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The Voice of Tolemac

                             

Signs and wonders will be seen – You know my tears – This is the hour – No man shall stop my plan – Trust me!

Follow the hand of God – I will reach for you – Take my hand – Walk with me – Praise the Lord!

You have been called – You are my witness – The Rapture is coming – I am the Light – Expect me!

This is the time of teaching – There shall be a Crusade – Prepare for me – I have risen – Embrace me!

A new day is coming – I am building a Temple – My Church is being restored – Read the signs – Stand!

Allan, Oracle of Tolemac, August 23, 2015, 3:39 am

The Oracle of Tolemac

The Last Days of Tolemac” is a book of prophecy. It deals with events that are happening in the world today and shows how they fulfill prophecies that were made many centuries ago. The book is set out in a series of questions and answers, and explains in detail:

  • What is about to happen to our planet
  • Why these events are happening at this time
  • What places on earth will be affected
  • What the new world will be like
  • What we can do to prepare

As the book explains, our world is about to be transformed. We are about to experience “a new heaven and a new earth” where there will be no more suffering and no more pain. However all of us are faced with a choice. Do we wish to inherit the new world that is coming? Or will we fall victim to the catastrophes that will herald its arrival? What we need to do to survive is explained in the pages of this book.

Allan, Oracle of Tolemac, August 22, 2015, 9:13 pm

Kindle Books

For the information of readers, The Last Days of Tolemac is now available on Kindle Books as a Digital Download, as well as Allan’s major work entitled The Cosmic Web.

The Cosmic Web deals with the mysteries of life, and shows how we all have within us hidden powers that will transform our lives in the coming age. Many of the stories that appear on this Blog, as well as articles on esoteric aspects of life, have been taken from this book. And as usual with Kindle books, if you click on the cover of either book, you can read part of the contents for free.

Both books can be accessed here

Allan, Uncategorized, August 21, 2015, 7:32 am

Contact

Allan Colston can be contacted at  Tolemac@shaw.ca

Allan, Uncategorized, August 20, 2015, 12:21 pm

Articles

For the benefit of readers who might be looking for information on specific subjects related to prophecy, the following articles have been included here for easy reference. They can be found in “Articles” listed under the heading “Categories” in the column on the right, or by clicking here:

  • The Apocalypse Unveiled
  • The Rapture Revealed
  • The Lost Years of Jesus
  • The New Golden Age
  • The Last Pope
  • The Death of the Pope
  • The Doomsday Prophecies
  • The Kachina Prophecies of the Hopi
  • Rebuilding the Temple of Solomon
  • What is “Wormwood” in the Book of Revelation?
  • What is “Mystery Babylon” in the Book of Revelation?
  • Why America is not Mentioned in “End Time” Prophecy

Allan, Articles, August 19, 2015, 9:09 pm

A Message from Mt. Sinai

In the third chapter of the Book of Exodus, the Bible describes an occasion some three thousand years ago when Moses was tending to the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian.

It records how Moses led the flock “to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb“. And it was on this mountain that he was attracted to a bush that mysteriously “burned with fire but was not consumed“.

As Moses approached the bush, he heard a voice that identified itself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph calling out to him. This voice then charged Moses with the task of rescuing the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt.

Then in chapter 19 of Exodus, three months after Moses had succeeded in his mission, the Bible records how the children of Israel came to the wilderness of Sinai, and camped at the foot of the mountain.  And it was there, on Mount Sinai, that God gave Moses the tablets of stone on which were inscribed the Ten Commandments.

Although the mountain on which these two events took place is called Mount Horeb at one place in the Bible, and Mount Sinai in another, most Jewish scholars consider that Mount Horeb and Mount Sinai refer to the same place.

So in mystical fashion, the place where Moses first encountered the burning bush turned out to be the very spot where he later received the Ten Commandments. And it was here on Mount Sinai that a Christian monastery later came to be built to commemorate both of these events.

St. Catherine’s Monastery and the Sinai Peninsula (Courtesy BBC)

This Greek Orthodox monastery is commonly known today as St. Catherine’s monastery. It is located in the Egyptian province of Sinai, at the mouth of a gorge at the foot of Mount Sinai, where it has flourished for over fifteen hundred years.

The fortress walls of the monastery were built at the order of the Emperor Justinian in 542 AD, to protect it from Bedouin marauders. The walls also enclosed a special chapel that had been commissioned several centuries earlier by Helena, consort of Constantine the Great, the first Roman Emperor to embrace Christianity.

This chapel, which is known today as St. Helen’s Chapel, was built at the site where Moses was believed to have seen the burning bush. The bush that can be seen on the chapel grounds today is considered to be the same one witnessed by Moses.

Behind the Monastery, a pathway of stone steps have been carved out of the mountain. They are known as the “Stairs of Repentance”, and they lead from the Monastery walls up to the top of Mount Sinai, at an altitude of  7,500 feet (2285 metres).

St. Catherine’s Monastery as it looks today

In 1934 AD, a Greek Orthodox chapel was built on the summit of the mountain, at the site of the ruins of a 16th-century church. This chapel encloses the rock that is thought to be the origin of the stone tablets given to Moses.

While most Christians today know about the link between Moses and Mount Sinai, very few are aware of the association between St. Catherine’s monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai and Muhammad, the founder of the Islamic religion.

The prophet Muhammad was born around 570 AD in the Arabian city of Mecca, located some 400 miles(640 kms) to the south-east of Mount Sinai. Muhammad was orphaned at an early age, and was raised by his paternal uncle Abu Talib.

It is known that while he was still in his early teens, the young Muhammad accompanied his uncle on trading journeys to Syria, which took him through the Arabian peninsula. Later on, he became a merchant and made frequent trips to the area.

It was during the course of these trips that Muhammad came to visit St. Catherine’s monastery, where he was welcomed by the monks who engaged him in discussions about science, philosophy and spirituality. It is said that these discussions had a great influence on the young prophet.

Muhammad’s religious calling began at the age of forty, when he had a series of visions of the angel Gabriel. Although he continued to live in Mecca, in the year 622 AD Muhammad became aware of a plot to kill him, causing him and his followers to leave Mecca and flee to the city of Medina – an event that became known in Islamic tradition as the Hijra (flight).

Four years after the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, in 626 AD, the monks of St. Catherine claimed that the prophet had personally granted them a special charter which became known as the Achtiname of Muhammad.

Under the terms laid out in this charter, all Christians “far and near” who were living under Islamic rule were granted protection, freedom of worship and movement, as well as the freedom to appoint their own judges and to own and maintain their own property.

A 16th Century copy of the Achtiname of Muhammad

They were also granted exemption from military service, freedom from paying taxes, and the right to protection by Islamic forces in the event of war. This document (the Achtiname), was sealed with the imprint of the hand of Muhammad.

According to the monks of St. Catherine, during the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517 AD, the original document was seized by Ottoman soldiers, and taken to the palace of Sultan Selim I in Istanbul for safekeeeping. However, a copy was made to compensate the monks for the loss of their original document.

According to historical documents issued by the government in Cairo during the period of Ottoman rule from 1517 AD to 1798 AD, the Pashas of Egypt recognised the authenticity of this document, and annually reaffirmed the protections granted to the monastery by Muhammad.

To this day certified historical copies of this Achtiname can be found on display at the library of St. Catherine. An Arabic version of the text was first published in 1916, followed shortly thereafter by a German translation in Bernhard Moritz’s Beiträge zur Geschichte des Sinai-Klosters.

An English translation of the original text was published in the early 20th century by F. Anton Haddad under the title Oath of the Prophet Mohammed to the Followers of the Nazarene. It reads as follows:

“This is a letter which was issued by Mohammed, Ibn Abdullah, the Messenger, the Prophet, the Faithful, who is sent to all the people as a trust on the part of God to all His creatures, that they may have no plea against God hereafter.

Verily God is the Mighty, the Wise. This letter is directed to the embracers of Islam, as a covenant given to the followers of Nazarene in the East and West, the far and near, the Arabs and foreigners, the known and the unknown.

This letter contains the oath given unto them, and he who disobeys that which is therein will be considered a disobeyer and a transgressor to that whereunto he is commanded.

He will be regarded as one who has corrupted the oath of God, disbelieved His Testament, rejected His Authority, despised His Religion, and made himself deserving of His Curse, whether he is a Sultan or any other believer of Islam.

Whenever monks, devotees and pilgrims gather together, whether in a mountain or valley, or den, or frequented place, or plain, or church, or in houses of worship, verily we are [at the] back of them and shall protect them, and their properties and their morals, by Myself, by My Friends and by My Assistants, for they are of My Subjects and under My Protection.

I shall exempt them from that which may disturb them; of the burdens which are paid by others as an oath of allegiance. They must not give anything of their income but that which pleases them.

They must not be offended, or disturbed, or coerced or compelled. Their judges should not be changed or prevented from accomplishing their offices, nor the monks disturbed in exercising their religious order, or the people of seclusion be stopped from dwelling in their cells.

No one is allowed to plunder the pilgrims, or destroy or spoil any of their churches, or houses of worship, or take any of the things contained within these houses and bring it to the houses of Islam.

And he who takes away anything therefrom, will be one who has corrupted the oath of God, and, in truth, disobeyed His Messenger.

Poll-taxes should not be put upon their judges, monks, and those whose occupation is the worship of God; nor is any other thing to be taken from them, whether it be a fine, a tax or any unjust right.

Verily I shall keep their compact, wherever they may be, in the sea or on the land, in the East or West, in the North or South, for they are under My Protection and the testament of My Safety, against all things which they abhor.

No taxes or tithes should be received from those who devote themselves to the worship of God in the mountains, or from those who cultivate the Holy Lands. No one has the right to interfere with their affairs, or bring any action against them.

Verily this is for aught else and not for them; rather, in the seasons of crops, they should be given a Kadah for each Ardab of wheat (about five bushels and a half) as provision for them, and no one has the right to say to them this is too much, or ask them to pay any tax.

As to those who possess properties, the wealthy and merchants, the poll-tax to be taken from them must not exceed twelve drachmas a head per year.

They shall not be imposed upon by anyone to undertake a journey, or to be forced to go to wars or to carry arms; for the Islams have to fight for them.

Do no dispute or argue with them, but deal according to the verse recorded in the Koran, to wit: ‘Do not dispute or argue with the People of the Book but in that which is best’ [29:46].

Thus they will live favored and protected from everything which may offend them by the Callers to religion (Islam), wherever they may be and in any place they may dwell.

Should any Christian woman be married to a Musulman, such marriage must not take place except after her consent, and she must not be prevented from going to her church for prayer. Their churches must be honored and they must not be withheld from building churches or repairing convents.

They must not be forced to carry arms or stones; but the Islams must protect them and defend them against others. It is positively incumbent upon every one of the Islam nation not to contradict or disobey this oath until the Day of Resurrection and the end of the world”.   (View Source)

As will be clear from the words of this document, it was the expressed wish of the prophet Muhammad that Christians be allowed to pursue their faith in whatever manner they wished, and free from interference by those of the Islamic faith.

This message from the foot of Mt. Sinai is also a timely reminder that the essential message of Islam is one of peace, tolerance and goodwill to all people, and that it is the duty of Moslems everywhere to protect any Christians who happen to live in their communities.

It is also a reminder in these days of fanatical religious extremism, where various sects are intent on wiping out all those who think and act differently from themselves, that all religions draw their meaning from a common source, and that all human beings share a common nature that is Divine.

Allan, Signs of the Times, August 18, 2015, 12:19 pm

Talking to Animals – Part Two

The ability to communicate between human and other forms of life is not limited to domesticated animals, but includes creatures of the wild as well.

When biologist Lyall Watson lived for some months on a remote Indonesian island in the Banda Sea, he became fascinated by the egg-laying rituals of female marine turtles.

These ponderous creatures would come ashore under the curtain of night to dig nests in the sand in which to lay their eggs, before dragging themselves exhaustedly back into the simmering surf. Although numerous different species of turtle came ashore, Watson was never able to catch sight of the giant of all sea turtles, the leatherback.

Finally, after many nights in vain anticipation, he happened to mention his interest in this turtle to the local djuru, a man who had an uncanny ability to locate and understand sea creatures. The djuru promised to show him one.

It was several weeks later when the village djuru approached Watson and announced that his wish would be fulfilled. That afternoon, the two of them proceeded to a spur of volcanic rock which stretched into the deep waters of the lagoon.

Then, as Watson watched in curiosity, the djuru crouched down at the water’s edge and began dabbing his fingers in the waves, as if he were playing upon the keys of a piano.

After about twenty minutes of this strange behaviour, Watson noticed a large frigate bird swooping low over the surface of the lagoon. As the bird drew nearer, it was clear that it was attracted by a dark shape in the water that was steadily approaching the tongue of rock on which the two men stood.

Suddenly, the glistening olive-green shell of a leatherback turtle broke the surface of the waves. It was larger than Watson had ever imagined. At the sight of this creature, the djuru broke into a quiet chant. Slowly, but with repeated evasive flights of alarm, the giant turtle approached the djuru’s outstretched fingertips.

As Watson watched in astonishment, the turtle lifted its beak and gently nibbled at his fingers, before turning and swimming swiftly back to the open sea.  1

Aboriginal societies not only communicate with animals but with plants as well. When shamans and witchdoctors incorporate plants and herbs in their medicinal cures, they talk to them as part of their rituals.

One of the mental hurdles that Carlos Castaneda had to overcome in his apprenticeship to the Yaqui shaman Don Juan, was his idea that plants could not communicate and were incapable of feelings. As Don Juan continued to stress to his western neophyte, however, “Plants are very peculiar things – they are alive and they feel.”  2

On another occasion he told his pupil, “In order to see the plants, you must talk to them personally. You must get to know them individually, then the plants can tell you anything you care to know about them.”   3

One person who was well aware that plants were conscious and were able to think and feel, was the Indian scientist Jagadis Chandra Bose. Bose was educated at Christ College, Cambridge, and astonished his colleagues with various devices he invented to measure the character and sensitivity of plants.

He was able to demonstrate, by physical means, that plants had a nervous system and that they enjoyed a varied emotional life. He found that they responded to such stimuli as hate and love, and that they expressed such emotions as fear and pleasure.

Like humans, Bose found that plants became intoxicated when given doses of alcohol , and showed every sign of the common hangover. He also noticed that the application of chloroform on plants had the effect of temporally discontinuing all growth, and led to a state of general torpor.

It was by this means that Bose was able successfully to transplant trees that were fully grown. He also discovered that plants suffered from stress and fatigue, and that this directly affected their powers of resisting disease.

He found, furthermore, that at the moment of death plants radiated an enormous electrical charge. Referring to this phenomenon he noted that five hundred green peas were able to generate, in their death spasm, an electrical discharge that was sufficient to electrocute a chef, if it were possible to connect them up in series. 4

For his innovative research and success in analysing plant physiology, Bose received a knighthood in 1917.

Although many people might be prepared to grant intelligence to domestic pets, and even concede a sympathetic response in plants, few would generally consider that any form of consciousness or intelligence might reside in insects.

Yet all insects, as Maharaj has pointed out, possess consciousness and an awareness of identity. Some years after Allen Boone had his memorable relationship with Strongheart, he formed an unusual friendship with a common housefly, which he christened Freddie.

Boone was able to establish his extraordinary contact with the fly by drawing on the lessons he had learned from his experiences with Strongheart. He found that he could attract the fly to him if it were absent, merely be issuing a mental call. He also found that the fly responded directly to his thoughts and feelings:

There was no emotionalism or sentimentality, or wishful thinking in all of this. I simply was compelled to realize that as I identified Freddie as either intelligent or unintelligent, good or bad, friendly or unfriendly, co-operative or unco-operative – that is precisely how he behaved. For Freddie was nothing more or less than the state of my own consciousness about him being made manifest in our outward experience.”

It took a humble housefly to reveal to Boone that life, consciousness and intelligence manifested in all creatures, and that no matter how lowly these might appear to the human eye, each demonstrated an amazing ability to share in a world of fun, joy and adventure.

In describing his episode with Freddie, Boone recalled the words of the thirteenth century mystic and theologian, Meister Eckhart:

When I preached in Paris I said then – and I regard it well said – that not a man in Paris can conceive with all his learning that God is in the very meanest creatures – even in a fly.”  5

According to the sages, intelligence is a characteristic of all life, and inhabits every form. Even such microscopic creatures as bacteria exhibit intelligence, by processing information in ways which are favourable to their survival.

One of the problems with which medical scientists have grappled in the course of their research, has been the problem of “acquired bacterial resistance”. This is exemplified by such strains of bacteria as staphylococci, which, over a period of time, have become immune to the influence of such antibiotics as penicillin.

In a similar way, the bacterium Escherichia coli have become immune to the drug streptomycin.  6

It is a common experience that chemical antitoxins work well initially in counteracting the ravages of bacteria. Over the course of time, however, the efficacy of these antitoxins becomes reduced, until finally they cease to be effective altogether.

The limits to intelligence do not end with microscopic forms of organic life, for evidence continues to accumulate that even insentient matter possesses a rudimentary form of consciousness and intelligence.

Jagadis Bose found that metals suffered from fatigue, just as plants and humans did, and that, if given sufficient opportunity to rest, would return to their normal level of functioning.

Bose discovered that the pattern of fatigue demonstrated by a slightly warmed magnetic oxide of iron was similar to that exhibited by human muscles. In both instances, the recovery response decreased with exertion. Bose found, however, that metal fatigue could be removed by gentle massage or immersion in warm water.

He also learned that potassium lost its power of recovery altogether when coated with certain substances, in a way which seemed to rival the response of muscular tissue to various poisons.

When Sir Michael Foster, secretary of the Royal Society, called on Bose one day while he was engrossed in one of his experiments, he happened to glance at the response curve that was being recorded. “Come now, Bose,” he exclaimed, “what is the novelty of this curve? We have known of it for at least half a century.”

When Bose asked him what he thought the curve represented, Foster” replied: “Why, a curve of muscle response, of course.” Sir Michael was silenced when Bose quietly countered: “Pardon me, but it is the response of metallic tin!”  7

Bose was led by the results of his experiments, to question the classical scientific division between organic and inorganic life, and came to the conclusion that this dichotomy was purely artificial.

At a meeting which took place at the Royal Institution on May 10, 1901, he announced to his bemused audience:

I have shown you this evening autographic records of the history of stress and strain in the living and the non-living. How similar are their writings! So similar indeed that you cannot tell one apart from the other. Among such phenomena, how can we draw a line of demarcation and say, here the physical ends, and here the physiological begins? Such absolute barriers do not exist.”  7

Science has traditionally divided nature into two distinct categories. That which is inert it has called inorganic matter, while that which has demonstrated the principle of cohesive growth, it has called organic life.

It has, furthermore, classified organic life into a hierarchy of forms, starting from the simplest and proceeding to the most complex. Science has called the process whereby the simple forms have been transformed into the complex, evolution.

While it has succeeded in identifying these various forms of life and cataloguing them according to certain common characteristics, science is still struggling to explain the way in which these transformations have taken place. As has been pointed out in earlier Blogs, the traditional theory provided by Charles Darwin now seems ripe for a new explanation.

Mankind stands today at the apex of the evolutionary process, and appears to science to be the fruit of an age-old procession through a long hierarchy of forms. The physiology of man is considered to be the product of his unique genetic code, which ultimately determines the limits of his powers.

Yet the scientific description of the origins and nature of humanity, as represented by the current theory of evolution, is the direct product and outgrowth of the classical mode of thought, which believed that the universe was a form of Giant Machine.

Because the universe was conceived to be a vast scheme of physical objects and organic creatures that existed independently of the observer, the appearance of this variety of form led naturally to the concept of an evolutionary spiral linking these forms together in a meaningful way.

But once the universe is portrayed as a subjective phenomenon, in the form of various images appearing in consciousness, then the entire edifice of evolutionary thought reveals itself to be a structure built upon the quicksands of illusion.

Since illumined souls have taught that there is no such thing as an objective universe that exists separately from us, what we have taken to be a real world is, they claim, merely a series of images projected on consciousness, just as cinematic images are projected on a screen.

Furthermore, because these images are projected by the mind of each individual observer, the nature of what is seen must inevitably reflect the content of each mind. It is the recognition of this fact, or, to be more precise, its revelation, which the sages claim exposes the true nature of creation. For as Maharaj points out:

To know that you are a prisoner of your mind, that you live in an imaginary world of your own creation is the dawn of wisdom.”  8

Because the universe has revealed a plethora of creatures, the various religions of the world have taught that all these creatures have been created by a supernal God. The sages, on the other hand, have consistently taught that the existence of all creation, as well as the God to whom it is attributed, is in fact a creation of our minds.

It is because we find ourselves living in a world of incredible size and beauty that we assume that there must exist some all-powerful Being who is responsible for this extraordinary variety. The sages point out, however, that this entire panoply of universal form is nothing but a projection of our minds, and that it is we ourselves who are the authors of its expression.

The various religious orders of the world pander to the needs of their adherents by conceding the existence of a Creator. To those who can grasp the subtle truth, however, the sages reveal the subjective nature of the universe.

As the master explains to his disciple in the Indian Vedantic classic Advaita Bodha Deepika:

Man having forgotten his true nature of being in the all-perfect Ether of Consciousness, is deluded by ignorance into identifying himself with a body, etc., and regarding himself as an insignificant individual of mean capacity.

“If to him it is told that he is the creator of the whole universe, he will flout the idea and refuse to be guided. So coming down to his level the scriptures posit an Isvara as the creator of the universe. But it is not the truth. You are now mistaking the nursery tale for metaphysical truth.”  9

The entire discipline of science is founded upon the belief that the universe exists as an objective phenomenon that is experienced alike by every mind. Yet despite the splendid theories of science, and despite the evidence of our senses, there is no world of shape or form that exists independently of our selves.

We project the images we see in waking life, just as we do in hallucination or dream. The fact that we are able to discover in the rich world of our experience, fossilised remains buried in antiquated rocks, together with ruins of ancient civilisations, does not in any way alter the fact that these hoary objects are actually pristine images which are being projected moment by moment in consciousness.

Our experiences in waking consciousness are, in essence, no different from our dreams.

In our dreams we also see objects of great antiquity. We discover ancient relics and other buildings and artifacts which seem to be the product of long ages of time. Yet when we wake, we see that the appearance of time was illusory, and that our ancient ruins were freshly minted by our minds within the fleeting moments of the dream.

When we see the images and objects of our waking state, we do not stop for a moment to consider that they might also arise in the same way as a vision or hallucination. Instead, we allow ourselves to be beguiled by the evidence of our senses into believing that our waking state is the only state that is real, and that it alone reflects an objective world.

Because our waking world is not an objective world, the analysis of those physical objects and organic forms which populate our waking state is only valid within the context of belief. Our conclusions have no underlying validity that is independent of our thinking.

Trying to classify the images of our waking world is no different from attempting to catalogue the creations of our dreams. Just as the idea of subjecting the content of our dreams to scientific analysis seems ludicrous, so also the evaluation of our waking world in scientific terms is equally illusory.

Our scientific paradigms are mere pyramids of thought, built upon our belief in an objective reality which is itself illusory. As Sri Ramana Maharshi remarks:

One sees an edifice in his dream. It rises up all of a sudden. Then he begins to think how it should have been built brick by brick by so many labourers over such a long period of time. Yet he does not see the builders working.

“So also with the theory of evolution. Because he finds himself a man, he thinks he has developed to that stage from the primeval state of the amoeba. The man always traces an effect to a cause; there must be a cause for a cause; the argument becomes interminable.”  10

The physical bodies which we inhabit in our waking world appear to us to be completely real. In terms of the current scientific description of the universe, our bodies are believed to be dominated by the messages of our genes, and that it is our genes which ultimately decide what our bodies can and cannot do.

Yet the sages have pointed out that our bodies are encompassed by our minds, and that it is the content of our minds which determines the effective limits of our ability. Each person’s world thus takes the shape of those thoughts which give it birth.

Thoughts“, says the Maharshi, “are the content of the mind, and they shape the universe“.  11

Or in the words of Maharaj, “What is imagined and willed becomes actuality“.  12

Or again, “The world becomes for one whatever one is accustomed to think of it“.  13

Our world, stress the sages, is governed by our minds. Our bodies, likewise, are limited only by our thinking. We are not bound by any laws of nature, nor are we dependent on the decrees of any genes. We are always free to roam within the limitless shores of our minds.

Confronted by this bold statement, the tough-minded realist reacts by saying: “I simply don’t believe it!”

The sage in turn retorts: “That, in a nutshell, is your problem”. For as Jesus assured the father of a child stricken with a demonic sprit: “All things are possible to him that believeth.”  (Mark 9:23)

When Kirk Maynard Gull dragged himself across the beach with a damaged wing, Jonathan urged him to fly.

You don’t understand. My wing. I can’t move my wing.
Maynard Gull, you have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way.
Are you saying I can fly?
I say you are free.”  14

Each one of us is ever free to transcend the apparent limitations of our bodies. We are neither the captives of our genes nor the victims of our environment. Each one of us is truly the unlimited expression of our divine potential.

We limit ourselves only by our thoughts, and by the nature of our beliefs. Our true origins do not lie in the gloom of a primeval past. They arise out of the untrammeled depths of spirit.

From our earliest days we have bound ourselves in chains of our own making, absorbing those beliefs that are the common heritage of our culture. But we need not remain bound. We are always free to shed the shackles of our illusory limitations, if we can only bring ourselves to believe we can.

Science has determined man to be a creature of the earth, a product of the long, slow march of time. Born out of the primal slime of antiquity, he is believed to have emerged from the ancient seas, until he came to stalk the land.

Driven by the constant struggle for survival, he mutated through a kaleidoscope of forms, until he laboriously reached that pinnacle of physical expression in which he exists today. Man’s potential is believed to be determined by his genes, which set strict limits to what may or may not be done.

The testimony of the sages points to an altogether more ethereal source. Man, they say, is a creature of ancestral freedom. The apparent limits of his physical form are but the shadows of his mind.

Loose the shackles of his thoughts, they claim, and he is free to explore the utmost limits of desire. His only obstacle is the impediment of his own belief. Man’s ultimate destiny, and the end of all his striving, lies in the rediscovery of his One True Source.

This is the truth that sets him free.

References

Lyall Watson, “Lifetide“, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1979, pp. 179-180.
2  Carlos Castaneda, “Journey to Ixtlan“, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1972, p. 22.
3  Carlos Castaneda, “A Separate Reality”, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1971, p. 117.
4  Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, “The Secret Life of Plants“, Avon, New York, 1974, p. 107.
5  Allen Boone. “Kinship with All Life“, Harper and Row, New York, 1954, pp. 143-144.
6  Harold Morowitz, “Do Bacteria Think?” in Psychology Today, 15:10-12, 1981.
7  “The Secret Life of Plants“, op. cit., pp. 99-101.
8  “Seeds of Consciousness“, The Wisdom of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, edited by Jean Dunn, Grove Press, New York, 1982, pp. 199-200.
9  “Advaita Bodha Deepika“, translated by Swami Saraswathi, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 1967, p. 20.
10  “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi“, recorded by Swami Saraswathi, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 1968, p. 603.
11  Ibid, p. 93.
12  “I Am That“, Conversations with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, translated by Maurice Frydman, Book I, Chetana, Bombay, 1973, p. 241.
13  “Tripura Rahasya“, translated by Swami Saraswathi, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 1962, p. 88.
14  Richard Bach, “Jonathan Livingstone Seagull“, Pan Books, London, 1973, pp. 82-83.

 

Allan, Talking to Animals, August 3, 2015, 2:07 pm

Talking to Animals – Part One

According to the ancient Hindu sages, whose teachings were first recorded in Sanskrit texts known as the Vedas over three thousand years ago, consciousness is the fundamental principle of all matter, and permeates every form, whether animate or inanimate.

When Jesus was rebuked by the Pharisees for allowing his disciples to sing his praises during his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, he replied: “I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”  (Luke 19:40)

Materialists naturally scoff at the possibility of stones possessing life, but as Ramana Maharshi told a visitor who announced that plants had life, “so too the slabs you sit on.”  1

While skeptics may discount this remark as a mere figure of speech, in the sense that we commonly refer to “the living rock”, it is worth recalling the words of the 20th century sage Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Speaking of the relationship between matter, consciousness and life, he said:

Consciousness as such is the subtle counterpart of matter. You may consider it in a way as a very subtle energy. Wherever matter organises itself into a stable organism, consciousness appears spontaneously. With the destruction of the organism consciousness disappears. ”  2

All physical matter, therefore, possesses consciousness. It is the subtle counterpart, the complementary aspect, of the energy of which it is constituted. It follows that all life is not only conscious, but also conscious of a sense of identity.

This identity is the sense of the “I am” which is experienced as the source of consciousness. This awareness of unique individuality is the prism through which all conscious experiences in life are viewed. Again, to quote Maharaj:

This knowledge “I am” is the same, whether it is an insect, worm, human being, or an avatar (being of the highest order); the basic consciousness is the same in all of these.”  3

Not only are all living creatures conscious, and conscious of a special sense of identity, but each form is also capable of processing information, which is the chief characteristic of intelligence.

Intelligence manifests in all forms of life, and because it does, all living organisms are potentially capable of interacting intelligently with one other.

Our current scientific paradigm has denied consciousness, and therefore intelligence, to lower orders of life, and by so doing has separated humanity from other realms of nature.

However, despite the gulf that has arisen over the centuries between human beings and creatures of the animal kingdom as a result of the materialistic view of science, it is always possible to heal this ancient breach, and to regain inter-species communication.

If we are willing to embrace a new concept of life founded upon spiritual principles, we can restore this holistic view of life. This will allow mankind to embrace a unity of expression with all creatures, a facility which up until now has tended to be the preserve of the primitive aboriginal, as well as saints and sages.

An incident in the life of the 20th century Indian sage Sri Ramana Maharshi illustrates this community of understanding.

At about 4 pm, Sri Bhagavan (the term commonly used to refer to the Maharshi), who was writing something intently, turned his eyes slowly towards the window to the north; he closed the fountain pen with the cap and put it in its case. He closed the note-book and put it aside.

He leaned back a little, looked up overhead, turned his face this way and that, and looked here and there. Then he turned to someone in the hall and said softly: ‘The pair of sparrows just came here and complained to me that their nest had been removed. I looked up and found their nest missing’.

Then he called for the attendant, Madhava Swami, and asked: ‘Madhava, did anyone remove the sparrows nest?’ The attendant, who walked in leisurely, answered with an air of unconcern: ‘I removed the nests as often as they were built. I removed the last one this afternoon’4

Those people who have been raised in a cultural and scientific paradigm which denies intelligence and the powers of expression to the humbler forms of life, are naturally prevented by their limiting beliefs from exercising this avenue of communication between species.

But just as it is always possible to overcome one’s limiting beliefs, so one is always able to rediscover this kinship with other forms of life.

J. Allen Boone was a journalist during the earlier part of the 20th century who became interested in the care and treatment of those animals involved in Hollywood productions. This interest subsequently led him to become the first Commissioner of the Board of Animal Regulation in Los Angeles, and encouraged him to make animal-human relationships his life’s work.

At a time when movies dealing with the heroic deeds of animals were popular in Hollywood, Boone was approached to take temporary care of a German Shepherd dog named “Strongheart”, an animal star of international fame.

Boone’s association with this unusual dog was to change his life, for it prompted him to transcend the customary barriers of human and animal interaction.

It was soon clear to Boone that Strongheart was no ordinary dog. He seemed to display a telepathic understanding of his thoughts, and the two shared many unusual adventures together.

During their daily association, Boone became increasingly frustrated that, while Strongheart appeared to have no trouble understanding his own inner thoughts, he seemed to have no way of understanding the mind of the dog.

Boone eventually decided to seek the aid of a desert recluse named Mojave Dan, who was renowned for his extraordinary ability to converse with desert animals and reptiles.

Boone finally succeeded in tracking his quarry to a remote spot in the Mojave desert, and it was there, while the two of them lay beside a campfire under a canopy of stars, that he explained the nature of his problem. Dan was silent for a long time.

Finally, Dan yawned and stretched. Then he spoke, aiming his words at the stars. There’s facts about dogs he said, and there’s opinions about them. The dogs have the facts, and the humans have the opinions. If you want facts about a dog, always get them straight from the dog. If you want opinions, get them from the human.”  5

Returning to Hollywood, Boone began to see that the barrier between himself and Strongheart lay in his underlying belief in the innate superiority of humanity and the resultant inferiority of animals.

He realised that Strongheart was not simply a “dog”, but another expression of intelligent life like himself. As a result of this insight, Boone came to change his entire outlook about Strongheart.

He stopped treating him like a dog in the conventional manner and found, to his surprise, that Strongheart stopped acting in the traditional “dog-like” manner when the two of them were together.

As they began to function together as two equal and rational companions, Boone came to place himself completely in Strongheart’s care, allowing Strongheart to be the teacher, while relegating to himself the position of student. Boone later described his inner metamorphosis:

I had a large assortment of wrong beliefs about dogs and other animals; these notions had to be cleared out in order to make room for the facts. It took discipline, a sense of wonder and appreciation, inner and outer flexibility, unlimited expectancy and a willingness to follow facts wherever they led.”  6

Boone came to regard Strongheart as a spiritual creature filled with unlimited possibilities like himself. During the days they spent in each other’s company, the two came to share an exalted state of communion. While Boone chose what they would do one day, he allowed Strongheart to decide what the two of them should do the next.

On one particular day when Strongheart was in charge, Boone was taken on a long march up into the hills, until they reached a promontory of rock which towered over the surrounding scene. The two of them sat together on the rock, gazing at the setting sun. In this sublime setting Boone mentally framed the questions which had plagued him for so long.

Sitting there on the ledge with his back in my direction, Strongheart had heard the questions I had mentally asked him. When I went into that blank state of mind, without knowing what I was doing, I had become mentally open and receptive.

“Then, turning his head in my direction so as to get my full attention, he had silently answered my questions. I had spoken to Strongheart in the kind of speech which does not have to be uttered or written, and he had replied to me in the same language.

“Without the exchange of a sound or gesture between us, each had perfectly understood the other. I had at last made contact with that seemingly lost universal silent language which, as those illumined ancient’s pointed out long ago, all life is innately equipped to speak with all life whenever hearts and minds are properly attuned.”  7

Boone had bridged the gulf that normally divides human from non-human understanding, by breaking down the barriers of his old beliefs.

It was only when he had succeeded in stripping away the encrustation of his intellectual preconceptions that he was able to share that inner communion which attends true kinship between all forms of conscious life.

Boone’s interaction with Strongheart was based on a faculty of mind which parapsychologists today call “Telepathy”, or the transmission of information without using any of the known senses. And because it bypasses our customary sensory channels, telepathy is included under the term ESP, or Extra-Sensory-Perception.

But whereas telepathy is usually considered by parapsychologists to be limited to cases of communication between people, Boone demonstrated that it was possible for a human being to communicate intelligently with another species of the animal kingdom.

Sceptics, as well as those trained in modern materialistic science, naturally reject the idea of telepathy between people, or the possibility of inter-species communication. Yet there are more and more people today who have not only learned how to communicate with other species themselves, but have been able to teach others how to do so successfully as well.

One of the best-known exemplars of inter-species communication in the world today is Anna Breytenbach. Anna was born and raised in South Africa, where she later gained a degree in Psychology, Economics and Marketing at the University of Cape Town.

She subsequently began an international corporate career that took her to places like Australia and the United States, where she was able to pursue her interest in wildlife and conservation by volunteering at various animal rehabilitation and educational centres.

It was while she was living in Silicon Valley that Anna was able to receive advanced training in animal communication at the Assisi International Animal Institute in California. For the past twelve years she has been working in South Africa, Europe and the United States with domestic and wild animals.

This has included educational and rehabilitation programmes with such animals as baboons, cheetahs, lions, wolves and elephants. Without doubt, one of the most extraordinary examples of Anna’s uncanny ability to relate to animals is the episode involving a black leopard named “Diablo”, which can be seen in the video below.

According to Anna’s website, her goal is to raise awareness and advance relationships between humans and other species, on both the personal and spiritual levels, and to be a voice for animals and the wilderness.

To this end, although Anna now makes her home in the Wilderness area of the South-Western Cape, she continues to travel around the world conducting animal communication seminars. She has also been the subject of a documentary movie called “The Animal Communicator“.

Anna’s work, as well as the efforts of those who share her mission, is helping to open up new portals in the understanding of the nature and role of different species in the eco-structure of the planet.

It could also provide a vital breakthrough in humanity’s stewardship of species that are threatened by environmental degradation, by helping us to communicate directly with the animals that are most at risk.

Furthermore, it would enable us to find out from the animals themselves how they feel about living in captivity, instead of turning to scientists who merely study their outward behaviour and then utilise their own value judgements in determining how best to treat them.

Finally, for those readers interested in the outcome of the saga of “Diablo” the black leopard shown in the video above, the operators of the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary in Plettenburg Bay have provided the following video update:

References 

1  “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi“, recorded by Swami Saraswathi, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 1968, p. 20.
2  “I Am That“, Conversations with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, translated by Maurice Frydman, Book II, Chetana, Bombay, 1973, pp. 5-6.
3  “Seeds of Consciousness“, The Wisdom of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj”, edited by Jean Dunn, Grove Press, New York, 1982, p. 196.
4  “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi“, op.cit., p. 597.
Allen Boone, “Kinship with All Life“, Harper and Row, New York, 1954, pp. 47-48.
6  Ibid, p. 55.
7  Ibid, pp. 71-72.

Allan, Talking to Animals, July 21, 2015, 12:13 pm

The Fallacy of Scientific Truth – Part Four

The Illusion of Science

Space is neutral”, declared the Indian Sage Nisargadatta Maharaj, “One can fill it with what one likes.”  1

Science is the enduring proof of the truth of his assertion. The entire edifice of science has been built upon the foundations of belief. Science has proved to be so successful in describing the behaviour of the universe because we have allowed ourselves to be convinced that it does.

Furthermore, we have come to believe in the validity of scientific law because we have accepted our sensory experience of the universe as evidential proof, without ever questioning the methods whereby this evidence has been attained.

Because we experience circumstances in life which bear out these “rules of nature”, and because our experience is matched by others who think as we do, we have assumed that our experiences are evidence of the way that nature “really is”. What we fail to see is that nature has simply come to mould itself according to our beliefs.

Once the original division between the realms of matter and of mind was officially formalised, science sought to strip itself of any type of emotional or mental contamination. It became part of the etiquette of science, honoured as an article of faith, that all empirical experiments should be separated from all forms of subjective interference.

In this way, results would be seen to be independent of the human participant. Scientific experiments were undertaken with the expressed aim of identifying nature “as it really is”, freed from the influence of human bias.

This preoccupation with the objectivity of science has long been regarded as a fundamental virtue of the scientific method. It was believed that by carefully avoiding any emotional bias in the conduct of scientific experiments, and by reporting these results in neutral language, sanitised of any emotional content, that it would be possible to isolate certain basic laws of nature.

Those scientists who were considered to have invested their hopes or desires in the outcome of their empirical experiments were attacked as being emotionally biased, and their results dismissed as correspondingly “unscientific”.

What went unrecognised until quite recently, was that this “objective” approach of science was a myth, and that it was impossible, even in principle, to conduct a truly objective experiment.

There simply was no such thing as a neutral scientist. Every scientist came with a mind pregnant with expectations and limiting beliefs. These expectations and beliefs could never be isolated from the experiment itself.

Every scientific experiment was nothing more or less than a personal confrontation with nature, and the results of this interaction were inextricably tied to the mind-set of the scientist concerned.

It was precisely for this reason that scientists had achieved in the past, and would continue to experience in the future, such variable results as Kuhn and Josephson had described. There is no scientific experiment that can be successfully shielded from its human influence.

Since each experiment is an interaction between the experimenter and nature, and because there is no such thing as an independent nature or objective universe separate from the experimenter, the results of each experiment must inevitably bear the unique imprint of the mind-set of that experimenter.

The fallacy of the traditional objective view of science has been neatly exposed by Gary Zukav.

The concept of scientific objectivity rests upon the assumption of an external world which is “out there” as opposed to an “I” which is “in here” According to this view Nature, in all her diversity, is “out there”.

The task of the scientist is to observe the “out there” as objectively as possible. To observe something objectively means to see it as it would appear to an observer who has no prejudices about what he observes.

The problem that went unnoticed for three centuries is that a person who carries such an attitude certainly is prejudiced. His prejudice is to be “objective”, that is, to be without a preformed opinion.

In fact it is impossible to be without an opinion. An opinion is a point of view. The point of view that one can be without a point of view is a point of view. The new physics, quantum mechanics, tells us clearly that it is not possible to observe reality without changing it.

If we observe a certain particle collision experiment, not only do we have no way of proving that the result would have been the same if we had not been watching it, all that we know indicates that it would not have been the same, because the result that we got was affected by the fact that we were looking for it.

According to quantum mechanics there is no such thing as objectivity. We cannot eliminate ourselves from the picture. ”  2

Science and Art

Because it is impossible to extricate the scientist from the picture, the picture of the universe which has been painted by science has come to resolve itself as a pure work of art fashioned by scientists themselves. As Maharaj has stated:

Once you create for yourself a world in time and space, governed by causality, you are bound to search for and find causes for everything. You put the question and impose the answer.”  3

The entire structure of science proves ultimately to be nothing but a collective figment of scientific imagination. This does not mean to say that science is invalid, for the universe continues to appear to function just as if it truly was created according to those laws which science has identified.

But these scientific laws are not real. They do not represent the way the universe was ordained. Science cannot bind the universe according to unvarying law, nor can nature’s expression be limited to a single set of rules.

As the Sages have revealed, the universe always takes its shape according to that pattern of belief which gives it form. For, as we read in the Vedanta classic Tripura Rahasya:

The relation between space and objects and between time and events is according to your estimate of them; there is no intrinsic relationship between them.”  4

We find an echo of this truth in the words of Yoka Daishi, a Chinese Zen Master of the eighth-century A.D.

Whatever propositions are made by logic are no (true) propositions, for they stand in no intrinsic relation to my inner light.”  5

The universe is not a collection of objects that exist in outer space, but is in fact a composite picture painted by our minds.

What science has done, and done very successfully, is to colour that picture according to its own special tints. It has moulded the universe into a particular manifestation which conforms to its pattern of scientific belief.

We, who have placed our trust in science, believing implicitly in its ability to reveal the universe “as it really is”, have misplaced our trust. Although everything that science has portrayed the universe to be can be validated by experiment and personal experience, the scientific description of the world is simply one particular theory of the mind among many.

The universe is not bound by this scientific description. It can change its manifestation at any time, according to the dictates of the presiding mind. We have only to change the attitude of our minds and our personal universe will come to reflect that change.

The validity of science lasts only as long as we continue to place our trust in its underlying tenets of belief.

The moment we cease to pay allegiance to the scientific model, we cease to be bound by scientific law.

The “laws of nature”, the basic “laws of science”, have no fundamental validity. They are not ordained by God, nor are they the product of chance. And we are not bound by them unless we choose to be.

What we have come to claim as laws are merely the codification of our ideas, the crystallisation of our thoughts. They appear to be universal because we have all independently and collectively learned to agree on that description.

Each one of us has come to be bound by these laws because they are inherent in the description of the universe that we have personally adopted. We little knew in our formative years how these gossamer threads of thought would one day come to bind us in hoops of steel, yet that has been our fate.

The laws of physics are the laws of physicists. The consistency of scientific experience is proof only of the consistency of scientific belief, not evidence that the laws themselves are fundamental and unchanging. What we find in nature is what we ourselves have put there.

The avowed purpose of physical science is, as Henry Margenau has indicated, “to organize, to make rational and meaningful, all cognitive human experience.” 

The problem which science has thus far failed to recognise or address, is that all cognitive human experience is not uniform.

The experiences of each person are unique to that individual, and rest upon the tenets of their own personal belief. Those who think differently experience differently.

The success of science rests upon the fact that, by a careful process of education and conditioning, people have been taught to adopt common ways of thinking. Since, however, there will always be those who choose not to be indoctrinated, science will never be able to speak for “all cognitive human experience.”

Science will never be able to explain in rational and meaningful terms all human experience, but only those experiences which are governed by the consensus which science has itself decreed.

Science will always be confronted by the dilemma which so troubled Albert Einstein: “Alas, our theory is too poor for experience“. Its ultimate limitation will always be demonstrated by the retort of Nils Bohr: “No, No, experience is too rich for our theory.”  7

Science is dominated by the pursuit of scientific truth, that residue of experience which can be shown to be fundamental to all life. Yet science will never be able to reveal the character of the “true” Reality, for no experience can hold a candle to its Being.

Reality is that substratum which underlies all cognitive experience.  In the analogy of the cinema, Reality is the screen on which the passing images of the manifested universe appear.

While the pictures cannot be portrayed without the presence of the screen, the screen itself is unaffected by the nature of these scenes. Its integral character remains unblemished.

What science has done has been to reveal to us the nature of the pictures which are reflected upon the screen of Reality. In fact, it has done more. It has actually served to shape these pictures for those who have identified themselves with the scientific mode of thought.

These pictures can never reveal the character of the screen. No picture can show the true nature of the screen.  In order to see the screen it is necessary for the flow of images to stop, and this has been the traditional teaching of the Sages down the ages.

Science and Magic

The splendour of science is that is has enabled us to create a structured universe, which appears to be logical, consistent and understandable, and has enabled us thereby to live confident and comfortable lives.

Furthermore, it has enabled us to fashion matter in ever more astonishing ways, and to pamper us in the fulfillment of our desires. The tragedy of science is that it has truncated life, by limiting itself to those things that are of material satisfaction, and by excluding those subjective thoughts and feelings which endow life with supreme significance.

Yet the cycle of the times is changing, and the impending marriage of physics and metaphysics holds promise of healing this artificial rift. The irony of the scientific description of the universe, is that it has triumphed by those very methods which it fought against and sought to overcome.

Western science was born of a medieval society governed by faith and dominated by forces of ignorance and superstition. The crowning achievement of science has been its victory of reason over faith.

It succeeded in replacing the terror filled world of superstition with a rational exposition which illuminated the mysteries which had for so long defied the understanding of humanity.

Scientists, then, have come to represent the very antithesis of those guardians of aboriginal society, the witchdoctor and the shaman. In commenting on the role of the shaman in illiterate society, the explorer Harold Wright wrote:

The witchdoctor, in effect, steps into the dark and troubled world of primitive man’s mind, beset by fears and anxieties; and by the use of “magic” in various forms, he reduces anxiety and establishes faith.”  8

Science too, has penetrated the dark and troubled world of modern man, beset as it is by a host of anxieties and fears. It has allayed these fears by revealing a less threatening world, which is perceived to be more predictable and understandable. It has presented a world that is responsive to reason and logic.

Science has assured us that those mysteries which still confront us can be resolved by the scientific priesthood. It has used its own “magic”, in the form of its technological marvels to awaken our wonder and to establish faith in its pronouncements.

While the primitive shaman has operated within an unreasoned framework of belief which has made his “magic” possible and relevant, the scientist by contrast, has worked within a reasoned climate of belief, and achieved his “magic” by a similar exploitation of belief.

Both the shaman and the scientist have demonstrated their efficacy and power through their manipulation of belief. The “magic” of the modern scientist, however, far surpasses that of the ancient shaman. Science is not only able to heal, rejuvenate and build, but also to destroy on a scale which dwarfs the imagination.

The truth of the entire scientific enterprise over the last four hundred years is that the scientists of today are no different from those guardians of aboriginal societies, the shamans, the healers and the prophets. Scientists have in fact become the witchdoctors of our times. They are the modern magicians.

And the universe itself is an equal partner in this magic. For no sooner does a shaman, scientist or magician describe the universe according to a specific paradigm, or pattern of belief, than the universe magically transforms itself into an image that exactly matches that belief.

What scientists have yet to realise, however, is that they have always been free to change their so-called  “laws” of nature or “laws” of physics to reflect anything they wish, and the universe will always change and act accordingly, as long as scientists genuinely believe this to be true, and teach it in all their schools and universities.

The fallacy of the scientific quest is that, at its most fundamental level, science is not about seeking answers or finding out “the truth”. It is, instead, an exercise in learning how to manipulate form, and getting nature to conform with the prevailing pattern of belief.

And not only are modern scientists no different from their ancient forbears in the role they play within society, but the entire body of western scientific knowledge is simply just another paradigm of thought – another suit of clothes in which to dress the phenomena we see and sense around us.

While the vast majority of trained scientists today firmly believe that they are in the forefront of human understanding about the true nature of the universe, there are a few isolated individuals who have begun to sense the fallacy of scientific truth.

For, as Edward Harrison, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Massachusetts, remarked on the occasion of receiving the Melcher Award in 1986:

Human beings of all societies and in all periods of history believe that their ideas on the nature of the real world are the most secure, and that their ideas on religion, ethics and justice are the most enlightened.

Like us, they think that final knowledge is at last within reach. Like us they pity the people in earlier ages for not knowing the true facts. Unfailingly, human beings pity their ancestors for being ignorant and forget that their descendants will pity them for the same reason.

Dare I say that secure knowledge can never be found? That our boundless ignorance explains why we feel so confident of success in bounded knowledge? That each discovery creates in the long run more mystery than it solves? That we stand no closer to the ultimate truth than did our forbears? And that we are no better than the people who lived a thousand and even ten thousand years ago?”  9

Professor Harrison points toward a truth which is as old as humanity, and which we find reflected in the ancient writings of the Hindu sages:

The greatest of all delusions is the conviction that knowledge is not a delusion.”  10

References

1  “I Am That“, Conversations with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, translated by Maurice Frydman, Book I, Chetana, Bombay, 1973, p. 100.
2  Gary Zukav, “The Dancing Wu Li Masters“, Bantam, New York, 1980, pp. 30-31.
3  “I Am That“, Book I, op.cit., p. 45.
4  “Tripura Rahasya“, translated by Swami Saraswathi, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 1962, p. 103.
5 D. T. Suzuki, “Manual of Zen Buddhism“,. Rider, London, 1983, p. 97.
6  Henry Margenau and Lawrence LeShan, “Einstein’s Space and Van Goch’s Sky“, Macmillan, New York, 1982, p. 51.
7  Gary Zukav, “The Dancing Wu Li Masters“, Foreword by David Finkelstein, New York, July 1978.
8  Harry Wright, “Witness to Witchcraft“, Funk and Wagnalls, New York, 1957, p. 53.
9  Quoted in Fate magazine, June, 1988, p. 7.
10  “Tripura Rahasya“, op.cit., p. 157

 

Allan, The Fallacy of Scientific Truth, July 6, 2015, 10:29 am

The Fallacy of Scientific Truth – Part Three

Over the period of the last four centuries scientists have been remarkably successful in reducing the mysteries of life to behaviour that is both understandable and predictable, and is derived from certain fundamental principles.

These basic principles have now been formulated as scientific “laws”. And because nature has been observed to act in accordance with these laws, these scientific laws have also been equated with the “laws of nature”.

The success achieved by this scientific method of enquiry has convinced scientists that they have at last succeeded in understanding the inner workings of nature, and in so doing, have discovered the fundamental rules that govern the operation of the universe.

What was not realised until very recently, however, was that this success was actually more apparent than real. It has now become evident that these scientific “laws” are not in fact actual properties of nature at all, but simply nature that has been moulded to reflect the current expectations of scientific minds.

The Work of Thomas Kuhn

It was Thomas Kuhn, an American physicist, historian and philosopher of science at the University of California in Berkeley, who first glimpsed this mirroring influence of the mind in its construction of reality, in the course of his research into the early history of chemistry.

Kuhn focused his research on the life and work of the British chemist John Dalton, who has come to be regarded as the founding father of chemistry by virtue of his pioneering work in the formulation of atomic theory.

Dalton believed that atoms of certain elements combined together in chemical reactions with atoms of other elements in proportions which always remained unchanged. These proportions, claimed Dalton, always presented combinations of whole numbers of atoms, and never involved parts of an atom.

We know today, for example, that water is a chemical compound involving two different elements, hydrogen and oxygen. We also know that one molecule of water consists of a combination of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen, exactly as Dalton predicted.

Furthermore, each molecule of water consists of an unvarying combination of these two elements. We never find two atoms of hydrogen combining with, say, 1.5 atoms of oxygen.

Today, every student of chemistry is taught that Dalton discovered the “real” way in which nature functions. Modern textbooks confirm that this was the way nature had always worked, and that Dalton was merely the first person to tumble to its plan.

However, the truth was not quite so simple. When Kuhn examined the actual historical evidence of that time, it seemed to him that Dalton had not discovered a fundamental “law” of nature at all. Instead, what appeared to have happened was that he had actally been successful in moulding nature to his particular way of thinking.

Prior to John Dalton’s advent into the field of chemistry, a fierce debate had been raging in France between the two chemists, Joseph Proust and Claude Berthollet.  Proust claimed that all chemical reactions took place in fixed proportions, while Berthollet argued that chemical compounds could vary in their proportions.

What made this debate so provocative was that each man had assembled an impressive collection of physical evidence to support his contention, and that neither man could convince the other of the fallacy of his point of view.

Now Dalton was not a chemist by training, but was in fact a meteorologist. In approaching the new subject of chemistry Dalton sided with Proust, and argued that in all reactions which were purely chemical in nature, atoms would only combine with one another in proportions which were based on combinations of whole numbers of atoms.

He therefore predicted that one atom of an element would combine with one or more atoms of another element, but not with 1.56 parts of an atom. If such a combination did occur, said Dalton, that combination was not a purely chemical reaction.

It became a basic requirement of Daltonian theory that atoms could only combine in fixed proportions of simple whole numbers.

Naturally, Dalton’s conclusions were immediately attacked by Berthollet, and with good reason, for Berthollet was able to provide empirical proof that certain compounds actually were composed of partial combinations of atoms.

When Dalton looked for evidence to justify his conclusions, he found to his consternation that some results matched his theory, and some did not. Even Proust, who supported Dalton’s view that atoms of oxygen and copper would combine together in a ratio of two to one, found that his experiments yielded a result of 1.47 to one.

Despite the brilliant insight which Dalton had bought to bear upon the theory of chemical combinations, the empirical evidence provided by other chemists did not always bear him out. Nature proved to be far from uniform, and for many years continued to defy Dalton’s neatly ordered plan.

As Thomas Kuhn explains, nature still had to be moulded into Dalton’s chemical paradigm.

But it is hard to make nature fit a paradigm. That is why the puzzles of normal science are so challenging and also why measurements undertaken without a paradigm so seldom lead to any conclusions at all. Chemists could not, therefore, simply accept Dalton’s theory on the evidence, for much of it was still negative.

Instead, even after accepting the theory, they still had to beat nature into line, a process which, in the event, took almost another generation. When it was done, even the percentage composition of well-known compounds was different. The data themselves had changed.”  1

Creating a Successful Paradigm

The universe was not revealed by Dalton to have been created according to the magic formula of whole-number combinations of atoms. Instead, Dalton’s atomic theory was merely a creation of his mind.

What made Dalton’s theory so attractive to other scientific minds, was that his theory made it possible to assimilate the work of other people like Richter and Gay-Lussac, as well as opening up new possibilities for chemical experimentation.

Had Dalton’s theory initially been rejected on the basis of the conflicting evidence of the time, it is probable that chemistry would never have come to yield the rich practical benefits which we experience today.

Fortunately, as it happened, his theory was successful in gathering converts, even though not all of these early recruits could always achieve the experimental results which his theory demanded.

Yet, as belief in the validity and elegance of the new theory grew, so experimenters began increasingly to produce the results that were expected until there came a time, about a generation later, when they reached uniformity.

It was only then, when nature had been manipulated into a common groove, that chemists could talk with confidence of chemical composition as a fixed “law of nature”. The consistency that then appeared in nature paralleled the consistency of scientific minds.

Nature had gradually been moulded by the minds of chemists until it was able to reproduce that consistency which allows us today to speak of the proportions of atomic reactions as a scientific law.

In truth there never was, nor ever will be any law of nature governing chemical combinations. “Reality” had merely come to mirror the content of people’s minds, as the Sages had predicted.

In the light of the revelations of mystics, we can begin to see how this amazing transformation of the chemical constituency of the universe came to occur.

Our Compliant Universe

To understand this process we need to recognise the fact that the universe is not a physical, objective phenomenon existing independently of our minds. What we consider to be the world outside of us is in fact nothing but a series of images appearing in consciousness.

We have learned to project these images into the form of three-dimensional objects which then appear to have an existence that is independent of ourselves. In the course of shaping our phenomenal world, we have been guided by the ideas of others, and have learned to create a world that is similar to that created by other minds.

We need to understand, furthermore, that the projections of our minds are projections which are coloured by our beliefs, as represented by our thoughts. The way in which we learn to create a common world is by acquiring those beliefs which are common to the group.

To the early pioneers of chemistry, who were making their first forays into the world of chemical analysis, there were conflicting schools of thought regarding the nature of chemical combinations. As can be expected, therefore, these early chemists found that they obtained experimental data which supported a variety of views.

Certain experiments yielded combinations of whole numbers of atoms, while others represented fractional combinations. This was the stage at which the French chemists Proust and Berthollet had their dramatic confrontation.

When Dalton appeared on the scene and argued persuasively in favour of the merits of the whole number ratio, his theory had an internal elegance which immediately appealed to many chemists.

Not everyone was convinced, however, and we can see how for several decades experimental results continued to defy Dalton’s theory. As more and more chemists came to share the Daltonian view, so the experimental results which they obtained came more and more to consolidate into the whole number pattern.

Fractional results became increasingly rare until, after the space of about another generation, they virtually disappeared, allowing the Daltonian theory of chemical combinations to reign supreme. Once all the chemists had begun to think alike, so their results came to reflect this uniformity.

It was this uniformity which served to demonstrate to succeeding generations of students the validity of Dalton’s theory, and that it was in fact a true reflection of the workings of nature.

Today, the textbooks of chemistry leave no doubt at all in the minds of aspiring students that this is a law of nature. Because the novice comes to be indoctrinated into the structure of belief of the overwhelming majority, he or she continues to sustain this universal conformity.

This fundamental belief of chemistry then continues to be verified and validated in the world by each student anew. Yet what their education actually teaches them to do, is to continue to manipulate nature into the accepted pattern of belief.

The Inconsistencies of Science

Although this unifying conditioning is at work equally in all spheres of science, not all students succumb to this conditioning. So, from time to time, odd anomalous results continue to occur. These anomalies are attributed to the shortcomings of the individual student, who is counselled to persist until the accepted or “real” result is obtained.

In the course of education and professional practice these anomalous results tend to be eradicated, as students successfully adopt the universal patterns of belief. Those pupils who consistently fail to embrace the common mould are inevitably branded as being “unscientific”. So they fail to gain admittance to the official sanctuary of science.

The vast emporium of science does not remain static, for there continue to be vendors of new ideas in every field. However, the pioneers of these new advances continue to experience the same frustrations which tormented the early explorers of chemistry. They too find themselves confronted by conflicting results, with no clear evidence as to which idea is the “correct” one.

It is only after the passage of time, and as one single climate of belief comes to predominate, that the results of practical experimentation come to match each other in a consistent way. The Cambridge physicist and Nobel prizewinner Brian Josephson commented on this strange variability of empirical data when he wrote:

Currently in physics there’s the strange phenomenon that the laws of nature seem to keep on changing. New symmetry violations are being discovered, the velocity of light is found to be different from what people thought it was, and so on.

An odd thing, which may or may not be significant, is that sometimes when a new observation is made different people get different results. In one instance a particular symmetry was broken on one side of the Atlantic, but not on the other; however, after a while everyone got the same results.

The conventional explanation would be that errors were being made on one side of the ocean, but conceivably the true explanation is that the discrepant results were genuine, and that it was the process of communication of knowledge from one side of the Atlantic to the other which caused a kind of phase transition or ordering process, as a result of which identical results were subsequently found in both places.”  2

What Josephson has referred to as “a kind of phase transition or ordering process” which subsequently causes identical results is, in fact, nothing less than the mirroring process of the mind as described by the mystics, and alluded to in the following words:

The thoughts are the content of the mind, and they shape the universe.”  (Ramana Maharshi)

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.”  (Dhammapada)

The world becomes for one whatever one is accustomed to think of it.  (Tripura Rahasya)

Experience is shaped by belief and belief is shaped by experience.”  (Nisargadatta Maharaj)

Any system of ideas is equally fertile ground for science. There is no theory, whether inherently scientific or not, which is unable to yield fruitful results. There is no limit to the range of theories which can be validated by belief, or manifested by the application of the necessary mental energy.

But, in order to succeed, any new scientific theory, like any new religious faith, has to secure recruits. Without this proselytisation, no scientific theory can hope to accumulate the necessary data of evidential proof. It is through the medium of the spoken and written word that this process of cross-fertilisation takes place.

New scientific theories generate their support in various ways. They gather new devotees either through their inherent elegance and charm, or else through their ability to explain phenomena which were hitherto misunderstood, or viewed in a different light.

The ideas of Newton, Maxwell and Einstein were only able to succeed in achieving the status of scientific paradigms because of their success in soliciting supporters. These supporters were not easily come by at first.

As the years passed, however, and especially as their former opponents retired and died, so the new adherents came to achieve a dominant position of influence. Once a platform of power had been attained and a consensus reached, the natural forces of the paradigm assumed control.

Textbooks were rewritten to accommodate the new ideas, to make them seem as if they were a logical outgrowth of earlier science. Later generations of students were then indoctrinated into accepting the fact that these new theories were proven evidence of the way that nature “really was”.

With the growth of conviction in the efficacy of these new ideas, new empirical data came to mirror these ideas in a consistent way, which then became further proof that the faith which they had placed in these new scientific theories was justified.

There are numerous instances on record where new theories have failed to garner the necessary scientific support. In such cases the budding theory has been condemned as being scientifically sterile, just like the Biblical seed that fell on stony ground.

While these theories may well have been intrinsically sound, and may even have been supported by convincing evidential proof, their failure to gain admission to the official Halls of Academe, has doomed them to be outcast.

The irony of these rejected theories is that they are invariably castigated as being “unscientific.” Yet, in most cases, the problem lies not with the question of their scientific pedigree, but with the fact that they are out of step with the conventional thinking of their time.

Because science has been built upon the foundation of belief that the universe operates in a consistent and predictable manner, the edifice of science has been forced to reflect this consistency. New theories cannot therefore be admitted to the scientific corpus unless they can be shown to be related in some fashion to what has already been accepted.

New theories are not permitted to stand alone, devoid of associated scientific support. The fact that these novel theories may be verifiable in “reality” is then beside the point. They are doomed to be ignored by virtue of their illegitimate birth, as we may see from the following example.

Karel Drbal

In 1949, a Czechoslovakian citizen named Karel Drbal applied to the Czechoslovakian Patent Office for a patent on a device which, he claimed, could sharpen razor blades.  Drbal’s device was quite a simple affair, so simple in fact that the chief patent examiner was quite unable to fathom how it worked.

To test its claims, therefore, the examiner personally used this device for ten years before supporting its claim before the patent commission. In 1959, Karel Drbal finally succeeded in being awarded Patent No 91,304 for his unusual device.  3

The sharpener concerned turned out to be a cardboard model of a pyramid, constructed according to the dimensions of the ancient Egyptian pyramid of Cheops. By an odd series of circumstances, Drbal’s invention was fated to spread across the world in subsequent decades as the miracle of “pyramid power”.

By the nineteen seventies this magical power was alleged not only to be able to sharpen razor blades, but also to relieve headaches, restore skin tissue, aid relaxation, promote inner healing, improve sleep, enhance plant growth, hasten seed germination, revive ailing plants, sweeten the taste of coffee, reduce rust, preserve milk and yoghurt, plus a host of other wonderful remedies.

It was in short a panacea for all ills. Unfortunately the bubble finally burst, and pyramid power was relegated to the domain of such pseudo-scientific myths as phlogiston and animal magnetism. The power of the pyramid was officially exposed as a grand psychological deception that had been fostered on a gullible public by the power of suggestion.

Sadly for Drbal, no millions of dollars were to flow into his pockets, nor would he become regaled as a latter day genius, to be ranked along with the scientific giants for the discovery of a new form of energy. Pyramid power was doomed to be forgotten as an irrelevant anomaly.

Yet the irony of this strange saga was, if any solace can be afforded to Drbal, that his original cardboard pyramid continued to sharpen razor blades. The unchallengeable fact was that it really worked. The problem was that it only tended to work for those who believed it would, and when it did work, those people were unable to say why it worked.

Although the power of the pyramid was attributed to a force called “Neoenergy”, science did not welcome this foundling child, because nobody could explain what Neoenergy was, or how it might be related to any other known form of energy.

Drbal himself volunteered the opinion that his razor blades were sharpened by a process of “dehydration and anoxidation”. The razor blade remained sharp he said, because the power of the pyramid forced water molecules out of the metal blade.

Clearly, this was not the sort of explanation that was likely to prompt a chair in pyramidology at Princeton, Harvard or Cambridge.  Pyramid power died a natural death, as have many other theories and devices that were inexplicable in terms of the scientific paradigm of their times.

Had it been possible, however, to incorporate the concept of Neoenergy within the accepted framework of existing scientific belief, and to reinforce this belief with the power of consensual agreement through education in every school and university, we would all no doubt today be driving vehicles powered by the miraculous force of Neoenergy.

(Continued in Part Four)

References

1  Thomas Kuhn, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions“, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1970, pp. 132-134.
2  Brian Josephson, “Possible Connections between Psychic Phenomena and Quantum Mechanics“, New Horizons, Vol. I, No.5, 1975, p. 226.
3  Serge King, “Neoenergy and Geometric Forms“, in “Future Science”, op.cit., pp. 193-197.

Allan, The Fallacy of Scientific Truth, June 22, 2015, 9:48 am