Manual Gods Journey: On the Topics of Personal and Collective Evolution, as well as the Meaning of Life

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Stage 1 is categorized by patterns of externalization and an overall victim mentality. The dominant emotions are fear, disdain and hopelessness. There is also a belief that life cannot be trusted. In this stage, blame is placed on other individuals, society, government, nature, disease, etc.

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In this second stage, individuals realize that they have some degree of control. Yet this control is often motivated by fear and survival. For example, war is an extension of this stage of consciousness. The enemy is perceived as a threat, and because of this, people believe they are morally justified to kill, eliminate or repress that enemy.

We also see various reflections of this stage of consciousness in our collective world. Look at how most people treat the environment and interpersonal relationships. Or consider the dominant mentality of politics and business. If you do not bring forth what is within you, then that which is within you will destroy you. In this stage, the individual begins to understand the direct connection between their own perceptions, beliefs and emotional state and the conditions of their life, relationships, experiences and reality as a whole.

This level of consciousness is represented by a fundamental shift, from disempowerment to empowerment. Song has always been a magical way of healing, and the song of the world has tremendous power. In it, all the names of creation are remembered and awakened and celebrated.

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This song knows the name of God and sings of God in every leaf and every lake and every human being. The song of the world belongs to the primary nature of all that is. It is life's sacredness expressing itself, remembering its Source. But we need to listen for it; we need to hear it. We need to celebrate the song. Our ancestors' knowing that everything they could see was sacred was not something taught but something deeply, instinctively heard.

The "sacred" is not something primarily religious or even spiritual. It is not a quality we need to learn or to develop. We all have within us a sense of the sacred, a sense of reverence, however we may articulate it. It is as natural as sunlight, as necessary as breathing. It belongs to our connection with the original Adam.

We each carry this primal knowing within our consciousness, even if we have forgotten it. It is a fundamental recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the world. When we sense that our world is not just a physical, mechanistic, or chance-driven reality but that there is a deeper mystery within and around it, we are sensing the sacred nature of creation; we are hearing its primal song.

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If we remember the sacred we will find ourselves in a world as whole as it is holy. However we may call this mystery, it permeates all of creation. It may be more easily felt in certain places, in ancient groves, beneath star-filled skies, in temples or cathedrals, in the chords of music. As such it celebrates the unity that is within and around us, the oneness of which we are a part. Our sense of the sacred is a recognition that we are a part of this deeper-all embracing mystery.

Once we allow our consciousness to touch into this greater mystery, we will find that life will speak to us as it spoke to our ancestors. It will remind us of how to live in harmony with creation and how to restore the balance that is intrinsic to life. And it will give us the energy, the power, and the knowledge needed to heal and redeem our wounded world.

It will help us to break free from the nightmare of materialism that is strangling us, so that together with the Earth we can give birth to a story of real global transformation. The transformation of the world is a science. Just as the spiritual transformation of a human being needs to follow a precise and careful course, so does this global evolution have specific guidelines. For example, there are specific ways to work with the energy within creation, just as there is a science in the reflection of light from the inner to the outer.

This knowledge is part of our heritage even as it is at times hidden from us. As Ibn 'Arabi describes this mystery,.

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God deposited within man knowledge of all things and then prevented him from perceiving what He had deposited No one knows what is within himself until it is unveiled to him instant by instant. This blueprint accords with specific laws, known by many indigenous traditions as "the original instructions. They are part of the cellular structure of creation, part of its DNA. The work of the mystic is to be part of this transformation, to add the ingredient of spiritual consciousness as life starts to know Itself and sing its sacred song. This note of divine consciousness is a catalyst to the next cycle of revelation.

Our journey is not to return to the indigenous consciousness of our ancestors, or to a purely transcendent consciousness, but to combine the two, above and below. We need to reclaim an understanding of the spiritual dimension of creation, of its living oneness, from the perspective of the individualized consciousness that we have claimed over the last era.

Consciousness is the most vital ingredient in the process of transformation, and it is the combination of the light of individual consciousness with the light within the Earth that will help awaken the world and humanity to our next cycle of shared evolution. But it will not be as easy.

Collectively humanity has put up tremendous barriers to the conscious awareness of life's sacredness. We have allowed attitudes of separation and isolation, together with a concept of matter as "dead," to keep us from real awareness of life's depths where oneness waits to work its magic, where the archetypal energies are waiting for our conscious participation. Spiritual seekers, sadly, have often woven into these collective attitudes the energy of an aspiration that focuses on their own individual well-being, their own "awakening," forgetting or dismissing the larger dimension of the whole.

Some seekers have traditionally turned away from life, while others have become, in recent years, caught in the illusions of self-development. For many seekers it will feel that there is much to lose by giving our longing to life, by recognizing that only as a part of a living whole is there any real purpose to transformation. They have forgotten the wonder of the moment in the garden, the spider's web caught in a ray of sunshine, dew sparkling with light.

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Many of us will need to work hard to let go of past attitudes and attune our attention to the instant-by-instant revelations of divine beauty and presence. So much has to be given up in order to return to a purity of intention, to that moment when life is simple and sacred. The mysteries of the future reside throughout this reconnection with the living Earth, which will enable spirit and matter to combine in a new way.

Then we will know above and below as one and reawaken to the magic and wonder within life. We all have access to the knowledge of Adam, the first man, the knowledge of the names of creation, which belong to the divine "secrets of heaven and earth" Qur'an And this reawakening will give us new understanding of these secrets, as the signs of God reveal themselves in a new way.

By means of him God beheld His creatures and had mercy on them. In this sense man's coming into existence makes the process of creation complete. Meister Eckhart makes a similar statement, "the eye in which I see God is the same eye in which God sees me. My eye and God's eye are one eye and one seeing, one knowing and one loving.

Neuroscience was far enough along by now, he declared in a slightly tetchy paper co-written with Christof Koch, that consciousness could no longer be ignored.

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Stick to more mainstream science! A s a child, Chalmers was short-sighted in one eye, and he vividly recalls the day he was first fitted with glasses to rectify the problem. Of course, you could tell a simple mechanical story about what was going on in the lens of his glasses, his eyeball, his retina, and his brain. Chalmers, now 48, recently cut his hair in a concession to academic respectability, and he wears less denim, but his ideas remain as heavy-metal as ever.

This person physically resembles you in every respect, and behaves identically to you; he or she holds conversations, eats and sleeps, looks happy or anxious precisely as you do. But the point is that, in principle, it feels as if they could. Evolution might have produced creatures that were atom-for-atom the same as humans, capable of everything humans can do, except with no spark of awareness inside. So consciousness must, somehow, be something extra — an additional ingredient in nature. But to accept this as a scientific principle would mean rewriting the laws of physics.

Everything we know about the universe tells us that reality consists only of physical things: atoms and their component particles, busily colliding and combining. Nonetheless, just occasionally, science has dropped tantalising hints that this spooky extra ingredient might be real. Weiskrantz showed him patterns of striped lines, positioned so that they fell on his area of blindness, then asked him to say whether the stripes were vertical or horizontal. Naturally, DB protested that he could see no stripes at all. Apparently, his brain was perceiving the stripes without his mind being conscious of them.

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One interpretation is that DB was a semi-zombie, with a brain like any other brain, but partially lacking the magical add-on of consciousness. Chalmers knows how wildly improbable his ideas can seem, and takes this in his stride: at philosophy conferences, he is fond of clambering on stage to sing The Zombie Blues, a lament about the miseries of having no consciousness. McGinn, to be fair, has made a career from such hatchet jobs.

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But strong feelings only slightly more politely expressed are commonplace. Not everybody agrees there is a Hard Problem to begin with — making the whole debate kickstarted by Chalmers an exercise in pointlessness. This is the point at which the debate tends to collapse into incredulous laughter and head-shaking: neither camp can quite believe what the other is saying. Chalmers has speculated, largely in jest, that Dennett himself might be a zombie. But everybody now accepts that goldness and silveriness are really just differences in atoms.

However hard it feels to accept, we should concede that consciousness is just the physical brain, doing what brains do. Light is electromagnetic radiation; life is just the label we give to certain kinds of objects that can grow and reproduce. Eventually, neuroscience will show that consciousness is just brain states. After all, our brains evolved to help us solve down-to-earth problems of survival and reproduction; there is no particular reason to assume they should be capable of cracking every big philosophical puzzle we happen to throw at them. O r maybe it is: in the last few years, several scientists and philosophers, Chalmers and Koch among them, have begun to look seriously again at a viewpoint so bizarre that it has been neglected for more than a century, except among followers of eastern spiritual traditions, or in the kookier corners of the new age.

Besides, panpsychism might help unravel an enigma that has attached to the study of consciousness from the start: if humans have it, and apes have it, and dogs and pigs probably have it, and maybe birds, too — well, where does it stop? Growing up as the child of German-born Catholics, Koch had a dachshund named Purzel.

The problem is that there seems to be no logical reason to draw the line at dogs, or sparrows or mice or insects, or, for that matter, trees or rocks. Which is how Koch and Chalmers have both found themselves arguing, in the pages of the New York Review of Books, that an ordinary household thermostat or a photodiode, of the kind you might find in your smoke detector, might in principle be conscious.

The argument unfolds as follows: physicists have no problem accepting that certain fundamental aspects of reality — such as space, mass, or electrical charge — just do exist.