Spirituality

 

CREATIVITY AND THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
By David S. Devor,        
Exec. Director
Project Mind Foundation

SCIENCE CAN BECOME HOLISTIC,  A Possible Utopia 
By David S. Devor
Exec. Director
Project Mind Foundation

 

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CREATIVITY AND THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD

By David S. Devor,        
Exec. Director
Project Mind Foundation
54 HaNeviim Street
Jerusalem 95141, Israel
devor@projectmind.org
http://www.projectmind.org

This paper was presented at the
HTA Concepts of Creativity Conference

University of Virginia, Charlottesville Virginia
Sept 19-21, 2001

 


Introduction

 

It is seldom realized that the "scientific method" is as rigid an orthodoxy as ever existed. Unlike any other ideology, it cuts across all religious and geographical lines. Chinese or French, theist or atheist, the scientific method is the same and the striking successes of science, understandably, tend to lend credence to it. Nevertheless, I believe that something is seriously lacking in the scientific method as currently understood and applied. So what is wrong with science?

Generally speaking, we think of the scientific method as being a method for verifying our creative insights, but not for arriving at them. But does this make sense? Creativity is the heart and soul of science - its engine. How can we separate the scientific method from the process that generates the very insights that it is meant to verify? After all, is the scientific method not how we "do" science and, without detracting from the need to empirically objectify our findings, isn't the contemplation that leads to new insights the very essence of this "doing"?

This paper will show that the role and place of creativity in the scientific process must be reconsidered. A shift in emphasis towards the creative generation of ideas will call for a complete revamping of the creative motor of science. We must set the stage so that the Eureka sparks of creativity - the short bursts of inspiration that have driven science until now - will be replaced by more enduring states of creative consciousness of which we are, in principle, capable.

But instead of attempting to stimulate the creativity of scientists who as a rule have difficulty generating intensity, we need to empower scientists, already electrified by some new possibility, to single-mindedly pursue their vision. They will require an environment favoring their existing intensity and the states of creativity to which intensity can lead provided there are suitable safeguards. These will include psychological and spiritual cushioning techniques designed to protect these creatively inspired scientists from various forms of burnout.

It is clear that creativity is the heart and soul of science and that, without Eureka sparks of creative vision, there would be no truly original ideas to verify in the laboratory. The root of the problem is that these visions come, almost always, as sparks - short bursts of inspiration - rather than as extended, higher states of creative consciousness encompassing the whole body. Imagine trying to run your electronic appliances on sparks of static electricity generated from rubbing the carpet. Absurd as this might seem, I claim that this is a faithful analogy for the current inefficiency of research in science! For example, think of the countless billions of dollars that have disappeared down the black hole of cancer research. I am proposing a "Mind Tank"[1] that could establish a new standard of creativity in science swiftly producing the breakthroughs that we so urgently need.

 

Effort

My purpose here isn't to belittle the efforts of scientists but to remind ourselves that the effort we put out is always a function of what we believe possible - faith. Until Roger Bannister ran the four-minute mile in 1954, it was widely considered impossible. Soon after, it became commonplace. We are able to go to extraordinary lengths once we know something we want is possible to us. The pioneer, in the absence of such certainty, is acting to a great extent on faith which is why we attribute such virtue to important pioneering efforts.

All effort boils down to the intentional movement of energy within us - the energy of attention. Anyone who has studied the dynamics of attention (and few pursuits are more elusive) has come to realize that our awareness consists of micro-connections between ourselves and the objects of our attention - connections that endure for the tiniest fraction of a second. The illusion of continuous attention is analogous to that of steady illumination in light bulbs that flicker at 60 cycles per second and the continuity of action in moving pictures that flash on the cinema screen at 16 frames per second.

The act of meditation, in its many forms, is basically an effort to stabilize attention so as to allow consciousness to form, circulating in more orderly manner in conformity with the human form. It is a struggle with which humans have been engaged from the dawn of time, an attempt to bring more and better quality energy (e.g., intellectual, emotional, motor, sexual) to the point of observation in order to prolong our participation in the "eternal present" and allowing us to experience more of reality. The duration and quality of attention necessary to actually perceive the enormous number of subtle attributes inherent in any substance or phenomenon and integrate that data in our mind in order to extrapolate beyond direct perception requires a sustained level of effort quite impossible to imagine.

Is it any wonder that meditators of all ages have preferred to turn their inner gaze "upward," towards formlessness and away from the hard world of manifestation? They prefer to seek the embrace of a transcendent ocean of fine energy rather than turn "downward" and engage the world of physical matter that is coarser and immeasurably more resistant to relationship. Matter, of course, is the domain of science. One might say that, from the point of the spiritualist, "Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread" could very well describe the efforts of scientists to confront, penetrate and illuminate the obscurity of matter. It is a spiritual truism that the highest lights are revealed from the lowest place. By this definition, science is a spiritual pursuit of the highest order. But, for the most part, scientists have not yet grasped that they are involved in the highest of spiritual pursuits.

 

Mind, Vision & Knowledge

The function of mind is to integrate outer and inner -- what we perceive in the phenomenal world and what we are in our being. This resulting state is called "knowledge," in the biblical sense, as in "And Adam knew his wife Eve" (Gen. 4:1). The obstacle to learning more than is already known about any given phenomenon boils down to natural limits imposed upon our efforts of observation, limits that present us from mobilizing. The fuel that drives observation is desire - desire that is strong enough to create a privileged and enduring link of attention - a mind link - between ourselves and the phenomenon studied. The quality of that link depends on the force of our attention and is derived from the strength of the intention and faith that sustains it. Thus it is force of our "desire" or its more encompassing form, "will," that determines how deeply we are able to penetrate the obscurity that hides the secrets of matter from us and hence the infinite blessings stored up for us within this obscure world of matter.

The body, in its entirety, was meant to become a coherent instrument of vision, an integrated, higher-order mind. Some call it a "bodymind" or "mindbody" - integrating inner and outer, higher and lower. Our bodies are not opaque slabs of meat even if we sometimes do feel that way. When we turn our gaze inward, as in most brands of meditation, and deploy and modulate our energy appropriately, we are able to observe that the space we normally associate with our body is alive with feelings, sensations and thoughts. We have all had moments of elation and inspiration in which we felt we could almost fly, where our bodies felt lighter than a feather, even transparent.

This inner space also lends itself to vision including structured vision corresponding to real, world phenomena. But for creative vision of some material reality to manifest within us, our inner "cyberspace" or "mind-space" has to vibrate with and become patterned and programmed with the intricacies of the phenomenon being contemplated, mimicking it in all its characteristics and properties. In a virtual sense, through its projection of the observed phenomenon within ourselves, we must "become" the phenomenon if we are to reveal the inner secrets of its makeup and be able to use it optimally for the benefit of man. This is knowledge in the fullest sense. Again, "Adam knew Eve".

 

Extrapolation

The power of this higher form of mind to make use of visions representing natural phenomena is found, most particularly, in its capacity to extrapolate and correlate. If the mind grasps, in sufficient detail and with sufficient accuracy, the revealed aspects of a phenomenon, it can, in principle, hypothesize and project estimations concerning aspects that are hidden by virtue of being beyond the range of normal human perception. Some qualities of a phenomenon will suggest possibilities and constraints in one direction while others will suggest possibilities and constraints in others. Numerous features are normally accessible to perception and each such feature, in combination with others, points to the possibility of still more features. In fact, so many hypothetical possibilities exist, that ordinary mind boggles at all the imaginable combinations and permutations. It would take endless lifetimes to mechanically program a computer with all of them in order to perform the factor analysis needed to collate all this data and zero in on the one constellation of qualities that existence allows for any given phenomenon.

So to discover, definitively, which combinations (and thus which features) are possible and how these possible ones combine to form the complete picture of a phenomenon, we ourselves have to become the computer. We must be able to see from above, as it were, the unique set of circumstances that constitute the being of the phenomenon under consideration and how it connects to other phenomena that are the adjacent components of the larger reality. The closest to this kind of seeing or "Accelerated Thought" is called, in the world of computers and, more recently in neurobiology, "massive parallel processing."

In the absence of this extraordinary effort of meditation/observation and the higher perspective it provides, we resemble rats in a maze, condemned to see tiny parts of the whole, painstakingly piecing together clues - the isolated parts of the "reality puzzle" that we stumble upon. To compensate for the poor quality of our attention, we develop extensions for our senses such as microscopes and telescopes, and for the poor quality of our thought, devices such as computers. These serve very much like crutches and, like any artificial support that helps us substitute for the effort of direct confrontation, they tend to divert us away from considering the kinds of efforts for which we were created and the discoveries to which they would lead.

Extrapolative vision (Accelerated Thought), possible once intense contemplation passes into the deepest possible meditation, can be far more penetrating and revealing than any microscope, telescope or particle accelerator, strange as that may sound to ordinary mind not to mention to hard-core scientists.

 

Candidates

If, indeed, we are cast in the image of the Creator (and this is a belief that not all men share), our creative capacity is not only of divine origin but also of divine (and thus unlimited) capacity. Since, as microcosms, it is said that we reflect the cosmos in its entirety, it stands to reason that the fullest realization of this creative capacity can embrace the finest and the coarsest of substances in the cosmos provided our effort corresponds to the biblical formula, "with all your heart and with all your being and with all your might."[2]

The question remains, what kind of people are equal to the creative effort necessary to accelerate scientific and technological development to the greatest degree possible? After all, we could not mobilize the effort to even throw a light switch if we didn't believe that there was a good chance that the light would go on. Mobilizing the will for this ultimate effort would demand an almost unlimited faith in the possible - a conviction that the infinite is hidden within the apparently finite and that we are meant to reveal it. Who among us are capable of this level of faith? For it is most likely that upon them our future depends.

There does exist a class of people who do believe in unlimited possibilities. These people are called "children." We indoctrinate small children with fairy tales - stories in which good prevails over evil and the prince and princess living "happily ever after." Until they are able to reason and question, we protect children from the sordid "facts of life" expressed as, "life is not a bed of roses," "life is not a bowl of cherries," "life is hard and then you die," "by the sweat of your brow," etc. Instinctively, we know that children must be instilled with the belief that life is good and must be sheltered from knowledge of what we believe the "real" world to be. Then, around the age of four - the age of reason - we crush them with the news that fairy tales must be put aside as irrelevant, that life and nature can be horribly cruel and unjust and that, in any event, all life ends in death.

The spirits of only a tiny remnant of children survive intact after this uncompromisingly brutal assault upon their most fundamental beliefs. In most, the resulting disillusionment amounts to the almost total destruction of their world view and an assault upon their faith in possibilities. Only an exceptional few, miraculously, find the inner resources to resist parental authority and cling to their former, utopian ideal. Accordingly, they now belong to a separate reality. Having taken this "autistic" step of backing away from conventional truth and thereby rejecting the standards by which society operates, these children, throughout their lives, will for the most part prove constitutionally unable to compromise themselves and play the games usually required for professional advancement and success.

Disillusioned, out of step and disappointed with society, these people tend to turn to the world of matter and the natural sciences for the realization of their idealistic yet childlike ambitions. Children tend to be seduced by the transformative implications of chemistry sets and magicians pulling rabbits (ex nihilo) out of hats. Usually, and only long after they have committed themselves to the pursuit of scientific vocations, do they come to realize to what extent nature resists investigation and how unlikely it is that their utopian dreams of physical transformation could be realized within the framework of academic or industrial laboratories.

 

Realization

Yet what makes these individuals so rare and special goes well beyond their awkwardness and unconventionality. Regardless of the compromises that life may have demanded from them and whatever corruption they may have admitted into their lives, unlike the rest of us, their capacity for psychological and spiritual connection with their core of faith in the unlimited possibilities inherent in the cosmos remains largely intact. Thus, potentially, they have the ability to mobilize effort leading to vision that is far beyond the scope and possibilities of the rest of us.

Since these have, within themselves, the key to breaking the cosmic bank and revealing the infinite in the finite, it stands to reason that everything possible should be done to furnish them with conditions of existence that will enable them to realize their special potential. First and foremost, they should be given shelter from the cynical attitudes and mundane pressures of a world that routinely and as a matter of principle crushes the spirits of its young. Beyond that, and still more important, they must be provided with the psychological and spiritual support that will allow them to function under the enormous stress generated in encountering radical states of consciousness. Moreover, these states, until they become firmly established, will for a time clash with imperfections, internal contradictions and corruption inevitably induced in their psyches and, indeed, in the psyche of anyone born into this world.

Individuals prepared to risk their sanity in this adventure in order to creatively reveal breakthrough knowledge for the rest of us will need to be surrounded by a support team able to help them handle the stress. The members of this team will need to have strengths of spirit and character complementing the weaknesses of the candidate for accelerated thought and be experienced, at least to some degree, with the kind of difficulties he is likely to encounter on his journey into expanded consciousness. He will bond with this, made-to-order, team of experts and their rapport with him will enable him to accept, with the fullest possible confidence, the advice he will receive at critical junctures of his journey when he'll be most exposed, sensitive and vulnerable.

Under the auspices of the Project Mind Foundation[3], based in Jerusalem, a specialized facility has been designed for this function. This building is to serve as the center from which a new standard of creativity for science will be established. From the world over, it will draw these breakthrough-minded scientists who, as children, substantially relinquished their claim to conventional happiness remaining faithful to their vision of truth and unlimited possibilities.

The necessary elements for this major experiment in higher creativity are now being assembled but in, parallel, the forces of negativity are also growing. Each day sees a global increase in deprivation, injustice, frustration, rage and despair. And with each new day, conventional science and technology invent ever more spectacularly lethal tools that become available to fanatics committed to kill and die for some narrow ideal. The media fan the flames of this burgeoning negativity by parading the opulent lifestyles of the insular few before the destitute many and by providing terrorism access to the global stage. Yet it is becoming clearer that no political solution rooted in mundane duality will ever deal with the cosmic root of these issues that have been brewing for millennia but are only now coming to a head in a shrunken world.

 

Moral Force

Science is popularly accused of being amoral but, paradoxically, science will yet prove to be the most moral force in history. Yet even those who believe that science is amoral tend to also believe that evil comes primarily from the evil application of knowledge. Unfortunately, they are seeing only a small part of the picture. After all, whether a given use of technology is advisable is a subjective call and no one can foresee the consequences of pursuing any given line of research any more than one can know the future with any degree of certainty.

Nor is knowledge, itself, neutral. To the contrary, it is the key for accessing all the good that Creation has to offer, that many of us believe us an unlimited good. So when one dedicates one's life to science, one is making a moral choice. The problem is that the greater the potential for good, the greater potential there is for evil and, without fully understanding the dimensions of existence or morality, we are at a loss to know the relative implications of the research we do. So how can we guarantee that good and not evil will issue from our research?

Imagine newspaper headlines, now reserved almost exclusively for reporting catastrophes, daily announcing the good news of life saving and life enhancing scientific and medical breakthroughs. Imagine the melting away of anxieties connected with disease and, especially, currently incurable diseases. Imagine the hope generated, as matter is mastered, and all manner of lack is eliminated. Is it possible to control matter at the atomic and subatomic level? This is the explicit mission of nanotechnology that is rapidly gaining in credibility. But while nanotech accurately defines the purpose of science and provides it with the focus it needs, the issue of creative effort as the key component of the scientific method remains unaddressed. But if the Project Mind strategy works, the aim of nanotechnology (and thus that of science) will be accomplished and universal abundance will be achieved. Material possessions of all kinds, having become universally and limitlessly available to all of humanity, will be considered worthless since it is psychologically impossible to covet what anyone can attain, freely, indiscriminately and effortlessly. No bitterness or negativity can exist in such an atmosphere.

Once seawater is indifferently interchangeable with diamonds or anything else, ownership will lose all meaning. There will be no further need for cupboards, drawers or even pockets since whatever we desire will be synthesized on the spot, used and, then, recycled back into its subatomic constituents. Beyond the relief of anxiety that is at the source of all neurosis, once matter is completely mastered on all levels including the biological, real human vulnerability will also be at an end. Consequently and to most, amazingly, the only possible remaining objects of our desires will be metaphysical. Invulnerability and our resulting indifference to physical possessions, will spell the end to materialist values and our attachment to the thin, material crust of existence that, at present, renders us blind to the metaphysical.

This will free our awareness from the subjectivity and neurosis that has defined human existence until now and derives from our awareness being restricted to the physical crust of existence. Thus, paradoxically, physical mastery and abundance, will allow us all to awaken to the metaphysical and sacred nature of existence.

But first we must find those scientists in whom the child is still alive, those who, with all their hearts and souls, believe in unlimited possibilities. Only these will be willing to risk their psyches in the adventure that, through a new level of commitment and effort, will accelerate the uncovering of breakthrough knowledge and establish a new standard of creativity in science and, in the process, create a new understanding of the scientific method.

 

1. Phrase coined by Dr. Rae H. B. Batushansky Fishman

2. Deuteronomy ~ 4:29, 6:5, 10:12, 11:13, 13:3, 26:16, 30:2, 30:6, 30:10 ~

3. PROJECT MIND - The Conscious Conquest of Man & Matter Through Accelerated Thought by T. Kun (Indian Rocks Beach, FL: Unimedia, 1993) available at the Project Mind Foundation website and through Amazon.com.

Project Mind Foundation website: http://www.projectmind.org/
email: devor@usa.net

 

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SCIENCE CAN BECOME HOLISTIC
A Possible Utopia

 

by: David S. Devor
Exec. Director
Project Mind Foundation
8 Mevo Hamaavak, French Hill
Jerusalem 97877, Israel
tel: 972-2-5814941, fax: 972-2-5823276
email: devor@projectmind.org
url: http://www.projectmind.org

 

 

Let no one deceive you. Your capacities, aspirations and conceptions prove that you are not formed for time, 

But for Eternity.
(Max Theon)

 

New Age attitudes condemning science can no longer be ignored. Increasingly these attitudes influence popular thought and especially the attitudes of youth who lean easily toward philosophies of nihilism, protest and rebellion.

New Age philosophies accuse science and technology of betraying the utopian promise of peace and abundance that the pursuit of knowledge has always implied. This so-called "betrayal" is seen to be reflected in third world misery, in the specter of global ecological, economic and military disaster, and in the degradation of the human spirit through materialism.

New Agers often cite the very advances of science that many fear (e.g., discoveries in quantum mechanics), as proof that the world is fundamentally spiritualized while others, if not actually adhering to the "back to nature" school of thought, are only willing to tolerate science provided its applications are screened and supervised through a kind of technological assessment that would require clairvoyance to work.

The word that perhaps best expresses New Age aspirations is "holism." Holism includes many things but, most generally, advocates returning to a sacred, tribal-like respect for the ecosphere, earth, nature and life. It envisages the unification of body and spirit, usually in the framework of a world or earth consciousness included in the notion of "Gaia." In some minds, the notion of holism includes the idea of integrating outer and inner reality and of reconciling science and spirituality.

In this context, many would accuse conventional science of being mechanical, unconscious and polluting. In return, many scientists fault metaphysicians for their lack of empiricism, accountability and for their alarmism. Despite the schism between the extreme pro and anti- science factions, many scientists are espousing what would have to be called "New Age perspectives" while many young New Agers continue to become scientists. Still, on the whole, the factions remain separate and, sadly, there is still very little to suggest how one might define the problem in a way to satisfy both sides let alone dissolve within each of us that which separates mind and spirit.

This commentary is based on extracts from the recent book, PROJECT MIND - The Conscious Conquest of Man & Matter Through Accelerated Thought[1]. The author points to matter and the real and addictive forms of deprivation that matter engenders in the human spirit as being the most fundamental of mankind's problems. Accelerated Thought, as the basis of a new holistic and comprehensive science, is envisaged as the solution.

Science can be likened a wood-burning steam locomotive entering a long, unventilated tunnel. The limited and thus polluting character of the technology of its locomotion virtually guarantees suffocation and stoppage. Only mid-tunnel transformation into a higher, less polluting form of combustion (e.g., diesel) can assure safe passage. Like the caterpillar, science has the capacity to metamorphose into a more evolved, more encompassing, more intelligent form. A more holisitic, more vision-driven science will give birth to more benevolent, more efficient, less polluting technologies. At the heart of our existential dilemma lies the incompleteness of our understanding of matter and its place in the cosmos.

Matter is like a small ripple on this tremendous ocean of energy.
(David Bohm)

What is the matter? "Matter" is the matter. Matter - the substrate of our daily existence - is the object of our needs and cravings, hopes and dreams. Matter sustains us, it is true, but it also divides and alienates us from ourselves and others. It forces us to compete and ultimately to conflict with one another.

What would happen in a world where matter and its attendant manifestations of greed, envy, passion, vice, and injustice became irrelevant - actually neutralized by unlimited material abundance, security, universal health, longevity, and well-being? Is it possible for the negative influence of matter to be neutralized?

"Mind over matter" is not just a metaphysician's dream, it is the basis of all innovation. When you think about it, miniaturization - the art of getting equal or better performance from a smaller package - involves replacing matter with intelligence or "mind," in the sense that a 1950s room full of tons of electronic tubes, heavy equipment and miles of wiring (representing much matter indeed), is today reduced to a chip that will sit comfortably on the tip of your little finger. That silicon chip, seen exclusively from the perspective of matter, is basically a pinch of common sand. The rest is intelligence - mind. Just as the restriction of mind by matter occludes mind, the restriction of matter by mind reveals mind.

The intelligence of the chip consists of very special dispositions of matter, including highly specific material compositions, circuitry and other complex, functional patterning, all of which could be included under the term "form." It is this form embedded in the silicon of the chip that constitutes the essence of its intelligence. While the composite substance of that chip is the best material that could be found for the job until now, it is inevitable that newer and more "intelligent" materials (e.g., gallium-arsenide) will soon replace it. With technical progress, the marriage between form and substance grows more and more intimate, and the resulting "matter" expresses more intelligence and becomes more lifelike.

"Functional complexity" is form imbedded in matter. We see that, as matter becomes more "intelligent," the form that it embodies becomes more intricately structured. As matter and the form contained within it become ever more compatible and more perfectly mated, they eventually become indistinguishable from one another, until we can no longer discern where one ends and where the other begins. As intelligence becomes manifest, the aspect of matter seems to recede into the background. The most perfect union between matter and form is to be found in the phenomenon of life, and more particularly, human life.

Undoubtedly we will someday learn to measure and quantify intelligence. I believe this will then make possible the elucidation of a formula at least as elegant as Einstein's famous E=MC2, to show the spectacular inverse relationship between matter and mind. Observe the diversity, flexibility, richness, and subtlety of function in the human being - a truly miraculously compact package of capacities. Yet, in material terms, we are mostly water, and the rest merely biological precursors to an urn full of ashes. The essence of this "package" is the intelligence innate to our humanness - truly a triumph of mind over matter.

Technology - the increasing embodiment of intelligence in matter - problematic as it is from other standpoints, has raised standards of living and relieved us of much drudgery. Many New Agers overlook that, while ancient forms of inner, spiritual work indicate a desirable direction, these forms do not offer a challenge to which most modern people can relate. It is hard to imagine the masses sacrificing illusions and physical comforts for the uncertain and protracted pursuit of spirituality or even for the obvious merits of environmentalism.

While our lives are inescapably molded and conditioned by the discoveries of science and the products of technology, it is not a simple matter to influence research priorities even when we believe we know what those priorities should be. Our frustration before this seeming impotence tends to mask the fact that the problem is not so much which scientific inquiries we pursue or even a question of being more careful in the research we do pursue. The problem is hiding behind the seldom asked, more fundamental question of how to approach science altogether. While New-Age-type philosophies have long claimed that science tends to be "Cartesian," ignoring metaphysics, it has been a long time since anyone seriously questioned what we call the "methodology of science" or proposed a new methodology.

Notwithstanding widespread disillusionment with science and technology, our failure of planetary stewardship is increasingly attributed to a general failure of creativity, of vision. Some are beginning to conjecture that the breakthrough we need will of necessity be revealed through the faculty of creativity. Harman and Rheingold, in their Higher Creativity[2], go into this at some length. While today's visionaries and prophets of transformation are still far too vague, they do consider possible and even necessary, a world that is alive and conscious - without limits or boundaries. Yet they fail to be explicit about how even the best intentions can change deeply ingrained, centuries-old beliefs concerning the limitations that govern our lives.

The new methodology mentioned here and outlined in PROJECT MIND plans to reconcile science with spirituality and make science whole and "holistic." It is called "Accelerated Thought." It is a vision-driven, contemplative method that obviates long, expensive, tedious cycles of hypothesis and experimentation. By using more of the mind than ever before, the scientist will be able to penetrate more deeply and more quickly into the secrets of matter.

Although it will use special psychological techniques, environmental aids and sophisticated computerization, the key of Project Mind - the project - is its understanding of the fundamental nature and importance of essential individuality. To generate the ultimate expression of individuality is to release the incredible creative potential hidden at the deepest levels within human essence (man's fundamental form and substance) and reveal the relationship of essence to consciousness, reality and truth.

Just as the Eureka experience provides brief moments of brilliant insight - the divine sparks of genius and inspiration that have fueled the sudden advances in scientific progress until now - Accelerated Thought will provide sustained creative vision. This will establish an ongoing link with higher consciousness, producing a powerful cosmic current channeled through essence from a higher dimension. This will fuel the transformatory breakthrough-science of the future and render it holistic and comprehensive.

Although the Eureka experience is not exactly Accelerated Thought, it is very closely related, and its habitual exercise is the trademark of creative genius. Just as, to a prepared mind, a salutary shock can at the right moment produce a Eureka experience, a series of Eureka experiences can under favorable conditions induce, in a properly prepared psyche, a chain reaction which can develop into Accelerated Thought. Accelerated Thought is a high-energy mental process whereby realizations (consisting of problems and solutions) arrive second by second in rapid-fire sequence rather than once a week, once a year or once in a lifetime as is typical with Eureka experiences under a regime of conventional, reflective thought.

The discovery of each new possibility suggests, at least unconsciously, the prospect of removing all that limits us and bars our way to "Paradise." (i.e., a poetic euphemism for unlimited joy, omnipotence, omniscience and above all, immortality). At the slightest hint of these prospects, one's spirit soars as a great energy of hope and anticipation begins to circulate.

Thus true creativity is the immediate, ongoing, waking vision of a unified intelligence quickly overcoming all forms of restriction. Yet, traditionally, creativity is seen to be a tool for "problem solving," comprised of discrete stages including self-application, incubation, Eureka, elaboration, etc. - depending on the point of view. This insistence upon separate phases rests on the almost universal misconception that the run-up or ignition phase forms an integral and inseparable part of the creative process, and thus must be repeated anew for each creative thought or act. But the ignition of a process or engine is, or at least should be, nothing more than incidental to its running. In these terms, the process of creativity, as popularly perceived, is likened to an automobile that stalls every few inches and never actually gets going. "Elaboration" similarly presumes that the process is soon over and that the details are worked out in a prosaic frame of mind. Creativity is almost universally considered to be an inherently brief condition and not the continuing state of Being that, potentially, it is.

What is it that constrains genius and the discovery of breakthroughs? There is no formal policy or elitist conspiracy to hold back progress. Quite to the contrary, there is plenty of rivalry, competition and incentive to egg scientists on. Yet no artificial constraints need to be imposed upon thought when that thought is already fettered by conventional, distracted consciousness. "Distraction," the term used by T. Kun. in Project Mind, Charles T. Tart's calls "consensus trance" in his book Waking Up[3] which explains the phenomenon at some length. Conventional living siphons off our energy and conditions us to a low grade, "reflective" form of thought that we mistake for real, conscious thought. This is the key to understanding why things rarely go exactly the way we want them to and how we are so easily deflected from our purpose no matter how resolved we believe ourselves to be.

Conditions of existence around us provide little opportunity for the unbridled development of the spark of creative consciousness with which we are all born. Culture soon infects us all with the virulent infirmity of distraction through the good services of our distraction- afflicted families and the servile and sclerotic complicity of the educational system.

Yet human intelligence, fundamentally, is one. That there seem to be distinct as well as higher and lower forms, including automatic skills of mind and body appearing to be autonomous and unrelated to creative vision, is distraction's way of throwing sand in our eyes. Sterile, uninspired, mechanical mentation feeling and movement appear, for all the world, to be independent faculties quite free and unrelated to intuition, insight and vision. They are, in fact, all that is left of true thought after the creative core and soul of thought - consciousness - has been compromised. We are thus alienated from the intelligence that, essentially, we are. We are alienated from our potential, from our essence, from ourselves.

The generation of Accelerated Thought, described in detail in PROJECT MIND, is accompanied by a spectacular increase in vitality and a feeling of elation. There is an accumulation of awareness for real possibilities that lifts the mind and the individual as a whole (for in these moments one is mind) to a more integrated and conscious level of functioning. Increased integration and increased energy are but two sides of one coin - the coin of consciousness.

But even more important than a new vision-driven scientific method fully harnessing creativity, are the results it will bring such as the spectacular acceleration of our already growing mastery of matter. This is not to imply that an unlimited abundance of what we call wealth and power is the whole answer to man's happiness and salvation, nor that satisfying greed or pandering to vice will extinguish human failings. Rather, a growing consensus and consciousness concerning the vanity of materialism will be the unavoidable consequence of unlimited abundance. This implies a devaluation of materialism analogous to that of salt when, in medieval Europe, it became abundant and lost its status as a currency.

The commercial exploitation of scientific breakthroughs generated through Project Mind and its clones - replications that will inevitably spring up in science and industry - will follow its natural course. But modes of exploitation and the attitudes of those who concern themselves with commercialization will, in a dynamic atmosphere of hope, increasingly reflect a genuine concern for the welfare of others as the trend away from the covetous and cynical accumulation of wealth and power becomes established.

Breakthroughs will increasingly localize and individualize control over the means of production and bring about the true democratization of physical materiality. For example, Drexler, in his Engines of Creation[4], describes how universal abundance could come about. He convincingly speaks of nanotechnology, nanocomputers, molecular engineering, nanomachinery, gene synthesis machines, cell synthesis machines, cell repair machines, assemblers, replicators, etc. He lovingly calls these, "engines of abundance," and deeply regrets their delay. He easily envisages molecular-sized nanomachinery supported by nanocomputers manufacturing or "growing" before one's eyes, a home or car or steak dinner using almost anything, including sewage and garbage, as raw materials. Furthermore, bread, fruit, meat and vegetables, made in this way, will be indistinguishable from the real things except that they will contain all the organic nutrients they should while sparing animal and vegetable life we now destroy so wantonly. Molecular synthesizers and replicators are almost visible on the horizon.

Regardless of what technical means become available, we must come to realize that it is the limits of our vision - consciousness - that determine the risks of abuse and pollution. While many people pay lip- service to the ideal of rising above materiality, the very real perspective of matter not mattering is hard to imagine. For most of us it is still hard not to consider one another as objects of satisfaction or frustration.

Violence, passion and craving are gross distortions of our natural needs and stem from psychological and systemic imbalances induced in us by societies preoccupied with material considerations. By physically eliminating the foundations of these evils - lack and the addictive power of material possessions - the young will be freed to develop without vice and depravity and the old will be relieved of many of the already accumulated stresses and pathologies of envy and competition. Technically backward nations, rich and poor, will be relieved of the corrosive humiliation of craving the advanced products they took little or no part in creating, while social and political adjustments to universal abundance will allow the revelation and expression of their own inner, creative capacities.

In a world that awakens our appetite for reality, we will find that vice and escapism lose all meaning. They become obsolete. Thus the abundance envisaged by Project Mind must not only answer our real, immediate, physical needs, but also must be so encompassing as to alleviate the irrational basis for our impulse to accumulate and consume. The need for ownership can represent various levels of attachment to the matter of this world. And while this need can account for legitimate needs and real vulnerabilities that pertain to the physical nature of our bodies, the extent to which we exaggerate these needs suggests how little we acknowledge the non-physical side of our natures.

That some can seem completely satisfied by materiality, can be attributed to the anesthetizing effect that the abundance of privilege can have on our personalities. We constantly seek to tranquilize our anxieties by trying to compare favorably with others through the instrumentalities of wealth, power and status - all materially determined and determining. While we know from everyday experience that appetites vanish once they are satisfied and don't return until the feeling of lack returns, complex lacks and appetites, especially when they include artificial and acquired aspects, are more difficult to satisfy. The appetite for ownership has five main drives - comfort, power, jealousy, prestige, and security:

  1. Comfort - Behind the obvious fact that a certain degree of abundance can free us of real deprivation and its associated anxieties, the use of material means to cultivate and satisfy acquired needs, artificial needs and vice-related needs engenders the illusions upon which the quest for comfort, power, prestige and security are based. Once the means exist to satisfy all physical needs, real and imagined, the foundation for generating illusions concerning the general importance of such satisfactions will be undermined.

2.     Power - Material advantage confers power, directly through the real and addictive needs of others ("wage slaves") or indirectly, through politics. With universal abundance, no one will need to depend upon the material wealth of others.

3.     Envy - There is always someone who has more of what is generally considered worth having. To be the focus of others' admirative attention enhances one's sense of existence. Even he who has most will want to increase his lead and prestige. When material advantage disappears, envy will gravitate to objects of finer materiality such as aesthetics, knowledge and wisdom.

4.     Prestige - The adulation of the envied affluent who serve as models for those "less fortunate," creates fashion that provides status symbols - props - which support emulation and amplify envy. When the objects of popular interest change, those who embody higher values will become prestigious. The higher the values, the finer the objects embodying those values and the more difficult to counterfeit and use as props for emulation.

5.     Security - Those having material advantage are often better equipped to defend themselves against deprivation, aggression and disease. This encourages the unconscious illusion of immortality concerning those who appear to be privileged in all things. Once the means become available for objectively increasing health and security for all, without distinction, and the prospect of physical immortality[5] becomes real, anything other than reverence for life and the values that enhance life will be inconceivable.

Once new conditions of existence, ushered in by Project Mind, deliver us from these aspects of lack and deprivation, we will soon become aware of other, more essential, more spiritual insufficiencies. We will, at last, realize what Socrates actually meant when he said that those who pursue wealth and honor are distracted from the pursuit of truth, wisdom and virtue. Once we have nothing to gain from our neighbor's deprivation and everything to gain from his well-being (virtue, unlike material benefits, cannot be appropriated), loving our neighbor will be our only remaining option.

We will discover that each individual's uniqueness complements our own and can help us reveal aspects of higher reality to which, by his very uniqueness, our neighbor is closer. Then together, and acting in concert, we will be able to work toward eliminating the root cause of all slavish attachments, the only remaining objective basis of our vulnerability - mortality - by assailing our primordial Achille's heel - the materiality of our body.

The prospect of waking up to reality and taking full possession of their faculties has always interested certain men and women. They deeply intuit that no "virtual"[6] or simulated reality or other fantasy, however vivid, can compare to the natural, holistic reality that awaits us.

The utopian conditions postulated by PROJECT MIND will not spell the culmination of humanity or signal a state of stagnation but will be man's first real emancipation. Freed from the obscuring distraction stemming from material lack, man will discover that what he had always called "desire" and "will" was in fact impulse, inclination, appetite, and craving. In feeling the first stirrings of authentic, spiritually oriented, essential desire, he will have begun his odyssey in a world of multi-layered reality - an adventure in which freedom from physical and biological restrictions will be only the first of many steps.

Spiritual striving of whatever color will no longer be the uncertain, tedious, interminable, fluctuating, elitist affair it has been for millennia. Instead, it will be a universal, transparent movement in which all will share consciously - each according to his particular essence - thanks to the dissipation of the distracting and confusing influence of material lack and the pettiness it breeds in man's spirit. With unobstructed reality as our teacher, our empowered, individual essences will unfold revealing that all their myriad facets are conditioned by unity and harmony.

This will be achieved only by scientifically, technologically, philosophically and psychologically relegating matter to its proper place in the cosmos as the mere crust of existence.

References

    1. See, Kun, T. 1993. PROJECT MIND - The Conscious Conquest of Man & Matter Through Accelerated Thought. Indian Rocks Beach, FL: Unimedia.

    2. See, Harman, Willis and Rheingold, Howard. 1984. Higher Creativity. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher.

    3. See, Tart, Charles T. 1987. Waking Up - Overcoming the Obstacle to Human Potential. Boston: New Science Library, Shambala.

    4. See, Drexler, K. Eric. 1990. Engines of Creation. N.Y.: Anchor Books.

    5. See, Ettinger, Robert C.W. 1965. The Prospect of Immortality. London: Sidgwick and Jackson.

    6. See, Rheingold, Howard. 1991. Virtual Reality. N.Y.: Summit Books.

 

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