Books like "The Biology of Belief" by Dr., Bruce Lipton and "The Divine Maxtix", by Dr. Gregg Branden (recently headlined on Op-Ed News as "A Romp Through the Quantum Field"), are feasts of creativity, science, and (I guess for the lack of a better word) spirituality.
Yes, the piece was pretty long, but it had a lot to say! It had a WHOLE lot to say.
The only reservation (not really complaint) with such literature is that it's totally grounded in science. And that too, is tricky to talk about by someone who thinks the scientific method is about as good as it gets.
Of course, throughout these two books (there's many others) runs a kind of paradoxical fugue between science and the transcending of science, which makes, in a sense, it IMPOSSIBLE to reject the seductive n-dimensional vistas the authors serve up like a banquet.
OK, the bone fides have been acknowledged. Now what?
Well, the "now what" is to show (prove?) that transcendence is absolutely not limited to the happy blind siding of science.
We could take a journey though several (non scientific) spiritual/philosophical "black holes", but let's limit it to two.
The first you've probably all heard before and it comes off sounding like a trivial paradox, but it's neither. Here it is: Is there a sound in the forest when a tree falls and there's no one around to hear it? See, you have heard it before.
Here are some answers:
(1.) Its a silly question and not worth our time.
(2.) Its a significant question and the answer is yes.
(3.) Its a VERY significant question and the answer NO!
However it does need a little dressing up. It question should be: If "something" falls in a forest and there's no auditory nervous system life form around, is there any sound?
OK, back to (3). The answer is neither trivial, nor paradoxical, and the answer is categorically no.
Why is this important?
Well, it would be harder to find any claim about life that is equivalently important. It's important because it annihilates the alleged "duality" between human beings (or ANY beings) and nature. And notice as we go further into this, we don't need instrumentation or hypothesis testing. All we need is our raw birthright intelligence, and self evidence is all.
What we DO with this intuition depends on where we are on the sanity/neurosis continuum, and for many folks, this may be too much reality juice, but there's nothing humans do better than deny away reality, so let's just rely on that as a fail safe.
So back to the ad nauseam duality between the "external world", and "separate selves". The commonplace illusion that sound is really "out there" whether or not a person (or auditory nervous system) is around is simply, ultimately false.
Here's the heart of it. "Sound" isn't something we "hear". Hearing IS sound and sound IS hearing. You don't view the view. The view IS the view. All that perceiver, perceiving, perceived nonsense is just that -- a conceptual game.
The "Empirical World" is a transaction (like buying and selling). Indeed, we should always call it that, i.e., the transactional empirical world.
However, for some folks this is terrifying because it's proof positive that we don't "one up" nature. Indeed, the very "consciousness itself" of the falling tree is simultaneously the world of sound and intimate personal experience. It's a unity, a both/and; not a duality, or either/or.
It doesn't get any more intimate than this.
And duality isn't intimacy.
Much more could be said about this, but let's move on to our next item.
You don't think about what you think about before you think about it. That's a brain full, but it really makes perfect sense. Thinking isn't "intentional", it's spontaneous; and that's another way to say it.
An ancient Chinese word for nature is TZU-JAN and it roughly means "the of itself so", or "that which is so of itself" (no "higher powers" need apply). Spontaneity also means "self action". So thinking can be seen as the self activity of that which is so of itself, or if you like, the of itself soing of that which is so of itself.
The "psychological problem" here (and it's a monster) is that everyone wants to think that human existence is an intentional activity, but it is not now, never has been, and never will be an intentional process.
"Decisions", for example, are never "decided" (by a separate self decider?); they simply come into form when ripeness is all. It's a little like an apple orchard. The orchard doesn't "make" the apples like a shoemaker makes shoes: the apples are simply the coming into form of orchard process -- as the orchard process is the coming into form of meta orchard process.
It's all part of the spontaneous, nondualistic, immediacy of being alive. Nowing is realitying and thinking isn't "caused" by a thinker. Indeed, the thinker identity is a certain mode of thinking.
The shattering thing to see here (not necessarily "bad" shattering) is that LIFE IS ALWAYS SPONTANEOUS. It’s the being myselfing of that which is already the case. No duality, no intentionality.
Experiencing these things all the way through mutates human existence.
W. Christopher Epler (Bill)