Tag Archive | self development

A Field View of Reality to Explain Human Interconnectedness*

A Field View of Reality to Explain Human Interconnectedness*

“It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.” –Henry David Thoreau

Is it true the physical world we see with our eyes is the essence or nature of reality? For much of human history, this is what scientists and most people around the world have believed. More recently, however, another view of reality has emerged, one the authors of HeartMath’s new e-book, the Science of Interconnectivity, † contrast with the historic view.

“Classical physics conceived of reality as elementary building blocks made up of solid objects, separated by empty space,” the authors explain.

“This view continues to be most people’s view of reality, including scientists.”

In contrast, they write,

“Physical objects cannot be understood, or observed in isolation, but rather must be viewed as part of a holistic web of interconnectedness in which fields and relationships are pivotal.”

This new view, which HeartMath Institute’s Dr. Rollin McCraty and Annette Deyhle, Ph.D. refer to in their e-book as the “field view of reality,” is shared by a growing number of scientists around the world who are engaged in actively researching it.

The understanding of the world we live in profoundly shifted,” McCraty stated for this article,

“after the discovery of electromagnetic fields and the experimental validation of modern quantum physics.” These have helped to give rise to the field view of reality.

“We can no longer think of reality as little building blocks separated by an empty space,” he said.

“We now know there is no such thing as empty space and that physical objects, including us, do not exist in isolation, but are part of this holistic web of interconnectedness in which fields and relationships are primary.”

HeartMath and the Field View of Reality

The field view ties in closely with research at HeartMath Institute (HMI). The institute has conducted experiments for a number of years to demonstrate the ways in which people are connected with one another through their own individual magnetic fields, which are generated primarily by the brain and, although much more so, the heart.

Examples of these experiments include measurements of an infant’s heart rhythm registering in the brain waves of its mother, and the heart-rhythm coherence of a boy corresponding to an increase in his dog’s heart-rhythm coherence.

In the latter example, a boy and dog were placed in a room together. Then the boy moved to a separate room, which resulted in the dog experiencing chaotic and incoherent heart rhythms, in contrast to when it and the boy were in the same room. The boy was instructed to use a coherence technique to consciously feel feelings of love and care for his dog, which he did after re-entering the room with the dog, while having no physical contact with it. The dog’s heart-rhythm coherence increased significantly.

Through its Global Coherence Initiative, HeartMath also has had success in demonstrating some of the health and behavioral effects of activity in Earth’s magnetic fields.

Other scientists have studied solar and geomagnetic activity and correlated it to changes in blood pressure, blood composition and the physical and chemical state of humans. There are many documented cases in which researchers have attributed increased rates of depression, heart attacks and debilitating conditions to solar and Earth magnetic field activity. (You can learn more about the Global Coherence Initiative and its work at GCI Research.)

solar-system-periodicField View of Reality and a Theory of Everything

Besides being the title of the popular 2014 film about physicist Stephen Hawking, a “theory of everything” also arguably is the Holy Grail of modern physics. Simply explained, physicists hope such a theory, which is more formally referred to as a grand unified theory, would fully explain and link together all physical aspects of the universe.

Now, such an ambitious endeavour, which many physicists project may actually be successful within decades, naturally is far more complicated than the brief description above. The notion of a link, or connection between everything, however, suffices to convey one of its primary purposes, which happens to be a shared purpose with HeartMath’s own research.

Connectedness, or what HMI calls interconnectedness, is an important and primary area of interest today at HeartMath and its Global Coherence Initiative (GCI). This interest has led their scientists in several directions as they explore and seek to validate the central hypotheses they have formulated in their interconnectedness studies.

  1. Human and animal health, cognitive functions, emotions and behaviour are affected by planetary magnetic and energetic fields.
  2. The earth’s magnetic fields are carriers of biologically relevant information that connects all living systems.
  3. Each individual affects the global information field.
  4. Large numbers of people creating heart-centered states of care, love and compassion will generate a more coherent field environment that can benefit others and help offset the current planet-wide discord and incoherence.

As today’s physicists pursue a unified theory that would explain and link together all physical aspects of our universe, HeartMath will continue expanding on its work in the realm of a field view of reality and the interconnectedness of all living things.

“New perspectives are emerging that suggest nonmaterial fields organize and in-form all organisms, including key aspects of our thoughts, emotions and intuitions,” McCraty said. “It is exciting to see new data coming out of our research that shows that we really are deeply connected with each other and with fields of the earth.”

The Science of Interconnectivity e-book is expected to be released around mid-July and will be available for purchase in HeartMath Institute’s online bookstore. Contributors to the current Tree Research Project, which is part of HMI’s ongoing interconnectedness research, can receive a free copy of the e-book.


Related Topics:

Woman Dies and Comes Back To Life with This Incredible Message for Humanity*

A Star Child Speaks, Calls for Humanity to Wake Up*

‘Shoot at Us First’: Veterans Form Literal ‘Human Shield’ to Protect Standing Rock Protesters from Cops*

Humanity at the Crossroads: The Crisis in Spiritual Consciousness

The Psychic Roots of Tyranny*

Consciousness Science Kept Hidden*

What Unconditional Love Can Do to a Severely Disabled Child*

Freedom Proves Gravity Subject to Another Force ~ LOVE*

Love’s In Need Of Love Today

We Are All One (Tawhid)

Physics of Tawhid: A Quantum View of the World

Human DNA Tied Mostly to Single Exodus from Africa Long Ago*

White Supremacist Finds Out He Is Part Black*

I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White

Yoga, Race and ‘Colour Blindness’*

In the Beginning was/is Consciousness*

When a Prayer is Answered with a Test*

When a Prayer is Answered with a Test*

By Anisa Abeytia

Studies say that no matter where you were born, after living an average of five years in another country, you are susceptible to the same diseases as the native population. I lived in the Middle East for five years and in the Muslim American community for fourteen. I was not raised a Muslim and I’m not an Arab, but after nineteen years, I picked up some interesting habits.

Last summer, my children’s school received extra funding for tutors over the summer break. The kids weren’t thrilled, but I was. The perspective tutor called and we chatted about the children’s needs. She told me her brother’s names is Yousuf, just like my son. She had an accent, but I couldn’t place it and I didn’t want to ask her where she was from. It’s wasn’t important. I figured she was from a Muslim country and I’d find out when she came to my house.

The children waited for her and we watched as she parked and walked down the street to our house. She was a thin woman, wearing a scarf on her head, tied behind her head like a Russian peasant. I tried to place her look and I thought, maybe she’s Bosnian.

We sat and chatted for a few minutes and she again told me joyfully that her brother’s name is Yousuf. So I asked her where she was from.

“I was born in Israel,” she replied.

My heart sank. I looked at her scarf, the way she wore it and then back at her face. She must be an Orthodox Jew. I could feel my face rearrange itself into a frown and the colour drained from my face. I was embarrassed by the thought that she might notice the physical change, but her demeanour didn’t change at all. I tried to force a smile, but figured it would contort my face into an even more bizarre expression, so I just gave up.

My son entered the room before I was able to recover and she hugged him. My eyes opened wide, and I half expected her to harm him. Images of bleeding Palestinian children and angry Israeli settlers filled my head. My eyes darted back and forth, looking for an escape and to see if my mother had any of the Palestinian flags out.

I wondered, would she hurt him? I didn’t want to leave them alone, but I slowly turned to walk up the stairs. Why was I thinking this way? As I took each step, I tried to talk sense to myself.

I don’t even know her and I’m judging her. Step.

Don’t jump to conclusions. Step.

Women in Black are Israeli. Step. 

This continued until I reached the top of the stairs, at which point I spent two hours debating with myself. Am I supporting the occupation? Am I doing a bad thing? Should I go downstairs and ask her to leave? How do I justify that? I have to dig deeper than that for an answer to how I should behave. I look out the window and take in a deep breath, close my eyes, exhaling slowly.

What does Islam say?

I open my eyes. The answer is easy, don’t judge. Don’t be suspicious and always treat people in the best possible way. She is a guest in my house and my child’s teacher. Am I a Muslim? Do I follow my religion only when it’s convenient?

I’m calm now and just in time, the tutoring session is over.

I make my way down the stairs and my mother walks into the room. The tutor says she loves all the art on the walls and asks who the collector is. My mother starts to tell her about a Syrian Artist, Akram Abu Al Foz that I told her about.

“Anisa, show her his work. It’s absolutely stunning.”

I take out my phone and start to explain. She loves it, so I tell her about my trips to Turkey and my work with the Syrians. She asks me many questions and I answer. A few days later I receive a phone call from her. She tells me she was so inspired by the work I’m doing and would like to help. Would I mind meeting with her daughter who works at a local radio station?

I’m a bit taken aback. She wants to help me? I can barely get Arabs, Muslims or Syrians to help me and she is this Jewish-Israeli woman asking me if she can help? Then she tells me,

“My parents are Syrian. We are Syrian Jews.”

I am so happy I start laughing and I tell her how frustrated I’ve been, that I had decided to stop the work I was doing because I just wasn’t getting support and that I prayed a week ago and said,

“Oh Allah, if this is the path you want me to continue on, you will need to send the help to my door because I will not make one more effort.”

I was so depressed and ready to give up and my prayer was answered with a test. If I had given into the common Arab/Muslim mentality that all Jews are bad, I would have lost this opportunity. She opened doors for me that I didn’t even know existed. However, the greatest gift she gave me was a renewed sense of hope and the knowledge that I was not alone. I only need to ask, with an open heart and mind, and help would be sent.


Related Topics:

Yoga, Race and ‘Colour Blindness’*

Rabbis Thank Ahmedinejad for his Stance Against Zionism

An Unorthodox Rabbi Who Allied Himself With Prophet Muhammad*

A Small Act of kindness Disarms anti-Muslim Protester.*

Black History Month and Muslims

#Arabs4BlackPower Releases Movement for Black Lives Solidarity Statement*

Why were the Black Lives Matter protesters at London City Airport all White?*

Christians Join Forces with Muslim Group Hezbollah to Fight ISIS in Lebanon*

U.S. Military Veterans Asked Lakota Elders for Forgiveness*

Despite Increasing Threats and Violence, Americans Show Support for Muslim Neighbours*

Heavenly Signs: Pluto Discloses

From the Symbolic Ascension to the Ascension of Our Lives

Lost to the Sea of Life

A Tool to Refocus Your Emotions

Is Your Heart as Strong as it is Big?

Faith vs. Ego!

Even Babies Know What is Fair!

The High Price of Suppressing Compassion

Body Atlas of Human Emotions*


Immigrant Designer Goes From Homeless to Wealthy, Then Sells Everything to Help Others*

Immigrant Designer Goes From Homeless to Wealthy, Then Sells Everything to Help Others*

What happens when you really believe in God….

By Brianna Acuesta

Credit: Roberto Vascon/Facebook

It’s likely that you haven’t heard of Roberto Vascon, a Brazilian purse designer who had a tough upbringing and went from rags to riches—twice.

Vascon grew up in Raposos, a poverty-stricken small town in Brazil, where he never attended school and started working from a young age to support his family because his father was an alcoholic. When he was older, he moved to Rio de Janeiro, where his situation actually worsened. Though he secured a job washing cars to survive, he said that he was starving for several months and lived on benches. 

Once he saved enough money to move to New York City, it seemed that he had finally caught a break and would be able to achieve the American dream by arriving in one of the most prosperous cities in the world. However, to Vascon’s dismay, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

“In Brazil, I had to deal with the same level of poverty I dealt with in NYC – but in America, it is a lot colder and it snows so my situation got substantially worse,” says Roberto in a Portuguese interview. “I was hungry, tired, homesick, freezing, and I asked God to take me back to Brazil. I told God if he helped me to survive, I would help a lot of people.”

On the same night that he made this promise to God, he said he had a strange dream that changed his life dramatically. In the dream, thousands of birds were landing in trees and dropping purses to the ground. Though most would take this at face value and simply deem it an odd dream, Vascon took this as a sign and ran with it. With a newfound purpose, he spent the next day collecting cans, turning them in for $80, purchasing sewing supplies and leather, and making 12 purses. The purses were the same design he had seen in the dream.

By fate or coincidence, a woman approached him while he was selling the purses in Central Park. That woman ended up being Nancy H., the fashion editor from the New York Times. When Nancy heard his story, she swiftly bought all 12 purses and insisted Vascon spend more time with her so she could write a piece on him and his purses.

Vascon became a success overnight. He earned enough money to start seven stores in America and return to Brazil to buy a house for his mother. The millionaire was living well until his birthday arrived and no one called him to wish a happy birthday. This caused Vascon to question everything yet again, and he turned to God once more.

He said in prayer, “Remember that night I told you I would return everything? I guess now is the time.”

He took this endeavor to heart and wound up selling everything he owned, including his stores and business, to travel the world—128 countries, to be exact—and learn about a variety of cultures and help people. He would help in any way he could, by feeding the poor and homeless and paying for a student’s college tuition.

After he sold his last possession, he returned to the United States and found himself sleeping on benches in NYC once again. As luck would have it, a few days later another journalist approached him when she realized who he was. She wrote a piece about him and two days later he received an offer from a store wishing to partner with him. He has now rebuilt his business, still makes beautiful purses from exotic materials, and helps others anonymously as a way of giving back to the community that built him up twice.


Related Topics:

Turning the Tide — Our Time is Now*

Birmingham Mosque’s Open’s Christmas Soup Kitchen*

Ramadhan Reflections: Why Do The Same Issues Keep Coming Up In My Life?‏

So ‘no one eats alone’ Muslim-owned Restaurant Offering Elderly and Homeless Free Meals on Christmas Day*

Woman Cites Religious Freedom Law to Defend Her Right to Feed the Homeless*

Atheists, Whatever They Say to the Contrary, Really Do Believe in God*

Our Conception of God isn’t Big Enough*

U.K. Scientists Use Brain Stimulation to ‘Make You Stop Believing In God’*

A Change Is Gonna Come

Morgan Freeman’s Message to Life, Consciousness & Humanity

Global Pathocracy*

Muslim Man Dies Saving Hundreds of Lives by Hugging a Suicide Bomber*

An Unorthodox Rabbi Who Allied Himself With Prophet Muhammad*

The Oldest Standing University in the World*

Refugees Donate Time and Money to Help Italian Earthquake Victims*

The Priest Who Brings Assistance and Support To Muslim Syrian Refugees*


Yoga, Race and ‘Colour Blindness’*

Yoga, Race and ‘Colour Blindness’*

By Christopher Wallis

How My ‘Color Blindness’ Altered My Spiritual Journey

As more and more people are realizing, spiritual awakening does not necessarily guarantee automatic clarity of view on one’s socio-cultural programming. Each bit of programming installed in the ‘hard drive’ of the brain must be re-examined and recalibrated, in light of the energy of awakening, in order to become fully integrated with that light. In my own case, the last several years have included a sobering process of realizing just how sensitivity to issues of racism, and other forms of systemic oppression, fit into spiritual awakening.

I am not interested in a transcendentalist style of awakening, that simply leaves behind the painful social issues of the day or the fractured character of our nation (whether the U.S. or U.K. or India, the same applies). Only an awakening that embraces the totality of reality appeals to me. It accesses and draws strength from the transcendent, to be sure, but does so in order to more fully embrace the imminent. The unique power that derives from the very core of our being is what allows us to show up for, and empathize with, the immense suffering of humanity, without being crushed by it. (It also allows us to feel the immense joy of humanity, but that’s not what this particular post is about.)

Tantra and ‘Colour Blindness’

Some years ago, I had a painful conversation with a friend, a person of color, in which I described myself as ‘color blind’ in the sense that when meeting someone, I saw a unique human being, a unique pattern of energy, not a ‘black person’ or ‘white person’ or ‘Asian person’. I further declared that colour blindness was an integral piece of yoga philosophy since it teaches that each of us is the one divine Consciousness, simply playing different roles, and that none of us are really ‘black’ or ‘white’ or anything in between. She was upset, angry, and hurt by these statements. Back then, I didn’t really understand why. Now I do. Tears spring to my eyes at my inability to fully empathize with her at the time. This post is both a reparation to her, and others like her, and an explanation of what many white American yogis still don’t understand about race and ‘colour blindness’.

The answer was right there, the whole time, in the Tantric philosophy I love so much. I just hadn’t seen it yet. You see, the tradition teaches that for any aspect of manifest reality to become experientially integrated with the divine Consciousness, which is its true source and ground, it must be seen with the light of loving awareness. In other words, it must be seen with a nonjudgmental willingness to be intimate with what is separate from one’s stories about it. There are two relevant implications of this: first of all, though the reasons we might give for systemic racism are, of course, mental constructs that we can argue about, the pain suffered by people of color in connection with systemic racism is real, not a story, and it needs to be compassionately witnessed before it can be transcended.

Secondly, the yogic process of becoming free from identification with the impermanent elements of our embodiment is contingent on self-acceptance. Any attempt at dis-identifying with the body, mind, etc, without first attaining self-acceptance, is actually spiritual bypassing; a kind of escapism. Therefore, before I try to give anyone a teaching about their innermost Spirit — that essence within them which is unborn and undying — I had better be ready to see and accept and love the pain of their embodiment. I now realize that to say to a person of colour “I don’t see your race” is like saying “I’m too scared to empathize with the pain of the institutionalized oppression that you suffer”. For a white person to say “I’m colourblind” is to say “I’d rather just overlook all the pain of your community up to the present day. Do I really have to engage with that to be friends with you?” Yes. Yes, you do. In the same way that you wouldn’t be able to befriend an Iraqi or Palestinian without empathizing with their pain.

To dissolve societal separation, we need to accept them wholly by acknowledging their pain

So you see, since healthy dis-identification with the body etc. depends on a degree of self-acceptance, it’s much, much easier for privileged folk — like white middle and upper-class Americans — to get on board with yoga philosophy’s statements “I am not my body; I am not my past; I am not what others think of me”. Still not easy, because people of any class or ethnicity can be burdened by self-hatred, but easier. And if you don’t think so, you don’t know what it’s like to be a person of colour in America (or the U.K., or anywhere else with institutionalized white privilege).

The Privileges of Being White

Why don’t people of colour say “I’m color blind”? Because to be white in America is to be the unmarked race. The default ethnicity. We already are colourless. We already are what this society declares – in a thousand subtle nonverbal ways — is the best thing you can be. Can you imagine the pervasive pain of being a second or third-class citizen all your life? No, you can’t, if you’re white. This is what white people don’t get without training. Your privilege is invisible to you and painfully visible to people of colour. Whether you bother to reflect on it or not, they see what you don’t; they see how the system (especially in educational, legal, and political spheres) systematically privileges the dominant race/ethnicity over and against everyone else. How it systematically enforces inequality, without needing to encode it in law.

It’s easier for me to become free of identification with a body that my culture privileges more than any other, that of a white male. Before a person of colour (or anyone, for that matter) can healthily dis-identify with their body and their story (should they wish to, and of course it would be oppressive to say they ought to), they must heal some of the pain of having that body, otherwise such dis-identification is denial and disassociation. It’s a little-understood but crucial yogic principle (in the Tantric tradition, anyway) that one must first develop a healthy ego before dissolving the ego into pure Spirit. (Where ‘healthy ego’ mainly connotes self-acceptance and psychic wholeness.) And our society still systematically undermines the development of healthy egos in persons of colour.

Some of you reading this are probably already angry at me. “You’re a Sanskrit scholar, a philosophy teacher. What business do you have commenting on racial and political issues?” I believe that no one who values equality — the intrinsically equal dignity and worth of all human beings without exception — can afford to not speak up about this. As Krishna teaches in the Gītā, to choose inaction is itself an action; an action with consequences. No one can exempt himself. No one can choose not to be involved, because to choose that is to actively reinforce the status quo. On this issue, everyone casts a vote. Will you do so consciously or unconsciously?

Not My Fault, But Still My Responsibility

Some white people say, as I used to say, “It’s not my fault I was born white. I’m not responsible for what my ancestors did. And anyway, I don’t ‘feel’ white because I identify more with ______.” (Fill in the blank: Native American culture, Indian culture, Daoism, or whatever). Look, I get you. I don’t like referring to myself as ‘white’ because I don’t identify with the cultural paradigm determined, and perpetuated by, the white majority, and because I know that my awareness is not defined, or limited, by this vessel. But it would be ignorant and foolish of me to not acknowledge that others see me as white, and therefore I have a responsibility. I am white in the sense that the body my awareness sees through is of European descent, and the direct ancestors of this body have systematically oppressed, marginalized, and even massacred people of color worldwide, all the way up to the present day. And they did this simply because they could and there was an economic advantage in doing so. That needs to be acknowledged and grieved until there is healing, however long that healing takes.

People’s pain needs to be acknowledged for it to heal.

I’m not ashamed of the ethnicity and gender of my body and, like any awake person, I know that ethnicity and gender are cultural constructs, not objective facts. But I am ashamed, or rather embarrassed, that the only American spiritual teachers I see saying “You’re not your body, you’re not your emotions, you’re not your story and your suffering is only mind-created” are white, and nearly all of them male.

The Importance of Healing

Though yoga philosophy says that samskāras — the impressions of unresolved, or undigested, past experiences that reside in the psyche and the body — cannot prevent one from awakening to one’s undamaged and undamageable divine essence, it is also the case that a critical mass of samskāras can make it very difficult indeed to abide in that essence. This is because there is still so much in the body-mind that demands attention; that calls for loving awareness, for understanding, for healing. And that goes for an individual’s body and the body of a community alike. One of the original sources of Tantric Yoga, a 1300-year-old Sanskrit scripture, says something absolutely astonishing for its time:

There is only one ‘caste’, that of human beings. No caste was ordained for them [from on high], nor colour such as white. All arise from the union of a linga and a yoni, and thus all souls are one and the same. One who has the eye of wisdom sees God in all of them. ~ Pauṣkara-pārameśvara

I believe and feel this teaching with all my heart, and I also believe that seeing God in others must include honouring (and/or grieving) the specific conditions of their embodiment; not overlooking those conditions. Because in the Tantric view, unlike some other Indian philosophies, diversity is real, not an illusion. Therefore to see God in everyone is not to overlook difference, but to celebrate it.

So How Can We Help?

People who are hurt need healing first of all. People whose story has been discounted need to be heard first of all. If any white person (person perceived as white) or any privileged person wants to counteract the debilitating effect of the system that they unwittingly participate in and support, this is how:

Educate yourself
This is a brilliant metaphor that will stay with you; here is the most thorough explanation and proof of this issue available; and here is the proven Harvard test for subconscious racism or ‘implicit bias’ – know thyself!

  1. Listen.
    Give people of colour a voice… Show up with willingness to hear others’ pain, without discounting it or declaiming responsibility, or making it about you, in any way.
  2. Ask “how can I help? how can I support you? how can I make a difference?”
    And listen with an open heart to what you hear, even if it’s expressed in language that is not free of anger and frustration. Learn to listen with what the truly awakened being Marshall Rosenberg called ‘giraffe ears’ (because giraffes have the biggest hearts of any land animal). Listening with ‘Giraffe ears’ means that even if that anger seems to target you, you don’t take it personally, and you keep empathizing, with a willingness to feel that person’s pain, and grieve with them. You can’t fake that, and it’s harmful to do so, and that’s why step one is to educate yourself.

In Tantric Yoga, there is a key purpose of the practice other than awakening to your essence-nature, and that is to strengthen your energy-body, or your mental-emotional body, until it is strong enough to embrace the whole of reality, including the pain of humanity. My living teachers taught me that the idea of Tantrik Yoga is to birth an energy-body strong enough to be of service; to show up fully, to witness deep pain and not lose heart, not lose the capacity for joy, and not generate mental constructs about the ‘darkness’ in the world (or other reductive and disempowering generalizations).

May we all birth a strong energy-body! May we become free of self-referencing and able to show up for what is, for the benefit of all beings.


Related Topics:

We Are All One (Tawhid)

White Privilege Gets No Prison Time for Raping 2-Year-Old Girl and Posting It Online*

Why were the Black Lives Matter protesters at London City Airport all White?*

Native American Council offers Amnesty to 220 million Undocumented Whites*

Middle-aged White Men Like Me Have no Right to Tell Women not to Wear the Burkini*

I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White

Five Times Western Media Failed to Call White Shooters Terrorists*

Zionists Behind White Dispossession*

White Woman Uses Her Privilege in Dramatic Showdown*

Does Skin Pigment Act Like A Natural Solar-Panel?*

When the Colour of your Skin Determines What Flight you get on If at All*

The Disappearance of Silence*

The Disappearance of Silence*

Only Allah Knows what tomorrow will bring, but today is yours in the making

By Edward Curtin

Silence is a word pregnant with multiple meanings: for many a threat; for others a nostalgic evocation of a time rendered obsolete by technology; for others a sentence to boredom; and for some, devotees of the ancient arts of contemplation, reading, and writing, a word of profound, even sacred importance.

But silence, like so much else in the present world, including human beings, is on the endangered species list. Another rare bird—let’s call it the holy spirit of true thought—is slowly disappearing from our midst. The poison of noise and busyness is polluting more than we think, but surely our ability to think.

I am sitting on a stone step of a small cabin on an estuary on Cape Cod. All is quiet. Three feet in front of me a baby rabbit nibbles on grass, and that nibbling resounds. A mourning dove moans intermittently. I see the wind ripple the marsh grass and sense its low humming. I feel at home.

I am dwelling in silent stop-time.

It strikes me how rare silence has become; how doing nothing seems so un-American. Noise and busyness have become our elements. While I watch the rushes sway, I wonder why wherever you turn people are rushed and stressed. A frantic anxiety prevails everywhere. Whether you ask the young, the middle-aged, or the retired, they all report stress and lack of time.

“It’s crazy,” you often hear them say. “It” is never defined.

Clearly there are powerful forces that profit from this noisy busyness, this connected way of technological consumption, this contraction of time. Everyone seems to have their reasons why they are in such a state, but few imagine how and why it may be “engineered.” They don’t have the quiet time to do so.

Or they don’t want to.

When I speak of noise I am not thinking primarily of the din we associate with city life—cars, trucks, taxis, horns, sirens, congestion, etc.—a world rushing to get somewhere for unknown reasons. That noise, alas, is hard to avoid, even in small towns or suburbs. If I travel a half mile from where I sit in silence, I will encounter such noise as people speed by in cars on their search for a vacation from it.

Being in a secluded spot on Cape Cod for a few days is a luxury. I realize that. So too is having these minutes to write these words. Yet I know also that I am choosing to do so, and that for me the luxury is also a necessity. How could I live without “doing nothing” in silence? Even the computer I am typing these words on tells me I am wrong: it wants to correct my words “doing nothing” to “doing anything.” I’m surprised it doesn’t tell me that I should be having “fun,” though perhaps doing anything is the equivalent.

The noise of modern life is hard to avoid completely, and, in any case, it is the least disruptive of the silence I have in mind. There is another kind of noise that is self-imposed and whose purpose, consciously or not, is to make sure one is not “caught” by silence. As those who flee from silence know, it can be dangerous to one’s reigning assumptions about self and the world. Noise seems more comforting.

We all know people who go from morning ‘til night, day in and day out, without ever pausing to enter the sounds of slow silence. One doesn’t have to look far for them; technology has made them the rule. They race through their lives in the cocoon of technological noise. They’re informed, in touch, tuned in to everything but their own souls. They drown themselves in the incessant noise of televisions and radios, or the busyness of telephone calls, texting, or trivia “that has to be done.” They are always planning, going, organizing, and scheduling activities. Or talking—endless chatter about the weather or shopping or the latest mainstream media’s blaring headlines.

They choose to fill their lives with distracting noise in order to avoid the silence that might force them to confront issues of self-knowledge that are the stuff of great books, true art, a fully human life; self-knowledge that connects the individual to his social circumstances in his historical period; knowledge that might allow them to grasp the sources of the profound anxiety and despair that induces their franticness. This is what C. Wright Mills called the sociological imagination.

For fifteen years the United States has been living under an official state of national emergency and constant, paralyzing fear—a fear that keeps people moving as fast as they can so they don’t stop and look back and see what has happened to them and why and where they are heading—over the cliff.

A forests reflectionIt is another day now and I am sitting in the shade of a tree looking out on a beautiful harbour filled with sailboats. A seagull swoops and sails before me. A strong wind picks up from the west. This water is the playground of the wealthy. Unlike the poor, they can buy outer silence. They seem to have plenty of time to think deep thoughts, such as where did all their money come from. From corporations that are part of the military-industrial complex? By exploiting others? I suspect they use their “free” time to think of other things.

For some reason the rough water reminds me of all those refugees fleeing war and chaos on the Mediterranean Sea. Desperate people. Why must they die seeking refuge? Why must they flee their homelands? Who drove them to the boats? The sea and silence brings these thoughts to my mind? Silent reverie can do that. It can conjure up disturbing thoughts.

I often write about such matters. Most of what I write is serious stuff, what people refer to as “heavy” writing: wars, assassinations, coups, etc.—a lot of history, social issues, philosophical and theological questioning. And I find that many people find it tough to take. They can’t find the time or silent concentration to read it closely and study to see if my analyses are correct. I think they choose not to take the time to enter the cocoon of silent concentration it demands. They will nod or demur, but not delve any deeper. Deeper means danger.

Those hundreds of thousands of fleeing boat people, for example; who is responsible for their fate? Who started the wars that drove them from their homes? Might we be implicated? Do we bear responsibility? Can we be silently attentive enough to hear their cries and explore the facts? Is the noisy busyness a self-imposed distraction from the truth? Do we live in bad faith?

Can we stop talking, stop moving, and stop doing long enough to contemplate such matters?

Can we shut up long enough to listen to what the silence might reveal?

What are we running away from? Are there truths so deep and so disturbing that they must be “silenced”?

I think so.

Slow silence would allow us to understand how the leaders of the United States are pushing the world toward the ultimate silence of nuclear conflagration by provoking war with Russia. Most people are too “busy” and too distracted—and therefore too ignorant—to notice. So for them it’s not happening. It’s not happening, as Harold Pinter said of all the countless war crimes committed by the United States while the American people were hypnotized into thinking otherwise: “It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.”

We were too busy to notice. All we could hear was noise, propagandistic bedlam.

A society suffering from socially induced attention-deficit disorder is a society in a state of disintegration. Focused on the noisy foreground of conventional thinking fueled by a mass media spewing out endless distractions and pseudo-events, most people are lost in a cacophonous mental chaos.

I’m not sure if there is any point in writing these words.

But I am sure that the art of writing implies the art of reading. The writer creates and the reader recreates; both demand silence, a not-doing, the cessation of all noise that serves to prevent true thought. Can you hear me?

The machines must be turned off. “Our inventions,” Thoreau noted, “are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things.”

It is not hard to turn a switch, pull a plug, or press a button; the hard part is wanting to. Harder still, but equally necessary, is the quieting of the mind, the silencing of the incessant internal chatterboxes that accompany us everywhere.

Unless by some miracle we reject the bill of goods of noisy busyness that has been sold to us to sow confusion, we are doomed. That might sound hyperbolic, but it is not. We are being led to the slaughter by crazed elites who are pushing for a world war. We are drowning in lies and more lies, lies compounded by noisy repetition.

“There ain’t nothing more powerful than the odor of mendacity. . . . You can smell it. It smells like death.” That’s what I recently heard Big Daddy say in a production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

The Trappist monk Thomas Merton once wrote that someday they will sell us the rain; in saying that he implied that any essential, beautiful aspect of life could be destroyed by a society hell-bent on destruction through war and consumerism. Now that they have sold us noise and speed to eliminate slow silence, we are in far deeper trouble. We can’t think straight, if we can think at all. And clear thinking has never been more important.

Gandhi, the revolutionary, put it perfectly,

“In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.”


Related Topics:

The Freedom of Silence*

Reflections on the Idea of a Common Humanity*

An Elementary School Has Kids Meditate Instead of Punishing Them and the Results are Profound*

Healing your Creativity after Trauma*

The Space In-between: A Journey through Solitude to Spiritual Growth*


The Healing Power of Fasting*

The Healing Power of Fasting*

Related Topics:

Neuroscientist Shows Fasting Bolsters Your Brain, but Big Pharma Won’t Study It*

Scientists Discover That Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration and Fights Cancer*

Alzheimers: Multiple Therapies including Fasting Involved in the First Known Reversal of Memory Loss*

Uyghur Muslims Punished for Fasting in Holy Month*

The Self Control Gland and Fasting

Fasting for Three Days can Regenerate Entire Immune System*

The Rights of Fasting

Many Forms Of Fasting*

Fasting in Shawwal

Fasting and Pregnancy


Singing Together Brings Heartbeats into Harmony*

Singing Together Brings Heartbeats into Harmony*

By Cassandra Sheppard

“The neuroscience of singing shows that when we sing our neurotransmitters connect in new and different ways. It fires up the right temporal lobe of our brain, releasing endorphins that make us smarter, healthier, happier and more creative. When we sing with other people this effect is amplified.

The science is in. Singing is really, really good for you and the most recent research suggests that group singing is the most exhilarating and transformative of all.

The good feelings we get from singing in a group are a kind of evolutionary reward for coming together cooperatively.

The research suggests that creating music together evolved as a tool of social living. Groups and tribes sang and danced together to build loyalty, transmit vital information and ward off enemies

Science Supports Singing

What has not been understood until recently is that singing in groups triggers the communal release of serotonin and oxytocin, the bonding hormone, and even synchronises our heart beats.

Group singing literally incentivised community over an “each cave dweller for themselves” approach. Those who sang together were strongly bonded and survived.

In her book Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing with Others, Stacy Horn calls singing:

An infusion of the perfect tranquiliser – the kind that both soothes your nerves and elevates your spirit.

Singing Makes You Happy

For a decade, science has been hard at work trying to explain why singing has such a calming yet energising effect on people. Numerous studies demonstrate that singing releases endorphins and oxytocin – which in turn relieve anxiety and stress and which are linked to feelings of trust and bonding.

Singing helps people with depression and reduces feelings of loneliness, leaving people feeling relaxed, happy and connected. What’s more, the benefits of singing regularly are cumulative. People who sing have reduced levels of cortisol, indicating lower stress.

U.K. singer, singing teacher and choir leader Sophia Efthimiou describes singing as a process of consciously controlling our breath and larynx to create and sustain certain pitches and we blend that with rhythm and poetry to create songs.

In a group setting, each group member feels the musical vibrations moving through their body simultaneously. Our heart beats become synchronised. Sophia explains:

“We literally form one unified heart-beat”.

Anybody Can Sing

One of the great things about singing is that you can receive the wellbeing benefits even if you aren’t any good. One study showed that:

“Group singing can produce satisfying and therapeutic sensations even when the sound produced by the vocal instrument is of mediocre quality.

Tania de Jong, singer and founder of Creativity Australia, has effectively harnessed this ability of group singing to lift every member of the group up, no matter their singing ability.

The organisation’s project With One Voice puts a diversity of people together regularly to sing. The group euphoria is harnessed allowing people’s natural creativity, triggered by the group singing session, to generate new levels of community support, connection and opportunities. Tania says:

“One of the great things about singing is that is connects you to the right side of your brain. This is the side responsible for intuition, imagination and all our creative functions. It connects us to a world of possibilities. In modern life we are constantly bombarded with so much information that we process and analyse. We tend to get stuck in the left, processing side of our brain. So it becomes fundamentally important to nurture the attributes of human beings that set us apart from machines. The best way to do that is singing.

Sing Anywhere, Anytime

These benefits are free and accessible to all. We all have a voice. We can all sing, even if we don’t think we can.

There was a time when we all used to sing. We sang at church, around camp fires, at school. While group singing is experiencing a resurgence, not so many of us sing anymore. At some stage, someone told us to be quiet or judged our imperfect singing voice. Sophia Efthimiou suggests that singing is very personal, an expression of sound coming from within us, so we cannot help but take this criticism very personally and it sticks.

Yet, people who claim they cannot sing because they are tone deaf are more likely to be very unfamiliar with finding and using their singing voice.

Tone deafness is comparatively rare and means that you would be unable to recognise a song. If you can recognise a song you are not tone deaf, you are just unpractised. Sophia clarifies:

“When our voice makes the wrong note we can feel terrible as though it is a reflection of our self-worth.. But – if you can talk, you can sing.

Raise Your Voice

U.S. opera singer Katie Kat wishes to encourage all of us to sing far more often regardless of our perceived skill.

“Singing increases self-awareness, self-confidence and our ability to communicate with others. It decreases stress, comforts us and helps us to forge our identity and influence our world.

When you sing, musical vibration moves through you, altering your physical and emotional state. Singing is as old as the hills. It is innate, ancient and within all of us. It really is one of the most uplifting therapeutic things we can do. Katie continues:

“However, society has skewed views on the value of singing. Singing has become something reserved for elite talent or highly produced stars with producers, management, concert dates – leaving the rest of us with destructive criticism of our own voices.

She claims that singing is instinctual and necessary to our existence. You do not have to be an amazing singer to benefit from the basic biological benefits and with practice the benefits increase.

Singing Creates Connection

I have fond memories of hearing my grandmother singing throughout the day and of large group singing sessions with her friends.

One of my favourite memories of group singing is the old Scots tradition on New Year’s Eve of singing Auld Lang Syne. My grandmother and all her friends would stand in a big circle just before midnight.

Everyone would hold hands, and then at the beginning of the final verse we would cross our arms across our bodies so that our left hand was holding the hand of the person on our right, and the right hand holds that of the person on the left. When the song ended, everyone would rush to the middle, still holding hands. It was beautiful fun and as a young girl I felt so safe, included and loved within that singing circle.

The phrase “auld lang syne” roughly translates as “for old times’ sake”, and the song is all about preserving old friendships and looking back over the events of the year.

A tradition worth resurrecting, considering the benefits of singing in a group.


Related Topics:

Singing Your own Song – A Source of True Joy and Belonging*

She has the Ability to Manipulate Resonances*

Ancient Indigenous Memory Systems*

Like Bob Marley, We Must Create our Own New Songs of Freedom*

Black Music is Resistance on Brazil’s Black Consciousness Day*

Music Training Speeds Up Brain Development in Children*

Rockefeller Music Project in the War on Consciousness*

From Egypt to Rwanda Musical Traditions Mingle to Protect the Nile*

Reasons to Convert Your Music to 432hz*