In our world there is a growing segment that is questioning everything, deeply. Ever since the beginning of last century, physicists with open eyes began scratching their heads and made some pretty radical conclusions. One primary conclusion was that Consciousness was behind this world we live in (e.g., Tom Campbell) and that the various religions spoke most truly to what the findings of physics were revealing (e.g., Frizof Capra's Tao of Physics). These writings came about due to the results of experiments in which a particle behaved like a wave, when not being measured, and appeared as a particle when it was being measured. As stated on Wikipedia:
Wave--particle duality is a theory that proposes that every elementary particle exhibits the properties of not only particles, but also waves. A central concept of quantum mechanics, this duality addresses the inability of the classical concepts "particle" or "wave" to fully describe the behavior of quantum-scale objects. As Einstein described: "It seems as though we must use sometimes the one theory and sometimes the other, while at times we may use either. We are faced with a new kind of difficulty. We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave--particle_duality).
To put some concrete pictures to this craziness, consider the following Dr. Quantum YouTube Video.
The so-called objective-rational world of traditional science is a farce. There is no "objective" world "out there" with an objectively observing "I" "in here." Even in the hard core science of physics, there is no separation between observer and observed, or scientist and subject. We are inherently living as participants in a participatory universe. We live in a gigantic community!
It furthermore appears for every perception there is a dance of waves and a mind that is directed in what it sees by its ability to read frequencies of waves of light, sound and touch. Indeed, if one changes one's state of mind, say by taking a hallucinogenic, he or she would see a different world. Change the inner world of the observer, and the world changes. World and observer are in a reciprocal relationship. Change the observer and the world changes and vice versa.
What does this mean to today's problems of alienation, pollution, the destruction of biospheres, constant warfare and/or threat of war, standardized education, and nutrition-poor diets? (You can add more issues to the list.)
Interestingly, a neurologist named Karl Pribram found that our brains create an image via a form of calculus, he termed Fourier Transforms. Again, rather than our being passive participants in the universal dance, we are actively participating in this universe while performing high-powered calculus that allows us to engage in the play!
Let's make this more personal. If you think upon a particular natural scene, how you perceive it is going to be determined by your orientation, the lighting, what is around you, the feel of the air (you will perceive differently if you feel cold or hot), your feelings and so on. Pretty much, you and the scene you are looking at is simply a state of wholeness at a particular point in time and space. There is a relationship between you and the environment; and both are interdependent with each other and the rest of the world.
We are truly participants in this world.
Frances Moore Lappe also thinks so. As she states in her Ecomind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want the universe does not run on a top-down system of control, but runs on complex interactions of the parts. So, you, the reader, are nothing less than a participant in the world's creation.
One clear example of this idea is biologist James Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis, which states that the planet operates as a single organism with the parts interacting with the whole in making the planet habitable for life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Lovelock).
We're all in it together. We are all co-creators. There is not a singular creator out there with us hairless monkeys in here.
So, do we continue going down the route of surrendering to top-down authority? Or, do we go down the route of being participants? Is being a participant akin to Rob Kall's empowerment from the bottom-up? Or perhaps there is no bottom up or top down. There are only participants/particles. We are all involved! By all of us, I mean the planets, the stars, the ants and bees and".even".a slight gust of wind blowing in from the northeast. Oh, and that pizza that gave you heartburn or gas".yes, that too has an effect on everything. It's like the man who kicks the cat who bites the wife who then kicks the wall. What goes around comes around and we--like everything else--are a conscious pass-through in that ongoing, ever-changing process.
In a similar vein, Betsy Chasse, author of Tipping Sacred Cows says, "It's time to tip some sacred cows about what we think we know about spirituality, reality, and ourselves. It's time to get liberated from the fences we've put up and frolic once again through the pasture of life, realizing that stepping in cow sh*t is not always such a bad thing. That happiness is not a destination but a state of mind and you're already there if you're willing to just do a little work to uncover your true bliss, your happy mojo, that creamy cream that exists in the middle of you!"