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Transforming the Mind ~ by Peter Shepherd


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Towards the Higher Self


The holistic 5th program naturally opens the unconscious to inspection. The remaining primal conflicts are able to discharge, and the roots of the genetic being - the archetypal or core Self - are for the first time open to direct analysis. This, then, allows the imprinting of a further 6th program: the Neuro-genetic program, a fully developed ego-Self axis with resolution between the Persona and Shadow resulting in an exultant integration. This is known as the True Emotional center by Gurdjieff (earlier programs corresponding to: 1 - Movement center, 2 - False Emotional center, 3 - False Intellectual center, and 4 - False Personality). The brain is no longer a barrier to objective consciousness; the splits and repressions have been released, much of life experience is explained and understood, and the past and future evolution of organic planetary life falls into place. This archetypal program is replete with what Jung called 'synchronicities' - meaningful coincidences - that he attributed to the program's roots in the 'psychic' level, below the personal and collective unconscious, where mind and matter are not yet differentiated - where implicit (not of this world) spiritual causation interfaces with organic and material information fields, resulting in explicit (reach out and touch) reality.

This connection between the organic and the material has only made scientific sense since the discovery by Rupert Sheldrake of non-local information fields, such as were discussed earlier as an evolutionary model. Where Leary and Grof, like Jung and Freud before them, assumed non-ego information, such as is uncovered by depth analysis of the archetypes, must come from the genes, Sheldrake, a biologist, knew that genes cannot carry such information. He therefore postulated a non-local field, equivalent to that in quantum theory, which he named the 'morphogenetic field'. This field communicates between genes just as a TV set picks up electromagnetic signals.

The Higher Self - the aspect of Being that is not in truth of this space-time reality but that adopts a viewpoint within it - is normally heavily identified by long association with the 'body personality' of the human Self, and so we are correspondingly confused. To be living this 'lie' is a state of unknowing, whether deliberate or otherwise. A further differentiation is therefore necessary to complete the process of individuation, and work on this stage of therapy makes up The Insight Project: meaning to transcend or go beyond programming - what Gurdjieff described as the True Intellectual center and as 'objective consciousness'. The 7th program or stage in personal development. It is a conscious mirror that knows it can always reflect something else by changing its angle of reflection. It may inherit a computer (brain) and a basic program (archetypes), and much of its file data may be circumstantial (perceptions), but the meta-programmer can transcend this system and postulate exterior to the computer, as well as to reprogram the computer.

This is distinct from the ego-self or even the archetypal 'real' Self. The 'self' seems to be fixed and firm but is not; that is, whatever 'way of being' you are operating on at the moment is your 'self' at that moment. If a gun is pointed at you, you go into 1st program consciousness at once, and that is your 'self' at that moment. But if you are sexually attracted to somebody, you become 4th program and that is your 'self' until you are orgasmically satisfied (or hopelessly frustrated). This picture is further complicated of course by the different motivational states that may be applied, or different archetypal drives at various stages of actualization, in addition to the many personal identifications or sub-personalities that the ego has attached to. Most of the preliminary exercises in Gurdjieff and Sufi schools consist in making you aware that the 'self' is not constant but shifts back and forth between all of these various combinations of states. But the 'Soul' or meta-programmer is constant. It plays all the roles you play - oral dependent, emotional tyrant, cool rationalist, romantic seducer, holistic healer, clairvoyant, etc. - but it is none of them. It is plastic. It is no-form, because it is all forms. It is the 'Creative Void' of the Taoists. It is the Higher Self.

A final stage remains on this evolutionary journey, which is 'getting free of the trip' itself! Having fully evolved, life now begins anew. Whilst the tools of Transformational Psychology are always there to support and repair when needed, the emphasis now turns towards new extraverted actions, creating and putting into reality the visions that intuitively appear, and exciting the creative imagination, involving others as desired, based on the ethics of high integrity. This final stage of Transformational Psychology is entirely your creation. It overlaps with The Insight Project and of course it is a lifetime's project and beyond, based on a full realization of the potential and nature of the Higher Self. It is creating on an unlimited canvas, and this stage corresponds to the opening of an 8th level of being, the Non-local Quantum program.

Dr. John Lilly says, 'In the province of the mind, what is believed to be true is true, or becomes true within limits to be learned by experience and experiment. These limits are further beliefs to be transcended. In the province of the mind there are no limits.'

Having made a useful model of consciousness in terms of brain hardware and software, now we need to remember that, while the brain can be modeled by a computer, the model is never the whole system. The model-maker or meta-programmer is exterior to the model or program. In what are termed 'out-of-body-experiences' by para-psychologists, awareness seems to escape the confines of the nervous system entirely. Such experiences are routinely triggered by advanced yoga practices, and they seem to occur spontaneously at times close to death. They are also reported to occur under LSD, during shamanic rituals and during 'occult' experiments.

Such cases illustrate a special working of what is known in physics as Bell's Theorem. In ordinary language, it is saying something like this: There are no isolated systems; every particle in the universe is in instantaneous (faster-than-light) communication with every other particle. The whole system, even the parts that are separated by cosmic distances, functions as a Whole System. Such faster-than-light communication seems to be forbidden by Special Relativity. Bell's theorem, however, is inescapable: a theorem in physics is not a mere 'theory', it is a mathematical demonstration that must be true, if the mathematics contains no flaw, and if the experiments based on it are replicable. Bell's theorem contains no mathematical flaw, and experiments validating it have been replicated many times. And yet we cannot dispense with Special Relativity either, because the mathematics there is equally solid and the experiments are legion that confirm it.

The solution to this conundrum is that the 'communication' involved in Bellian transmissions does not involve energy - since it is energy that cannot move faster than light. The medium of Bellian transmissions is information. Pure information, in the mathematical sense, does not require energy; it is that which orders energy. It is the negative of entropy, which brings disorder to energy systems. The way the Whole System works can be explained as follows:

Imagine that your brain is an effective computer, as modern neurology suggests. Now imagine that the whole universe is an incredibly powerful mega-computer, as John Lilly has proposed. Then imagine that the sub-quantum (inter-atomic) realm is made up of miniature-computers. Now, the hardware and installed program of each computer is localised in space-time: here not there, now not then. But the information is non-local: it is here, there and everywhere, now, then and always. It is a holographic information field in which all of the information contained within it is accessible at any point within it - past, present and future. Similarly consciousness that manipulates this information, is not localized except by consideration, at which point it may concern itself with a single computer terminal.

David Bohm, a prominent quantum physicist (he was Einstein's assistant) started thinking about non-locality as early as 1952. He postulates an explicate or unfolded order, which makes up the four-dimensional space-time continuum known to post-Einstein science. This order, which we normally call the visible universe, he names explicate or unfolded because it occupies space-time - every part of it has an explicit location. Dr. Bohm next postulates an implicate or enfolded order that both permeates and 'transcends' the explicate. No part of it has a location - it is everywhere and nowhere, always and never. For example, the Beethoven 9th symphony may have physical expression in a particular performance, but it also exists as an implicit experiential concept - a non-local information field, which would be as explicable anywhere or even outside the universe, even if all humans died.

Just as Einstein's Relativity demolished the dichotomy of space and time, and modern psychosomatic medicine tends to abolish the distinction between mind and body, this Bohm model seems to undermine the traditional dualism of consciousness and matter. Information that has no locality sounds a great deal like the Hindu divinity Brahma, the Chines concept of Tao, and the Buddha-Mind of Mahayana Buddhism. These do not have any of the personality, locality, temperament and even gender of the Western 'God': they seem to mean a kind of non-local implicate order, or information without location, if they mean anything. Indeed Lao-Tse's famous paradox 'The largest is within the smallest' only begins to make sense to a Westerner after they have understood what non-local information means in modern physics. In this model, consciousness does not exist locally at all but only appears localised as a mental construct - a consideration. The 'mind' does not, ultimately, reside in the brain but permeates and transcends space-time entirely. The brain, then, 'tunes-in' to this non-local consciousness, and transduces the information into nervous signals, which it then further manipulates.

The non-localized consciousness, then, taps into this cosmically conscious information-system, which in practice with human beings is unrealized and its potential barely tapped, other than the vague intuition that most people feel about their spirituality. To summarise the options for each person's evolutionary future, there are two suggested scenarios:

The cyclical script:

1. The helpless infant (Program I);

2. The walking-struggling-competing child (Program II);

3. The word-and-tool-using older child (Program III);

4. Imprinting-conditioning the sexual program (IV) into domesticated parenthood;

5. Reproduction and... the cycle continues.

The upward-spiralling script:

1. Bio-survival primary conflicts resolved;

2. Emotional-territorial secondary conflicts resolved;

3. Semantic mind integrated with Intuitive mind;

4. Socio-sexual independence;

5. Holistic (whole brain) integration;

6. Archetypal transcendence;

7. The Insight Project skill;

8. Meta-physiological freedom.


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