I am becoming more and more aware that the key movement in these times is the expansion of our thinking and awareness – on many levels. Don’t miss the two videos in this post- they are definitely mind stretching – or is mind blowing !
Keep your eyes open for articles about new discoveries, experiments and explorations in space. The photos coming from NASA – like this Nebula pictured here – are beautiful and haunting. New theories about our Cosmology are all over the main-stream newspapers, but are not often translated into what these discoveries mean to us as human beings or our understanding of who we are and where we are!
According to one blog that I read, “We are currently experiencing a paradigm shift in scientific thinking and explanation, away from reductionist and constructivist approaches. This shift is the result of the introduction of computers and the internet. Scientific researchers are now capable of collecting and processing much more information than ever before, and advanced modeling techniques allow them to develop and test scientific theories in ways that were simply not possible 20 or even 10 years ago.”
Joel R. Primack & Nancy Ellen Abrams gives us some clues about all this in their highly acclaimed books. I have only read articles about their work but have been fascinated with it since 2008. Their new book The New Universe and the Human Future gives us a fresh and exciting view of the beauty of the Universe and the potential role that we, as humans, have in these times. The website for this book is full of fascinating articles, interviews, reviews and stunning photographs from outer space. It is worth spending some time there. You will leave amazed and refreshed. A review of the book calls it poetic, demanding, grounded, soaring, empowering, and always awe-inspiring.
Two passages from an interview that particularly moved me are these two:
“We have to realize that all human beings are essentially the same, if you look at it from a cosmic point of view. We are completely preoccupied today with very, very trivial differences. The Shiites versus the Sunnis. The Mormons versus the Evangelicals. Blacks versus whites. These are silly, trivial differences. Yet our entire culture is completely preoccupied with these trivial differences between human beings and is not seeing that, as human beings, we have this immense potential. But we really need to see ourselves as one. ”
“The universe is more vast, explosively creative, eerily beautiful, and mysterious than anyone could ever have imagined.”
To get an idea of the scope of their thoughts – check out this video!
One important thing that we are realizing is that Human Beings are the only “reflective” species in the Universe, as far as we know. This means that we can think about what we see and make sense of it, give it meaning. And we are able to be aware of our own behavior, our impact on others and what we need to develop ourselves. This capability gives us the potential to transform ourselves and our environment. But with each new discovery we may have to call into question how we have made sense of things up to now. This is very hard for us to do. Here comes the challenge of our times – we might have to change how we think about things and we don’t like to do that. We like our neat little packages of ideas and don’t want them challenged. This has always been a problem but is especially difficult when we realize that we need to reconsider so many different aspects of our world that are not working and need changing at the same time. And things get more threatening when main tenets of our world view are questioned.
When radical new ideas come along, they often stir up conflict. Many refuse to accept such radical thinking. People have been put to death for having radical new ideas …. like the idea that the world was not flat! Very scary. Right now we are right in the middle of a major change of ideas – this is happening on many levels – and it may not be easy or smooth.
What can we do. Hold things lightly. Be curious. Stretch our imagination. Learn to expand our minds and open to new thoughts. Be compassionate with ourselves and each other. Dare to go into the unknown.
Just watch all the fury that is happening around the world today over who is right about different issues. Often the problem lies in the fact that two ideas that seem opposite can both be right at the same time. That is really hard to accept. This is one of the reasons that Quantum Physics has taken so long to take hold – how can something be both a wave (light energy) and a particle (matter) at the same time! But this is fully accepted and actually used in many of our new technological developments – despite the fact that most people still think in more outdated scientific terms. Check out this paradox here.
It seems to me that this is why we are seeing so much about Compassion and Mindfulness because these are two aspects that will help us to integrate new revelations that may challenge our current belief and world views.
All this means that we are actually a part of the evolution movement and have the possibility to make evolution conscious! More and more teachers are pointing to this and encouraging us to expand our world view and become more aware of our own limited thinking, mental models and beliefs. It is strange to think that we humans are actually the leading edge of a million year process that affects everything around us. Becoming aware of this and starting to understand it gives us a sense of the meaning in developing ourselves. And some people are saying that we actually have an moral obligation to develop ourselves so that we can support the evolutionary process that is trying to happen through us.
“The Evolution of Consciousness is nothing short of the evolution of everything we experience on the gross and subtle planes. …Mind and matter are but the interior and exterior of a single unfolding.” (Leo Marrs via The Integral Landscape Café). The Universe is expanding- and so shall we!
When we start thinking this Big we begin to stretch our imagination and creativity in many new directions. Erika Ilves & Anna Stillwell encourage us to do just that in their TEDx Dubai talk called “The Human Project”. Watch the video – it is a fun mind-stretcher! Good for us to take some time to leave the ordinary and imagine the extraordinary.
The Cat’s Eye Nebula, one of the first planetary nebulae discovered, also has one of the most complex forms known to this kind of nebula. Eleven rings, or shells, of gas make up the Cat’s Eye.