We have a tendency toward conditioning, so this is one of the problems of being human and fulfilling our potential. We have a perceptual, operational aid called the brain that stores memory and, when this memory interferes with our perceptions, past responses influence our present responses. We also have the tendency to project the future from these same memories and that, too, influences our present experience. As the great romantic poet Shelly said:
We live before and after
And pine for what is not.
All this lack of present-centeredness would not be so bad if it did not interfere with our creativity. To be creative is to choose in the moment, but it is a challenge in the sense that we have to transcend our conditioned ego to fall into that immediacy of being. This requires a process. Without the creative process, consciousness has the tendency to succumb to the brain and only experience objects and events through their reflections in memory.
Creativity, in other words, is not easy until you comprehend its subtlety. Creativity involves a process that includes preparation and some unconscious processing. Only then can a leap from the ego to a discontinuous creative insight occur.
Ordinarily, thoughts are just parts of replayed memories and projections; they are therefore continuous. Only after a discontinuous new insight comes can you manifest a product that everyone can see as new—a new poem, a new technology, a new song, or a new you.
If you want to change your life today—to make it radically different tomorrow—you must engage in the creative process. This process requires the ability to respond without sifting through past memories. It also requires cohesiveness of intention, and purposefulness. You really have to wake up to the fact that you are not a machine randomly responding to chance events in the world. You are actually a purposeful, embodied consciousness.
The universe has a purpose; it evolves in order to make better and better representations of love, beauty, justice, truth, goodness—all those things that Plato called archetypes. When you wake up to this purposefulness, you become focused.
If you don’t tune in to the purposefulness of the universe, it all seems meaningless and you risk becoming hedonistic—you explore things that are pleasurable and avoid things that are painful. Your life will be driven by ordinary dreams—a big house, an expensive car, and other physical and material pleasures. But the real American Dream is about the pursuit of happiness, not pleasure. What’s the difference? Too much pleasure always ends up in pain. But have you ever had too much happiness?
We forget that it is life, liberty, and happiness that we seek. And liberty ultimately includes creative freedom. Without creative freedom, it means little.
If liberty is simply limited to the freedom to choose the flavor of ice cream I want, I can do without it. I don’t mind eating chocolate ice cream every day. But we seem to have lost touch with the necessity of creative freedom.
Today, we are faced with crises that will require innovation and creativity to resolve. So people are talking about creativity again. But we need more than talk. We need an entire paradigm shift, a fundamental change in worldview. We have got to shed our very myopic materialist worldview and begin to live in a quantum world, the real world.
People often tell me that they want to change. But making changes is not a simple thing. We are not material machines. We can’t just push a button or adjust a setting to invoke change. We are human beings and our creativity—our ability to create change—remains latent when we succumb to our conditioning, when we limit our lives to mechanical responses to what has occurred in the past.
To escape conditioning, we have to pay attention to our intuitions; we have to learn the art of intention. Also needed is unconscious processing which requires focused purposeful preparation and patience preceding it. We have to allow time for things to gel in the unconscious in order to achieve new insights. Even when we get a discontinuous insight—a thought that has never occurred before—we still have to manifest that insight into the world. That new manifestation changes our perspective and represents a tremendous accomplishment of transformation in the way we sort things out in the world. This is not easy. On the other hand, it is not difficult either.
We have experimental data that shows the power of intention—data that most scientists ignore. But science is very segmented today, with each field or discipline operating within the confines of its own assumptions.
Psychology has become an almost completely behavioristic and cognitive science as far as academia is concerned. Biology is chemistry, the biologists say, dismissing things like human intention. Physics—with the exception of quantum physics, with its consciousness-based interpretation—passes over the power of consciousness and intention in favor of mechanical laws and forces.
Ironically, it is nonscientists like Lynn McTaggert (The Intention Experiments, 2007) who are doing something to prove the causal efficacy of our intentions. Old-paradigm scientists continue to ignore the anomalous data of parapsychology, while the debunkers among them whisper that McTaggert is not really a reliable scientist. In fact, there is an entire industry of debunking magazines and journals that materialists publish regularly to discredit parapsychology. Other than these efforts to degrade it, mainstream science hardly pays any attention at all to this developing science based on the primacy of consciousness.
Parapsychology is based on the principle that consciousness chooses out of quantum possibilities to actualize the events that we experience. This principle is potent with possibilities for solving problems that are unsolvable under the materialist approach—problems relating to our health, our creativity, and our well-being. It is extremely important that we bring this new interpretation of quantum physics directly to the attention of the public. That is why quantum activism is crucial.
For a long time, science has neglected its main objective of explaining what is the purpose of being human. In quantum science, we have discovered that purpose—which is to pursue, to explore, and to discover the soul, the archetypal or supramental body.
Science has ignored the soul, ignored meaning. Because we talk about the mind as synonymous with the brain in our materialist culture, we have become extremely narrow in our attitude toward meaning in our lives. Day by day, our society has become more and more mundane, more devoid of meaning. We have become so brainwashed by the half truths of materialist science that we have completely forgotten about new human potentialities and we just go on repeating the same experiences.
So it is imperative that we recognize the paradigm shift that is taking place within science and bring it to the attention of ordinary people. However, at the same time, we must remember that all of us, ultimately, are part of the whole that I call quantum consciousness—what other traditions have called God. We have, in potentiality, the same potency as God. Although temporarily, we may be taken over by one cultural aberration or another—by self-imposed limitations, by conditioning—these are definitely not permanent states for us. We have gotten stuck in mistaken worldviews many times in our history—World War II and Hitler, for instance. But wars, violence, and a corrupted climate do not reflect all there is to human consciousness. It goes far beyond that. Materialism is like an epidemic disease that has to be healed. And quantum science can be part of the healing.
We have to recognize why our intentions fall short, why they become so narrow in terms of their potentiality and keep us from transforming to that bigger consciousness. The fact is that evolution has given us negative emotional instinctual brain circuits that limit our consciousness to a negative emotionality. Even when we have positive intentions, we are also thinking: What is in it for me? So we never get beyond the positive thought to a positive intention in our hearts. And we never act on these feelings to create positive emotional brain circuits. We never feel expansiveness in the region of the heart that Easterners call the heart chakra.
We have forgotten what mystics call the journey toward the heart, especially in the technologically and economically advanced West. We suppress feelings, thus losing touch with a very easy way to expand our consciousness—namely, bringing the energy in the head down into the heart. When we learn to do that, unconditional love comes to us in a very natural way.
When we feel the heart expand, our intentions have greater potency and a much better chance of actualizing in the world. When we intend world peace with an expanded heart, it has much more of an effect than if we just intend it by thinking about it, because when we are thinking, we are already narrow and self-centered. If we try to bring world peace by changing others and not ourselves, we will fail. We have to do both. We have to change ourselves as well as others.
Quantum physics is the physics of possibilities, and consciousness is needed to choose from these possibilities. That choice, when made freely without past conditioning, is what we call free will. We do have free will, but it occurs in a higher state of consciousness—in that consciousness that some call God and I call quantum consciousness.
Many people are not particularly conscious, because they don’t really use the freedom of choice that we can have through an evolved consciousness. In other words, we lead a zombie-like existence as more-or-less conditioned beings. But it is within our power to escape this. And we can start by saying “no” to conditioning.
Free will is about creativity. When we are creative, we exercise freedom, because we choose something that we didn’t know before—something that is totally new. So real freedom is exerting a choice that cannot be predicted—one that was not experienced before, that is totally new—something over which the ego has no control. The freedom to choose freely among our own conditioned alternatives is important, and we fight for it. We fight our parents for our choice of ice cream flavors when we are children. We fight them to make our own choice of college when we are young adults.
When Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death,” he was expressing that kind of freedom. It is important, but it is not the ultimate freedom; it is not creative freedom. It is not the freedom to create something that is completely new, although it can be an important step toward that.
If we work within the narrowness of the ego, our intention is not going to have any effect on the cosmic consciousness where such manifestations are open as a possibility. If we intend from heart consciousness, however, we become somewhat more expanded and our chances of success increase.
In expanded states of consciousness, we only intend good for everyone. We don’t work for individual gratification of the material kind. Our selfishness goes away. But this frightens some people who only want their selfish goodies and the satisfaction of the senses. So, as a collective, we have some growing up to do. We are still children in terms of maturity of consciousness.
We have a long way to go. But that does not mean we are stymied. As the Chinese proverb says: A 10,000 mile journey begins with the first step. We have to learn to be creative—first with mental creativity, then with our vital energies, and finally with creativity at the material level—which is tantamount to what we call a miracle.
*subtitles by InnerSelf
Copyright 2017 by Amit Goswami.
Reprinted with permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Co.
Dist by Red Wheel/Weiser, www.redwheelweiser.com
The Everything Answer Book: How Quantum Science Explains Love, Death, and the Meaning of Life
by Amit Goswami PhD
This fascinating new book will appeal to a wide array of readers, ranging from those interested in the new physics to those captivated by the spiritual implications of the latest scientific breakthroughs. Amit Goswami’s basic premise is that quantum physics is not only the future of science, but is also the key to understanding consciousness, life, death, God, psychology, and the meaning of life. Quantum physics is an antidote to the moral sterility and mechanistic approach of scientific materialism and is the best and clearest approach to understanding our universe.
Amit Goswami, Ph. D. is a professor of physics (retired) at the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR where he has served since 1968. He is a pioneer of the new paradigm of science called science within consciousness an idea he explicated in his seminal book, The Self-Aware Universe. Goswami has written six other popular books based on his research on quantum physics and consciousness. In his private life, Amit Goswami is a practitioner of spirituality and transformation. He calls himself a quantum activist. He was featured in the film "What the Bleep Do We Know?" and its sequel "Down the rabbit hole" and in the documentary "Dalai Lama Renaissance" and the award winning "The Quantum Activist." You can find more information about the author at the website www.AmitGoswami.org.