Here, then are a few speculations on the cosmos itself -- a living vital being -- that cannot be understood apart from wholeness. The universe cannot be understood really without a story that shows it as a complete organism, moving and changing through an organic series of events directed towards a common purpose. Here is the story. I come to this through some reflections on my friend Duane Elgin's new book, Awakening Earth. My story is true, but not accurate.

1. I begin with the great Gardeners, who decide to plant a new garden. They themselves live in the Big House, what I will postulate as the Meta Universe, the central control arena for the multidimensional universe. When our cosmos blossomed into existence from an area smaller than a pinpoint some fifteen billion years ago, it emerged out of an infinitely deep domain of the Gardeners' vast intelligence, creativity, energy. This is the ultimate, generative ground of our being. It provides the nutrients and the light of the Life-Force that continuously sustains our cosmos as a unified organism. It is the ground as well as the light of the Universal garden. It is highly likely that the Meta Universe has other groundings, other gardens, that the Gardener has created an array of cosmic systems or gardens of which ours may be only one of many.


2. Then the Gardener plans the Dromenon, what we may call the Sacred Geometry that is central to the plan. This can be seen as the symbiosis of the interconnecting patterns with its organic stages of growth. This is the Great Seed, small as a pinpoint designed so that it inflates from this tiny seed, and then grows to contain the vast flowering that is a trillion galaxies, each with a hundred billion or more stars. Placed within this is the field of space/time, which it is itself an invisible fabric, probably like the electromagnetic life fields or auras that surround each living plant, or being, and continually provides the space and time within which matter can present itself. The great pattern also contains whirlwinds of spacious energy which give the appearance and feel of 'solid" matter. Put into these fields a cosmic information system, one that connects quadrillions of miles in resonance, instantly. Thus anything that happens is known to the whole, immediately. Place into this next life -- that is sentient forms that can evolve to more complex and conscious entities. From this life let there emerge the design for planetary scale ecosystems with "billions of unique living organisms that can feed off each other in a process that can be sustained for billions of years." Allow next for a cosmos that is so self reflective and co-conscious in all of its parts that at a certain level of evolution , its organisms can achieve conscious awareness of the mind of the Meta-Universe, as well as adding their productions into the Mind of the Whole. This is called mystical or high creative experience. Then "design a process that enables the cosmos to be recreated in its entirety, at every single moment. The flow of continuous creation must include the fabric of space/time, the capacity for thought, feeling, as well as reflective consciousness, and all forms of matter. " (p. 305)


3. Evolutionary Movement to great Reflective Consciousness: This schema of the Gardeners provides for emergent fields and environments that entities, then people and civilizations move through in an emergent learning process, each new dimension awakens a new set of perceptions and potentials that we are free to recognize and actualize or not. Thus by recognizing at this point of space/time that we can understand and participate very fully in the direction and pattern of personal and social evolution. We reach certain states in the co-evolution of matter and consciousness which reveals, as is now happening, the existence of a higher Universe, the Meta-Universe of the Gardeners, also in Eastern mystical terms called the generative ground of pure awareness, from which matter and consciousness arises, and which we are now invited to join. This is the state of Coevolution in which we take major leaps in our perceptual paradigms, greatly increase our frames of reference. This will develop the entelechy of what we are, seeds, coded with the same substance and content as the great seed, and therefore continually created from -- and identical with the Gardeners and the Garden of the meta-universe.


4. In order to have time and space to sustain this co-evolution we require what is known as Ephemeralization. Both matter and culture and consciousness gradually become lighter, more refined, more subtle. Thus on the material side our needs can be met with proportionately smaller increments of energy and resources. We move from spending all our time in muscle work, to industrialization, and finally to high tech which requires high soul and culture to maintain itself. Similarly with the ephemeralized technology, we are linked into a global mind field which itself increased the energy, fertilization and creativity the personal and world consciousness. High tech provides the winds with which the pollen developed in the flowers of many cultures can be moved to cross fertilize of the flowers of culture and consciousness.


5. This requires Symmetry, the dynamically reciprocal relationship between matter and consciousness. Thus consciousness and matter become mutually enabling, with the growth in consciousness providing the insight, empathy and creativity needed to orchestrate material development into a sustainable pathway for the future. Thus as Elgin puts it, "The goal of evolution is not to move from matter to consciousness; rather it is to integrate matter and consciousness into a co-evolving spiral of mutual refinement that ultimately reveals the generative ground from which both continuously arise. Matter and consciousness support each other in their mutual ascent toward and ever- wider scope of integration and differentiation, unity and diversity. At very high levels of mutual refinement and dynamic alignment, the deep Meta-universe from which both continuously arise is directly evident as nondual or unified awareness." (P. 295.)


6. Continuous creation -- continuous birth, growth, death, new birth in the entire cosmos which is a unified system, a living organism, a living garden, that is being "continuously re-created in its entirety by the flow-through of an unimaginable amount of energy in a process of extraordinary precision, patience, and power.... " Because all is energy in motion, for the world to appear stable and solid, the completely flowing nature of the universe must be profoundly orchestrated and coordinated by the Gardeners. All flows comprise one great song, one giant interrelated garden, a single creative expression. We are in our essence part of this continuous creation and re-creation. When we alter the lens of our knowing to really know this, then we have radical freedom of choice to reconstruct our bodies, minds, lives, drawing upon the great storehouse of paradigms and inventions which is the unobstructed universe.


7. Related to this is the fact that this is a Holographic cosmos in which any change anywhere results in a change everywhere, All is within all, the totality present with each part, and each part fully connected to he whole. Beyond our local law of forms, there lies the meta universe which can connect us instantaneously to the immensely vast cosmic system which allows for higher and more creative laws to predominate.


8. This leads to the understanding that the universe is a self-organizing system, feedback on itself to create more various forms of expression. It is interconnected in all its parts. In this we resemble the torus -- a geometrical representation that shows how a self-referencing system works, how material and consciousness dimensions work together to create emergent and evolutionary realities. Thus, at the center, the essence of our being we are completely open to and connected with the flow-through of the Life energy that itself is flowing out from the Meta-Verse. And yet we are also at the sides, of the torus, uniquely differentiated, self-organizing systems that lens in our own particular ways this Life energy within the local fabric of space and time.


9. With this comes the dramatic condition which we are given of radical freedom. We are free to make our mistakes, encounter suffering, face evil, and generally discover those choices and ways of being that bring us closer to the deep ecology that is our universe. Suffering is the inevitable consequence of our seeded great power joined to a limited situation and a still maturing consciousness. Except now we are in the most radical of all moments, which says that if we do not quicken our maturation and use our great powers in an ecological way, if we do not return to the wisdom of the garden we are going to have a very long winter indeed. "We are here to live ethically in the infinitely deep ecology" that is the garden of Eternity.


In this radical moment in history we require the incursion of knowing that gives us new paradigms...These are coming in the angels of science, the visionary epiphanies which grant us knowledge of the whole. Recently, speculative science has offered serious opinions as to how and why such shifts may happen. One view, from quantum mechanics joined to consciousness studies, holds that there is always a spectrum of probabilities concerning any event or happening. Normally, the mind-brain system is expectant of a certain train of probable outcomes with regard to fortune or misfortune, health or disease, even happiness or unhappiness. These expectations are held as patterns of electrons moving towards certain ends. Make another decision, however, or allow a shift in consciousness regarding that expectation and hold it with intention, and the electrons bound up with the usual probability wave collapse. This permits new vectors of energy to emerge, which themselves are guided by the mind's new decision or belief and a new probability is selected for.

Another popular current explanation for the paradigm shift draws on the arcane mysteries of hyperspace. The universe is redolent with many dimensions, or so hyperspatial physicists and mathematicians like Michio Kaku tell us. The fireworks that attended the Big Bang opened up a plenitude of frequency domains. However, interaction with other dimensions would require the propagation of velocities faster than the speed of light. Thus space-time warps, whimsically called "wormholes," would be needed in order for objects and us to take a quick tunnel trip through adjacent dimensions. Finding such wormholes would be quite a job, requiring the services of a galactic Columbus, Star Trek notwithstanding.

Now, although our bodies may not be able to participate in other dimensions, our minds may well be omni-dimensional. We have tried to show in this mystery school that consciousness has the innate capacity to tune and modulate to different domains. Implied here is the notion that there are tunnels or psychic warp spaces and times within the field of consciousness through which different universes in the multidimensional cosmos can be connected. Does this mean that the mind has the means to travel in time, to visit the time and place in ancient Israel when Christ delivered the Sermon on the Mount, to be present in consciousness at the signing of the Declaration of Independence? Is the past still present, nested in the many frequencies that make up the Mind of the Maker?

This year we have set up exercises in which some of you have experienced these things. Is this just suggestion, the ravings of an altered state, or is it something else? I am not willing to close my accounts with reality and say it is "nothing but," for nothing but is never so. What seems to be true, however, is that by changing consciousness, we can experience more profound patterns of the universe. I find, for example, that when we are in mythic or spiritual levels of consciousness, as we have tried to be this year, we become citizens of a larger universe with regard to perception, time, space, dimensionality, and possibility. It is then, too, that our psychological makeup has more source hooks in it, is less traumatized by past experience, is more capacious and capricious, and we feel extended into a multi-dimensional universe.

Perhaps that is why many myths tell of doors leading to other worlds. When we are living mythically or enacting an archetype, we seem to pass into a reality in which what had been latent becomes overt. Myth seems to provide a wormhole into larger spheres of being, to encoded latencies for richer perceptions and ways of knowing. (See my autobiography out this week from Harpers - A Mythic Life as well as a lot of my other books.) What we think of as "paranormal" phenomena may belong to another system within the universe, one that is mediated by archetypes. Archetypes have the capacity to bring larger patterns of possibility, evolutionary cadences, and a wider spectrum of reality into conscious knowledge and experience, felt often as an influx of creative potency and sometimes even as paranormal experience. Rapid healing, for example, can be the result of the healer dissolving his or her local self and being filled with an archetypal or sacred image (not I but Christ through me doeth the work). By bridging oneself between here and the Greater There, one enters into archetypal dimensions that may contain the blueprints of greater possibility, the primal stuff for social and creative change. Archetypal space-time may also contain the optimal template of a person's health and well-being. The job of the healer is to call that template back into consciousness so that it can work upon a malfunctioning body or mind, tuning here, correcting there.

People with the passion for paradigm shifts have also embraced the thinking of Nobel physicist David Bohm. He believes that the universe is constructed along hologramatic principles, wherein every part is related to every other part--indeed, contains at some level every other part. On the basis of quantum theory, Bohm suggests that there are two principal orders of reality. One is the primary order, which is implicate, enfolded, harboring our reality in much the same way as the DNA in the nucleus of the cell harbors potential life and directs the nature of its unfolding. This is an order of pure beingness, the Grand Frequency that contains all the other frequencies and dimensions. I find it consonant with the realm of Plato's Forms or Whitehead's primordial nature of God. Buddhist and Hindu philosophies have similar metaphysical systems and psychologies to account for this primary order of pure potentiality. At this level of reality, there are no t things or movements as we understand them. All is an undivided totality, an energy sea that transcends specification and knows neither here nor there. I see it as the realm that is at once the coalescence of all pattern and the living source of all caring. Along with Teilhard, I see it as the source of love and organicity, the lure of evolution, and the Mind that is minding. Thus I think of the primary order as the place from which the forms of reality are engendered, pervading all our processes, prompting our paradigm shifts and, potentially, always available to us.

The eternal part of our consciousness is forever contained in this implicate order, but the greater part is caught up in Bohm's second-generation reality, that which is explicate, unfolded, manifest in space and time, filled with kittens and quasars, and the need to connect with others. We all have it in us to travel back and forth between the two orders, for our brains seem to serve both as gates into God as well as hologramatic reducing valves which render God-stuff into structure and form. I have trained my own reality to be very fluid, moving back and forth between ordinary and extraordinary realities, local and archetypal worlds, implicate and explicate domains.

My old friend botanist Rupert Sheldrake brings all of this speculation into fruition when he states the very basis of paradigm shift--things are as they are because they were as they were. The laws of nature are not absolutes; rather, they are accumulations of habits. A law like gravitation, for example, is a pretty well-fixed habit, probably owing to the trillions of beings throughout the universe who give it general assent. Yet yogis, swamis, and more than a few Catholic saints report that in deep meditation or spiritual rapture, they have been known to bump their heads on the ceiling, for rapture is nothing if not a paradigm shift. Laws change, habits dissolve, new forms and functions emerge whenever an individual or a society learns a new behavior. This is because we are all connected through what Sheldrake calls "morphogenetic fields," organizing templates weaving through time and space, which hold the patterns for all structures, but which can be changed according to our changing thoughts and actions. Thus the more an event, pattern of behavior, or skill is duplicated, the more powerful its morphogenetic field becomes. We know, for example, that people in the twentieth century learn to ride bicycles and to use machines more quickly and effectively than people in the nineteenth century. Similarly, today's children and adolescents learn to use computers and to write programs in ways that seem beyond the competence of their parents--or as an adult friend once said when he couldn't get a computer program to work, "Let's call in an expert. Get the kid next door."

Beneath the collective surface crust of consciousness, a new paradigm is growing, so subtle, albeit pervasive through many lands and cultures, that we do not yet know its name. Is it the no-name organic lure of evolution, the implicate god becoming incarnate in ourselves? Is it a convergence between what is here and what is there on a grand scale, one that will shake the foundations of reality-- the big shift itself? Cosmos emerges from chaos, as scientists tell us, and present breakdown may be the plowing of the old order so that the seeds of new becoming can be planted--at least, I dearly hope so.


10. It would seem that just as there are stages in the development from fetus to elder,so, too, are there stages along the way as we progress toward our wisdom state as a planetary civilization. In my book Life Force I try to show that each stage in both pre-history and history represented an integrated pattern of technology, culture, politics, perceptions, and the use of emerging human capacities. Each stage represented a certain kind of flowering. Each stage was quickened with information and images, and extraordinary events or revelations or epiphanies that came from the multiverse. All the major elements of each stage tend to be internally consistent and supportive of each other. Thus it can endure for hundreds, and even thousands of years. before it becomes too successful and enters into a hyperstasis and excluding self satisfied character that creates the crisis that moves both individuals and societies into a larger and more inclusive and questing level of perception and action. Problems and opportunities arise at one stage that can only be resolved at another more comprehensive stage, just as it is with human development. Another stage then "provides a new way of seeing how to cope with the stresses created by the exhaustion of the soil of the previous stages evolutionary potentials." (Discuss however, the variant of all this, as to when the soul of a culture become exhausted, sometimes, it lies fallow and then is recreated at a higher level of consciousness, as sometimes happens among indigenous peoples.) In other worlds the Gardeners in the Meta-Universe seem to have designed a series of stages, which are not set, but are open ended in order to create an optimal flow for learning and experimentation and new expression which nevertheless leads us into an increasingly more inclusive sense of ourselves and the larger reality. We, each, one of us are engaged in an ascending ladder of consciousness in order to produce ever higher unities. But the climb itself is an illusion. Because the higher, interdimensional, multidimensional self exists all the time, regardless of what level we are on; all boundaries are self imposed. Our job is to rid ourselves of these boundaries. As we doubt and question, find small truths and large ones, engage a larger story, we discover that in this we are the universe questioning itself,trying out different answers on itself, journeying to decipher its own being. We find that we are assigned a role once reserved for gods. Ultimately we join this larger self conscious, self reflective universe and move into the multidimensional domain of the Big House, where we are given materials and scope to create our own Gardens. Thus the Cosmos continues to flower.

So, as Bugs Bunny says, "That's all folks!"

Read Chapter 5 of Jean's autobiography A Mythic Life,published by Harpers, and reprinted here by permission of the author:

"Of Butterflies and Essence"

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