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    The Power of Now Page 02

    BY RUSSELL E. DICARLO

    Author of Towards a New World

    View Blanketed by an azure sky, the orange-yellow rays of the setting sun can, at special times, gift us with a moment of such considerable beauty, we find ourselves momentarily stunned, with frozen gaze. The splendor of the moment so dazzles us, our compulsively chattering minds give pause, so as not to mentally whisk us away to a place other than the here-and-now. Bathed in luminescence, a door seems to open to another reality, always present, yet rarely witnessed.
    Abraham Maslow called these "peak experiences," since they represent the high moments of life where we joyfully find ourselves catapulted beyond the confines of the mundane and ordinary. He might just as well have called them "peek' experiences. During these expansive occasions, we sneak a glimpse of the eternal realm of Being itself. If only for a brief moment in time, we come home to our True Self.

    'Ah," one might sigh, "so grand ... if only I could stay here. But how do I take up permanent residence?"

    During the past ten years, I have committed myself to finding out. During my search, I have been honored to engage in dialogue with some of the most daring, inspiring and insightful "paradigm pioneers" of our time: in medicine, science, psychology, business, religion / spirituality, and human potential. This diverse group of individuals is joined by their commonly voiced insight that humanity is now taking a quantum leap forward in its evolutionary development. This change is accompanied by a shift in world view – the basic picture we carry with us of "the way things are." A world view seeks to answer two fundamental questions, "Who are we?" and "What is the nature of the Universe in which we live?" Our answers to these questions dictate the quality and characteristics of our personal relationships with family, friends and employers /employees. When considered on a larger scale, they define societies.

    It should be of little surprise that the world view which is emerging calls into question many of the things Western society holds to be true:


    MYTH #1 Humanity has reached the pinnacle of its development.


    Esalen co-founder Michael Murphy, drawing upon comparative religious studies, medical science, anthropology, and sports, has made a provocative case that there are

    more advanced stages of human development. As a person reaches these advanced levels of spiritual maturity, extraordinary capacities begin to blossom - of love, vitality, personhood, bodily awareness, intuition, perception, communication, and volition.
    First step: to recognize they exist. Most people do not. Then, methods can be employed with conscious intention.

    MYTH #2 We are completely separate from each other, nature, and the Kosmos.


    This myth of "other-than-me" has been responsible for wars, the rape of the planet, and all forms and expressions of human injustice. After all, who in their right mind would harm another if they experienced that person as part of themselves? Stan Grof, in his research of nonordinary states of consciousness, summarizes by saying "the psyche and consciousness of each of us is, in the last analysis, commensurate with "All-That-Is" because there are no absolute boundaries between the body/ego and the totality of existence."
    Dr. Larry Dossey's Era-3 medicine, where the thoughts, attitudes, and healing intentions of one individual can influence the physiology of another person (in contrast to Era-2, prevailing mind-body medicine) is very well supported by scientific studies into the healing power of prayer. Now this can't happen according to the known principles of physics and world view of traditional science. Yet the preponderance of evidence suggests that indeed it does.

    MYTH #3 The physical world is all there is.


    Materialistically bound, traditional science assumes that anything that cannot be measured, tested in a laboratory, or probed by the five senses or their technological extensions simply doesn't exist. it's "not real." The consequence: all of reality has been collapsed into physical reality. Spiritual, or what I would call nonphysical, dimensions of reality have been run out of town.

    This clashes with the "perennial philosophy," that philosophical consensus spanning ages, religions, traditions, and cultures, which describes different but continuous dimensions of reality. These run from the most dense and least conscious - what we'd call "matter" - to the least dense and most conscious, which we'd call spiritual. Interestingly enough, this extended, multidimensional model of reality is suggested by quantum theorists such as Jack Scarfetti who describes superluminal travel. Other dimensions of reality are used to explain travel that occurs faster than the speed of light - the ultimate of speed limits. Or consider the work of the legendary physicist,

    David Bohm, with his explicate (physical) and implicate (non-physical) multidimensional model of reality.

    This is no mere theory - the 1982 Aspect Experiment in France demonstrated, that two once-connected quantum particles separated by vast distances remained somehow connected. If one particle was changed, the other changed - instantly. Scientists don't know the mechanics of how this faster-than-the-speed-of-light travel can happen, though some theorists suggest that this connection takes place via doorways into higher dimensions.

    So contrary to what those who pledge their allegiance to the traditional paradigm might think, the influential, pioneering individuals I spoke with felt that we have not reached the pinnacle of human development, we are connected, rather than separate, from all of life, and that the full spectrum of consciousness encompasses both phys-ical and a multitude of non physical dimensions of reality.
    At core, this new world view involves seeing yourself, others, and all of life, not through the eyes of our small, earthly self that lives in time and is born in time. But rather through the eyes of the soul, our Being, the True Self. One by one, people are jumping to this higher orbit.

    With his book, The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle rightfully takes his place among this special group of world-class teachers. Eckhart's message: the problem of humanity is deeply rooted in the mind itself. Or rather, our misidentification with mind.

    Our drifting awareness, our tendency to take the path of least resistance by being less than fully awake to the present moment, creates a void. And the time-bound mind, which has been designed to be a useful servant, compensates by proclaiming itself master. Like a butterfly flittering from one flower to another, the mind engages past experiences or, projecting its own made-for-television movie, anticipates what is to come. Seldom do we find ourselves resting in the oceanic depth of the here and now. For it is here - in the Now - where we find our True Self, which lies behind our physical body, shifting emotions, and chattering mind.

    The crowning glory of human development rests not in our ability to reason and think, though this is what distinguishes us from animals. Intellect, like instinct, is merely a point along the way. Our ultimate destiny is to re-connect with our essential Being and express from our extraordinary, divine reality in the ordinary physical world, moment by moment. Easy to say, yet rare are those who have attained the further reaches of human development.

    Fortunately, there are guides and teachers to help us along the way. As a teacher and guide, Eckhart's formidable power lies not in his adept ability to delight us with


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