the stringencies of attaining the speed of light.

However, is it really necessary to travel outward to enter a new dimension? If the Universe really is constructed in 11 dimensions, then we inhabit each one of the dimensions. Could there be a link between the seven chakras and the 11 dimensions, between higher and lower chakras and higher and lower dimensions?

Starting the Interdimensional Journey Inward

When we realize that the Universe is a gigantic hologram, and that as Einstein suspected toward the end of his life, spacetime is a construct of the human mind, it becomes much easier to accept multiple dimensions. Here, traveling between dimensions is as simple waking up to their existence through an experience of satori, or even an encounter with LSD, Mescaline or DMT.

The first three dimensions could correspond to the first through third chakras: Security, Sensuality and Power. The fourth chakra, Love, has all the fluidity of time. The higher chakras of Cosmic Consciousness, Divine Consciousness and Unity Consciousness could contain the extra seven dimensions.

An easy place to start is with our right brain holistic, intuitive awareness that instantaneously grasps the Big Picture, while the left brain, linear and precise, ponders all the details. As we cultivate our intuition through creative expression, meditation and wandering in the forest or resting by the sea, we wake up to the Higher Dimensions and can effortlessly travel between them.

Love Always the Way Back Home

Love is the ultimate homing device. We can navigate the entire universe with it. As Dante put it, “Love is the force that moves the Sun and the other stars.” We can strive to know God’s Mind, as did Einstein, or God’s Heart, as did Christ. When we strive to know the heart of God, we will never miss. Love is the context of our lives. It is the unseen motive to everything we do.

We needn’t worry about figuring it all out in advance. We can simply BE with other people. As we open our hearts to them, we will learn. We will let their wisdom infuse us.

Love never loses. You win only when the person you love wins. When you love your enemy, your “enemy” can’t long remain your enemy. When you are weak, you are strong, and when strong, you are weak. You give up forever trying to prove yourself.

Interdimensional travel is, indeed, possible. As Timothy Leary once put it, “Turn on, tune in, drop out.”

Aloha meaning
Aug 30

Aloha: The Universal Greeting

By Conscious Owl | Conscious Relationships

Most people live on a lonely island,
Lost in the middle of a foggy sea.
Most people long for another island,
One where they know they will like to be.

Bali Ha'i may call you,
Any night, any day,
In your heart, you'll hear it call you:
"Come away...Come away."

“Bali Hai” from Rodger’s & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

If you ever had the chance to travel around the world, you will find that not everyone greets you with “Hello!” a smile and a handshake. Other parts of the world prefer more meaningful expressions. In the Middle East, it is either “Shalom” or “Salaam,” both meaning peace. In India, it is “Namaste”, meaning “I salute the divinity within you.” In the Far East, it is either a bow of the head or of the waist.

However, there is one particular greeting known the world over which, hands down, would win a contest for the universal greeting: “Aloha!”. Thanks to extensive tourism and the media, most people have heard its melodious sound and have at least a vague sense of what it means.

Whatever interpretation you give “Aloha,” you can’t get away from the feeling of LOVE.

Why Aloha Speaks to Everyone

Aloha has such universal appeal because it is usually given with an embrace and a gorgeous lei, or garland. Whatever the Hawaiians say, they say in flowers. Blossoms in the hair, on the table, even on the food, itself. The island of Kauai is known as The Garden Island. The classic movie, South Pacific, was shot there, and it is hard to think of that film without seeing people surrounded by flowers, music and dancing.

Most people who visit Hawaii are in no hurry to leave. Tourists find enchantment in the air. While it might have the world’s best organized tourist industry, the personal touch is never forgotten. I remember walking along a boulevard in Honolulu looking for a pay phone. I dove into a hotel and asked the concierge where to find one. He told me to simply use his phone and ushered me to his desk.

When you receive an Aloha, you are the only person in the world who matters. You feel more more like a king than a millionaire. Everything is presence. Whatever you do is OK. There is never a rush about anything. Life is precious and sacred. It is natural to be conscious, rather than in your head. What else is there to do? Aloha is more than a state of mind; it is a state of being.

What Aloha Really Means

Aloha literally means sharing your breath, the divine breath, with someone else. We all breathe the very same air and share the very same life. A Hawaiian kiss is to put your foreheads together and breathe in the sacred mana. It is no accident that breath, wind and spirit are all closely related in the world’s languages. This is the vital energy that Indians call Prana, Chinese Chi and Japanese Ki.

Aloha means putting others’ welfare before your own. You ARE your brother’s keeper. Whoever is your neighbor IS your friend. Their wellbeing is your own. Joseph Campbell tells of a Hawaiian officer who almost jumped off a cliff to save an impulsive, suicidal youth. The cop later recounted, “If I had not done everything I could to save that teenager, I couldn’t live with myself another day.”

Aloha elevates you, as a guest, to the status of a god or goddess. I will do anything within my power to ensure your comfort. I am here to serve you, to honor you, to cherish you. Hawaii is a favorite wedding spot (Bill and Melinda Gates got married there), because that kind of love is in the air. When you step off the plane, you can literally smell the intoxicating fragrance of orchids and plumeria blossoms.

aloha translation

How Aloha Came to Embody Hawaii

Hawaii is the crown jewel of the Polynesian culture. I met Tahitians who confessed that they were jealous of the Hawaiians. They really had it good. This is a culture that prizes presence, harmony, gentleness. Being is valued above doing. Bliss is a prerequisite to life. You will do anything to ensure that your loved ones stay happy.

The missionaries came to Hawaii in the 19th century, and, among other things, banned nudity. However, the native Hawaiians won over their hearts to the point where we can see true Christianity practiced there. To be Polynesian is to be Christian, and to be Christian is to be Polynesian. Isn’t it all about love, anyway?

As Hawaii prepared to become a state within the U.S., rather than remain a territory like Puerto Rico, it seized upon “Aloha!” as its symbol. Hawaii officially became “The Aloha State.” It even named an airline by that word. Aloha became popularized all over the U.S., and eventually the world. However, the pure, innocent and gentle spirit behind it never entirely went away. That was the miracle!

How to Bring Aloha Home with You

The spirit of Aloha is something you just pick up without thinking about it. If you meet people born in Hawaii, you will be impressed with how delightful they are, how much in their bodies, how totally present. In Silicon Valley, we think of Guy Kawasaki, who evangelized the original Macintosh. Guy has always been filled with good humor, wit and playfulness. You can now find these qualities embedded in every Apple device.

Once you get to Hawaii, it will only be a matter of time before you have to leave. You know then that you are losing something irreplaceable. Where can you find land and sea like this? Where can you find a whole state that shares the Dalai Lama’s religion of kindness? I had one pal who flew from California to Hawaii every weekend just to be there.

You can deal with this by placing a high value on things Hawaiian. Not simply the Ukulele, steel guitar and hula dancers, but the beautiful places in creation that speak to your soul, secluded spots in the forest or by the sea. Perhaps a town or village where people are open and warm. People who never shrink from demonstrating hospitality.

aloha hawaii

How to Create Aloha Everywhere

Once you have brought Aloha home with you, you will seek ways to create that spirit wherever you go, with whomever you meet. Humanity is desperate for people who are truly present, who know how to simply love, who see the divinity within.

Seek out a spiritual practice or expression of faith that truly works for you. Even if it is simply meditating with your eyes closed five minutes a day. Sure, your monkey mind will go berserk and the task will seem hopeless. You might add yoga exercises or Tai Chi to it, as well. Simply persist. Think in terms of months and years, rather than minutes or hours.

Most importantly, get in touch with Divine Love in whatever form it manifests. That Love IS God, and God IS That Love. This may seem like an impossible project. However, if you know what truly matters, you are a step closer to bringing it about.

If you live in America, you are free to visit Hawaii. However, you are also free to celebrate the spirit of Aloha with everyone you meet. In doing so, you may do more to save the planet than anything else. It all begins with individual enlightenment followed by collective enlightenment culminating in planetary transformation. Once you truly get behind Aloha, a whole lot of other people will, as well.

ALOHA!

finding free will
Aug 24

Where to Find Free Will

By Conscious Owl | Inner Power

Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains.

-Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Philosopher of the French Revolution

Once upon a time, you may have taken Philosophy 101 and wrestled with The Big Question: Do we have free will, or are we totally determined? Are we programmed to run like an automaton? Is our every thought, word and action that of someone else? Is it even possible to live authentically in this complex global society?

Since then, the answer seems to have swung sharply in favor of the determinists. Neuroscientists suggest that our thoughts arise only after an internal decision has been made. Silicon Valley is getting better and better with advanced Artificial Intelligence in replicating our brain processes. Yet, how can this be? We certainly FEEL free much of the time.

When we gaze at a trusting little infant dropped down from heaven by a stork, we can’t help but be deeply moved by her beauty and innocence. No way can this precious bundle be a robot! Yet as we progress through life, we feel the burden of our own conditioning getting heavier and heavier.

Where shall we look for free will?

Can You Find Free Will in Your Body?

If you are your body, you can move as you wish within certain constraints. You might not always have the exact color of hair and eyes, the total physique that you might want, but you can go many places and interact with other bodies any time you choose. Isn’t that freedom?

Yet you know that you have an elaborate set of genes which might be considered defective. Your body is always aging, whether you like it or not. You may not be here forever in your present form. Anyway, there is always someone more handsome or beautiful than you, tougher or stronger, cooler and more collected. Even if you become Mr. America or Miss America, your time is limited. It will all be over in a year.

You begin to suspect that your body is your piece in the giant game board of Life. Find a car, a wife, two kids and a mortgage. You can then progress throw by throw, either to the Poor Farm, or Millionaire Acres. But really, what kind of freedom is that?

free will philosophy

Can You Find Free Will in Your Mind?

Perhaps you are an intellectual, like me. Maybe you had a good education, and you can often convince others that you are not totally stupid. You may not be your body, but certainly you are your mind! Yet, you will always find smarter, more knowledgeable and wiser people than you. If you get a Harvard scholarship from an inner city high school, you are in for a shock once you reach the campus.

Every year, computers are getting smarter and smarter. In the last several decades, they have become orders of magnitude faster than ever before. They are shrinking from filling an entire room with vacuum tubes to comfortably fitting into the palm of your hand running billions of cycles per second. By 2030, or at the latest, 2040, they are estimated to exceed human intelligence. Then what are you going to do?

The more education you pile up, the more you learn about less and less. Post-Ph.D., you risk becoming an educated idiot. You begin to discover life can’t be reduced to rational empiricism. You need to jazz up your right brain to keep from becoming totally dysfunctional. Have you thought about taking a watercolor class? Anything to keep the spark of creativity alive!

Can You Find Free Will in Your World?

If you are not your body, or your mind, perhaps you can find your answer out in the world. You can move to Paris, Tokyo or Bombay. You can learn a whole new language and culture and become a global citizen. Maybe you will even stumble upon enlightenment… IF you find the right ashram, the right guru, the right mantra.

Yet, whatever you do, you will bump up against socioeconomic constraints. You can never have enough money or power. The higher the position, the greater the responsibility. If you became President of the United States, what kind of life would you have? No matter how good or bad you were in office, you would always end up being blamed for this or that.

More to the point, going out into the world makes you vulnerable to superstorms, floods and fires. Systematic hacking and terrorism. Unrest in country after country. You may begin to feel your only choice is to run. The world is not the same as the one in which you were born. How can you possibly be your world?

Only When in Chains Can You Free Yourself

The older you get, the more you will find that Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s lament could not be more true. Everywhere you look, people are in chains, leading lives of “quite desperation.” Everywhere you find people hoping against all ¬¬hope, fighting incipient disillusionment.

We can think of Nelson Mandela before he became President of South Africa. Nelson was condemned to a life of hard labor breaking rocks on Robben Island. As a deeply frustrated activist, he had attempted to bomb the whites. In such a situation, he could so easily have been written off.

Yet Nelson Mandela refused to give up. He wore his chains and chose his chains, his tiny little room and his daily routine. He read books, kept dreaming and wrote. Slowly, the world began listening. Even more important, he became something of a saint. People loved him, even the prison guards. He created paradise in a hell-hole. Finally, the South African government realized that Nelson was already free inside, and a precious collective asset. In partnership with de Klerk, he created a new rainbow nation.

Free Will Happens the Moment You Wake Up

You will remember The Blue Pill and The Red Pill in The Matrix. Neo’s choice, however uncomfortable, was the right one. With the Red Pill, NEO jumped out of the simulation and faced the real world. Finally, he had a choice to intelligently act. All the earlier choices in the couch potato world led to nothing.

The Matrix is a powerful, contemporary metaphor for the experience of enlightenment. When you own your own experience, realizing that no one and nothing resides outside of you, you begin to see Who You Are. You are the Creator within His Creation. While you appear on the cinema screen, you are really in the audience the whole time watching the show.

free will examples

Unlike any character in the reel, you don’t have to worry about doing this or that. You get to create it all. You have divine imagination. The moment you surrender to your True Self, you are empowered. In harmony with Source, you can create miracles. You can mold your world closer to your heart’s desire. You can wave the magic wand and transform anyone or anything you touch.

You have a body, a mind and a world… on camera. Now go within to make this an Academy Award production.

Do you agree?