Tag: awareness

14
Dec

In Praise of The Expo Disc

FOR SOME YEARS I’VE BEEN WRITING ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY AND AWARENESS. I even discuss how, in post-processing, I attempt to restore to images the colours as I saw them and why they moved me.

I discuss the defining moment, when an experience registers in consciousness before we describe it in dualistic terms, such as colour, tonality, pallet, exposure and other words.

For me, photography explores experience – mine – and attempts to communicate it. I discourage people from making value judgements, about their own work, and that of others.

Some years back I purchased what I thought an expensive gadget called the Expo Disc. I don’t remember just how much I paid but I thought I had lost my marbles!

I tried it out immediately, and was amazed by the realistic results, even with my compact, and this was perhaps ten years ago.

Then, because it was so expensive I kept it in its case, couldn’t be bothered to attach it to my belt, and my expensive toy rarely got used.

Yes, from time to time, I got it out. Attached it with a lanyard around my neck, but still it seemed more of a nuisance than an asset. Meanwhile, I was shifting the white balance in my camera to the manufacturer’s settings for sunny, cloudy, shade etc.

I even got egocentric at one time declaring that as I shoot RAW anyway I always tweak the WB in post-production.

I also use a range of legacy lenses and digital filters to tweak colours and create period styles.

Deep down, however, I like my images to have the colours that inspired me. The Expo Disc achieves this painlessly, but you have to be prepared to discard the protective case and just put the thing in your pocket.

Do this and you’ll reap a return in investment in spades. The colours are perfect. They recreate the magical experience of seeing 🙂

21
Nov

Why Photography and Awareness?

Animated gif of a rock pool at Hartland Quay

Rocks at Hartland Quay, Devon 2015

WORDS . . . TRICKY BLIGHTERS, because they are rooted in dualism. That’s why some like to make photographic images. No duplicitous words there.

Take the idea of ‘The Decisive Moment’. It was popularized by Henri Cartier-Bresson as a way of describing a split second when an apparent outer event coincides with an equally fictitious inner psychology. But don’t you sometimes need more than a split second to fully become aware of your, repetitive, free flowing, original nature?

It’s all appearance and fiction because it’s not two becoming one but, rather, multidimensional awareness overlapping and interconnecting. For many, however, their fate is to experience nightmares in which their worlds, and they, are experienced as separated.

Consciousness plays such roles usually without revealing your real identity, but sometimes, as part of the show, you may find yourself knowing what you really are.

Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, for example. He admits to curing an entire ward of the criminally insane without visiting with any one of them. Instead he read their files and worked upon himself using ho ‘oponopono a traditional Hawaiian healing practice. This powerful technique demands that we take responsibility for whatever appears within our experience in the knowledge that it really dwells within us, clouding the clear plane of awareness.

Language separates because sentences are split syntactically into subjects and objects. The thing to remember, however, is that despite this apparent dualism, every sentence carries a complete meaning. It is this not simply the specific meaning of a sentence that is conveyed, but also the implication that communication reaches out.

Photography, too, has always been a medium of communication. But in the wonder of conscious-awareness, who or what is specifically communicating with whom?

Michael Eldridge, my friend and teacher, writes: ‘And so,’Photography and Awareness’, although the other way around would make more sense because with a developed and acute awareness, photography just follows like a happy and obedient puppy.’ I like this metaphor.

Cartier-Bresson put what Michael alludes to in this exchange:

‘Why did you press the button at that precise moment?’ asked the painter, (66 year old Paul Bonnard).

Cartier-Bresson turned towards one of the unfinished canvases leaning against the wall, and pointed in detail: ‘Why did you put a little touch of yellow here?’

Michael goes on: ‘. . . I would prefer the word ‘Absorption’ to ‘Awareness’ but it would sound silly as a title, so we’ll let it stand.

‘You see, when we are in a state of absorption, the awarer (sic) is not there as a separate entity and there is no duality.’

Here I take issue, although it’s probably just words being deceiving. This state of ‘absorption’ to which Michael refers, is misleading. Nothing, and on-one, gets absorbed into anything else, because they are both properties of the great illusion. No matter how much you may hypothesize on the nature of living the only thing that ever resists dissection is the fact that you experience and that you are aware of doing so. From where you, apparently, are everything you experience occurs upon a screen of awareness with which you originally, and correctly, identified .

Nathan Gill wrote in 2000: ‘If all there is is Consciousness, if there is only Consciousness, then why or for what are you still seeking? If there is only Consciousness then right now you must be that and everything else that appears in and as awareness must also be that, including your sense of separate self if that is how you appear now. Any personal sense of I or ‘doership’ or ego must be Consciousness. What else could it be?’

Michael continues:
‘And we all experience this state when deeply into a book or film, or fishing or playing chess whatever. And of course children spend most of their waking hours in this wondrous state until adults begin to interfere. And the deepest state of absorption is when we are in the act of creating, whether a painting, a poem, a garden etc. In short, simply doing the things we love, if we haven’t forgotten what these are.’

I love this idea but feel impelled to clarify something. Awareness implies a grasping of life’s immediacy. There is a possibility, for most largely misconceived, of taking responsibility. Absorption, on the other hand, suggests something less concrete. Something dreamlike perhaps?, to be possessed, not quite all there, spaced out.

It’s not forgetting what creative things we used to enjoy that causes our problems, but rather having forgotten what we are.

Jean Bolen, a Jungian Analyst, once explained to me that when this happens archetypes may consume us. We then become insensitive to those with whom we live or work. A variety of symptoms may break out, as a result, ranging from a chaotic lifestyle with its missed appointments and inability to stay with planned agreements, to plain old fashioned narcissism and insensitivity.

American psychiatrist Milton H. Erickson was once consulted by a painter who suffered with a creativity block. Erickson gave the man a post-hypnotic suggestion that the next time he attempted to paint he would go into a deep trance and complete the painting with no memory of the event.

In due course the man set up a canvas, and before starting took a bite from a cheese sandwich he had prepared for his refreshment. When he took the second bite he found that the bread was dry, which puzzled him. Upon looking up he was amazed to find that his room was quite dark and before him was a fully painted canvas. A whole day had passed.

Many of us would like to enjoy such ability when completing tax returns, or cleaning the lavatory basin, but we must ask ourselves what role awareness plays in this story.

The question also relates to how art is regarded.

Dutch-born painter Willem de Kooning first began to show symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in the 1980s. He began working far faster than ever before, producing more than 300 paintings before he died. These lacked the density and layered complexity that had put de Kooning at the forefront of Abstract Expressionism. Where before he took eighteen months, or so, to complete a work, often painting and repainting layer upon layer on the canvas, his work was now ‘complete’ when ‘assistants’ were ‘satisfied’ by it.

This is one of the dangers of focusing upon ‘absorption’ as a destination. Within the dreamlike matrix projecting what we call ‘reality’ awareness tends to conjure up what incomplete aspect of the idealized image it has of itself that it focuses upon.

Sometimes, words matter after all.

Cartier-Bresson said many wise things. Here are three of them: ‘You just have to live and life will give you pictures. . . . We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole. . . . While we’re working, we must be conscious of what we’re doing.’

02
May

Photography, Awareness, and Digital Media

MICHAEL ELDRIDGE, COLIN TRACY AND I ARE PUTTING TOGETHER A PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP ABOUT AWARENESS. It takes place in Bristol from 3rd to 6th July.

Photography_Awareness

Workshop poster by Colin Tracy

To be frank, though, I doubt our work has mass appeal. Digital people tend to find themselves hypnotized by the Apps on their phones, and being being available with a service, or ‘selfie’, whenever their boss calls. There is an audience, for our workshop, of course. It’s made up of those who like to slow down and enjoy each moment of living.

In galleries people come with time to look, see, explore and comment. Sometimes they are moved by what they encounter.

Playful comments, especially in visitors’ books, are the ones I enjoy most, because they reveal that people really have been touched by the work. Polite comments tend to be well meant but point to someone’s social conditioning. All are welcome.

Thinking about awareness led me to consider the nature of photography as a medium, particularly in this age where digital manipulation easily makes images share many of the attributes of painting. There is a cross-over with digital art.

Image © Stephen Bray

Digitally Enhanced Bonfire

I posted an image about this on Facebook a day, or so ago. I titled it ‘Digitally Enhanced Bonfire’.

Today’s work is more solemn. It’s not about changing light, but changing attention. Please watch and let me know what you make of it.

11
Feb

Buddhist Business Practice

You’re bound to become a Buddha if you practice.
 If water drips long enough
 Even rocks wear through.
 It’s not true thick skulls can’t be pierced;
 People just imagine their minds are hard.

Shih-Wu (1272-1352)

You don’t have to retreat to a mountain hut with walls of rice-paper, as did Shih-Wu, in order to become a Buddha. You don’t even have to become a Buddhist and study the scriptures.

It’s not necessary to become a hermit to relate to all sentient beings. Being in-tune with the world and helping others to become liberated is a rewarding experience.

As well as living as a hermit Shih-Wu also spent much of his life as the abbot of a monastery. Such places were huge institutions, in his day, and just as full of jealousies, politics, and the difficulties of today’s modern society.

To be a Buddha means to be awake. To live life moment by moment and experience it anew for what it is. It’s not about chanting ancient incantations, writing poetry on rice-paper, or making candles, which were the arts and technologies of Shih-Wu’s day.

It’s neither about book learning, nor intellectual grasp of truths.

Quoting Peter Drucker or Seth Godin does’t make you good at business, and being able to recant the Sutras can’t make you awaken.

Buddhist business practice means relating to others through actions and example. We follow the golden rule not because we choose to, but because, for us, no other way presents itself.

Spirituality that is embodied, true, and real, willingly surrenders its gifts. The best and most effective way for spirituality is living without cause.

Shih-Wu’s philosophy suggests, it isn’t good practice to better yourself, improve skills, get over an emotional shock, lose weight, stop smoking, or develop a character quality. It’s a completely unbounded way of being in which the distinction between you and others dissolves.

Remarkably, technology has developed to a place where MRIs and PET scans show our brains’ abilities to form new connections throughout life enabling us to remain flexible even in adverse situations. Experiments in quantum theory also suggest that there is a non-substantial non-physical element to each of us, in which we’re all interconnected in a similar way to how our brains work.

Shih-Wu intuited all this. Would he be a hermit, or an abbot today? No one can say. I am sure, however, that there are many business people who share Shih-Wu’s abilities, and intuitively administer services and develop products and thus liberate whilst contributing to the richness of life.

“Nothing is better than being free
 but getting free is not luck.”

You will not find your image in a mirror, but in the faces of your friends, family, customers, and the world around you.


E.F. Schumacher speaks on Buddhist Economics

21
Jan

The Business Of Photography

Image by Stephen BrayFor many photography is a path of service. It’s not service to a master, or business owner, it’s a way to contribute to the planet, or reveal the beauty contained in the universe. Wisdom and compassion may both arise when believing this.

Think of the Mr. Carson the butler in Downton Abbey. How carefully he balances the needs of the masters and other members of staff. He is firm, human, and compassionate when keeping the household on track. He helps people develop their awareness within the limits of his role.

It’s similar when you are a business owner. Business is all about relationships. Without experiencing wisdom and compassion these will appear as hollow profit-governed mechanics and manipulations. True relating means finding aspects of yourself in others, recognizing them for what they are, and liberating them from enslaving wants and needs, by recognizing their source, and thus creating something of lasting satisfaction.

Business practices and tasks vary. To become better at business requires a commitment to self-discovery. When you perform at your best, both with respect to the services you provide and the ways you deliver, you begin to experience the joy of living. This has the power to influence others, perhaps even helping liberation to find them.

This doesn’t always mean offering services and products for free. Nor does it mean that you must extend long lines of credit. Indeed it’s not good to let others become indebted because resentment and guile frequently aise in the face of unpaid bills.

Compassion

Compassion sometimes means having the faith that people ultimately pay up, but sometimes you may not directly reap the reward of your labour. If someone can save enough time, or make sufficient money, using what you provide they are able to afford your services but even then not all will remunerate you for your time and effort. Learn from such experiences and move on.

Whenever possible you use the data, information, and knowledge, you have about your customer in order to wisely overcome the limited self-belief that gives rise to their problems.

Many in business don’t think like this. They develop products and services that meet peoples wants simply because that seems the easiest way to make a profit.

Whilst there’s some merit in that approach, it leaves out two important elements. These are your customer and you.

Rather than relating to people directly, profit driven business people relate simply to mass problems. There’s less merit in doing business in this way because it disconnects your customer and you from your essential natures, which are essentially both one, and also at the core of living. Experience becomes reduced to abstract analysing abstract statistics, rather than experiencing the fullness of life.

Wisdom

Wisdom, is far more than a way to engage with the world. True wisdom is self-wisdom. Self-wisdom is the ability to understand your essential nature. To see, hear, and feel your connection to others, and the world and know it as one unbroken experience appearing as if in time and space, is thought by many to be ultimate wisdom.

According to the Dalai Lama compassion is the wish for another to be free from suffering; love is wanting them to have happiness. It’s a simple definition, and it doesn’t matter who first thought of it. When this mantra finds itself within you, and you, in turn, experience the grace to let it work its magic through all levels of your business, then you may become a successful artist.

By enjoying our thoughts, others, society at large, and our natural environment we become larger people. The world seems to live within us, rather than we within it. The people we meet reflect aspects of our totality. We meet them with an open embrace, but if they seem to attack us, or attempt to take us by surprise we are ready. We anticipate their move, and let their strength become their tipping point.

Then, with a smile on our faces, we take them by the hand and place them once more upon their feet, where they feel not so much thrown, but rather restored to their dignity.

How do you live like this?

Express Your Original Face

You remember.

You remember your original face. The one you had before you were born into a land of other people’s dreams, ideas, complaints and conditions.

That original, clear, unbroken, wholeness is still there. How could it not be so? It’s simply that generations of, well meaning, relatives and teachers have said you must disregard it. That was their way, but did it make them happy?

Wisdom and compassion are powerful and universal. They make lives complete. They continue to fulfill, even experiencing extreme conditions such as concentration camps, prisons, or places where people endure other kinds of torture.

Experience The Beloved

A business is a wonderful opportunity to experience miracles. It’s also a challenging discipline through which you can discover your true nature as you solve problems without succumbing to anxiety, hatred, jealousy, greed, or creating something purely for profit that might only bring misery into your life.


Sebastião Salgado: The Silent Drama of Photography.

01
Jan

Photography and Awareness

Each person must find his or her own path. Nonetheless,
seek guidance from wise and compassionate people and
listen to them earnestly. This will help you find the best
way to proceed – now and in the future.

His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa.

Photograph by Stephen Bray

 When I began photography I had no idea that it could have a spiritual dimension. It was magical, of course, because it seemed a way to represent reality without the effort of drawing, or painting. Later, it became a way to meet girls, travel, and inform others.

But photography, particularly in this digital age is also a way to receive instant feedback about who you are when you know how to read the signs.

Most photographers are unable to deliberately pursue this course, because it requires surrender rather than attempted mastery.

Frustration arises when the white impression of a hair appears as an otherwise perfectly crafted image emerges on paper in the developing tray. More commonly, in these digital days, similar emotions arise when it seems impossible to correct an error made at the time of exposure using the latest image editing software.

These difficulties are information coming back from the eternity from which our self-identity has appeared. They point to a lack of self-knowledge as much as those errors in image-making. Often faults, such as the hair, or the poorly exposed digital file, may be traced back to preoccupations with our illusory selves as we prepared the darkroom, or made settings upon our cameras.

Sometimes disappointment rises to the point of anger, or desperation. In a way, this is good because it focuses our attention upon the dream of separation. It’s not the darkroom, chemicals, or camera that is at odds with creation but us, in the form of our self-image.

The very best photographers know how to get out of the way of their creativity and simply allow pictures to come. As a result their camera becomes like a ‘third-eye’ through which they see clearly. Experience hones technical skills, which now seem automatic. They know that their images are as much about them as the imaginary outer world that seems to present itself to be objectively recorded.

A few go so far as inject this insight into their work by including themselves as figures within the frame, but it’s not necessary to do so in order to learn from your photography.

As this journal develops I will share some insights into the work of notable photographers, as well as display my own work and write about the way of photography.

I hope you will enjoy what you find here.


An Interview with Photographer Stephen Bray

12
Jan

Non-Duality And The Death of Science

Science: the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation.

Metaphysics: the branch of philosophy concerned with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being and knowing.

Concise Oxford Dictionary

NASA StarChild image of Stephen Hawking.

NASA StarChild image of Stephen Hawking.

When Professor Stephen Hawking met with Pope John Paul II the Pope said that it was all right to study the evolution of the universe after the big bang, but we should not inquire into the bang itself because that was the moment of creation and therefore the work of God.[i]

Hawking is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University. Sir Isaac Newton a fierce opponent of the Catholic Church held this chair in the past.

The Big Bang Theory, which Hawking helped to develop, holds that the Universe arose from a single point creating with it space-time with similar properties to a collapsed star where the known and normal rules of nature cannot be applied.

Hawking was born on the anniversary of Galileo’s death exactly 500 years later. Galileo also was warned by a Pope not to inquire too deeply into the nature of God’s creation. Using a telescope, which he had constructed, Galileo had been able to convince himself by observation that Copernicus had concluded correctly that the earth orbits the sun, and not the opposite as had been assumed during the dark ages.

But the Church had difficulty in accepting pluralism in Galileo’s time. In 1542 Pope Paul III created The Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition. This institution was authorised to interrogate, if necessary by torture, and prosecute people for heresy. Galileo was never tortured, but in 1633 he was shown the instruments of torture twice.[ii]

Justus Sustermans - Portrait of Galileo Galilei, 1636

Justus Sustermans – Portrait of Galileo Galilei, 1636

As a result of his treatment Galileo recanted his support for Copernicus, and so avoided such torture on the rack, which, no doubt, have disconnected his mind and brain from a body wracked with pain. He was allowed to retire to his villa where he died a virtual prisoner in 1642. Sir Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day the same year.

The trial and conviction of Galileo sent a warning to scholars across Europe. It was unsafe to study the handiwork of God by direct observation, and doubly unsafe to draw inferences from such observations.

Against this background René Descartes, a contemporary of Galileo, developed the philosophy of dualism. This opened a path for Newton and others to investigate the fabric of nature without reference to the handiwork of God. Dualism is the basis of modern science. When Galileo was put on trial Descartes fled Catholic France, and eventually settled in Lutheran Sweden.[iii]

Descartes separated the body from the mind. When he says, ‘I am angry’, he is referring to his mind as the bearer of his anger. His body by contrast is something like an ‘automaton’ that he owns. So each of us identifies with a mind and possesses a body.[iv]

Whilst the body and mind are mutually dependent, for example the mind must find ways to obtain food and drink to sustain the body, a body is needed as an apparently local space in which to locate the mind. Such a separation of body from mind made possible the scientific paradigm that separates spirit from matter, enabling a study of matter, (science), without reference to a study of spirit, (metaphysics).[v]

Newton in a 1702 portrait by Godfrey Kneller

Newton in a 1702 portrait by Godfrey Kneller

The brilliant, irascible and vindictive mathematician Sir Isaac Newton became a model for scientific thought for generations. Safe in England from the interference of the Inquisition this radical scholar pursued scientific method with rigour. His work on optics and gravitation continue to be applied, indeed NASA calculates the trajectories through space according to Newton’s laws, when sending men to the moon, rather than Einstein’s later and more precise theories of relativity.[vi] Incredibly in private Newton practiced alchemy and wrote extensively on the Biblical messages of The Book of Revelations.[vii]

Most of us have been educated to consider spirit and matter as separate. We believe our bodies to be similar to machines and separate from our minds. Importantly we hold that what we see, hear, touch, taste and smell are true representations of an objective world that is ever present and external to us.

We cannot practise science, as it has been commonly understood, unless we can believe this.

But Newton’s objective universe began to get slippery when in 1881 Albert Michelson an American scientist discovered the speed of light is constant even when its source and recipient are moving toward or away from each other. This finding makes it impossible for Newton’s clockwork universe to be an accurate way of understanding. Space and time are relative; the speed of light is the sole constant. Incredibly from his meditations upon the uniformity of the speed of light in 1905 Einstein concluded that energy and mass are equivalent. In doing so he presaged atomic power, and hinted at the wave/particle problem, as well as non-local consciousness, or non-duality.

NASA calculated its lunar landing trajectories according to Newton’s laws rather than Einstein’s later and more precise theories of relativity.

NASA calculated its lunar landing trajectories according to Newton’s laws rather than Einstein’s later and more precise theories of relativity.

A wave may be considered as energy, and a particle as something possessed of mass. We are constantly surrounded by and penetrated by radio waves, some of them transmitted from broadcast stations, others the result of stellar activity. Some of these waves can harm us if we are overexposed to them, for example X rays, sunlight, ultraviolet light and gamma radiation. This damage arises as a result of the effect of the specific wavelength of the energy upon our cellular tissues.

Waves and particles may best be understood as wavicles.[xviii] Until they are detected through either a wave detector, or particle detector, and this detection has been observed by a sentient being we cannot determine in which mode they will precipitate into the reality of an apparent space/time universe.

Einstein held that no physical effect might be transmitted with a velocity faster than light. This means that all physical effects must decrease as the distance between the source of an effect and an observer increases. He also believed that an objective reality exists whether or not it is observed. In 1935 together with Podolsky and Rosen he set out to show that the branch of science known as quantum mechanics is incomplete because it cannot describe a reality that is both local and definite.[viii]

But Einstein was wrong for scientific experimentation shows that coordinated change transcends the speed of light, and may be described within quantum theory.[ix] [x]

Newton conceived the idea of gravitation by reasoning that the moon was like a ball that had been thrown very hard and is falling toward earth. The ball keeps missing it and goes around, because the earth is round. Einstein was able to intuit the General and Special Theories of Relativity from his thought experiment of riding upon a beam of light.[xi]

But what thought experiment might adequately describe transcending the speed of light, or non-locality as physicists refer to it?

Penzias and Wilson discovered evidence supporting the Big Bang Theory in 1965. They detected radiation from the Big Bang using special equipment at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey. Pope John-Paul II refers to the Big Bang as the moment of creation. To attempt to examine what occurs within the quantum singularity from which the Big Bang occurred must have seemed to the Pope the equivalent of looking inside God’s undergarments.

Bell Labs' Horn Antenna in Crawford Hill, NJ - In 1964 while using the Horn Antenna, Penzias and Wilson stumbled on the microwave background radiation that permeates the universe.

Bell Labs’ Horn Antenna in Crawford Hill, NJ – In 1964 while using the Horn Antenna, Penzias and Wilson stumbled on the microwave background radiation that permeates the universe.

He need not have worried about this because within a singularity mathematical models are impossible because the numbers become infinite.[xii] Also within a singularity we are dealing with very small objects so we cannot make calculations based upon Newton’s, or Einstein’s laws of gravity. We must consider quantum mechanics. Currently no coherent theory of quantum gravity exists. It has been suggested that the universe has no finite beginning, but instead arcs back upon itself. This idea relies on the mathematics of imaginary numbers that may be used to create imaginary space-time.

An imaginary number is the square root of a negative number. It is like calculating the square root of your bank overdraft. An imaginary number is created by multiplying any number by the square root of –1. Muslim scholars and later Descartes were aware that imaginary numbers must theoretically exist, but dismissed them as impractical or nonsensical.[xiii]

Imaginary numbers are used as one component in the computer generation of fractal geometry. Fractals are beautiful constructions wherein irregular shapes are self-similar, meaning that any subsystem of a fractal system is equivalent to the whole system.[xiv]

We may live in a Fractal Universe. The Russian physicist Alexander Friedmann assumed in 1922 that the Universe looks identical in whatever direction we look, and that this would also be true if we were looking from any other location.[xv] Whilst on a small scale this is nonsense, or our familiar night sky would look geometrically uniform, on a large scale it seems that Friedmann’s predication is accurate.[xvi]

If time curves back upon itself in the way that a fractal pattern is repetitive, then it can have no beginning. It follows then that the past is a product of perception and so we can take the present as a reference point from which to calculate the beginning of creation.

Frost crystals occurring naturally on cold glass form fractal patterns

Frost crystals occurring naturally on cold glass form fractal patterns

Scientists, to explain our experience of the universe, sometimes invoke the anthropic principle. Hawking describes the principle thus: “We see the universe the way it is, at least in part, because we exist. It is a perspective that is diametrically opposed to the dream of a fully predictive unified theory in which the laws of nature are complete and the world is the way it is because it could not be otherwise.

“The principle holds that the universe must be suitable for intelligent life: if atoms weren’t stable, we wouldn’t be here to observe the universe and ask why it appears as it does”. [xvii]

Observation is necessary in order that the universe, including what you are reading precipitates into being. Until this article, or the universe is observed it exists only as a probability ‘within the mind of God’.

John Smibert - Bishop George Berkeley

John Smibert – Bishop George Berkeley

Years ago the C17 idealist philosopher Bishop Berkeley pondered, ‘If a tree falls and no one sees or hears it, what has happened’. Berkeley concluded, ‘The tree fell in the mind of God’. But according to physicist Amit Goswami this is inaccurate, because objects in the mind of God are transcendent, archetypal, probability forms. An event occurs not because we do something to a ‘real’ object as a result of observing it, but because a choice is made and we recognise the result of that choice.[xviii]

The choice is made not by us, as the individual perceivers of creation[xix] [xx] [xxi] with whom we identify our mind, which seems to possess of our bodies, but by the non-local consciousness that quantum theory identifies ultimately as reality.[xxii] [xxiii] [xxiv]

At the beginning of the 20th Century many scientists thought that most of the scientific problems of the world had been solved, or would shortly be solved. David Hilbert a German mathematician argued in 1900 that every mathematical problem has a solution.[xxv]

Kurt_gödel

Kurt Gödel

But Relativity and Quantum Theories overturned the certainties of physics, and in 1931 Kurt Gödel proved that mathematics is incomplete. There are some true statements that cannot be proved within any logical system.[xxvi]

An essential axiom of mathematics is: “Whatever involves all of a collection must not be one of the collection”.[xxvii] On this basis it is possible to establish that you have at least two heads.

For if we assume that the world you see is objective, in the sense that there something outside of you that is represented within your perception[xxviii] [xxix] [xxx][xxxi], it follows that you can see your world, including your body, but not your head. But what you see is a coded representation of what is actually present and this representation is occurring inside of your head. Since we may infer that your head is connected to your body, the head from which you perceive yourself as looking out upon the objective world is not the true head that is connected to your shoulders, but its representation within the ‘real’ head, which contains your body and the material universe.[xxxii] It follows that each of us has two heads.

Of course this is nonsense. It is simpler to take Douglas Harding’s view that we have no heads.[xxxiii] What Harding really claims is that we are awareness within consciousness that identifies with itself as a life from moment to moment. There appears to be duality: me and you, us vs them, life opposed to death, static vs circular. These, however, are illusions both within consciousness and composed of it.

Most of us identify ourselves with our minds, and our bodies, rather than our true nature, which is non-local and non temporal.

In such a model our body-mind experiences perception as local, but the images that we make in our brains and within which we live are non-local. Whilst such a proposition may seem incredible, brain processes involve the exchange of information at particle level. There is speculation that the brain operates as a quantum-mechanical organ.[xxxiv] [xxxv]

In a recent lecture during the Dirac centennial celebration at the University of Cambridge Stephen Hawking stated: “We and our models are both part of the Universe we are describing, we are not angels who view the universe from outside”.[xxxvi]

If this is the case then an ‘objective’ universe cannot exist, and without such objectivity ‘science’ as we have been trained to appreciate it, is dead. The study of non-objective first causes is a study of ‘metaphysics’.

The thought experiment that describes non-locality is our every day life. It is an experiment without a doer. Non-local consciousness misidentifies with a local point of observation giving rise to immediate awareness, which in turn seems to generate personal self-hood, an ego, with an apparent story and history.

Science has come full circle. This story began with a man who in pursuing understanding of the natural world infuriated a pope and only avoided the forced separation of his body from his head by recantation of the evidence of his senses. Since then many great scientists and thinkers have added to the story. It ends with a statement from the man who lost the use of his body through disease, but continues to find God in his head using the telescope of science. Through his quest, and with the help of other great scientists we may discover that God, the universe, the actors in this story, the story itself, the writer, and you dear reader, are all self-reflections of a non-local consciousness ;-))

[i] Hawking S., and Stone G., (1992) A Brief History of Time Readers’s Companion. London: Bantam Press.

[ii] Bronowski J., (1973) The Ascent of Man. London: BBC.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Dilman I., (1999) Free Will. London: Routledge.

[v] Mindell A., (2000) Quantum Mind, The Edge Between Physics and Psychology. Oregon: LaoTse Press

[vi] Stamp H., (2000) Review of The Visionary Window by Amit Goswami in: Science Within Consciousness www.swcp.com/swc/Essays/swift-bkrev.htm

[vii] Bronowski (op. cit.)

[viii] Einstein A., Podolsky B., and Rosen N., (1935) Can quantum mechanical descriptions of physical reality be considered complete? Physical Review 47:777-780

[ix] Aspect A, Dalibrand P., and Roger G., (1982) Physics Review 49:1804 (letter).

[x] Wheeler J., (1982) The Computer and the Universe. International Journal of Theoretical Physics 21: 557-92

[xi] Bronowski (op. cit.)

[xii] Hawking S., (1988) A Brief History of Time. London: Guild Publishing

[xiii] Sardar Z., Ravetz J., Van Loon B., (1999) Introducing Mathematics. Cambridge: Icon Books.

[xiv] Ibid.

[xv] Hawking S., (1988) A Brief History of Time. London: Guild Publishing

[xvi] Ibid.

[xvii] Hawking S., (2001) The Universe in a Nutshell. London: Bantam Press.

[xviii] Goswami A., Reed R., Goswami M., (1993) The Self Aware Universe. New York: Tarcher Putnam

[xix] Schrödinger E., (1969) What is Life? And Mind and Matter. London: Cambridge University Press

[xx] Wigner E., (1962) Symmetries and Reflections. Bloomington: Indiana University Press

[xxi] Goswami et. al. (1993) Ibid.

[xxii] Aspect et. al., op. cit.

[xxiii] Wheeler op. cit.

[xxiv] Goswami et. al. (1993) Ibid.

[xxv] Brooks M., (2003) The Impossibel Puzzle. New Scientist 5th April p. 34-35

[xxvi] Gödel K., (1962) On Formally Undecidable Proposition: (A translation of Gödel’s 1931 paper, together with some discussion). New York. Basic Books

[xxvii] Whitehead A., Russell B., (1910-13) Principia Mathematica 2nd Ed. 3 vol. Cambridge University Press.

[xxviii] Checkland P., (1981) Systems Thinking: Systems Practice. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons

[xxix] Dilts R., Grinder J., Bandler R., and DeLozier J., (1980) Neuro-linguistic Programming Volume 1. Capertino: Meta Publications.

[xxx] Trevarther C., (1989) Development of Early Social Interactions and Affective Regulation of Brain Growth; in Eds. Von Eníer C., Forsberg H., and Lagercrantz H., Neurobiology in Early Infant Behaviour. London: Macmillan

[xxxi] Denkel A., (1995) Reality and Meaning. Istanbul: Bosphorus University

[xxxii] Wilson R. (1990) Quantum Psychology. Tempe: New Falcon Publications

[xxxiii] Harding D., and Lang D., (2000) Face to No Face. Carlsbad: Inner Directions Publishing

[xxxiv] Fröhlich H., (1980) Coherent Excitations in Active Biological Systems, in Gutman F. and Keyzer H. (eds), Modern Bioelectrochemistry. New York: Plenium Press

[xxxv] Popp F-A., (1986) On the Coherence of Ultra-Weak Photo-emission from Living Tissue, in Kilmister C. (ed.) Disequilibrium and Self-Organization. Reidel Publishing Company

[xxxvi] Brooks M., op. cit.

Footnote: A version of this article appeared in Nurturing Potential Journal  Volume 2 – No. 4 – 2003, under the title: The Death of Science.

01
Mar

Presence, (a poem).

Presence is perfect,
like a circle

P1

No beginning ~ No end!

simply Present,
does not perceive itself

P2

Awareness is finite ~ like a line
being finite it perceives the Presence
of infinity at its boundaries

we call this Awe

P3

Presence radiates
possibilities
in all directions

P4

and dimensions too!

P5

one possibility is two universes

An outer universe of planets, people and things
and an inner universe of thought and fantasy

P6

The two universes seem to travel in time and space
toward the infinite void
from which they arose

P7
We call these universes
our outer world and our inner awareness
forgetting they are one and the same.

P8

We say where these meet
is who we are, but who we are
precipitates these illusions!

P2

A past and future
become our life
and we forget to experience

Presence

And your life is no longer just a possibility
via the perception of Awareness

P4

You forget time is relative
and your true home is elsewhere

P3

so troubles begin
as you struggle to accumulate and plan
in order to escape a death
that was never truly yours
to endure

Where has Presence gone
in your nightmare?

P1

Presence :
a slight breeze? gentle sun?
storm clouds and rain?
No, like a hurricane it has no centre
yet it moves.

“If only it were so simple,” you say
from the inner universe of your mind
to the outer universe of your world

but I cannot reply
because I am not there.

Presence

Stephen Bray asserts the moral right as the author of this work
This page may be freely copied and distributed As-Is.