With the end of the Mayan calendar now upon us, I would like to offer some thoughts regarding where we have been, where we are going, and what this may all mean for our present lives and the future of humankind. The more aware we are about the choices we make, the less likely we will contribute to the coming chaos and confusion that inevitably characterizes such periods of intense change. It is my hope that this will shed some light and facilitate healing during this time of transition.
The Old Ways No Longer Serve Us
Genuine science, once a valuable tool of inquiry, has been hijacked by corporate interests on the one hand and fundamentalists on the other. Scientific fundamentalism, or scientism, is a belief in science backed by religious fervor.
Scientism seeks to place science at the pinnacle as the one and only true source of knowledge. As such it sees itself as discreditor of all forms of religious authority and spiritual belief, which it deems superstitious.
In anointing science as the only source of reliable fact and truth, scientism ironically makes itself over into a fundamentalist form of religion. And one of its favorite targets has been alternative medicine, which it considers to be unscientific.
Several hundred years of scientific conditioning have convinced the majority of Westerners that they cannot trust their own internal sense of things, their own intuitive judgment, their own experiences. In short, we have come to believe that the only "facts" are the external facts "proven" by science.
The modern world is divided between reason and faith, as if there is no alternative to these two extremes of scientific certainty and blind trust. But there is another very simple and powerful form of knowing. This is the knowing that comes from personal experience.
This is the very same source of knowing that science has undermined by convincing us that our own subjective experiences are unreliable. If our experiences can't be verified by objective methods like the ones promoted by science, so the argument goes, then they can't be trusted. And many people have fallen for this deception.
In practical terms this means, for example, that the side effect we experienced from a drug can't be possible because it is not in the medical literature, or the autistic state that the perfectly normal child regressed into is not due to the vaccine administered 24 hours ago because there is no research to prove it, or the astrological influences of the cosmos upon our lives is superstition simply because science has deemed it so.
The net result is a vast database of fragmented scientific "facts" coupled with the barren landscape of emotional confusion and spiritual emptiness that constitutes modern materialistic consumer culture. It is the same landscape that religious conservatives have been railing against for quite some time now.
This state of affairs has given undue credibility to right wing ideology, which is justified in its criticisms of modern materialism, but goes too far in the other direction. Its equally distorted perspective on the nature of knowing would have us believe that we need to throw all of science out the window and leave everything to blind faith.
Consciousness, Experience, and Inner Knowing
Because we no longer trust our own internal knowing, we either defer to scientific authority or to religious authority, which, by the way, has also fallen for the very same grand deception. Religious leaders, too, feel inadequate in the face of science, and have downgraded the religious life to one of having "faith" because they cannot "prove" their assertions in scientific terms.
We, especially in the West, have fallen for the deception that we can't know spiritual truth through personal experience. The preacher says, "Just trust me," and we are encouraged to suspend our own capacity for judgment and discernment in favor of truths handed down by religious authority.
After all, who are we to claim that we can have first-hand knowledge of a higher power? Only a select few in positions of religious authority are supposed to be able to make such claims. And yet thousands of saints, sinners, mystics, and monks have described just such life changing experiences that attest to personal contact with their gods.
Many of us have had similar experiences but, sadly, we have convinced ourselves that they were just illusions or figments of the imagination. And this is just the way that materialist science would have it. It does not want us to recognize any source of truth other than the "data" provided by its reductionist worldview.
For many of us this may not be breaking news, but it is important news for the vast sea of Westerners searching for guidance and meaning in a spiritually deficient culture of materialism.
The dawning of the new cycle of cosmic change is all about overcoming the brainwashing that deceives us into believing that only scientific or religious authority can provide access to truth, fact, and/or knowledge. And while faith is better than nothing at all, there is a higher form of knowing that comes from both everyday personal experience and inner spiritual experience.
We have already begun the process of reclaiming the truth of our own personal experiences. But we are just beginning to comprehend the sense of empowerment that comes with trusting our inner knowing -- a form of knowing that comes from a deeper place than logic and rational thought will ever be able to take us.
The entire manifest universe is endowed with varying gradations of consciousness, from the tiniest grain of sand to the wisest being. The entire universe is evolving in an arc from relatively unconscious matter toward greater degrees of conscious spirit.
We are all spiritual beings on this temporary, sacred, and profane journey through material existence. And the journey will continue after death once we have shed our physical exteriors.
Everything is a manifestation of energy, consciousness, chi, prana, spirit, soul, or whatever you wish to call it. In fact, the absolute solidity of matter is a mere illusion that even the science of physics now repudiates.
Medical science would have us believe that consciousness is produced by the brain. When the brain dies, so does consciousness. In actuality, the brain is merely a focal point of consciousness, a way station. It is a receiver and transmitter of consciousness, like a two-way radio. Consciousness carries on even after death.
In spite of seeming evidence to the contrary, and in spite of what the modern scientific worldview would have us believe, you are not alone, everything is ONE, and we are all connected. All thoughts, emotions, and actions have effects that ripple out into the surrounding universe.
Notwithstanding the fact that we are all ONE, each individual being constitutes a unique facet of the greater whole. This is the fundamental principle of unity through diversity. We maintain our individuality while at the same time remaining inseparable from that from which we came. Wave/particle duality is a concept in physics that aptly mirrors this paradoxical phenomenon.
All phenomena in the universe vibrate at their own unique frequencies and are capable of being in harmony or disharmony with other frequencies. When our personal lives resonate with the vibrations of our higher purpose and higher power, we maximize our potential for physical health, emotional maturity, and spiritual awareness.
It then becomes a matter of learning to tune in to our higher purpose and acting accordingly, even if that puts us at odds with the prevailing beliefs and practices of the communities and culture that surround us.
Karma is the self-correcting power of the universe that enables one who is out of tune with Cosmic Order to alter course when he or she has gone astray. Likewise, successive incarnations are opportunities to continue the unfinished work left behind in prior lifetimes.
The Directionality of Disease: Healing vs. Suppression
Healing is always a process that takes place over time. It is not something that occurs in a single moment by virtue of taking a pill or removing a body part.
Body, mind, heart, and soul are ONE and, as such, no part of the whole can be affected without influencing the rest of the whole.
We are transitioning away from the old paradigm of material medicine -- which tends exclusively to the temporary needs of the physical body -- to a new energy medicine paradigm that addresses the needs of the body-heart-mind-soul in a more holistic, comprehensive, and long lasting manner. This is the very essence of green medicine.
Pharmaceuticals and surgeries only address the body aspect of the body-heart-mind-soul, and they do so largely by a process of suppression. All forms of suppression eventually lead to an intensification of the same phenomenon, or a transmutation of that phenomenon into a new issue/problem of equal or greater strength.
The old medical paradigm seeks to suppress disease by stopping its symptomatic manifestations at every turn. It does so unconsciously, not understanding that the war against disease just leads to more disease. More enlightened approaches to illness facilitate genuine healing. They do not seek to combat the innate healing capacity of the body-heart-mind-soul.
In fairness, suppressive measures are sometimes necessary when faced with urgent life-threatening situations or unbearable suffering that have no holistic recourse. Even then, suppressive measures should be employed only as temporary stopgaps until less invasive, less toxic strategies can be employed in order to initiate a true healing response.
The universe exists as a spectrum at the bounds of which are polar complements, not polar opposites. One pole cannot exist without the other. Positive and negative poles -- yang and yin, male and female, light and dark, spirit and matter, healing and suffering -- cannot exist but as complementary pairs encompassed by the Great Tao.
Contrary to New Age bromides, suffering cannot be avoided. It is part and parcel of growth and healing. A painless existence would entail a changeless existence. Indeed, the very purpose of suffering is to provide the painful stimulus that leads to constructive change.
The general anesthetic nature of conventional medicine, with its body and mind numbing substances, is inimical to growth and change. It favors the status quo and impedes the path to higher consciousness.
The pull of evolution is toward greater balance. Likewise, healing is a process of achieving balance. Illness is a function of being out of balance. Health and happiness are the result of being in tune or in sync with personal destiny and the Cosmic Order.
Psychological Maturation and Spiritual Growth
Since all is ONE, all aspects of the universe are of equal value. No one person is of any greater or lesser value than any other person. Spiritual maturity does not translate into superiority. In fact, it entails greater consciousness, and therefore greater responsibility for our fellow beings.
No one religion or person has a monopoly on "God." In fact, our conceptions of higher being are as diverse and unique as the prints on our fingers.
Different forms of religious belief and practice can reflect different levels of spiritual maturity. Persons at different levels of spiritual awareness are best suited to religious forms that match their phases of development.
Together, the variety of religious beliefs and spiritual practices form a spectrum, no part of which is of any greater or lesser value than any other. They simply reflect the current level of spiritual development of different groups and individuals.
The minute some person claims to have the one solution to your health problems or the one key to enlightenment, turn and run the other way. There is no such person. There are those who may provide guidance, but the key to healing and wholeness can only be accessed from within.
Enlightenment as a moment of insight that results in permanent transformation into a more evolved being is a misleading illusion. Spiritual growth and emotional maturation is an unfolding process without an endpoint that takes time, perseverance, guidance, discipline, hard work, and some cosmic luck.
We are living during a phase of intense material emphasis in the evolutionary arc of the universe. It is a phase of striking imbalance, the consequences of which are desecration of the physical body and Mother Earth, emotional chaos and confusion, the neglect of spiritual wisdom, and the eclipse of the human soul.
As such, we must be ever vigilant to nurture all aspects of life that care for material existence, honor spirit, and feed the soul. Since all is ONE, care of the soul tends, sooner or later, to trickle down to greater health of the physical body.
The greatest impediment to positive growth and change is fear. Fear is encouraged by the ego's black and white thinking, which convinces us that we are alone and separate from others. I am of one persuasion; "they" are of another. They are therefore to be feared because they are different. But separation is only a materialist illusion.
Black and white thinking serves to engender evil. But evil is not some objectified external entity that threatens to infect us from the outside. It is an imbalance that occurs from within.
We have all perpetrated evils to greater or lesser extent at some point in our lives. To deny the darkness is to deny the part of the whole that needs to be healed. Likewise, to project blame for evil onto another is to deny personal responsibility.
The ego can easily convince us that some things and some people are good, while others are bad. In such cases, we may labor under the delusion that we are not susceptible to the darkness. We mistakenly believe that one pole is capable of existing independently without the other, as if pure good can exist without evil or vice versa. But pointing a finger at the enemy only perpetuates the darkness.
Perhaps the greatest indicator of human health and spiritual well-being is the capacity to give and receive love without attachment.
What Will the Future Bring?
The coming era will mark a return to a more mature manifestation of spiritual values. Good versus evil, right and wrong, black and white, and fire and brimstone projections of our own personal shortcomings onto others will give way to a more healthy and realistic acceptance of the limited and flawed human beings that we are.
The impulse to align oneself with the "one true religion" will give way to an understanding that all organized religions and spiritual callings are, in essence, valid attempts at expressing their unique and limited conceptions of the ONE Universal Great Mystery.
While one religious tradition may focus its efforts on meditation and self discipline, another may be adept at prayer and ritual, another may teach respect for Mother Earth, another may focus its energy on good deeds, and so on. All are right and none are wrong. They all bring something of value to the table of reverence for the One Great Being.
Similarly, on a smaller scale, humanity will come to recognize the inherent value of medical diversity. Knowledge of human health and illness is part science and bigger part mystery. There is no one true medical way that has a monopoly on cure. There are only the personal medical truths of individual circumstances.
All medical options have their flaws and reflect the values of the persons who choose them. It is our fundamental and inherent right to employ the healing modality that we believe suits our own needs. As such, when we make medical choices, we also acknowledge that there are no guarantees, and that we must accept responsibility for those choices.
Above all, the beginning of the new cycle represents a return to trusting our own experiences as valid sources of knowledge. We are not required to answer to the authoritarian and inquisitorial impulses of Western science. Science is a valuable tool, as long as it knows its bounds and respects the legitimacy of other sources of knowledge.
Our sense of meaning and purpose, our values, metaphysical beliefs, dreams, intuitions, epiphanies, revelations, spiritual experiences, and explorations into higher consciousness do not have to prove their validity to science. Such phenomena lie outside the bounds of conventional science, which has no business passing judgment upon them.
The dawning new cycle represents a transition away from knowledge based exclusively upon the rational mind and its offspring, science. Instead, we will begin to develop our capacity for inner knowing based upon personal experience. In time, evolution will favor a balanced union of analytical knowledge of the external world with experiential knowledge of the inner world.
Don't be fooled. There is no instant nirvana. These changes will take time, maybe millennia. We are only at the beginning. We have just turned the corner, and we may be lucky enough to catch momentary glimpses of humankind's great potential just waiting to be fulfilled.
There will likely be discord and unrest along the way, but the end result is an inevitability. Science and spirit will come to appreciate and respect one another. Left brain will cooperate with right. Balance will be the rallying cry of the future.
When we raise our collective vibration, humankind as a whole will then be prepared to take another step forward in its evolutionary destiny. We will then be able to assist all to aspire to the inner knowing that recognizes that all incarnated and all spiritual beings are but unique reflections of the One Greater Whole.
Peace and good health!
Image by raymaclean, courtesy of Creative Commons license.