The Time is Now

The Time is Now

It seems that a great shift of the ages is underway and I’m hoping that some of us who have been sensing this and working towards it in different ways can share our insights on both what is happening and what might be ahead.

Here are some of mine. They come from several sources such as my own inner knowing and meditative awareness, several teachings from higher sources through certain people who act as channels and which reach me on the Internet and extra-terrestrial sources passed on by centres of receptivity. So I make no claim that anyone of them are ‘the truth’ but as they all share many similar messages this resumé might assist your own insights.  We aren’t passive observers or recipients of what is underway but are conscious co-creators of a much needed transition to a new world.  Some of us follow one particular teaching or other and some of us are more eclectic and gather from different sources.  My own are underpinned by my Christian background  which, interpreted in a new way, could be perceiving this as the long awaited birth of ‘Christ Conscious’ within humanity. However there are several possible perceptions and interpretations.

There is an astrological perspective 

Astrologers tell us we are heading at speed towards the energy peak of the year. This is heralded by the total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on the 14th December that has incredibly intense energy of the old and the new.  Then on the Winter Solstice we have the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn (21st December), when a ‘magnificent celestial stargate will open in the heavens marking the dawning of the new Age of Aquarius’ and the 1st day of the Satya Yuga when, as humanity, we will experience a quantum leap in consciousness as we shift from a long period of cosmic darkness unto a golden new age.

This is an incredibly concentrated period of time, and we are told that not only is this the biggest opportunity of our lifetime but of many lifetimes to shift our consciousness. We need to maximise this window of opportunity to make a quantum leap.  Although all of us will be experiencing a major upgrade, many people may not notice this, and from that point on we are on a greater spread of individual timelines, as the gap between low-frequency 3D reality and the New Earth or 5D reality will be greater than we have ever known.

We are being helped by many things; the gamma high-frequency light pouring onto the Earth, the galactic pulse that is due to arrive on the Winter Solstice, benevolent galactic help, the Earth upgrading herself as her magnetic core shifts, and of course the astrology itself.  However as human beings we always have freewill about our thinking and our mindset.  We would be wise to do everything we can to raise our frequency as we head into this period, only a few weeks away now.

As we go into the Winter Solstice it seems that whatever frequency we are at (joy, love, gratitude, appreciation – or anger, hate, confusion) will become magnified at that time, signified by Jupiter in Aquarius.  So to make the most of this incredible opportunity we need to very conscious of our choices, such as where we are putting our attention and our energy, and the resultant frequency at which we are operating.  We can be out in nature loving the trees and the colours, or meditating, doing breath work and doing everything we can to be at the best place for what is to come.  We will not only be helping ourselves in this quantum leap to get on a higher timeline, but also helping others as our frequency always affects the whole.

Some people may not feel the energy on that day, for others it may happen gradually over the coming months, but that all of us will experience a DNA and consciousness upgrade then because of the surge of energy coming into the Earth.  This is a massive opportunity to evolve along with Gaia.  So we are advised to prepare for this transformational period, especially on the Winter Solstice, especially around 11.11 am UTC.  It also seems that the waves of energy have already started and will build towards this time so if we can be sensitive to these we will then be well prepared.

The perspective of a geological biologist 

Last evening a group of us spoke with Rory Duff who, for several decades, has been scientifically mapping earth energy lines and what has been emitted from the inner core which affects all life and the frequencies of energy within matter.  He says that a combination of earth electromagnetic core, solar energy from the sun and the active galactic nuclei work together through cosmic energy and bring world shifting changes every 12,000 years.  He is expecting us to be hit by both a plasmic wave and a galactic current sheet which will precipitate many changes and lead us towards the often predicted Golden age.  He says these energy waves will come in surges of increasing intensity culminating this December 2021 solstice and continuing into 2021.  He suggests we will need a flexible mind set to navigate this because it will require us to let go of much within ourselves as well as much of what we had previously thought was so. It seems that from December the 9th we are in a transition zone which will feel tumultuous as it is re organising our DNA and much that needs clearing within us in emotional or other ways will surface for us to recognise and clear.  There is a possibility of solar flares which could put out electricity and internet connections in some or all areas.  However we are being supported from multidimensional levels, including possibly extra-terrestrials, because these changes are affecting our whole solar system and therefore ripple out.

So what might we expect? 

The astrology of this period indicates an acceleration of the collapse of the old order, systems and structures that will cause more people to wake up to the battle between the individual and the state and begin to diminish the abuse of power where corruption or lack of integrity is found.  It seems that there will be a growing world view of interconnectedness which will shift everything – social and political structures, the economy, values and culture.  The mode will be rather more ‘how can I help others?’ than ‘how can I make a profit from this?’

It seems from many sources that our very DNA will be changing or upgrading.  It also seems that the veils are thinning between different levels of frequency.  Maybe it will be easier to communicate with our ancestors, with beings in nature and with our own higher soul selves.  As we fully enter the long heralded age of Aquarius there will be less emphasis on our individual consciousness and more on a growing group consciousness. So the advice is to connect with groups and networks that support us, both at a distance and in our local communities where cooperation over practical needs can best be arranged.

These energies will also be highlighting tendencies within ourselves which need to be released and transformed so it may well feel a somewhat turbulent time. The advice from all quarters is to release any sense of anxiety or fear within us, embrace the idea that this is a time for harnessing a consistent heart coherence with our souls and seek a place of transcendence within.  Maybe if we can observe and love ourselves and each other this transition will feel easier.

It is a good idea not to watch any TV as many people realise that this lowers our frequencies and instead read something inspiring or speak to friends who seem to be on the same page as ourselves. None of us feels fully prepared but if we can stay in our hearts and assist others who may also be floundering then we will be more available to the’ new’ that is coming in.

My own experience 

I realise that each of us is on a different journey and that if we follow our inner sense then we can remember that each thought, each act of kindness or endeavour contributes to the whole.  We cannot know which of us will be the 100th monkey! Maybe we will begin to live from the ‘inside out’ rather than ‘the outside in’.

My own sense is a need to be as uninvolved as possible in normal discussion and planning.  I feel the need for much more inner silence, meditation and aligning to the flow as is possible and am postponing even scheduled meetings until mid-January when life may seem very different.  We are told that this is a once in many lifetimes opportunity so we need to be as fully present as we can from now until maybe after the first week or so of January.

Each of us may well have been already experiencing these changes in different ways.  During November I have increasingly been feeling the need to spend more time in interiority, more frequent meditative moments or sessions and much less mental or outer activity.  I have been postponing as many tasks with the various projects I’m engaged in until mid to late January by when we may feel we’re in a very new space. I was hesitant to postpone one planned meeting which involved introducing someone to the work of the Unity Community but messaged a colleague who was sharing this task with me to say it did not feel the right time as my energies were not with this.  His response was ‘I agree’.  There is an influx of a whole new dispensation of cosmic energies on earth, so holding a stable and receptive group field is essential.  This was most affirming and we will need these affirmations if the changes are as tumultuous as some predict or else it may prompt us to think that a few of our ‘marbles’ are dropping away!

We are also advised to pay more attention to our dreams. I am not a regular dreamer but the last couple of nights I have had dreams in different settings in which everyone is happy, cooperating and enjoying life.  One friend who is wiser than I was handing me all her contacts in a ‘have these, they may help you’ kind of way.  This might be indicating that my role is to hold a clear vision of the sort of world we would like to live into.  On the other hand another friend has just told me of her recent significant dream.  She was walking along a path lined by people in a row all wearing white robes and hoods. Then she found herself facing a figure in black robes, and a black hood but with no face inside who was somewhat menacingly confronting her.  In the dream she knew it was her job to send a powerful light so, with all her inner might she summoned light from deep within herself and directed it towards this figure in a very strong intentioned way.  It was then that the black hood started to show little pinpricks of light until suddenly all the black dissolved.  This seemed to her to be carrying an important message that there is a dark agenda and abuse of power across the planet that keeps the inhabitants of planet earth from awakening to our divinity.  Not many people have awakened to this as yet but those of us who have realised need to face the abuse of power over us all under the guise of assisting and hold a strong enough light to help us all with what the Bible calls ‘the last battle’.  These times can be a turning point in protecting humanity as a free species of sovereign beings.  Apologies if this sounds serious for this time of year but it is a step on the path that we need to face and resolve.  Some liken this to the birth of a new epoch for humanity and say that we are currently in the birth canal and that because of the cosmology and the physics this is unstoppable.

Hopefully you too will have your own awareness of what is underway and if so I’ll be very pleased to learn from you because we can each contribute to the whole.  Even in my Open University days we spoke and wrote about learning communities.  So maybe sharing with each other and assisting those who are understandably confused is a good way ahead…

Loving blessings for our journeys through this next period.

Janice Dolley

P.S. On the 21st of December 2020 at 9:00 PM GMT there will be a global minute of silence to celebrate humanity’s widespread engagement with the power of silence and to bring about global cooperation, peace and freedom.  Occurring at the same time as a Chalice of Silence (an extended 30 minutes of silence from 8:45 PM to 9:15 PM GMT) which will be broadcast on Facebook and on the global silent minute website.

Evolving Consciousness

Reflections from the Evolving Consciousness conference
Saturday 30th November, 2019 at Colet House, London

“What is now proved was once only imagined,” wrote William Blake. London’s greatest modern mystic lent his inspiration to our gathering as around 150 people met in Colet House, London. Organised by the Scientific and Medical Network, generously supported by the Fetzer Institute, and originally conceived by Mark Vernon, we were there to ask how consciousness evolves. We focused, in particular, on the part played by the human imagination.

It was a day of heartfelt discussions and, after a shared lunch, joyful improvisation led by Pippa Evans. Our guide throughout was Owen Barfield, the so-called “last Inkling” and friend of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. They both confessed that Barfield had the best ideas.

We were reminded too of the role that the writings of Rudolf Steiner played in Barfield’s life by one of the day’s speakers, Gary Lachman. Gary conducted what turned out to be Barfield’s last interview. He reminded us that Steiner had seen that the world we live in today was imagined yesterday, and the world of tomorrow is being imagined today.

In short, imagination matters. It matters very much indeed. As Malcolm Guite, another contributor, explained: it is a truth-bearing faculty. Just why was understood by Barfield through his appreciation of the poet and philosopher, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Coleridge had realised that the imagination is the “prime agent of all human perception”. It forms what we see. It can make mistakes, which Coleridge called fancies. But it can also facilitate nothing less than a sharing in divine sight and so reveal the world as bathed in spiritual light.

It happens when our individual capacities align themselves in the service of the whole. This pattern can be perceived in nature herself, argued Marilyn Monk, another discussant. Every element, from subatomic particles upwards, understands itself by the part it plays in the dance of the totality it shares.

Part of our service, suggested Simon Conway Morris, is to become conscious of the meaning of life. This is our joy and struggle, manifest no more clearly than in the extraordinary abilities provided by our use of language. As Barfield realised, if we seriously reflect on the way words work we can come to see that they are given to us by nature. Further, when we breath them out, charged by our imagination, we are sharing in nothing less than the creative activity of the Spirit. To know this is to embody a shift of consciousness that is the urgent task of our day.

We have become too good at manipulating the world, Barfield observed, without understanding its meaning. The scientific age is inclined to gauge everything via outer quantities and engage in what EF Schumacher called a “science for manipulation”. We must recover knowing everything via their inner qualities and so regain Schumacher’s “science for understanding”.

And yet, this disenchantment and alienation is part of our evolution. The struggle to regain sight of the living processes and spiritual beings appreciated by our ancestors is also the way to a new kind of freedom. As Jessica Kingsley suggested, when she reflected on the effects of spiritual practices: this freedom comes with experiencing our awareness reaching beyond what we thought were its limits, much as words liberate our minds when they point beyond themselves.

The truth is that our reason and imagination are enfolded in one another, explained Malcolm Guite. When they work together, they release the intuition that can grasp the whole. This is the level of participation with life that we are invited to share, added David Lorimer. It’s to realise that the centre in me that says, “I am”, is the centre in another who says, “I am”, which is also the centre of the divine I AM.

David cited Thomas Troward who amplified the dynamic: “The divine operation is always for expansion and fuller expression,” and this operates “in the same manner in me.” Or, as Coleridge put it: “The primary imagination I hold to be… a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM.”

In the afternoon, we divided into smaller discussion groups pursuing one of four themes: personal formation, religious and spiritual traditions, science and modernity, and mysticism and gnosis. The room came alive with thoughts as people pursued questions such as what individual transformation involves and how religious traditions can be freed to communicate their life once more. Others contemplated how science and spirituality are akin because they both seek to test intuitions. There was also much discussion of the nature of gnosis and how to communicate powerfully felt mystical vision.

Such vision is not to obscure that we live in dire times, continued Richard Tarnas as the bright sunshine of the day yielded to winter’s early night. Indeed, this vision entirely understands the desperate state of things because it also appreciates that any true transformation of vision, as opposed to an extension of what’s already known, is gained only after a phase transition. There’s a death that leads to a rebirth; an initiation. It is to reconnect with our true selves, added Mark Vernon, which is not an isolated essence within us but nothing less than the wellspring of the fullness of life.

It seems that today the western world is undergoing a cultural dark night of the soul and it will produce real tragedy. But there is also a telos to this descent, an end to the spiritual emergency, which is a return and unfolding. It can be known as such, offering a way fully to embrace what’s going on. The imagination is crucial here as well because it can inspire the moral courage to speak about these things; the trust to undergo the near death experience.

It sounds extraordinary to say so, but we are asked to become co-workers and co-creators with the soul of the world. This is the meaning of the evolution of consciousness. It’s why our gathering ended with hope. We are invited to offer all we have in this service and will find that we are assisted.

We had assembled to consider what spiritual experience might mean in a secular age when understood as an evolution of consciousness. We left with a sense that it can mean everything.

Mark Vernon

Recordings of much of the day will be available online later this month.

A cosmic dance of human qualities

A meeting of planets in the morning and evening skies

The morning and evening skies of late November present a wonderful dance of the planets. A dance of polarities that at the same time relates to us.

In the morning sky, from about the 20th November onward, we see Mercury rising up to visibility out of its proximity to the sun, now in advance of the sun – befitting its role as messenger of the Gods! Mercury, as an image of flexibility and the ability to change, approaches another cosmic member – Mars, which is passing above (see the diagram to the right, with the dates noted). Mars brings with it a very different quality: of strength and endurance. On the 25th November, the moon joins the two in a row together, in its last sliver of waning before ‘joining’ the sun the next day as New Moon.

The evening sky presents another impressive dance. Here we have the meeting of knowledge and love, head and heart, in the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus on 24th November. And the moon becomes the messenger tying the morning sky to the evening, joining the two on 28th November, perhaps we could say bringing the qualities of flexibility and steadfastness or courage to the constellation of head and heart. Saturn, in its quality of cosmic memory, looks on from its position nearby…

Hopefully the skies may show some clearness to enable viewing these events, but in whatever case may the dance of the planets shine its clarity and warmth into our human heads and hearts!

The autumn equinox and Michaelmas

Michael and the Dragon
Michael and the Dragon

Writing this on a Michaelmas day, in 2019, I reflected at the time on a visit the previous day to Wells in Somerset and the wonderful St. Andrews Cathedral, taking a tour of the cathedral and attending the evensong service. The tour guide spoke of how the church is on the site of two previous churches, dating back to the 8th century, and all were located on the site of a previous pagan holy site. The simple explanation was given that churches were often built on pagan sites so that the pagan people would more naturally turn to the church and the new religion, which in its carvings, for the same reason, even included many depictions of natural or fantastical elemental beings and also Green Man.

That is the simple material explanation. But it is only the later church which recognised little or no truths in the earlier pagan ‘beliefs’. Early Christian leaders, up through the times of building the Saxon, Romanesque and Gothic churches and cathedrals, also saw that there were special locations in landscapes that carried special spiritual energies, often at converging ley lines. Building on top of pagan sites was an implicit recognition of this, and people sensitive to these elements relate how energies flow upwards and downwards at these places, often through or near the crossing of the transepts with the nave or at the altar point.

Michaelmas follows on the autumn equinox. From a purely material point of view, the equinox is explainable and understandable even to the ‘everyday person’: day and night reach equilibrium in length. After that, day becomes shorter and night longer, or vice versa if you live in the southern hemisphere. Simple! Naturally one can go into more astronomical details, but the general picture is easily grasped. Or so it can be at first glance.

Early cultures ascribed much greater significance to these times in earthly and cosmic cycles. What happens at the time of the autumn equinox in our inner soul life? In the northern hemisphere, the darkening days bring an inward turning side, which on the one hand can be an invigorating time for thought life, for studies and the like, the heat of summer passing. On the other hand this turning inward can be a hard time, the inner world perhaps bringing up difficult emotions and turmoil,  replacing the outer distracting joys of warm summer growth and activities. The realities of outer darkness taking hold are strengthened the more one moves towards winter. The equinox was thus a time of seeing outer darkness taking hold, which if not balanced by inner work could become overwhelming. The inner soul life held its breath, as it were, until the winter solstice.

The Christian festival of Michaelmas builds on this, just as the churches built on the pagan sites. But it is not as easily grasped as the explanation of the equinox and even of the potential inner experiences as we move into the darkness. It takes more inner work. Michaelmas presents a challenge and a light filled inner potential: to enliven the inner flame and the inner individual spiritual self, to carry this inner will force into and through the darkening times. If grasped in this way, the darkening times can be a time of intense spiritual work and enlightenment. The image often portrayed is of the Archangel Michael conquering the dragon, a living image of the conquering of the forces of darkness.

The ‘pagan’ spiritual festivals were often at sites open to the elements, the soul relating and identifying with the spirit weaving and working in the world around. The churches built an inner space, one where one would turn inward and find the inner spiritual self.

We need both: the relation to the spirit of the world and cosmos around, and the relation to the spiritual self in each of us. The past several centuries in particular have brought a darkening of the spirit revelations for human beings in both these directions, and it belongs to the urgent need of our times to, now out of inner free initiative and will, find the spark and courage to carry us through darkening times. Michaelmas is there to give us that inner strength to carry the spark through the inner corridors of self to the time of spiritual rebirth at the winter solstice and Christmas.

The soul calendar verses by Rudolf Steiner for the equinox and for Michaelmas depict this in inner poetic images.

Week 25 (fourth week of September, following the equinox)
Now I may belong to myself
And luminous, spread inner light
Into the darkness of time and space.
All Nature-being tends towards sleep;
The depths of soul shall now awake
And waking bear the warm sun-glowing
To freezing winter-flowing.

Week 26 (Michaelmas and 1st week October)
Nature, your essence motherly,
I bear within the being of my will;
And my will’s fire-force,
It steels impulses of the spirit,
So they may bear a sense of self
To bear myself in me.

A short essay contributed by Richard Brinton
Michaelmas 2019

A Michaelmas Verse

(for 29th September and the weeks following)

Springing from Powers of the Sun
Radiant Spirit-powers, blessing all Worlds,
For Michael’s garment of rays
Ye are predestined by Thought Divine.

He, the Christ Messenger, revealeth in you –
Bearing humankind aloft – the sacred Will of Worlds.
Ye, the radiant Beings of Aether-Worlds,
Bear the Christ-Word to Man.

Thus shall the Herald of Christ appear
To the thirstily waiting souls,
To whom your Word of Light shines forth
In cosmic age of Spirit-Man.

Ye, the disciples of Spirit- Knowledge, 
Take Michael’s Wisdom beckoning,
Take the Word of Love of the Will of Worlds
Into your souls’ aspirations, actively!

(verse by Rudolf Steiner)

Reflections on Whitsun ~ a festival for our time?

On Whitsun day and Whitmonday and in Whitsuntide, we can ponder on what it means. That the Holy Spirit descended on humankind as a gift from God have become phrases in the church that few have an inkling what is being talked about. Perhaps in our material time we simply cannot comprehend spirit initiated changes in the course of human evolution which have fundamentally changed the course and character of history. We are reminded of the words: ‘And the light shineth into the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.’ (John 1) We are at a critical point, where we have to help the material world comprehend the light again, now as free thinking individuals. The individual tongues of spirit.

Below is an inspiring excerpt on Whitsun from ‘Festivals of the Year‘, by Roger Druitt (Sophia Books), a Christian Community Priest.

“…Whitsun is not the festival of, say, a philosopher or inventor pondering until enlightened, but the enlightenment and enthusiasm that comes when members of a community (at least ‘two or three’, Matt. 18:20) struggle to work together for a common aim – one that goes beyond personal or national interests to the level of humanity as such. This is the festival in which that power can be released that can heal international strife, not by means of outer force but through the union of different peoples by a vision great than all, giving them mutual understanding, cooperative toleration and a common goal for which to strive together.

“The spirit of Whitsun bestows understanding, warmth of will an an eye for opportunity. It is the festival of a freedom in which these things carry the stamp of personality. In earlier times the right outer form sufficed for inspiration and success, for example a tribal council of elders, a ritual, a festival of peace, war, fertility or hunting. It could work like magic. This is now not adequate. The right forms are now those which mediate between individual responsibilities and free initiatives so these may be shared and responded to by everyone in the group, perhaps involving the sacrifice of one’s own aims through insight into those of others and offering assistance to help others to contribute to the whole. In this way the members of the group gradually find their own places and roles for the whole. The new forms arise now through the interaction of personalities with each other and with the common goal. They promote greater freedom and greater character building and responsibility than in former times…

“The disciples found the Spirit as a new ground on which to stand. Where the Spirit works today, the new forms mentioned above also provide a ground for support and orientation… The school, farm, team, research project, whatever it is, will be threatened with disintegration, but the Whitsun qualities within it will see it through death into resurrection…”

From this, it seems that Whitsun is more than ever a festival of our time!

Mercury Rising – A Planet of Relationships

At the end of February and beginning of March this year, the position of sun and earth was favourable to view a rare guest in the evening sky, one who most of the time wanders invisibly in the vicinity of the sun: Mercury. Its reached its highest point in the arch at the turning point of the two months (see diagram).

Mercury stands as a counterpoint to the quiet of the other heavenly bodies: the calm procession of the stars, the long graceful interweaving of the other planets through night skies, taking their course through the constellations in seeming independence of the sun’s movements. Mercury, in contrast, is only to be seen in the skies of dawn or dusk when no other stars are yet visible, when day and night come together, in the meeting space of landscape and the heavens. It is a planet of relationships.

This quality of mercury can be seen in other physical phenomena. For instance, if we calculate how much larger the diameter of the earth’s 12,742 km is to the diameter of mercury’s 4,879 km, it is exactly to two decimal places the relationship of the Golden Ratio, or 1.61. This approximate relationship of 5:8 we find everywhere in nature as a universal ratio for growth, from twig segments to buds to pine cones…

There’s another interesting number relationship unique to mercury not only in space but in time: Mercury rotates on its axis every 58 days, and needs 88 days to circle the sun. This time it’s not in the proportion of the golden ratio but of 2:3, which in music is the relationship the 5th interval. Armin Husemann notes in his book The Harmony of the Human Body: Musical Principles in Human Physiology that this relationship weaves into the structure of the lungs: on the right side there are three, on the left two lobes; the branching of the whole bronchial system is built up on the principle of 2:3. The interval of the fifth is one of harmony and balance, standing half way between the unison and the octave. Breathing is a harmonising and balancing process. Perhaps it’s not surprising that in antiquity the planet mercury stood in relationship to the lungs…

While on the topic of breathing, another amazing number relationship: we breathe on average 18 times per minute, with heart beat on average 72 per minute, or four times the rate. If we calculate how many times we breathe within a day’s period, we arrive at 25,920… which is the number for the Great Year or Platonic Year – the period in which all the planets and fixed stars complete a cycle and return to a configuration they have occupied before.

There are many, many such wonders in the relationships of the circling heavenly bodies to the structures and processes in nature and the human being. Truly we are all part of one great harmonious picture, with rhythms and relationships mirrored and connected throughout!

(adapted from an article by Wolfgang Held in ‘A tempo’, Feb 2019, freely translated from the German)

“Is there a place for spirit in science and medicine?”

A Medical and Science Seminar with Peter Heusser and others, 8th-9th June 2018, University of Westminster.

Review by Simon Charter M Ed, joint co-ordinator of the Natural Science Section of the  UK Anthroposophical Society

 This event was a triumph of straight forward logical thinking  and common sense in the face of a issue which can so easily fall into a discussion around beliefs and the sharing of opaque thinking relating to experiences which not everyone can participate in. It was also delivered in a wonderfully unpresumptuous and accessible way.

A scientific basis for spiritual research

Peter started with a brief look at the way we gain knowledge, ie the epistemology used in science. Most of us accept  that knowledge involves the relating of our ideas (concepts) to the experienced world (percepts). Kant established this and Rudolf Steiner strove for greater clarity around this in his early written works. How does our activity of thinking meet our activity of observing? Steiner however did not limit himself to the outer world but extended observation to our inner life as well. For many modern philosophers though, this is a problem: percepts become subjective as sense impressions are conditioned by our sense organs and concepts become subjective as they are thought to be products of our brain activity.

We cannot argue against this theoretically but empirically we can experience the objectivity, or universality of both percept and concept. We did this together by observing a picture of the centre of a sunflower: we could all see the pattern, its lawfulness in the percept. We also followed the creation of the Fibonacci progression of numbers, which was done on the board without us knowing what was being done, sooner or later we could all see lawfulness and could continue it independently if we wanted to. Peter showed us how this was inherent in the spirals of the sunflower.

“…is not all science working with the spirit even if it is not named as such? If the laws, the principles are there in our world, might these as thoughts be the spiritual agents active in the world?”

Peter asked the following question:  is not all science working with the spirit even if it is not named as such? If the laws, the principles are there in our world, might these as thoughts be the spiritual agents active in the world. The laws are seen as properties rather than agents though and in modern science we often seek in vain to find the causes of these things in the material parts in some way.

Honest observation and consideration shows that nowhere are the properties of a higher level of creation found in a lower level: The properties of sodium and chlorine do not predict the properties of common salt, the properties of hydrogen and oxygen do not predict those of water. Moreover, the chemicals of life do not predict the way cells are formed.  Likewise, at higher levels of organisation: from cells to tissues, tissues to organs, organs to organism, single organism to flocks and herds or species, and species to ecologies.

“…organisation can be found from above down but never from below up. The parts do not dictate all the properties of the whole… Reductionism is seen more and more as a false doctrine.”

The properties at any given level have to be found at that level, and organisation can be found from above down but never from below up. The parts do not dictate all the properties of the whole. But this is the thinking that is strongly embedded in the medical science of today and propagated in the medical thinking. Physics has gone beyond these ideas and “emergence” is now gaining ground as a term used to describe properties arising at higher levels. Reductionism is seen more and more as a false doctrine. Quantum mechanics negates atomism, but physical chemistry and biology has not fully grasped this.

Our challenge in science is to find and grasp the active principles at work in our area of study. The numerical principles (mathematics) are easier to see, but as Goethe showed there are also qualitative principles which can be seen – in physics, chemistry and especially in the realms of life.

One could say that it is not just the material matter that matters.

Genetics

In his second presentation Peter explained the functioning of the information transfer in genetics. What is clear at every stage in the development of an organism is that there are several possible processes that may occur – for instance in the splicing of RNA, in protein activity, in bonding patterns of tertiary structures. How is the choice made? It seems clear that this must be the result of an ordering principle not contained in the parts. If we consider all the options in the bonding process creating a tertiary molecular structure, it is estimated  that it  would take 1050 years for the organism to find the right one by a random process. So it does appear that we need active structural laws working in the organism.

“If we consider all the options in the bonding process creating a tertiary molecular structure, it is estimated that it  would take 1050 years for the organism to find the right one by a random process. So it does appear that we need active structural laws working in the organism.”

 We looked at the commonly studied model organism, the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster  and saw how the larval development requires so many factors to be orchestrated such as varying concentrations of RNA, translation into proteins, reabsorption and degradation. So, what binds the orchestration together and how is it conducted?

Here we discussed the idea of morphogenetic fields which is gaining ground. To my thinking we need a complex of such fields and these must have relationships which have an ordering pattern in time as well. This could then be what Rudolf Steiner calls the etheric body, or body of formative forces.

 Overview of relevant medical research

Professor David Martin gave a lively run through much of the research in the realms of integrative medicine which is going on in the continent. This field is much stronger than in the UK and is growing rapidly. Anthroposophical medicine tries to be as inclusive as possible. The testing of many complimentary medical measures needs to include internal and external evidence. There is some interesting work being developed in the assessment and evaluation of single case studies as an alternative to cohort and randomised trials, showing how, given the right circumstances, one can see the individual case can reveal the general benefit of a measure.

David showed, using several published examples, how natural scientific research and spiritual scientific research end up arriving at the same place. A bit like the Gotthard tunnel excavation, which started on opposite sides of the mountain, but met precisely in the middle.

It was also interesting to see how the influence of potentised remedies seems to be stronger at higher organisational levels, i.e. little in cancer cells in vitro, more in animals and yet more in humans. Another significant finding was the value of a good consultation and the first consultation with student doctors with their fresh interest being favoured in 97% of cases.

Brain and consciousness

“There is actually no evidence that the activity of the brain causes consciousness.”

In Peter Heusser’s final contribution he explored the relationship between mental phenomena and brain activity,  between psychological events and physiological / neurological activity. He said that in all the research that has been done there is still an explanatory gap. There is actually no evidence that the activity of the brain causes consciousness. There are connections between them,  just as one may find connections between the functioning of traffic lights and the flow of traffic but one could not say the activity of the traffic lights causes the traffic flow.

Referring back to our common experience of seeing the principle of the Fibonacci number series and using it mentally. Peter suggested that if the mental activity was the result of our individual physiological make up we would not be able to have the same thoughts and follow the same process as we did. He suggested we had all been able to participate in a universal thinking, and that if this was the case then it can give hope that we can all access universal thoughts, for instance those which can generate world peace.

There is much evidence of thinking activity having a catabolic influence on the brain (breaking down cell structure). Also there is neuroplasticity, i.e. our brains change according to the activity they are used for. London taxi drivers have been seen to develop a different brain physiology to the rest of us. It seems that the neurological activity is the consequence of the thinking rather than the other way round. We can prepare the brain for our conscious activity as one might polish a mirror in order to see better reflections.  Meditative activity which increases normal mental work is still destructive but if it gains access to living spirit it does not degrade the brain. It can involve feeling and willing and can non-destructively enhance thinking activity. The denial of spirit will therefore have consequences for people.

Group work

One aspect of the whole event which I felt to be very helpful was to split into small groups to digest the content of the presentations. This involved distilling the significant points, sharing our inner responses and gathering questions raised.

Questions arising in our group; what organises mutation? How do we learn to grasp and trust qualitative lawfulness to the same extent as mathematical lawfulness? What correlation is there between a patient’s consciousness, the idea of a remedy and the doctor’s consciousness?

I found this conference a thoroughly worthwhile event. I felt it showed that there is a straightforward approach to the spiritual entities at work in the world and in us through contemplation of ideas and using our own reflective thinking capacity.

References

Steiner, R. (2011) The Philosophy of Freedom,  Rudolf Steiner Press ( first published 1894).
Steiner , R. (1981 ) Truth and Knowledge, Steinerbooks ( first published 1892).
Heusser, Peter (2016)  Anthroposophy and Science: An Introduction, Peter Lang AG.

Mystics and scientists emerging to the reality of the One Life within all

by Janice Dolley

The Original Christmas message was one of ‘good news’ and this year, springing forth from beneath the plethora of negative ‘stuff’, is the good news that western civilisation is starting to emerge from the underpinning falsehood of materialism to discover, or is it rediscover, the reality of the One Life within all that is and hence our deep interconnectedness within a vast web of diverse life forms. The Tao flows through all. This is the Life that reconnects and revives with the love that that ‘makes all things new’.

November started with Cana (www.cana.org.uk)  hosting a day event in London on the theme “We are All One”. The participative programme demonstrated how what the mystics of all faiths throughout the ages have testified is now being evidenced both by science and also through the well-researched spiritual experience of 78% of people across the world willing to speak about it, now that there is less chance of being scorned. What is emerging is that Oneness is a living reality and that ‘consciousness is not something that we have; it is what we and the whole world are.’

“What is emerging is that Oneness is a living reality and that consciousness is not something that we have; it is what we and the whole world are.”

There are DVDs available of the presentations and a smaller group will be meeting in London on May 11th  to design a follow-up programme that will be available, with a couple of facilitators, for people to host a programme in their own churches and communities across the UK.

This wave of awareness was then magnified later in the month when a group of 200 ‘people of influence ’were invited guests at the first Unity Conference that was held on the Hoare memorial Hall, where Churchill called leaders together at the end of WW2 to seed the United Nations, in The House of Lords and in Westminster Abbey. An interesting mix of leaders of different faith groups, CEOs of companies and change agents of many kinds shared an understanding of how the present convergence of science and spirituality is a game changer in shifting us from a potential breakdown of life as we know it – based on competition, conflict and consumerism – to one based on co-operation, sincere collaboration and connectedness of humanity not only with each other but also with the whole web of life at the deepest level.

“…the present convergence of science and spirituality is a game changer in shifting us from a potential breakdown of life as we know it – based on competition, conflict and consumerism – to one based on co-operation, sincere collaboration and connectedness…”

As well as a report on this event there is currently a drafting of foundational principles for living in the awareness of the unity of all life to be explored in the House of Lords at the first of several follow up meetings in the New Year and another meeting of the growing Whole World View community in London on March 21st (www.wholeworld-view.org ) An integral part of awakening from the illusion that materialism has conveyed is that an increasing number of us are receiving a deeper knowing of our own soul calling at this time and that every act of loving kindness, needing to extend far beyond mere giving of presents at Christmas, is building a morphic field that will embrace us all.

We are also realising that our own spiritual or religious grouping is only one path up the same mountain of illumination and that the nearer the top we reach the stronger the impulse to embrace unity awareness in every moment of our lives and abide by ‘The Golden Rule’ of “Do unto others as you would have then do unto you”.

So this Christmas, along with the angel’s message of peace, joy and goodwill to all, we can add that this All is the One Life expressed in a rich diversity of forms. We are currently awakening to the ‘quantum revelation’ that we are living in a world of infinite possibilities, and that it is up to us to bring one or more of these into daily reality , now.

janice.dolley@btinterent.com