March 31, 2020

A Grand Design: Pandemic of Benevolence

Coronavirus pandemic is potentially a historical turning point for humanity that could transform nations, politics, economies and societies by unshackling us from belief systems of the past and opening doorways for the age of benevolence.

Imagine a future in which borders have little significance any more and so does race, colour, gender, caste, or sexual orientation; there are no more wars, nuclear and conventional weapons no longer exist; crime has reduced dramatically and so has poverty; everyone has access to clean drinking water; we have cleared islands of waste in the oceans; food is free of harmful chemicals; cancer is far less prevalent and has multiple cures; man made laws are losing relevance as humanity recognises greater laws; power generation and transportation requires no fossil fuels, causes no pollution; corporations care for the planet; humans treat animals with love; news media cover positive aspects of stories; women have greater respect and say in society; people recognise the importance of beauty, poetry, music, love in their lives; they no longer feel that their fate is to suffer in silence, instead, they embrace joy as their primary purpose; living in Nature replaces living with luxury as the highest common aspiration; politicians are honest and transparent; and we even have help from our galactic relatives.

If the above passage sounded idealistic and utopian it is my assurance that as you read through this post, you would find in it a conceptual framework on which it is based. As you do, it is my hope that your perception would shift from "totally bizarre" to "what if!"

A Most Exciting Period for Humanity

Earlier this month, I was describing the idea of a black swan event (high impact, low probability occurrence) elsewhere without realising that we were in the midst of one. In my defence, the WHO had not yet declared it a pandemic. Days later as the reality sank in and as I contemplated the events in light of the lessons learnt from the teachings, I realised that it's the most exciting development for humanity that could catapult us into another era. A much bigger change than the environmental benefits we see around ourselves awaits us. Is it possible that the event is the result of ongoing evolution of human consciousness and is taking us towards change we cannot conceive today?

Little Reason for Fear and Panic

First of all, I want to offer some perspective that may give you solace from constant fear being promoted in the media. I would say that as long as one maintains social distancing and hygiene there is actually little reason to worry. Precautions are crucial and I am glad that decisive action at an early stage has enabled India to fare far better among large countries.

The media has not reported that so far the virus has had a limited impact in India compared to more industrialised nations. Some would say that is the result of inadequate testing, but the figures do not support that notion. Today's Hindustan Times reports that per million population, testing in India is 60 times less than UK but they don't mention that causalities in India are 1050 times less (0.02 in India vs. 21 in UK). Compared to the U.S, testing in India is 82 times less but deaths are 500 times less per million population (0.02 vs. 10). It is true, we lag behind in testing but we are much further behind in the impact of the virus on the population.

The Atlantic magazine has outlined four possible timelines for the lifespan of virus ranging from two months to two years. I will hazard a guess that we will see the virus suddenly disappear within their most optimistic scenario #1, anytime from next week to end May. This “false alarm” outcome would of course be fantastic, but also produce “a lot of head-scratching” among public-health experts, reports the magazine.

It's also important to recognise that most cases of infection lead to only mild symptoms with a relatively quick recovery. A large share of positive cases are of people who have no symptoms whatsoever. So, even if one contracts the disease, please understand that it's not the end of the world. A family friend in UK who is a physician with the NHS has contracted the disease along with her husband, also a physician, as well as their two children. Yet they are not worried.

So my suggestion is, take all recommended precautions but then let go of anxiety and worry. Cultivating a positive outlook will be extremely helpful at this time. The opposite of fear is gratitude. If you can find things in your life to be grateful about, you will take back the power you unknowingly gave away as fear.

Let's also acknowledge that with more than half the population in lockdown around the world currently a large number of deaths are being saved due to air pollution and traffic accidents avoided during this period. Remember that air pollution is the single largest environmental health risk that takes an estimated seven million lives annually worldwide. About two million more die in traffic accidents. Both figures are by WHO.

Could the Outbreak Have a Higher Purpose?

I believe that is the case. I will answer that question in three stages: by offering a look inside our mass consciousness; unveiling the benevolent agenda behind the pandemic; and finally, describing how it's leading to an astounding future.

Part 1. Unseen Picture: The Two Polarities in Mass Consciousness

A key principle in the teachings, suggest that all physical reality has consciousness as the underlying principle. This applies to individual experiences as well as national or international events. What we think individually or collectively, over and over again, that is, whatever vibration we hold - its equivalent is always manifested as our experience.

The present age is characterised by extreme polarity between two forces that have been in conflict over the last fifty years or so. On one side is the energy of conservative attachments and on the other is the energy of progressive desires.

Conservative Attachments

Conservative attachments in the context of a person or collective is the notion that when they are faced with unpleasant stuff, they refuse to address it and instead continue to cling to their old way of doing things. It represents the refusal to change regardless of the energy of evolution that is always propelling them to move out of the box in which they have decided to imprison their reality. This clinging energy sabotages the evolution of the individual or the collective in all other areas.

This energy is represented today by those who hold the positions of power and influence in governance, economy and other spheres. In terms of age, I would say the majority of those above the age of fifty today represent this energy. If we consider the present political leadership in the two most powerful countries, United States and China, we see that one is deeply controversial and conservative while the other is an authoritarian regime. The energy of conservative attachments can be seen in all other countries and other populations but is most clearly evident in these two nations that are key players in the pandemic situation unfolding right now as will be seen in near future.

Progressive Desires

Progressive desires is the other force in an individual or mass consciousness that is the opposite pole of conservative attachments. It is the energy of desperately wanting change or pushing for it without having a sense of whether the change is appropriate at the time or not. It is the wild desire to jump out of the box and rush forward in a new direction when the individual or mass consciousness may not yet be ready to do so.

In today's political context in U.S and China, it is the protest movements that represent the energy of progressive desires. In the United States: the occupy movement of the previous decade led by those disenfranchised from economic and social order; protests against Donald Trump in recent times, including the multiple women's marches; the 2017 people's climate march, last year's climate strikes led by activist Greta Thunberg and so on are all examples of this energy. In terms of age, this energy is represented by the youth, specifically, those younger than 30 years of age.

China's neighbouring Hong Kong has recently witnessed quite remarkable protests, largely driven by the youth that continued non-stop for several months until the outbreak of the epidemic. Often in dramatically large numbers and in very creative ways, the protestors who won a local election recently, have been protesting against the move by China to exert greater control over the region.

As a former climate activist in India, for about eight years I was part of the energy of progressive desires until I questioned my approach, abandoned activism, and sought answers within. Since then I've moved towards organic cultivation, living in a garden in our family farm while discovering and practising the teachings.

The Trigger

These two poles have been on the opposite end of the spectrum in mass consciousness, one refusing to change old beliefs and the other rushing to embrace new ones without thinking through it. Whenever polarities develop in the life of a person, a relationship, nation or a planet, there tends to be a trigger event that offers choice. This trigger can cause one to go deeper into polarity and pain or it can open a transformational doorway. What happens thereafter depends upon the choice taken by the person or the collective.

I will come back to these two forces in the third part. For now, let's return to the pandemic for a moment.

Part 2. Pandemic in Disguise: Unveiling its Benevolent Agenda

A profound paradox of our age is that we live in the best of times and the worst of times. This is not a new phrase, the difference, and that is what makes it profound, is that the worst aspects of our times are now working for the best.

Imagine a game of soccer in which no matter who scores the goal, it's counted under the tally of the team you support. I've come to believe that's where humanity is right now! There has been a massive change inside mass consciousness that is barely perceptible on the surface to an ordinary person and yet it is deeply profound in significance.

It started around five decades ago but mainly catalysed in a significant way since 2012. We thought nothing has changed, yet everything has been changing right under our noses. The year 2012 was not about the end of the physical world. It was always about the end of the era of old energy and the beginning of a new benevolent age.

Human nature has been changing for the better. We are moving towards becoming an evolved consciousness, no longer shackled by the need for suffering. This doesn't mean that what we call evil has suddenly disappeared from the planet. It means that no matter how it plays out, no matter what it does, the energy that we call evil will now work for good. This means that aspects of humanity that are negative will be exposed and they will be transformed into good.

Stay with me for a thought experiment. Let's superimpose this goody-good image on the pandemic and see what we find out. We know that the disease has caused pain to thousands of families and for billions it has been a mind numbing experience to watch it unfold. If the notion of evil working for good is true, this entire series of events must hold deeper significance than what appears at the moment.

Is there an analogy we can find that will offer meaning? Oh yes, when a patient is to undergo a surgery for removal of a tumour, there is nervousness and fear before the procedure. The patient is then taken to the operating room, administered anaesthesia and the tumour is taken out. What if the pandemic is only a symptom of a malignant tumour inflicting humanity and we are collectively being prepared for surgery right now?

If that is true, this suggests that over the coming months and years, the pandemic would expose negative, even horrendous aspects about humanity and eventually we would eradicate them. We are already learning a number of lessons about the ways in which we live and consume natural resources. I believe we will learn many more lessons about ourselves in times to come.

Could these lessons also be about the origin of the disease, the way it was suppressed, the way it spread, the timing of its occurrence, and finally, the way we responded? Already there is a first whistle blower account, could there be many more to come? I have reason to believe that we will find out unconscionable human acts relating to this pandemic that will shock the world. Here is a scenario that is how I think it's likely to play out.

As we learn unpleasant things about ourselves, implicating people in power, there will be much uproar and many will say humanity has reached the lowest low and there is no hope. If that happens, I want you to remember that the higher reason for the scandal is to share knowledge about the tumour. When there are even greater tumours revealed and the shock gives way to calls for change and humanity comes out on the streets calling for a revolution, you will know that all is well and that the patient is on the way to the operating theatre.

This is what I meant that events which seem negative are now working for the good of everyone. Instead of being shocked by the negativity, we have the capacity to respond in a way that a mature consciousness would - by understanding that it here to offer us choice. The choice is to acknowledge the negativity and work towards overcoming it or ignore it and allow it to get worse. We must seize this amazing opportunity and choose change.

In the third and final part, I will describe how the outbreak is catapulting human consciousness towards another age.

Part 3. End of Normal: Our Astounding Future

I started the post with a seemingly utopian image of future and showed in part one the underlying forces in mass consciousness at play. In the second part I suggested a possible scenario in which I expect the pandemic will unfold in coming years and why it will be a benevolent outcome in the bigger picture if we choose change.

Mired in Old Beliefs

Let's get back to the two forces of mass consciousness that I talked about earlier, conservative attachments and progressive desires. For several decades there has been a war going on between these two, not necessarily led by the same group of people or even the same philosophy or ideas over the decades. It's about the nature of the ideas with one extreme representing protection of the status quo at all costs and the other trying to jump out to the new. Each side thinks it is right.

Now comes the most important aspect regarding this ongoing war. Our belief systems. Right now we are so mired in our personal and collective belief that it has kept us tied to the old energy, slowing down our movement towards higher consciousness. This belief system is the last gauntlet before the shift is made and overcoming it is humanity's greatest challenge.

Many of our conscious beliefs are actually echoes of unconscious beliefs that are much more powerful and over which we have no awareness as they are rooted in our unconscious. Laurie Santos, professor of psychology at Yale runs a course on happiness, that has been taken by over a million learners, that illustrates some of our unconscious beliefs.

Using the latest research in positive psychology Santos poses questions such as, why do we always misjudge what would make us happy? From a higher perspective of the teachings, the lessons today's science offers may not be the most important ones, yet they reveal part of the system that traps us inside the hamster wheel called pursuit of happiness which basically requires us to expend a lot of energy running all the while to reach nowhere in particular.

Lessons from the Pandemic

Now with the coronavirus pandemic people of all sections of society in all parts of the planet have been affected. The resulting lockdown of half of humanity has suddenly stopped the hamster wheel in their everyday lives. This unexpected and forced leisure has opened the possibility for inward reflection for people who never before could afford it or wanted any of it. I consider leisure as a critical requirement for inner growth.

As suggested earlier, at the most fundamental level what we face today is about choice. We must contemplate every aspect of our individual and collective lives and decide whether we wish to resume running inside the hamster wheel at the end of this episode or step outside and change in some significant way.

The choice is open whether it relates to our relationship with mother nature; our relationships with each other; our patterns of addiction through which we consume resources; the way we lead our lives, be that may about flying around the world or living in concrete boxes; honouring connectedness with all beings or living disconnected lives; whether we continue to value protection inside comfort zones or strive for resilience; whether we continue to believe in the illusion of development and progress or learn to question those beliefs; whether we indulge in gratitude or fear; and, whether we value faith or cynicism.

The End of Normal

Nobody could have imagined that the world would grind to a halt within a matter of weeks of spread of a disease. A great blessing is that "we've always done it this way" is no longer a valid excuse for anything. This implies that what was true in the past does not necessarily have any bearing on the future. This is a momentous change. Nothing that we held true in the past is true any more. Truly the greatest gift of the pandemic is the challenge it poses to our beliefs.

How Many People Would Actually Change?

Five and a half years ago I would have dismissed this post as a hopelessly romantic yarn. We tend to be reflexively cynical and that was my reality as well. Since then I've had a system upgrade, so to speak, and gained a new set of beliefs and body of knowledge that I simply call, the teachings. The teachings suggest that we are all connected in consciousness and therefore in the reality of one, numbers are insignificant. They say that if less than half percent of population changes a set of beliefs, it will affect everyone. They also suggest that one must begin with oneself and that our thought is the only reality we can truly control. And thought determines everything.

Birthing A New Consciousness

Remember, I said the two polarities have been held back by our beliefs. As the coronavirus pandemic has begun to dismantle our belief system, the moment this change is processed by mass consciousness, the moment we acknowledge it, what results is new consciousness.

Imagine a giant slingshot in which humanity is placed in the centre. The person holding back the stretched rubber band is our beliefs, the rubber band pulling the humanity forward is the coronavirus pandemic, the two ends on which the rubber band is tied are the two polarities in mass consciousness. As soon as humanity is released from the grip of its beliefs it would rapidly propel forward into the air, far away from the present reality towards ascension.

The energy of ascension is here. We are in a transition towards higher consciousness. This shift is evident in all spheres of life and you can see it if you know how to look. As I write, we are witnessing birth of a new consciousness on Earth. Whether it takes ten years to realize or thirty depends upon the choices you make today.

In Closing: Expect the Unexpected

In this post I have tried to illustrate some concepts that are very difficult to speak about in the mainstream as they exist outside of our common narrative, the body of knowledge and beliefs that make up science and history. A small but expanding circle of readers are familiar with the ideas contained in books published under the genre of mind, body and spirit. What I refer to as the teachings are derived from a set of books that came in my path over the last few years. The ideas in this post are informed by concepts from: Anastasia of Ringing Cedars, Abraham Hicks, Kryon, Matt Kahn, Lyssa Royal Holt among several others. They are also informed by some specific guidance released earlier this month regarding the pandemic by Kryon, Lyssa Royal Holt, and Matt Kahn.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of books offering guidance on transitioning towards higher consciousness that is in the reach of everyone. The image they project is of a benevolent future in which all of those unbelievable things I mentioned in the beginning will come true. If you are a reader of these books you may already know that something like this is coming. If you practice these teachings in your own life, you may know it experientially by having witnessed change in your own life with the change in your beliefs.

I close with a prose poem penned by Kitty O'Meara which went viral on social media earlier this month:
And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

[Update 3-Apr-2020:  Restructured part one for better clarity, without altering content. Original version available here.]

[Update 4-Apr 2020: See also, my poem: Coronation. Deeply metaphysical, it's about the unconditional love of Gaia or mother earth for humanity chronicled over thousands of years to the present day and beyond. It counters the narrative, in some circles, that views the pandemic as punishment.]

March 23, 2020

Metaphysics in Movies: Out on a Limb (1987)

Part of the series in which I recommend movies that force us to consider aspects of reality beyond the physical. 

Out on a Limb (TV Mini Series 1987)

Key Theme: Spiritual quest of Hollywood actress Shirley MacLaine

Section: Both parts, especially part two with the journey to Peru

Why is it Notable:

#1. For a fascinating portrayal of the inner struggle she faced in her quest to seek meaning in life;

#2. for including unexplained phenomenon in the film without the fear of ridicule and far ahead of its time;

#3 for the extremely short turn around time from book to movie (three years) and especially remarkable for an actress to act as herself in a biographical movie

About This Film: 

Six time Oscar nominated actress Shirley MacLaine portrays herself in screen adaptation of her autobiography by the same name. It was made for TV in two parts, first one is two and half hours and second part is around two hours. It starts with her affair with a politician from England which leads her on a journey to seek answers to the questions she has about her life and relationships. A character called David acts as her spiritual guide in this journey. The second part is mainly about her struggle to come to terms with the teachings she learns from David and through experiences she has herself.

March 22, 2020

Metaphysics in Movies: Flatland (2007)

Part of the series in which I recommend movies that force us to consider aspects of reality beyond the physical.

Flatland (2007)

Key Theme: Examines the world of dimensions through the perspective of geometric shapes.

Section: Entire film

Why is it Notable: 

Demonstrates the difficulty in conceiving a reality beyond one's everyday world even when that reality promises much more than the present (or perhaps because it promises much more).

About This Film

Written by a schoolmaster in 1884, Flatland, the novel, remained largely unknown until Einstein's theory of relativity proved the existence of a fourth dimension (time). Note, there are two animated Flatland films produced in 2007. One is called Flatland: The Movie, a 33 minute animated short film with voice over by known Hollywood names (recommended and available on torrent), and the other is a longer, full length film that is available on YouTube.

Metaphysics in Movies: Mindwalk (1990)

I love watching movies that do more than just entertain. For a long time now I've been meaning to start a series of posts on movie recommendations with themes of metaphysics. However, in order to ponder issues that are beyond everyday existence, a fundamental requirement is leisure. Unless you can remove yourself from everyday struggles and have the opportunity to focus on the bigger picture, there can be no inner growth.

These days, with a million distractions and the breakneck speed of life in which we engage, few can afford the luxury called free time. Until today. With a billion people under lock down in 35 countries today, now seems like the best time ever to reflect and contemplate about life and the meaning of existence. This is exactly what metaphysics is all about: contemplation of "the ideas" behind "the things."

In these posts, I'll write about movies that force us to think beyond the physical world as either part of their main plot or in certain sections. I will even include those films which are perhaps not written with the intent to illustrate a metaphysical aspect, but do so quite well nevertheless. First in the series is Mindwalk.

Mindwalk (1990)

Key theme: The interconnected nature of world problems

Section: Entire movie

Why is it Notable:

# 1) It includes a good primer on the difference between the two physics and what it means for us. The two physics, of course, are: Newtonian physics or "physics of the big things that fall" and the weird sub-atomic world of quantum physics (even though the film doesn't get into the truly weird parts like the observer effect and quantum entanglement);

# 2) it traces the root of modern problems to the idea of mechanistic thinking, which is fundamentally the idea of separation between man and nature, and shows through history, why this male principle is so deep-rooted in our society; 

#3) it emphasises the need to move to the feminine principle / right brain trait of nurturing, caring, and holistic thinking.

About the Film:

Few films are written by physicists, Mindwalk is one of them. This little known independent production is set in a medieval island in Europe in which nothing much happens except conversations between three people. One of the characters is Jack, an American presidential candidate who couldn't make it beyond the primaries. Another is a little known poet named Thomas, also an American who moved to live in Europe. Both of them are having a bit of a midlife crisis and are seen conversing while strolling around the city's picturesque spots until the third character, the main protagonist of the film, a woman named Sonia who is a physicist, enters the conversation.

One of the writers is Fritjof Capra, a physicist with a career spanning several institutions in Europe and America including a stint at a particle accelerator. Capra is most known for his 1975 book "Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism" which continues to sell well in spirituality category to this day. In it he argues: “Physicists do not need mysticism and mystics do not need physics, but humanity needs both.” The film is loosely based on his 1982 book, The Turning Point. I recommend this movie not for its recommendation in the conclusion (systems theory) but its diagnosis of society's problems (separation and left brain thinking / male principle).