Tag Archives: complexity

Why Consciousness Is Still a Mystery—Sorting Out the Clues

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By Deepak Chopra, MD

No one doubts that it’s hard to figure out where consciousness comes from, and when a problem persists for thousands of years—which is literally true in this case—it’s worthwhile sorting out the clues that might lead to an answer. Some are better than others, and a few may be completely false. At the very least, if we can agree on the hottest leads, a final answer may come nearer.

Clue #1: The brain lights up when we think.

Neuroscience depends exclusively upon this clue, which offers material traces (so-called neural correlates) to mental activity.

Advantage: Watching the brain in action provides the most reliable map to date of how the activity of consciousness is physically processed.

Disadvantage: There is no proof that neural correlates are anything except correlates. They could be symptoms or signs of consciousness rather than the cause. Any attempt to make consciousness physical, in fact, is suspect.

Continue reading

Synchronicity, Evolution, and Your Genes (Part 2)

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Everyone has had a meaningful coincidence happen to them–the classic example is thinking of someone’s name and the next minute that person telephones, or seeing an unusual word in your mind’s eye and then running across that word the next time you open a book.  It’s spooky that the outside world can be synchronized with our inner world, yet the bigger question is about reality itself. Synchronicity, the common term for meaningful coincidences, doesn’t tend to change anyone’s life–but it could.

Instead of passing off such experiences as incidental, what if synchronicity is telling us something crucial about reality, linking the inner and outer worlds because in the long run, they are completely unified? If inner=outer, a tremendous shift in the Western materialistic worldview would follow. Let’s see how far the trail of clues takes us. Continue reading

Listen to Your Symphony: An Exercise for Exploring Your Self at Deeper Levels (LONG)

 Margaret,

I was just reading your blog about self-awareness and communication. Are there some more specific “homework” type things I can do? I need a lot of work. I have been in counseling for awhile and feel stuck. I am hoping to come get a couples reading sometime! I love reading your posts. You have an excellent way of explaining things! Thanks for your info!

Carla

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Hi Carla,

You are not the only one to write me about this recently. I am working on a last draft for a book due out in September 2010, having just signed my first book contract (!!), that will address your questions rather exactly. The working title for the book is Superconscious Connections: The Simple Psychic Truths of Great Relationships. It turns out that relationships are very simple and the problem that takes so much effort is You. You are complex and you take all the time and the attention when reaching for healthy, joyful, whole relationships. So, never get mad at yourself that you aren’t able to handle all your stuff in a short while. One of the first best things you can do for yourself is acknowledge your multidimensional self and understand that there are many Yous chattering along at any given time. Let this be ok.

For instance, in your case, I am reading that you hold some conflicting ideas there in Carla. It is as if you are aware of what is healthy for Carla, what is good for her, and what makes her happy. Then, these ideas seem to crash into some very old ideas of self worth and personal security – ideas you got from your family and culture. As long as there are different ideas roaming about in there, you will have mixed feelings and get mixed results in your endeavors.

 I am pasting here an excerpt from my current working draft for my book. It is only an exercise for listening to your self, but it is a good place to start. Try it and give me feedback as to whether I have done a good enough job writing it up and whether there was any value.

 Here it is and let me know,

MR

 Exercise: Tune In — Listening to Your Symphony

Here is an effective exercise that helps you more fully understand the ongoing stream of the many parts of you.  Aiming for 100% self awareness is one of the goals of knowing what is going on with you at any one time. Doing this exercise also helps you start discriminating between what each of these self parts sounds like. This assists you in knowing which part of you is playing the loudest at any one time.

These parts of you are however, not You with a capital y. If you have read much spiritual or metaphysical material, you might already be aware that there is a notion of a core you, an essential You, the most inner You.  This can be thought of as your core consciousness, your essence, the part of you that makes you the unique person that you are. There are many words to describe it and you may choose the notion you like best.

Set Up

If you are a symphony orchestra, one that might be (if you are like most of us) playing many different tunes that don’t always harmonize with the others, a good first step is to get a sense of what exactly is being broadcast, what tunes are being played in there.

Pick a time when you feel fairly confused and when there seems to be a jumble of ideas, feelings and thoughts going on.  To do this exercise, it is best to pick a time when you are feeling very confused, upset, or afraid. The reason is that these are the times when it is easiest to get a hold of what is going on inside of you as there is a lot going on.

You will need to write the results down. Some people use paper and pencil/pen and some use a blank word processing page. You will also need a large amount of alone time to do this, especially at first. And, be somewhere when interruptions will be minimal. Back porches, private bathrooms and walk in closets are all good.

The steps.

Open a blank page and get ready to record in writing what comes up. Your job is to picture yourself as a psychologist or journalist, as you will just simply record what you get without editing, changing or arguing.

Close you eyes and focus on your inner self. Tell the jumble of ideas, thoughts and voices you will be going through them one at a time. Ask now: Who is first?

Listen to the first voice or stream of thought that comes through. Start writing down everything it is saying. The first voice through is often a very loud, fearful, critical or mean sort of voice, especially if you pick a confused, upsetting time to do all this. Let it talk. Agree that you will record everything it wants to say, without editing or arguing until it is done.

For the first few paragraphs, you might find yourself agreeing or disagreeing or wanting to edit what you are hearing. Don’t do it. Just keep saying, ok, ok, what next?  It might pause. You always say to it: Anything else? What next? Keep going until it is completely done.

This first voice can often take pages to get through its litany of criticisms, fears and angers. Keep saying: Ok, ok, what next? It will finally come down to Your car is dirty and your socks don’t match. You ask, Anything else? And it is done.

Now, focus inward and say: Who is Next?

This second voice is often quite difficult. Often it is our most vulnerable self, a very raw, soft, tender part of ourselves. Think of the Inner Child concept. This one will get you. People sometime block this part of themselves as it is very hard one to hear. However, do not do this. You will see why.

This second voice has the power to make us cry because it is so frightened, lonely, raw. You are not allowed to interfere in this particular exercise with any of your inner voices, except this one. You might have to talk directly to it when it tells you how afraid it is for its happiness, safety. One good thing to do is to picture this part of you as a kitten or baby hedgehog or something. Visualize taking it out of yourself and then wrap it up in a blanket, cuddle it on your shoulder and such. Tell it that you will not let those things happen. You won’t let it be harmed.  This will help you deal with this very vulnerable part. Below, I also discuss a secondary benefit for doing this.

This second voice can be quite hard to hear and to write down what it is saying. Go ahead and coddle it and reassure it. But, keep asking it what else it has to say. Eventually it will be done and the good news is that it doesn’t talk nearly as long as the first loud mean voice.

After these tougher parts are done, it is an easy road to the finish now. Ask again: Who is next? Let the next voice come through. Then next group is usually more medium in volume. What does it want to say? Record it all and keep asking, Anything else? When that one is done, ask, “Who is next?”

These more medium toned voices can be hard to distinguish. They tend to say things like: “You really should be doing the laundry right now.” “I sure am bored.” “Why don’t you travel more?” Things like that. If you do not know which part of you is speaking, you can always ask it, “Who are you?” The voice will tell you. “I am the adventure part of you!” “I am the business part of you and I am telling you that you are wasting your time with all this inner stuff.”

Keep going.  Who is Next? Anything Else?

Eventually, if you let it, you will get to part of you that might seem to have softer tones, higher vibrations. You might feel buzzier. You might sense a lightness about them Ask them also who they are. These parts of you could be your higher self, your inner guidance and if you keep going to could come to a part of you that says “We are your guides.” If you get this far, you will see the messages discussed have such a different flavor than the first voices. They will often say things like: “You are doing very well.” “I am enjoying so much of your experience.” “We know you to be a special spirit.” Now you cannot argue with these guys either. You will want to say, Oh no, I’m not. But, again, you are just recording everything.

Keep going.

If you let yourself, you can come to a point where when you ask, “Who is next?”, there isn’t any sound. At this point, take a moment and completely soak in the feelings, sensations, visuals, sounds, tastes and smells of when the entire orchestra, all the parts of you are quiet. For all long as this silent moment lasts, try to absorb every bit of it as you can, so much so that you can readily recall all of it. You know, until they start up again with “You really should be balancing your checkbook.” “I’m hungry.” And all of that.

There’s more.

Mentally step aside and ponder these questions for some moments. Which part of you was doing all the writing? And, then, what part of you was the space at the end, the space where you could not hear all the internal voices?

Spoiler: The answer is You with a capital Y, the core of you, your essential self. That space at end, the one that you couldn’t hear, is then You.  In the picture I drew of a healthy person with the clear, light center, this core is the core self that you find when all the chatter and stuff goes away. Go as often as you can to that space, especially when feeling confused, upset, down. The more you can recall who You really are, and discriminate between your essential self and sounds of your fears, desires, ideas and the other, the more self aware you will be.

To recap:

” Pick a time when your feeling and/or thoughts seem very jumbled and you have some time to yourself.
” Start with paper/pen or computer word processing page.
” You will let each one of your inner parts, or voices, talk to you one at time.
” You will write down what you are hearing inside there without editing or arguing.
” You will say: “Who is next?” And keep asking “Anything else?” until each one is finished.
” Keep going until there is no answer to “Who is next?
” Absorb and remember the sensations when all the inner talk is quiet.

UPDATE

Carla writes back to me: “I just read your answer and the thought of writing down all of those thoughts make me very nervous. I will give it a good try. Thank you for your thoughts.”

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Questions, comments and ideas are welcome and encouraged. Contact Psychic Margaret Ruth on her Facebook page, email mr@margaretruth.com or call 801-575-7103. You can also get details on private readings, Margaret’s classes and blog at www.margaretruth.com. Margaret Ruth has been on radio, television, published in newspapers and magazines and major websites. She is the author of Superconscious Connections: The Simple Psychic Truths of Great Relationships ( O Books, Sept 2010)

 

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