Tag Archives: albert einstein

Why Gravitational Waves Are Red Herrings

gravity

By Deepak Chopra, MD, Menas C. Kafatos, PhD, Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D.

 

When big science gets a major boost, the news goes around the world with an air of celebration. The latest such event was the confirmation of gravitational waves, which were predicted by Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity. As enthusiastically explained by MIT physicist Allan Adams in a recent TED talk , gravitational waves were considered impossible to detect because of their weakness even 25 years ago. But a project named Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) aimed to build a 5 kilometer measuring device calibrated to within 1/1000 of the radius of the nucleus of an atom in order to capture the signals of gravitational waves from cosmic sources using laser technology.

A few days after LIGO went into operation, in September 2015, by amazing luck the gravitational waves given off by the collision of two black holes 1.3 billion years ago passed through the Earth and were picked up. Such an event sends ripples through spacetime itself traveling at the speed of light. The general public received the triumphant news this month and despite the caution exhibited by a small handful of scientists, LIGO marks the beginning of a new way to measure the universe, through gravitational wave astronomy. Gravitational waves can pass through stars, revealing their core, which is hidden from sight. They may lead cosmologists back to an earlier stage of the Big Bang, and do other amazing things.

Big science has every right to boast of its achievements, but in many ways gravitational waves are irrelevant to the larger situation that present science finds itself in. They serve as a distraction from the unsolved mysteries that could actually shift the paradigm regarding how we see reality. Continue reading

A New Year’s Pep Talk: Quotes to Kick off 2016

There’s a lot of hype around the New Year to make a bold statement or write a list of resolutions for the coming year. We imagine it’s because January 1st is such a clear starting line. You have 365 (366 this year!) to chart progress and you’re in the midst of the whole world launching into new goals and pursuits alongside you.

But changing your life can be daunting.
What if you fail?
What if you forget or lose motivation?
What if it requires more work than originally expected?

The good new is that January 1st isn’t the only day we wake up brand new.
Every 24 hours is an opportunity to do something different, to make a bold choice, to risk.
Everyday is a chance so we’re going to encourage you to go for it.
Whatever that big dream, goal, intent might be, just go for it.
In case you need a little extra support, here are some words from the wise about kicking off a new year: Continue reading

10 Quotes to Inspire Your Spirit of Adventure

When was the last time you took a risk? Or when was the last time you tried something different just for the hell of it? We are big believers in having a sense of adventure. Trying new things, especially if they scare you, is the best way to grow as a person. Life lessons are absorbed the best when we put ourselves out there and go for it. Go for the gold! (Are Olympic puns passe already? I think we still have a few days.) In the spirit of going out there and conquering new terrain we’ve gathered up a few quotes to inspire your spirit of adventure!

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Creativity as the Path to Peace

"Mr. Hand Poopy" Original Textured Acrylic Painting on Canvas by Four Year Old Jayden 17 May, 2013Sometimes, something is so close to you, you’re unable to see it objectively. While preparing to launch my book Confessions of a Middle-Aged Hippie, I’m grateful to have had an opportunity to re-examine my personal biography, and revisit some of those significant pieces that have contributed to who I am.

Twelve years ago I was living with a somewhat undiagnosable physical illness that had me weighing in at 89 lbs, suffering from severe and crippling malnutrition, with those around me divided on if I would survive. The consensus was, “this could go either way.” Synchronistically I found Arscura-School for Living Art and embarked on a journey back to health; a journey using “art” as a way to rediscover who I had been to now and who I could become in my future. I confess this candidly in my book — art contributed to saving my life. Literally. Through the art, I arrived at a place of inner knowing and peace, embodied so eloquently in the words of the Dalai Lama: “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”

While organizing an initiative around my book launch, I was introduced to some very important work being done in the world. Work that embodies the hippie values of peace and the arts. Two values that reminded me of my own journey and align perfectly with who I am and what I stand for in world.

First, I was led to the Children’s Peace Theatre, which has been doing inspiring work since 2000, creating a culture of peace among children and youth, using art, theater and music. They instill in their participants a “peace is possible” sensibility and ask us all some interesting questions to reflect on.

As artists, how do we inspire our children and youth to take up the practice of peace? If nothing else, we must remember that art is derived from the freeing up of all boundaries combined with the ability to imagine something new, and the ability to recognize the humanity of others. Who else, therefore, is better suited than the artist to inspire alternatives and alternative ways of thinking?

This powerfully mirrors my personal experience, as the art freed me to transform from the inside out, allowing me to reinvent an unexpected and beautiful future by unleashing my inner artist.

I questioned: Is it possible that creativity expressed through the arts, is a path to peace? It became very clear to me that I do see the arts as an important road to peace. I envisioned a simple idea, “paintbrushes for peace” and imagined what might happen if we offered children or adults a paintbrush and asked them to engage their creativity to ignite new possibilities for the world. It seemed that if we could take the frustration and separation people experience in our current world, which often leads to isolation and violence, and invite them into a community to make art together, we’d foster a sense of belonging and connectedness and through this, some magical new creation would become possible.

Next, I was synchronistically led to ArtHeart, which has been working in the Regent Park community of Toronto for over 20 years, offering free year-round drop-in art programs, art education and art materials for children, youth and adults, also serving up free meals to all participants, true to their philosophy of “no starving artists”.

Their programs use art as a vehicle to address child poverty, homelessness, lack of employment and mental health issues, while helping to develop self-esteem, creativity, life-skills and learning. They continue to foster the arts in a community that can’t otherwise afford access to making art and being creative. ArtHeart remains unique, as it is the only visual arts organization in the community and their successes are sincerely remarkable.

With more and more school arts’ budgets being cut, what ArtHeart offers is invaluable. I believe we need more funds for programs that foster creativity, not less. How is it that we’ve allowed ourselves to create a world where the majority of people do not have access to expressing their creativity through making art?

To see ArtHeart’s amazing work, you can join them at this years’ Nuit Blanche on Oct. 5, a yearly celebration that makes the arts accessible to all, where they are joining forces with The Regent Park School of Music at their home base in the Daniels Spectrum.

Photographer Chase Jarvis’ talk “Creativity is the new literacy” at the World Domination Summit in Portland this July, sparked me. He presented the idea that as human beings we’re all hardwired for both language and creativity. There have been many studies examining creativity, exploring if it is a natural inborn talent, or if we acquire it. I am of the belief, as is Chase, that we are all creative and that it’s often stifled early on in many educational systems. Creativity is at the heart of what it means to be human. He elaborated that the world we live in is facing a “crisis of creativity” with the solutions to all our problems based on human creative potential.

So if creativity is innate to who we are as humans, and the solutions to our world problems can be found in creativity, then engaging our individual creative muscle through art and music could be a viable path to peace.

Then I stumbled upon a recent article by the brilliant Charles Eisenstein called “Bombs, Badguys and the Brink of Peace”, which speaks volumes.

We are experiencing today the emergence on a mass scale of ecological consciousness. No longer is the world an arena of struggle from which man emerges triumphant. We now see that the defeat of any species is the defeat of all; that the paving over of one habitat deadens something in all of us. The ecological crisis is teaching us that the good life does not come through winning the war against the Other.

With the recent world reaction to the atrocities in Syria, Eisenstein went on to say,

Translating this awareness into geopolitics, we become less prone to believe that the solution to the problem is to overthrow the bad guy. That, or some lesser version of it – to intimidate, warn, punish, deter, draw a “red line,” etc. – is a perception of a world populated by separate and competing Others. And we are weary of that. We are awakening to the reality that “bad guys” are created by their context, and that that context includes ourselves.

Like Eisenstein, many of us believe we are remembering the necessity of being part of community, reawakening to the value of connectedness, versus the breakdown brought about by separation. We’re entering a new era of understanding, transforming old beliefs to create new paradigms of possibility. If we continue to bring the past into the present, we’re limited to create the same future, denying ourselves the freedom to generate something totally new. Perhaps this is what art and music can bring to the conversation. They are tools to paving a road to peace. They engage and include, rather than isolate and separate. Maybe we’re arriving at that magical tipping point of change. Albert Einstein said it so clearly “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

It feels perfect to end here with words from John Lennon’s timeless song Imagine: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” Here’s to creativity, peace and the arts! What kind of world are you committed to creating?

Visit me at: beverleygolden.com or follow me on twitter: @goldenbeverley

Deepak Chopra: From Quanta to Qualia — The Mystery of Reality

Written By Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, Menas Kafatos, Ph.D., Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor in Computational Physics, Chapman University, and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

Wherever reality leads, science follows. The two are inseparably linked, as they must be when science is our way of knowing reality. Reality shifts in ways that are unpredictable and strange. Time and space took very strange turns a century ago, for example, while cause-and-effect turned into a game of probabilities, and the solid physical universe dissolved into invisible energy clouds. Quantum theory had arrived, keeping pace with where reality led it. What Einstein called the “spookiness” of activity at the quantum level has only become more spooky ever since.

Now it appears that reality is about to lead us into new, unexpected paths once more. A hint of the future was provided decades ago by one of the most brilliant quantum pioneers, Wolfgang Pauli when he said, “It is my personal opinion that in the science of the future reality will neither be ‘psychic’ nor ‘physical’ but somehow both and somehow neither.” By using a word that science shuns – psychic – Pauli was pointing to a kind of ultimate mystery. The vast physical mechanism we call the universe behaves more like a mind than like a machine. To thousands of working physicists, the riddle of mind and matter doesn’t apply to their research. But the founder of quantum physics, Max Planck, had no doubt that mind would eventually become the elephant in the room, an issue too massive and obvious to ignore. Planck is worth quoting in full:
I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.

The reason that mixing mind with matter disturbs many scientists isn’t a secret. Mind rules the subjective world, while matter is the basis of the physical world, and science is dedicated to gathering objective data from it. Subjectivity is fickle, individual, shifting, and prey to all kinds of bias, if not outright delusion. Consciousness therefore has been systematically excluded from scientific consideration – it’s simply a given that all of us are conscious, and a given doesn’t need to be factored into the equation.

But Planck and Pauli were not alone in suspecting that consciousness was more than a given. Mind holds some kind of key to the nature of reality. Neither Planck nor Pauli followed up on the mystery they had uncovered. There was no need to, not for a long time. Quantum physics blossomed into the most accurate and mathematically sophisticated model in the history of science. It achieved such precise results that its predictive powers were nothing less than stunning. As the eminent British physicist Sir Roger Penrose notes, Newton’s gravitational theory as applied to the movement of the solar system, is precise to one part in 10 million. Einstein’s theory of relativity improved upon Newton by another factor of 10 million.

Spooky as the domain of quarks and bosons may be, even to trained physicists, it obeys mathematical rules and can be predicted using those same rules. Reality, it cannot be denied, has led science along a very productive path. Leaving consciousness out of the equation was like leaving metaphysics out of cookbooks. You don’t need metaphysics to measure cake flour and butter. But its commitment to follow reality wherever it leads can make science very uncomfortable, especially when it’s time to overturn some cherished assumptions. That time inevitably arises, however, for one simple reason: Reality is always more complicated than the models we use to explain it.

In this series of posts, we want to follow up on Planck and Pauli’s intuition that consciousness will turn out to be the thing you cannot get behind. We think their intuition was right. The future of science depends on factoring in the mind. We don’t say this because we happen to be fans of the mind or have a personal stake in boosting it. Science has come to a turning point by following its own findings. We hope to show this in some detail, and our aim, although not stated in mathematical language, is to be scientific in the best sense: We want to expand the accepted picture of Nature and to discover where in the cosmos human beings belong.

Part 1: Quantum Reality

The hints about consciousness are hidden in our existing model of reality. Today’s science as it is practiced assumes an external reality “out there,” existing independently of any observers (and not limited just to human observers). Therefore, the universe is independent of the human mind, even as our minds conceive the theoretical constructs of science. This sounds like common sense. People may be baffled by the riddle, “Does a tree falling in the woods make a sound if no one is around to hear it?” but they have no problem with “Did the Big Bang occur if no one was around to see it?” Yes, of course.

Although at first this seems obvious and reasonable, a fixed, solid, reliable universe is inconsistent with quantum mechanics, whose incredible precision deals with the finest level of Nature, the subatomic domain. In everyday life, we seem to experience a world “out there,” while our own feelings, thoughts, sensations, etc., seem to be “in here.” That’s what we believe and what classical Newtonian physics taught. Quantum physics presents us with a radically different viewpoint: The subatomic quanta whose properties we study in the laboratory are inexorably tied to the act of measurement. The observer is involved in what he observes. Quantum properties exist in potential form (invisible, unlocatable in time and space) until a measurement is actually carried out.

Before that moment, no specific values can be assigned. Once a measurement takes place, hidden potentialities reduce to specific values. This is called the “collapse of the wave function”. Quantum theory calculates with great accuracy probabilities of occurrence, but it cannot say for certain what will happen when a measurement takes place; only how probable it is to get a particular value. Nor can it say – and this is the crucial point – how the act of observation actually effects what is going on “out there.” Common sense tells us that looking at a sunset doesn’t change the sunset. But common sense is confounded in quantum reality. In some mysterious way, looking isn’t a passive act.

Most physicists, including the ones who put the theory together almost a century ago, accept the probabilistic nature of events (not everyone, however – Einstein never stomached the quantum world, even though he did much to launch the quantum revolution). But at the same time, most scientists go about their profession as if the classical world were indeed an accepted reality. They drive to work in cars, not in clouds of probability waves. They do science at a level far grosser than the quantum domain, on the assumption that quantum behavior is confined to the microscopic world. But the usefulness of a reliable, fixed physical world is at bottom invalid.

Everything we see, touch, taste, and smell is founded on a more fundamental level, and when you get down to the building blocks of Nature, you find a shadowy dance of quanta that don’t have any “hard” material presence. Hardness is a quality that dissolves as we go into smaller dimensions. So do all the familiar qualities delivered by the five senses. Imagine that two powerful magnets approach each other with their positive poles facing each other. Similar poles repel, so at a certain point, two powerful magnets would stop dead because repulsion forces them to go no further. If magnets could speak, they’d say that they ran into an invisible hard wall. But when viewed at a finer level, hardness dissolves into the activity of an invisible force field.

If you go even deeper, across the boundary of time and space to reach the precreated source of the universe, the physical world disappears even more radically. Quantum properties vanish. Armed with the developing theory of superstrings, it now appears that entire universes can (perhaps) “pop out” of the nothingness of the quantum vacuum state. In this way the smallest and largest levels of Nature get unified through the rich fullness of the quantum vacuum. The world of quanta is a world of “haps” (infinitesimal happenings). This view of constant change was also held by the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus. But what seems to prevail as we move around our everyday existence is the view of another Greek philosopher, Democritus, who taught that the atoms (in Greek meaning “indivisible”) were tiny and hard and could not be divided any further. Subatomic theory makes this view invalid, even though we act as if it is true.

Modern quantum theory says that at some point all the forces of nature get unified, including the weakest of them all, gravity. As we approach that ultimate limit, called the Planck dimension, the elementary particles get dissolved into tiny vibrating strings of energy, until we reach the Planck limit, where space and time themselves cease to exist. Thus modern quantum theory predicts the end of physics (and itself) as reality leads us to the vanishing point that is also the point of unity. But does the human mind stop there, also? Can we go beyond the ultimate limit of the physical? What does it mean that there is no space and time? The human mind keeps asking such questions, which turn out to be questions about itself as well as about fundamental reality. The thinking mind, armed with its product, the language of mathematics, seeks to go beyond. This yearning is the topic of our next post, where we will discover that other products of the mind, not just mathematics, are capable of probing the finest fabrics of creation.

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Your Brain – Are You in Your Right Mind?

In the last week, I’ve officially confirmed that I am in my right mind.  Allow me to explain and clarify.  For most of my life, I’ve been called a left brain dominant person and told I would be well-served to get out of my head and let go of attachment to my thoughts.  I was never quite able to do this, even by practicing various forms of meditation.

 Although we have been living in a left brain dominant world, I see that things are changing.  And, I admit I do appear to be very left brain dominant.  My strong language skills, love of words and writing, great ability to remember details both of the past and future (even though technically I haven’t been there yet) and my well-honed analytical abilities, which are all left brain traits, might suggest I’m a left brain person.

I recently had the opportunity to hear Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD, the neuroanatomist who recovered from a massive left hemisphere blood clot, speak live.  She was very captivating in talking about our brains and frankly, I was fascinated.  Her book My Stroke of Insight, which I literally devoured in a day, was absolutely eye opening and mind expanding in relation to how our brains work and the differences between our right and left hemispheres and how these inform our learning, relating and experiences as human beings.

It took eight years for Dr. Taylor to completely recover all her functions and thinking ability, rebuilding her brain from the inside out.  Her experience offered her the opportunity to be a first hand witness to the possibility of stepping to the right of the left brain hemisphere, to experience a sense of deep inner peace and oneness, a connectedness to everything.  What she calls an “at one with all that is”.  Her talk on Ted.com, is beautiful to watch in it’s engaging and passionate presentation, and is their second most watched talk, with over six million views.  This led TIME magazine to choose her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2008.  And I understand why.

This is where my personal revelation comes in.  I decided to do an online test (and there are many) and was surprised to find that I’m predominantly a right brain, not a left brain person.  My left hemisphere’s number one strength is in verbal communication, which was no surprise, but shows that linearity, a cornerstone of left brain thinking, was least dominant.  Instead, my right brain showed great dominance in random thinking, quite opposite of linear and sequential thinkers.  I’d just read that actor Ryan Gosling said he has no master plan, no process and no agenda, but operates entirely on instinct.  I really got that.

All of this brought understanding to my seeming lack of process in the way I create.  Although I’m strong with language and can engage in impromptu conversations with ease, my way of pulling information together has been challenging to explain to others, who suggest that a system or master plan would be a good thing.  (I smile and tell them I’m doing okay, thanks).  I thought it was because I’m an Aquarian with five additional planets in air that I’m able to seemingly pluck ideas and information out of thin air and put it all together in some logical sequence, to bring it down to earth.  I’m also a very visually oriented person and the world streams in strongly through this sense for me.  It seems all of this complements my right brain random processing.  For now, I’m going to believe it’s a combination of many things, not one in particular, that contributes to who I am.  All of us have brains which are uniquely individual, and we use both our right and left hemispheres in our own ways every day.

My research found that there are many famous people, like Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Salvadore Dali, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison and Mozart who were most likely right brained thinkers.  They created from a place of inspiration, creativity and purpose and may not have been great students in the traditional sense.  In today’s label happy diagnostic world, they may even have been called learning disabled.  I found an online document called Heart Centered Minds…Learning Differences, Not Disorders and was fascinated to read the possibility that many of those diagnosed with learning disabilities might in fact be right brain thinkers who just learn in a different way.  Personally, although I don’t have any direct experience with this, I’m aware that learning disability diagnoses, are definitely on the rise.

So, what are the differences between the right and left brain?  In computer terms, the right brain is like a parallel processor, it is about the present moment.  It thinks in pictures, is non-verbal and seeks similarities using the information that streams in through our senses to determine what an experience looks, smells, tastes, feels and sounds like.  It is in fact, about the bigger picture, is non-linear, holistic and creative.  About how we connect in a universal oneness to everyone and everything in the right here and right now.

The left brain is like a serial processor.  It thinks in language, is interested in the past and future and is concerned with the details it can extract to put things in a linear or sequential form.  It seeks difference, is logical and is the critical analytical part of our being.

If the right brain has no sense of time, is playful and lost in the flow, the left brain is on the clock, always with a sense of urgency.  The right brain is compassionate.  The left competitive and confrontational.  The right brain connects us all.  The left brain says we are separate from others.  The right brain sees humour, while the left brain is serious.  The right brain is associated with the heart, the left the head.  The right feels, the left thinks.  The right is intuitive, the left logical.  These are merely some of the differences.

Within hours of Dr. Taylor’s severe hemorrhage, from a blood clot the size of a golf ball in the left hemisphere of her brain, she was unable to walk, talk, read, write or recall any of her life.  She did find herself in what she described as la-la land or Nirvana, in Buddhist terms.  Nirvana is described as a place where we can be in a state of perfect happiness, a transcendent state where there is neither suffering, desire nor a sense of separate self.  Other words to describe Nirvana:  Paradise, bliss, ecstasy, joy, peace, serenity, enlightenment.  Whether you are right or left hemisphere dominant, you get the picture.

And Dr. Taylor reports we have this choice to be in our right mind all the time. To step into the peacefulness and connectedness of the right brain.  I found the following very profound.  Dr. Taylor defines responsibility (response-ability) as the ability to choose how you respond to stimulation coming in through your sensory systems at any moment in time.  Although there are certain emotional (limbic system) programs that can be triggered automatically (and here’s the incredible part), “it takes less than 90 seconds for one of these programs to be triggered, surge through our body, and then be completely flushed out of our blood stream.” (1)  This means that if an anger response was triggered and you remain angry after 90 seconds, it’s because you have chosen to let that circuit continue to run.  She says that moment by moment we make the choice to either hook into our neurocircuitry or move back into the present moment, allowing that reaction to melt away.

So, we always have an alternate way of looking at any situation.  As she also explains, if someone approaches you from a place of anger or frustration, you can either reflect your own anger and engage in argument (left brain) or be empathetic and approach the other with a compassionate heart (right brain).  This freedom to make conscious choices gives us our own power to be responsible for what we attract into our lives.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to live in a world that celebrates how similar we all are rather than a world that dwells on our differences?  According to Dr. Taylor, all humans share 99.99% identical genetic sequences.  Biologically, we are virtually identical to each other at the level of our genes.  How amazing to realize that the diversity in the human species comes from a mere .01% (1/100th of 1%) of difference. (2)  Each of us is comprised of 50 trillion molecular cells and only 1/100th of 1% marks our diversity or uniqueness.

I remembered a quote from fellow right brain thinker Albert Einstein.  “I must be willing to give up what I am, in order to become what I will be.”  We have this choice in every moment.  I’ll end with Jill Bolte Taylor’s description of what the real “stroke of insight” was in her experience.  Simply put, “peace is only a thought away and all we have to do to access it is silence the voice of our dominating left mind.” (3)  She makes it sound so simple.

Although this is a very big topic with a complicated scope, my purpose is simply to be a messenger of possibility.  I look forward to hearing your personal experiences, right or left minded, as your insight might be helpful to someone else.  Are you predominantly a right or left brain person?

Each week on the Intent Blog, we feature articles, videos, and images to inspire you to live a healthier, happier, more fulfilling life. This week, our focus is on the Brain and Neuroscience. If you’ve recently set an intent related to brain health, share it with us in the comment section below. We’ll do our best to support you with interesting content to keep you motivated along the way!

References

(1) Taylor, Jill Bolte. My Stroke of Insight: a Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey. New York: Viking, 2008. Print. pg. 146

(2) Taylor, Jill Bolte. My Stroke of Insight: a Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey. New York: Viking, 2008. Print. pg. 15

(3) Taylor, Jill Bolte. My Stroke of Insight: a Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey. New York: Viking, 2008. Print.  pg. 111

Originally published August 8, 2011.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / dierk schaefer

 

Remembering Our Authentic Swing – In Golf & In Life

When given the opportunity to play in uncharted territory, what do we do?  Take the chance and jump in feet first and play from a place of trust, or let fear knock us down and send us running for cover?  Seems I’ve been asking these questions a lot these days.

 I admit I have been playing in uncharted territory lately.  I made a decision, an agreement with myself, to say “yes” to life and to watch what came towards me.  So now I find myself co-creating a book about golf, and frankly, I have never played the game.  Not only have I never played, but golf has been so far off my radar that I admit it is like trying to speak a foreign language without knowing a word.  I’m sure all the serious golfers out there are recoiling in their own version of horror, at this almost sacrilegious confession.  But I am here to tell you that it is working.  I’m writing a book about golf and I have never played the game.  Of golf that is.  I know nothing, yet somehow I know everything.

 I’ll admit to one memorable experience on a golf course, back in my music business days.  We were playing at a chic country club who offered us unlimited access to their pristine 18 hole golf course, which meandered lazily through lush forests.  Second hole, somewhere on the fairway, a baby bear cub ran out of the woods and plopped itself down in front of me and stared me directly in the eyes.  Baby bear cub won this round, and we ran for the club house as he ran back into the woods to find his momma.  That’s it, my sole experience with the game.

 Seems everyone I know, has a story, a passion or some history with golf.  In the early sixties when my dad was still alive, he played golf and was an avid Arnold Palmer fan.  This I remember, but anything else about golf didn’t take hold.

 So, yes I’m writing this book, with a man who doesn’t write, but does play serious golf.  Very serious golf.  Through him and his experiences, I am finding my way around the course.  Although all sport is a metaphor for life, it seems golf is the most profound of all.  The only sport that pits you against the most daunting of opponents…..yourself.  It is you, yourself and the elements.  The only game that can never be won.  But golfers keep trying and in doing this, they are offered the opportunity to get to know themselves, just a little bit better.

 I’d made a decision early on, not to read or consciously study or research anything at all to do with golf.  Whatever comes at me through synchronicity, or coincidence or serendipitous events, would be all I needed.  I know that “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous”...Albert Einstein.

 As an artist, a writer and creator, I like to follow my intuition, my instinct and in the words of a great inspiration to me, Steven Pressfield from his book Do The Work, I “trust the soup.”  I like to believe that I have let go of control and I’m working from a place of trust in the divine source, a faith in the unknown, the unseen.  To describe what is happening as magical and mysterious would be an understatement.  It is truly amazing how not knowing what I don’t know about golf, has become an absolute positive.

 I always have lots of questions, maybe some don’t have answers.  How is it that six year old Reagan Kennedy can shoot a hole in one and not even know how incredible a feat this is.  Is it luck? Is it talent?  She’s only been playing since she was 2.  Or is it her destiny?   Maybe it’s all of those things and more.  And then you have 42 year old Darren Clark, Northern Ireland’s everyman golfer, who emerged from his own human imperfections and personal tragedy to triumph at this year’s British Open.  The hero’s journey.  After 20 tries, he found his glory and lived his greatness.  He was definitely the player that the onlookers were pulling for.  So, was this his persistence, coupled with talent?  Or was it his destiny?  I’d like to offer the possibility that this is a part of the grand mystery, the unexplainable part of why some succeed against seemingly impossible odds and others buckle and never find the way to their own greatness.

 For me, this is one of the powerful life lessons of golf.  You are never too young or too old to find your greatness.  It is simply about stepping in with a willingness to play the game, knowing that it is a game that can’t be won.  Yes it is about talent, practice, commitment, patience and luck, but most of all I believe it is about some unknown, which I like to call some unseen magical force.  In fact, it is about different things for different people.

 I remember how the golf hero in The Legend of Baggar Vance, Rannulph Junuh, had given up because he had “lost his swing”.  His muse, in the form of Baggar Vance, says it most eloquently.  “….inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing.  Somethin’ we was born with.  Somethin’ that can’t be taught to ya or learned. Somethin’ that got to be remembered”.

 Thank you Baggar Vance and Steven Pressfield, Reagan Kennedy and Darren Clarke.  All of us have an authentic swing, our soul’s calling, in my words.  Without recognition of it, sometimes we lose our way.  I also thank my muses both here on earth and those who are orchestrating and conspiring with me on all my projects, from somewhere unseen and unknown.

 I believe I have remembered my authentic swing.  I’ve always known it, I found it a long time ago, but did not always honour it and let it guide me.  It is simply to write and share ideas and hopefully some days provoke and inspire too.  I can tell you that once you remember it, life flows.  There is some magical unknown, keeping me in awe, filling me with passion and the desire to keep doing my work.

 I’ll repeat another thought about golf, but this time in the words of Baggar Vance. “I’m talkin’ about a game….a game that can’t be won, only played.  And that is the ultimate life lesson, isn’t it?  It isn’t about winning, it is about showing up and playing and doing what you are here to do.  You aren’t really in the game if you don’t show up and play.  Being the best you can be and continuing to swing your authentic swing.  Everything else is like the elusive hole in one.  In the wise words of Baggar Vance, “Now play the game… Your game… The one that only you was meant to play… The one that was given to you when you come into this world… You ready?”

 Are you ready?  I sincerely hope all of you somehow, someday remember your own authentic swing.  Love to hear where your authentic swing has taken you in golf or in life.  

 PHOTO (cc): Flickr /  diskychick

 

It Is Significant That Albert Einstein

 Monday, June 13th

“It is significant that Albert Einstein, who ranks alongside Newton as a great master in the field of science, the empirical approach to the Universe, believed very definitely in prayer.  He refers to one law which contains the sum of all that mathematics and physics have proved true about the Universe.  He says that this law is a positive force for good and that we tune in on its infallibly perfect working by the power of thought and prayer.

 

This is the key to understanding prayer—and the prayer idea that Jesus outlines.   Prayer does not deal with the capricious God.  It is a technique for achieving unity with God and His limitless life, substance, and intelligence.

 

Prayer is not something we do to God but to ourselves.

                It is not a position but a disposition.

                                It is not flattery but a sense of oneness.

                                                It is not asking but knowing.

                                                                It is not words but felling.

                                                                                It is not will but willingness.”

–Discover the Power Within You by Eric Butterworth

 

Steve Farrell

Humanity’s Team World Wide Coordinating Director

 

Spirituality Is the New Science

The scientific world went into spasms last week when a Nobel laureate announced that he had, in effect, teleported DNA.  That was the sound bite, but of course the story was more complicated.  A French team headed by Luc Montagnier, previously known for his work on HIV and AIDS,  took two test tubes, one of which contained bacterial DNA, the other pure water. After the test tubes were surrounded by an electrical current, analysis showed that an imprint of the DNA was detectable in the water. The outrageousness of this claim echoes a finding from over a decade ago that water has memory.

What delights me about this controversy, which will be won by the skeptics, naturally, is that conventional science is fraying around the edges, and the fraying is being done by scientists themselves.  A decade ago, for example, you couldn’t find more than a small handful of physicists and biologists who were willing to consider that the study of consciousness was reputable.  This year there will be conventions on the subject with hundreds of participants.  This isn’t because there’s been an outbreak of rebelliousness in labs across the globe. Rather, there was nowhere else for the trail to go. You can’t discuss memory, either in the human brain or in water, without explaining consciousness.

 Popular books like The Tao of Physics and God and the New Physics played an enormous role in the general culture.  But their impact on professional physicists has been slight and gradual. That’s because physics is based on materialism.  Anything that isn’t a thing, any phenomenon that cannot be measured, doesn’t belong in physics. But the solid, material world vanished a hundred years ago, and almost all the quantum pioneers, such as Einstein, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, and Erwin Schrödinger, either became outright mystics or remained baffled by the radical discovery that the universe emerged from a void. This inconceivable place, which is outside space and time, isn’t empty. It functions as the womb of creation. Indeed, every particle in the universe — including those that make up our body — flicker in and out of the vacuum state thousands of times per second.

Is this also the place where mind comes from?  The world’s spiritual traditions have always held that creation is imbued with consciousness. The purest statement of this comes from the sages of ancient India, who proclaimed Aham Brahmasmi, I am the universe.  I look upon them as the Einsteins of consciousness, because they explored the farthest reaches of consciousness in order to find its essence, the irreducible quality that allows mind to exist.  The connection between science and spirituality took a long time to move in from the fringes, but even so renowned a scientist as Sir Roger Penrose has offered a theory that would trace human thought back to quantum events happening at the finest level of the neuron.

What this tells me is that some thick walls are tumbling down. In particular there has been a wall that shut science away from consciousness. For many reasons it was the last wall to be breached: science abhors subjectivity and enshrines objectivity, it depends on data rather than experience, and experiments require theoretical models, whereas there is no model of mind that anyone can agree upon.  These were valid reasons for hundreds of years. Yet two simple facts were being overlooked. Fact #1: Everything in existence is experienced through our consciousness, including subatomic particles and distant galaxies. The universe exists in our consciousness. There is no proof of an objective universe, which is taken on faith, as pure assumption. Fact #2: If there is a universe outside our consciousness, we can have no knowledge of it.

You can perform thousands up thousands of experiments while still ignoring these two facts. But eventually there’s a limit, and when you reach it, you have to ask some key questions: Is the universe conscious? Is everything happening in the mind of God?  Does the mind exist outside the brain?  Once preposterous, these questions seem to hold the key to the future, in both physics and biology.  There is much more to say on the subject, but for the moment, we can at least afford a smile at the notion that DNA can teleport itself and that water can remember things. Out of delight and imagination most of the world’s great ideas were born.

deepakchopra.com  

 

Mindful Action- 5 Steps for Problem-Solving

This time of change, internal and external requires the mindfulness of how we are viewing what we see and feel.  Caught in the devastation that is happening now…on so many fronts, watching our sea creatures struggling for breath of life, war, and terrorizing realities in front of our lens of vision…can be overwhelming.

When we feel general overwhelm our sleep patterns are interrupted and our daily thoughts of negative thinking wraps around us like a cord binding our state of BEing. We are left with restlessness, anxiety, sadness and an inept feeling of how to respond. We are frozen in doomsday time, robbed of motivation to progress toward a positive future.

Albert Einstein left us a key out of this state, of wearing a negative future lens, as our way of looking at the world. He said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

 

Developing imagination with the 7-Step Morph process is the backbone in Merrie Way Community’s programs of working with youth. “Morph America” and “Peace Smarts” curriculums combine imagination and logic for problem solving issues of their concern.

Let’s take a moment to view – what is troubling you through imagination’s uplifting lens…How to Morph it.

  1. Sit quietly for a moment; breathe into that space of stillness.
  2. Become aware of what is troubling you. A project uncompleted, your child’s well being, whatever that is stuck inside of you.
  3. Now envision how you would like the outcome to be. Allow all possibility to flow without editing or judgment.
  4. In this state of possibility, notice how you feel without the anxiety of overwhelm.
  5. Continue you day of activity with this clarity and calm. Watch how you actions have an energized feeling of potential.

This awareness prepares you to take the first steps with a fresh perspective: An upliftment to life’s tasks.

Merrie Lynn Ross’ new book “Bounce’ Off the Walls – Land On Your Feet”includes the 7-step Morph process. To Morph ‘Havoc & Hassles into ‘ Harmony and Happiness”.   August 2010 release date.

www.merrieway.com

 

 

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