Imagine how radically different
your experience and understanding of reality would be
if you were born in primitive times, before the
development of our modern
Even in our current era, there are many different prejudices, ideologies, and religions—all immersed in the same reality but with very different interpretations and beliefs.
We’re programmed by our experiences to see reality through different lenses. Our beliefs are like filters, blinding us to how others might see and value things very differently.
However, if you’re willing to examine and challenge these limiting beliefs, you can discover who you really are—and could be—instead of being restricted to what you have been taught to believe, or how you’re treated by others.
“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk
It takes courage to explore what really is, to be open to seriously questioning what you believe to be true—especially if it doesn’t align with what you were previously led to believe (or the views of others around you).
On the other hand, can you really buy into the prevailing scientific belief that you’re just a type of machine made of meat, that your sense of self is merely an illusion computed by your brain, and that you live in a meaningless universe?
What if our sense of reality, and even the existence of the physical brain itself, despite convincing appearances, is no more fixed and “out there” than our nightly dreams?
Many of the spiritual teachers of the world conceive of us as being asleep, failing to realize that we’re just caught up in our dreams. They teach that the egoic self with which we identify is what keeps us emotionally entrapped in this virtual, but all-embracing, illusory world.
Even apparently solid material objects are not solid, but mostly empty space. Yet we can see and touch them, despite their ghostly reality.
Perception Changes Reality. In the martial arts of karate and taekwondo, young children are taught to break through wooden boards with their bare hands by imagining that they are forcefully thrusting through and beyond the board, rather than hitting it. Similarly, there is the altered-reality experience of people walking unharmed while barefooted over extremely hot coals—as long as they believe they can do so without being burned.
Your perceptions are not based on an objective external world, though they do provide a very convincing simulation of such a virtual reality out there.
As we become entrapped in our interpretations of reality, our emotional attachments and fears restrictively condition our future actions. The Buddha realized that we need to let go of our limiting beliefs about who and what we are, as they are the cause of unnecessary suffering.
If you’re willing to risk going beyond the familiar comfort of your programmed limiting beliefs, then you can learn to do some real magic.
Qigong is an Asian form of yoga that has been practiced for thousands of years. The advanced practitioners of this craft are able to intentionally imagine projecting their internal vital Shen energy outward, either as a force for distance-healing or as a defensive weapon against an aggressor.
The sophisticated Russian martial art of Systema stems from a hybrid of the fighting techniques of the militaristic Cossacks and the Asian martial arts. It was developed for modern military use by experts within the Russian Special Forces. Advanced practitioners like Colonel Mikhail Ryabko have been observed physically impacting people positioned several feet away—with only their trained force of mind.
In both Qigong and Systema, advanced practitioners use the imaginal power of their minds to project an outward influence on the plasticity of conventional physical reality. They purposely imagine the desired energetic feelings and intended impact so as to manifest them in the outer world.
And, according to leading-edge research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), which was established by American former lunar astronaut Edgar Mitchell, something is in fact generated when talented subjects in experiments intentionally imagine influencing highly sophisticated technological devices that are physically and electromagnetically shielded.
Hmm . . . maybe you’re not just a “skin-encapsulated ego.”
Before we delve more deeply into this subject, first we need to attend to our existential predicament on the more mundane level of our consensual reality.
The situation the Earth is in today has been created by unmindful production and unmindful consumption. We consume to forget our worries and our anxieties. Tranquilizing ourselves with overconsumption is not the way.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, and global spiritual leader
The untamed egoic self has a delusional and inflated sense of who and what it thinks it is. It emotionally hijacks our mind to compel us toward behaviors that are self-serving and shortsighted, often at the expense of others. It’s constantly on the lookout for external rewards in an unrelenting need for still more and more to compete and validate its worth. It dismissively dehumanizes others. The result is our tribalistic us-versus-them conflict-seeking mindset—and the exploitation and pollution of our planetary resources.
Ethical human behavior, by contrast, stems from a sense of connection with others and is characterized by compassion and collaboration. Ironically, this is also self-serving, according to the Stress Theory founder Dr. Hans Selye. As Selye discovered, one of the best biological protections against excessive stress is the development of an altruistic ego, an awareness, and compassion for the needs of others. In other words, when we are more connected with each other, we are happier and healthier.
Various cultures have a creation myth like the Garden of Eden about a time of abundance and harmony before humans lost their connection to our spiritual source.
In the legends of the subsequent fall from grace, our ancestors came to mistakenly believe that their inner well-being depended on external material resources. The meaningfulness of life was sacrificed to the altar of material consumerism, and the spiritual-like aspects of nature, with its awe-inspiring grandeur and innate harmony, became desacralized into mere commodities to be exploited.
“If people see how we’re all interconnected and connected with Nature, we wouldn’t have an environmental crisis and we wouldn’t have wars all over the world.”
—Stanley Krippner, psychologist and parapsychologist
Traditional aboriginal values were founded upon honoring and conserving nature and all other sentient beings. The Iroquois are believed to have codified this stewardship perspective in their Great Law as the Principle of Seven Generations. This was the wisdom to think ahead to help the world be sustainable seven generations into the future, as opposed to humanity’s present shortsighted obsession with fears and greed.
The abandonment of the traditional aboriginal values coupled with the rise of our predatory-exploitative mindset has culminated in the current existential crises for humanity and our planet. It has endangered the entire web of life and is leading us to the point of human extinction.
Now is a critical time for all of us to wake up from the dystopian world we’ve created through blind acceptance of the spiritually eviscerated, materialistic view of reality. A world reality where, according to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability; the landmark report released in 2018 by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that there were only twelve years left to limit the impending global climate change catastrophe. The Doomsday Clock has been maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1947. It’s a symbolic tracking system representing the probability of human-made global catastrophes (such as nuclear conflict, global climate change, pandemic mismanagement, and artificial intelligence). Reflecting multiple existential threats, the Doomsday Clock has been steadily inching toward doom since 2010, but as of 2021, for the first time, the clock’s setting had to be expressed at the critical level of just one hundred seconds to midnight.
As Barbara Marx Hubbard, late American futurist, author, and speaker pointed out,
“We are the first species who face extinction by its own acts and knows it.”
As then-sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg expressed more angrily in her 2019 speech to the United Nations:
"People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!…We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up and change is coming, whether you like it or not."
The COVID-19 pandemic, with its lack of adequate vaccines for the poor and less developed countries, and the ongoing generation of even more potent viral mutations exemplify our need to think globally. As stated by UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), “No one is safe, until everyone is safe.”
Ironically, in this modern era of scientific wonders, the very information technologies and social media platforms that connect us instantaneously are also responsible for separating us from feeling connected. This is because, despite some seductive features, IT only connects us in the superficial horizontal dimension, as opposed to the deeper and more satisfying vertical dimension. This has resulted in increasing complaints of loneliness and even the appointment in the UK and Japan of Ministers of Loneliness to their governments.
Despite the current dim trajectory we find ourselves on, we all—each and every one of us—has a choice. We can continue to be defined by our past and play a fatalistic character in humanity’s gradually unwinding story or we can be Dreamers of the Dream, intentionally generating new and more desirable experiences.
And, as you will soon learn, there is power in your dreams. By transforming your personal dream, you can participate in seeding a new and better vision for the world.
Howard Eisenberg, M.Sc. (Psych), M.D., is a medical doctor with additional postgraduate training in psychology and psychiatry. He has been a lecturer at the University of Toronto and an associate professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont. He is also the CEO of the international consultancy Syntrek(R) Inc. On a more personal level, he’s been on a passionate lifelong quest to discover the true nature of reality. He was awarded the first postgraduate degree in Canada at McGill University for his highly successful research on Telepathy. He then pioneered the instruction of Parapsychology as a regular credit course at the University of Toronto.
Originally posted on MAHB Blog a venture of the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere.
Promoting his new book 'The Myth of Normal' on the Tim Ferris Show
Historian Yuval Noah Harari has taken the world on a tour through the span of humanity
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