Saturday, September 29, 2018

Myth-perception #1: Only Matter Matters

                                                                                                written 22 September 2018
                                                                                                published 29 September 2018

            One of my favorite science books is "Spontaneous Evolution", written in 2009 by Bruce Lipton, a nationally recognized cell biologist, and Steve Bhaerman, a comedian, known for channeling Swami Beyondananda.  This educational and uplifting book presents a positive future, and a path to get there from here
            Their basic thesis is that life, over the last 3.5 billion years, has faced a series of extinction-threatening situations, each demanding a spontaneous evolution to resolve.  We are facing such a challenge today.  The good news is that we don't need an evolution of biological form, but simply a shift in fundamental belief patterns, the programming that determines behavior.  This is like a computer systems upgrade, rather than a new computer, a change that can be very rapid.
            While the book describes how we got to this crisis point, the crux of the discussion is four false beliefs, fundamental to our dominant culture, leading to lethal consequences.   
            The first of these myth-perceptions is: only matter matters.  For centuries, European culture held that reality was primarily spiritual, dogmatically defined by the Catholic Church, which killed people who disagreed with their definitions.  The Protestant Reformation in the 1500s, one of the first rebellions against the secular corruption of the Church, diminished that power, and allowed investigation of alternative descriptions of reality.  The scientific world view arose in the 1700s, avoiding conflict with the still powerful Church by considering only material aspects, ignoring the unseen completely.  The success of this materialist perspective, and the technology it developed, has transformed civilization, but led to the erroneous assumption that materialism is the totality of reality.
            Corollaries to materialism are reductionism, the linear assumption that the whole can be understood by examining the dissected parts, and determinism, the assumption that, when everything is measured with precision, the outcome of processes can be predicted with certainty.  The world was reduced to a purposeless machine, and acquisition of material goods was the only measure of success.  This became the new cultural dogma, as oppressive as the rigid spiritual dogma of the Church had been, resulting in destruction of planetary resources and the rise of corporate domination.
            But the integrity of the scientific quest for understanding led to continued discoveries, showing that materialism, reductionism, and determinism are incomplete descriptions of the real world, and are therefore incapable of addressing the multitude of crises facing humanity today.  Matter is now understood to be a form of energy, shaped and directed by unseen forces known as fields.  Most systems, especially living systems, are non-linear, where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and a reductionist analysis misses important truths. Quantum physics shows that matter is a probability function, in conflict with deterministic certainty.  At the particle level, qualities such as position and velocity are paired, with an inherent uncertainty.  The more precisely one quality is measured, the more indeterminate the other becomes.  Finally, the act of observing affects what is being observed, suggesting that the unseen nature of consciousness is central to reality.
            The unseen energy fields that affect matter, and unseen patterns of consciousness, both appear to be non-local, bound together in dimensions that transcend the four dimensions of space/time that constrain the original Newtonian physics, stretching our conventional understanding, and putting us into a realm previously considered spiritual.  The war between the dogma of the church and the dogma of materialist science is a false division, born of rigid attachment to limited perspectives.  It is like arguing whether a coin IS heads or IS tails, rather than understanding they are two sides of the same coin.
            By embracing the reality of this inclusiveness, we open new areas for investigation, particularly in health and healing.  The body is not simply a material mechanism, but an expression of interconnected complexes of energy systems, affected by conscious beliefs, and it can be healed by changing those beliefs.  In the same way, the healing of the planet may be addressed by changing consciousness.
            Chapter five of "Spontaneous Evolution" ends with: "We can realize that humanity is operating on a unified field of dreams, and we can rejoice that the field is a playing field, not a battlefield."