LECTURE 13
A Metaphysical Revolution?
Reflections on the Idea of the
Primacy of Consciousness




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A Metaphysical Revolution? Reflections on the Idea of the Primacy of Consciousness
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Lecture 13

A Metaphysical Revolution?
Reflections on the Idea of the Primacy of Consciousness

"The world is in the midst of a great metaphysical revolution which will shake the foundations of human thinking." Ravi Ravindra (1)

"We have the power to change the collective dream." Paulo Coelho

* * *

The greatest fairy tales are borne like seeds across the generations, carrying us with them by enchantment, connecting us to the dimension of the imagination that is so often neglected in our everyday lives. The story of the Sleeping Beauty tells of a hedge of thorns that grew up around a castle where a spell-bound princess lay sleeping for a hundred years. The story says that at the right time, for the right person, the hedge of thorns turns to roses: a way through it opens; a prince awakens the sleeping princess and restores the whole court to life…
        Could the idea that Consciousness, and not matter is the ultimate reality - the ground of all being - initiate a metaphysical revolution which would shake the foundations of human thinking? Might it, like the prince in this fairy tale, open a way through the hedge of thorns thrown up by centuries of entrenched beliefs and habits of thought? Might it have the power to awaken our soul, nurture our poetic voice and our visionary imagination, and arouse in us a deeper capacity for relationship with each other and love for our planetary home? Most important of all, could it restore to us the lost awareness of divine presence? Finally, could it stir to life the slumbering 'court' of humanity? This essay is an attempt to reflect on these questions.
        Long ago, in the Palaeolithic era, the rituals in the cave and the handprint on the cave wall put men and women in 'touch' with an unseen source of life of which the darkness of the cave was the symbol. Now, 20,000 years later, at a new turn of the spiral of evolution, we are 'touching' with our imagination the soul of the cosmos, the invisible fabric into which our lives are woven.
        I believe we are re-awakening to the awareness that we and the phenomenal world that we call nature are woven into a cosmic tapestry whose threads connect us not only with each other at the deepest level but with many dimensions of reality and multitudes of beings inhabiting those dimensions."Far from living our lives unnoticed in a distant corner of an insentient universe, we are everywhere surrounded by orders of intelligence beyond reckoning." (2) Beyond the present limits of our sight an immense, nonvisible field of consciousness interacts with our own, asking to be recognised by us, embraced by us. The realisation that we participate in another level of being that is the source and ground of our own consciousness may eventually shatter the belief that this material reality is all there is; that we exist on a tiny planet in a lifeless universe and that there is no life beyond death.
        It may be that this field of consciousness has waited aeons for us to reach the point where more than a handful of individuals could awaken to this understanding. To respond to what is happening at the deepest level we have to leave the precinct of the rational mind and open the shuttered casement of the soul to revelation.
        Just as it dawned on the early Portuguese explorers that the world was not flat but round so, incredulously, the realisation is now dawning that the universe may not consist of dead, insentient matter but is conscious in every part of itself. Like fish in water, like birds in the air, we may, it seems, be immersed in a sea or field or web of energy so fine that as yet its existence can only be inferred by science. This sea of living energy embraces all universes. It is paradoxically at once 'greater than the great' and 'smaller than the small', co-inherent with the immensity of the galaxies of space and the most minute particles of matter. The sea is one of the oldest images of the soul and soul is a word that carries the resonance of the feminine principle, the connecting, containing, relating principle of the cosmos, the principle of love and wisdom. It is a word that evokes older cultures where soul in this cosmic, inclusive sense was a living reality. (3)
        If we could see through the physical forms, including our own bodies which we experience as opaque and solid, we would see myriad patterns of energy interacting with each other and connecting us with the life around us. We would see light irradiating every cell of our bodies and radiating from us and from everything we perceive. We experience ourselves as distinct, separate beings, but if the whole universe is one integrated, living organism, one flowing, undivided energy, one symphony of cosmic sound, then we are part of this whole. As William James remarked, "We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface, but connected in the deep."
        The life we know is an excitation on the surface of an immeasurable sea of energy that is continually surging, dancing, flowing into being. Every galaxy, every star, every planet, every cell of our being is the place where the universe is flaring forth into existence from this womb or sea of being. Brian Swimme writes of this revelation in his book, The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos: "Even in the darkest region beyond the Great Wall of galaxies, even in the void between the superclusters, even in the gaps between the synapses of the neurons in the brain, there occurs an incessant foaming, a flashing flame, a shining-forth-from and a dissolving-back-into." ( 4) But what does this mean for us? It means that when we are in touch with that inconceivable idea, each one of us becomes co-creator with that process, at one with our starry source.
        Lynne McTaggart writes of new scientific discoveries in her book, The Field: "At our most elemental… we are not a chemical reaction, but an energetic charge. Human beings and all living things are a coalescence of energy in a field of energy connected to every other thing in the world. This pulsating energy field is the central engine of our being and our consciousness, the alpha and omega of our existence. There is no 'me' and 'not-me' duality to our bodies in relation to the universe, but one underlying energy field… At its most fundamental this new science answers questions that have perplexed scientists for hundreds of years. At its most profound, this is a science of the miraculous." (5)
        One of the most exciting new theories in physics is the hypothesis of the mysterious all-containing eleventh dimension described as M-theory, which may hold within it any number of parallel universes. ('M' stands for Mother, Matrix, Mystery) . Physicists say that this dimension may be only a millimetre away from us yet we have no awareness of its existence. (6)
        M-theory is presented in the objective language of science, but even this language is beginning, like the corpus callosum connecting the two hemispheres of our brain, to relate scientific concepts to the ancient metaphysical imagery of soul. Imagine this all-encompassing sea or web of being as a matrix of invisible relationships that underlies, permeates and contains the visible world. This limitless web or sea is an inconceivably complex, multi-levelled network of dimensions nested within dimensions, with information continually being exchanged between these dimensions - perhaps similar to the way we exchange information through websites and e-mails - at the molecular level, at the level of our own communication with each other, at the level of planetary life, and at the level of galaxies and perhaps any number of parallel universes of which, as yet, we know nothing.
        These dimensions carry the memories of the entire experience of life on this planet: our individual memories and experience are encoded in a deeper field holding the memory of all orders of life over billions of years. We (or different aspects of us) may even be living simultaneously in other dimensions or worlds. Here, in these multi-levelled fields are benevolent and malevolent entities as well as hosts of discarnate souls, some of whom may be striving to contact us, to help us; others who, in their despair, hatred or fear, may affect us negatively in ways of which we are unaware.
        It seems that whatever name we give this ground, whether we use scientific or metaphysical language - Quantum Vacuum, Zero-Point Field (7) Creative Energy, Universal Intelligence, Ground of Being, Sacred Mind, (8) Cosmic Soul, God or Spirit - this Primal Consciousness is the origin or source of our being. All aspects of life, visible and invisible, are interconnected and interdependent: all life is one. Death is an illusion born of our fragmented consciousness: there is nothing beyond death but life. (9) In the light of this new understanding, the physical brain or even the entire mind/body organism is not the source of consciousness but the exquisitely fine-tuned vehicle of an invisible reality in which we all exist, the means through which it can come to awareness of itself in this material dimension. It could be said that this new vision marks the return of a very ancient insight known to the Vedic seers of India and summed up by the words in the Bhagavad Gita: "All is the Divine Being." (7:19)
        To my knowledge, no-one has described this new vision with such clarity and immediacy as Christopher Bache in his seminal book Dark Night Early Dawn:

"What stood out for me in the early stages was the interconnectedness of everything to form a seamless whole. The entire universe is an undivided, totally unified, organic phenomenon. I saw various breakthroughs… as but the early phases of the scientific discovery of this wholeness. I knew that these discoveries would continue to mount until it would become impossible for us not to recognise the universe for what it was - a unified organism of extraordinary design reflecting a massive Creative Intelligence. The intelligence and love that was responsible for what I was seeing kept overwhelming me and filling me with reverential awe… As I moved deeper into it, all borders fell away, all appearances of division were ultimately illusory... No boundaries between incarnations, between human beings, between species, even between matter and spirit. The world of individuated existence was not collapsing into an amorphous mass… but rather was revealing itself to be an exquisitely diversified manifestation of a single entity... I came to discover that I was not exploring a universe "out there" but a universe that "I" in some essential way already was. Somehow these experiences of cosmic order led me into a deeper embrace of my own reality…" (10)

***

Paolo Coelho, whose book, The Alchemist, enthralled so many of us, has said recently that we have the power to change the collective dream. Could the new vision of reality that is emerging into our collective awareness and is so beautifully conveyed by the passage above, enable us to change the collective dream, as he suggests? Can we fashion new bottles to assimilate the wine of such a radically different understanding of life? Can we hold the tension between the old vision and the new? It must have been like this two thousand years ago for the disciples of Jesus as they tried with every fibre of their being to assimilate and transmit what He was telling them, something so utterly different from anything they had heard before, which didn't 'fit in' with the belief system or the values which governed the world of that time.
        Now, as then, a radical new idea may be perceived as an 'enemy' attacking territory that is known, proven, and therefore safe. Our pre-conscious survival instincts may be aroused to defend that territory from such a threat. It is these survival instincts which unconsciously give rise to the various forms of fundamentalism that are now increasingly encountered. The biggest challenge is how to dismantle the edifice of beliefs - a veritable hedge of thorns - that has been built as a defence against what has been designated by science as non-rational and what, in religion, is thought to threaten older revelations presented and accepted as incontrovertible truth.
        Yet, because many people feel that we cannot continue much further along the old paths without inviting catastrophe, there is today a yearning for a new way of living and relating to each other and the cosmos. There is a longing to break free of old belief systems, old images of God, old concepts about nature and our own human nature. This longing, seeking expression through many different avenues, is urging us to break through the wall of beliefs that separates our consciousness from the Consciousness of the universe.
        Einstein's great discoveries, William James's description of the varieties of religious experience, the pioneering work on the unexplored depths of the psyche done by Carl Jung and others, Rachel Carson's grave warning to us of a silent spring, the dazzling view of our planet seen from the moon and James Lovelock's naming of it as Gaia - all these events and the efforts of thousands of individuals have sown the seeds for a soul awakening on a planetary scale - an awakening that could have the power to change the collective dream. At the same time, television has opened our eyes to the suffering caused by starvation, persecution and war and to the anguish we inflict on each other, even invoking the name of God to justify our unspeakable cruelty.
        Fifty years ago, the readiness for a fundamental change of understanding, a paradigm shift, was inconceivable, although the advance preparation for it was, with hindsight, discernible. But now hundreds, even thousands of individuals who have been working in relative isolation along their own life paths for decades, are converging at the threshold of a breakthrough to a new image of reality. Physicists, cosmologists, transpersonal psychologists, individuals with experience of non-ordinary states of consciousness, poets, visionaries, healers, mediums, people working to protect the planet and avert ecological disaster, those disenchanted with the dogmatism of religion and the omnipotent stance of science in a secular culture, are connecting with each other, sharing the different facets of their vision. Increasingly, they are realising that they are being drawn together to participate in a Great Work - the birthing of a new way of relating to life that would free humanity from the shackles of fear and ignorance that have so tragically prolonged its suffering. Thomas Berry, in his book, The Dream of the Earth, writes that this supremely important time is asking us for "possibly the most complete reversal of values that has taken place since the Neolithic period." (11)
        A priceless treasury of ancient texts as well as methods of meditation and healing have been recovered during this same half-century from the great civilisations of the East, from the Egyptian desert (the gnostic texts of Nag Hammadi) and from the traditions and shamanic practices of older cultures. Widely disseminated among people hungry for a non-sectarian spirituality that would connect them directly with a deeper reality, these traditions and practices have helped to prepare the ground for a metaphysical revolution.
        Shortly before he died in 1950, the great Indian seer, Sri Aurobindo, is said to have remarked, "If there is to be a future, it will wear the crown of female design." A strong element of this metaphysical revolution is the re-emergence of the long-repressed feminine principle, together with the mythology, imagery and texts that belong to it. The influence of the feminine principle is responsible for our growing concern for the integrity of the life systems of the planet and the attraction to the mythic, the spiritual, the visionary, the non-rational - all of which nourish the heart, the soul and the imagination, inviting new perspectives on life, new ways of reuniting the long-separated elements of body, soul and spirit.         
        Increasingly, there is becoming audible the voice of a feminine, receptive, caring consciousness in women and men who have opened their awareness to the reality of the great web of being and have discovered that we participate in the "marvellous melody of endless love" that is the life of the universe. (12) Increasingly, they are realising, in the words of the Dalai Lama, the greatest spiritual leader of our time, that our own heart is our temple and that the only religion we need is kindness. Through this insight, they have become channels for the increase of cosmic love and light in our world.
        Because we are so deeply connected with each other, a change of understanding in one person facilitates change in others: a new way of responding to one issue, such as the pathology of war, the dangers of globalisation, or new methods of healing, accelerates change in others. Like leaven in bread, the awakening of a few individuals is raising the whole loaf. The pressure for change comes not only from the growing awareness of the threat to the planet from those aspects of science and technology that are dissociated from ethical concerns but also, increasingly, from the testimony of subjective revelatory experience as well as extraordinary discoveries in physics, astronomy and cosmology. It is as if a door is opening that previously was closed: a new way of living is becoming accessible to many. Thousands of people are crowding through this door, searching for a unified image of life.
        New discoveries are pouring into the culture from every direction: the recognition that we have incredible powers to heal ourselves and our world; the fact that meditation, visualisation and prayer can effect remarkable changes in the neuro-chemistry of the body; the realisation that awareness of our connection to a deeper field of reality can increase our sensitivity and accelerate the pace of our comprehension of these mysteries. A vast new panorama is opening to our vision. There may come a time when such experiences will be so real and familiar to our culture that even as children we could become aware of them and learn to develop innate faculties that have atrophied for want of use.
        Suppose we dared to tell our children from earliest childhood about this Web of Life, describing it as something that they belong to, participate in, so that they could attune their awareness to it, could learn how to listen to it, converse with it and develop a deepening relationship with it. Suppose parents and teachers told children that each one of them has a special gift, and that they can learn how to nourish and express that gift to the best of their ability. And that each one is unique and beloved, with the possibility of equal access to the source.
        A hundred years ago there was a book called Cosmic Consciousness, written by a remarkable man called Richard Bucke. (13) The state of consciousness that he describes in his book is manifesting now in a growing number of individuals who, whether by a personal experience of illumination or a process of intuitive deduction, are becoming aware of the oneness, interconnectedness and sacredness of all life. Many sense the presence of an Intelligence working within the depths of life; others have been made aware through personal experience that Light and Love are the primal ground of the universe and their own being. Bucke anticipated that this expanded state of consciousness would be experienced by more and more people until a 'critical mass' was achieved, enabling the whole of humanity to enter a state of awareness that would allow us to transcend the fear, predatory behaviour and addiction to beliefs that have led us to destroy and desecrate what we have, until now, been unable to recognise as sacred and integral to our own being.

However, enormous problems now confront us: not only the prospect of the irreversible ecological harm that we have inflicted on the biosphere of the Earth, but also such horrors as famine and genocide in Africa, the relentless spread of Aids there and elsewhere, the destitution and suffering of millions of orphans created by these catastrophes and the devastation, suffering and pollution caused by the escalation of military technology and by innumerable conflicts. Over all hangs the spectre of the shortage of food and water created by global warming and an increase in population that the earth cannot sustain. And this is apart from governments and rogue groups of individuals arming to the teeth with the most devastating weapons of mass murder ever devised by man. Yet certain significant ideas are developing:

1. The idea that all aspects of life are interconnected and interdependent.
2. The idea that we have a responsibility to act in defence of nature; and that this responsibility requires a global strategy for radical change.
3. The idea that change may not come from governments (who are elected to protect the national interest) but from the pressure on governments of people demanding and effecting change from below.
4. The idea that our values and our concept of good and evil need a new definition in relation to a new and unified image of spirit and nature and a new awareness of responsibility towards planetary life.

        These ideas invite the convergence of a mature spirituality, ecological awareness and a more comprehensive and responsible science that would support and further such a paradigm shift. How might this consensus be reflected and embodied in our society?
        If, for example, with Sri Aurobindo in his book The Life Divine, we came to understand that "apparent Nature is secret God," (14) the idea that matter is dead and insentient would be replaced by the idea that nature and matter belong to the great Web of Life, and are conscious or sentient by the manner of their organisation and their participation in this living organism. As Aurobindo writes elsewhere, "Spirit is the soul and reality of that which we sense as Matter; Matter is a form and body of that which we realise as Spirit." (15) Or, in the words of Christian de Quincey, "Matter is inherently sentient all the way down. Therefore, nature, the cosmos - matter itself - is inherently and thoroughly meaningful, purposeful and valuable in and for itself. Nature, we must see, is sacred."(16) If this revolutionary idea were incorporated into the teaching of science, together with the idea that both observer and what is observed are part of this Web, feeling would not be dissociated from thinking; it would become more difficult to treat whatever seems 'other' - whether matter, different species or other people - as something separate from ourselves and as a potential object for our control.
         If matter were seen translucently in this way, we might realise that the manipulation of matter - as in the genetic modification of food and plants - without regard for the long-term dangerous effects of our actions, is not only irresponsible and ecologically unsound, but may be acting against what might be called the sacred order of life. With a sense of urgency, we would renounce the invention, manufacture and sale of weapons which desecrate that order, recognising that the effects of depleted uranium, for example, can not only inflict calamitous suffering on human beings but contaminate the soil for millions of years. (17) We would no longer breed deadly viruses or develop chemicals with which to destroy our enemies, since we would realise that in killing others and preparing for war by the invention and testing of ever more terrible weapons we are desecrating the physical 'form' of spirit and inviting our own destruction.
        It is possible that if we really understood that we cannot die, that each one of us is eternally held within the embrace of the light and love of the divine ground, we could abandon the need to kill others. This insight could eventually make war obsolete. Thousands are already aware that we cannot continue indefinitely to act as if nations or individuals were autonomous units with the right to destroy life on a colossal scale. But it is immensely difficult to relinquish this pathology: deeply unconscious survival instincts hold us bound to the belief that we can only protect ourselves by arming to the teeth against potential enemies, even by attacking them in order to pre-empt an attack on ourselves and that we can eradicate evil by eliminating an enemy..
        Those who invoke death for others may be driven by the need to overcome a deeply unconscious fear of death: if there is nothing beyond death, then death itself becomes the ultimate aggressor and the unconscious need to defend ourselves against it by sacrificing others is projected into all our conflicts with each other. If, on the other hand, it were realised that death for consciousness is an illusion, this primordial fear could be relinquished and we could begin to change old habits. (18)

The issues are steadily becoming clearer: if the sacredness, oneness and interconnectedness of life were truly perceived, we would have a new ethical and moral framework within which to assess our actions. Evil arises from the illusion of our separateness from nature and the life of the cosmos. As we became more aware of the interconnection of everything, we might designate as 'evil' those actions and technologies which harm and pollute the fabric of life and focus on developing science and technologies that protect and cherish life. We would renounce the omnipotence that strives to dominate, control and exploit any aspect of life for the sole benefit of our species. The naturalist, David Attenborough, has commented: "The current impact of mankind on the bio-diversity of the planet can be compared to the impact of a ten mile wide meteor on earth 65 million years ago." (19) It is becoming clear that our own immediate future and that of generations to come depends on the ability of the planet to nurture and maintain life in all its diversity. If we destroy that ability, we destroy our habitat and with it, ourselves. Al Gore puts it this way:
 
We have the opportunity to join together to experience what very few generations in history have had the privilege of knowing: a generation mission, a compelling moral purpose, a shared and unifying cause, and an opportunity to work together to choose a future for which our children will thank us instead of cursing our failure to protect them against a clear and present danger with equally clear and devastating future consequences. (20)      

        Out of respect for the finite resources of the planet and in the interests of the survival of our own and other species, we would aim to maintain the size of our families at replacement level so that we don't exacerbate the pollution and depletion of resources that derive from over-population - a population that is estimated to increase by 21%, from 6.2 to 7.5 billion over the next two decades and to reach 9 billion by 2050.
        We would choose to develop those kinds of energy which do not leave lethal residues in the earth, sea or air to poison our own and future generations. We would abandon nuclear technology because of its dangers, and concentrate all our efforts on developing a benign global energy system that has lower greenhouse gas emissions than the current ones and does not pollute planetary life systems. (21) It would no longer be a question of which technology to develop but of whether that technology was beneficial or harmful to the planetary organism. What was beneficial for the planet would be beneficial for every living creature on it, including ourselves.
        We would curtail the predatory greed that treats the Earth's resources as commodities to be exploited for the financial benefit of the few. The very term 'exploitation' would become obsolete as attitudes changed. We could use the wealth saved from our obscene expenditure on weapons to feed, house and educate the world's poor, particularly the destitute, desperate and abandoned children who roam the streets of our cities. We would open our hearts to heal the suffering we have unwittingly brought into being.
        We would cease exporting poisonous chemicals and the products of dubious technologies to the Third World - taking no responsibility for the lethal effects of these on its defenceless people - and focus on the long-term aim of growing organic food world-wide that is free of the pesticides and toxic agro-chemicals which inflict long-term damage on the immune systems of all species, and have already seriously depleted the soil of vital nutrients. We would focus far more on the prevention of disease by ensuring a balanced diet during pregnancy and protecting the embryo and fetus from the long-term negative effects of toxic chemicals, anti-biotics, alcohol and drugs. (22)

The role of the feminine in this arduous endeavour is to bring together ideas, inuitions, insights and discoveries, as well as to connect people with each other. As it increasingly informs and transforms our thinking and draws us together to act on behalf of life, so we will become more able to understand the deep relationship of all aspects of life to each other. The impulse for change seems to invite a programme that might be called 'The Restoration of Nature to the Realm of Spirit.' Only when we truly see that the Earth and everything that belongs to it is sacred and intrinsic to the Whole, will we be able to relinquish the arrogance that permitted us to act as if we had the right to conquer and dominate nature, outer space and each other.
        At this dark time when the spectre of hatred and terror stalks the earth, and many are succumbing to fear and despair, the emerging vision of reality is taking us beyond an outworn paradigm where we were held in bondage to beliefs and attitudes that belong to the past. It is a vision that invites a new concept of God or Spirit as a cosmic sea of being, a web of life - as well as the organising intelligence of that sea or web, and a new concept of ourselves as belonging to and participating in that sea of being. It is a vision that recognises the sacredness and indissoluble unity of life and imposes on us the responsibility of becoming far more sensitive to the effects of our decisions and our actions. It invites our recognition of the needs of the planet and the life it sustains as primary, with ourselves as the conscious servants of those needs. Above all, it is a vision that asks that we relinquish our addiction to violence and the pursuit of power; that we become more aware of the dark shadow cast by this addiction which threatens us with ever more barbarism, bloodshed and suffering.
        The crisis of our times is not only a political and ecological crisis but a soul crisis. The answers we seek will not come from the limited consciousness which now rules the world but will emerge from a deeper understanding born of the union of heart and head, bringing the recognition that each one of us is a marvel, an atom in a cosmic body of immeasurable extent. The urgent need for this psychic balance, this profound intelligence and insight, this wholeness, is helping us recover a perspective on life that has been increasingly lost until we have come to live without it - and without even noticing it has gone - recognising nothing beyond the human mind. It is a dangerous time because it involves discarding entrenched belief systems and habits of behaviour that are rooted in fear and the greed and desire for power that are born of fear. But it is also an immense opportunity for evolutionary advance, if only we can understand what is happening and why. (23)
        The consciousness of the universe is urging us to open our minds to the revelation of all cosmic, planetary and human life as a divine unity. For those awakened to this vision, to be born a human being is to be born into a world lit with an invisible radiance, ensouled by Divine Presence, graced and sustained by incandescent Light and Love.

©Anne Baring December 2002
revised December 2006

Notes:
1. Ravi Ravindra, Science and the Sacred: Eternal Wisdom in a Changing World, Quest Books, Wheaton, Ill., 2002
2. Christopher Bache, Dark Night, Early Dawn, Suny Press Inc., New York, 2000. p. 4.
3. Anne Baring and Jules Cashford, The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image, Penguin Books Ltd., London, 1993
4. Brian Swimme, The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York, 1996, p. 101 and passim.
5. Lynne McTaggart in the advance announcement of her book, The Field, HarperCollins, London, 2001.
6. Horizon programme, BBC2, London, February 2002.
7. The term used by Ervin Laszlo, The Interconnected Universe, Conceptual Foundations of Transdisciplinary Unified Theory, Singapore: World Scientific, 1995.
8. The words used by Christopher Bache in Dark Night, Early Dawn.
9. Betty J. Kovács, The Miracle of Death, The Kamlak Center, Claremont, CA, 2003.
10. Dark Night, Early Dawn, p. 74.
11. Thomas Berry, The Dream of the Earth, Sierra Club, San Francisco, 1988. See also The Great Work, Random House Inc. 1999
12. Julian of Norwich.
13. William Maurice Bucke, Cosmic Consciousness, A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind, Innes & Sons, New York, 1901 and Dutton & Company, Inc., 1923.
14. The Life Divine, Lotus Light Publications, Wilmot, WI, 1990, p. 4. "If it be true that Spirit is involved in Matter and apparent Nature is secret God, then the manifestation of the divine in himself and the realisation of God within and without are the highest and most legitimate aim possible to man upon earth."
15. ibid, p. 241
16. Christian de Quincey, Radical Nature: Rediscovering the Soul of Matter, Invisible Cities Press, Montpelier, Vermont, 2002. p. 260.
17. Helen Caldicott MD., Founder and President of The Nuclear Policy Research Institute. The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush's Military-Industrial Complex, The New Press, 2002. Also Planet Earth, The Latest Weapon of War, Dr. Rosalie Bertell, The Woman's Press, London, 2000.
18. see Betty J. Kovács, The Miracle of Death, for a wonderful exposition of this insight.
19. David Attenborough in a 3-part television series called State of the Planet, London, BBC1, November/December 2000.
20. from an article in the Sunday Telegraph, UK, November 19th, 2006
21. see The Global Climate and Energy Project, Stanford University. Report, Herald Tribune, December 5th, 2002
22. see Roy Ridgeway and Simon House, The Unborn Child, Karnac Books Ltd., London, 2006
23. see Richard Tarnas, Cosmos and Psyche, Viking, New York, 2006. This book gives an extraordinary overview of the importance and significance of our time.

I would like to express my thanks to Amit Goswami for his book The Visionary Window (Quest Books, Wheaton, Ill., 2000) and to all the other men and women of this and other times, who have helped me to understand something of the mystery that I am and the Consciousness I participate in.

I would also recommend anyone who wishes to be informed about the dark aspect of our science and technology to read Our Final Century by Sir Martin Rees, the Astronomer-Royal. (William Heinemann, London 2003)

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