For the outdated mainstream paradigm the world is a giant mechanism functioning i accordance with known and knowable laws and regularities. The new paradigm emerging in science offers a different concept: The world is an interconnected, coherent whole, and it is informed by a cosmic intelligence. This is not a finite, mechanistic-material world. It i a consciousness-infused whole-system world. We are conscious beings who emerge and coevolve as complex, cosmic-intelligence in-formed vibrations in the Akashic field of the universe.
Ervin Laszlo and his collaborators from the forefront of science, cosmology, and spirituality show how the rediscovery of who we are and why we are here integrates seamlessly with the wisdom traditions as well as with the new emerging worldview in the sciences, revealing a way forward for humanity on this planet. They explain how we have reached a point of critical incoherence and tell us that to save ourselves, our environment, and society, we need a critical mass of people to consciously evolve a new thinking. Offering a guidepost to orient this evolution, Laszlo examines the nature of consciousness in the universe, showing how our bodies and minds act as transmitters of consciousness from the intelligence of the cosmos and how understanding science's new concept of the world enables us to rediscover our identity and our purpose in our world.
With bold vision and forward thinking, Laszlo and his contributors Maria Sagi Kingsley L. Dennis, Emanuel Kuntzelman, Dawna Jones, Shamik Desai, Garry Jacobs, and John R. Audette outline the new 'idea of the world and of ourselves in the world. They help us discover how we can overcome these divisive times and blossom into a new era of peace coherence, connection, and global well-being.
ERVIN LASZLO is a philosopher and systems scientist. Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, he has published more than 75 books and over 400 articles and research papers. The. subject of the one-hour PBS special Life of a Modem-Day Genius, Laszlo is the founder and president of the international think tank the Club of Budapest and of the prestigious Laszlo Institute of New Paradigm Research. He lives in Tuscany.
Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE
Who are we? and Why are we here? are questions that have preoccupied humans for thousands of years. Is our universe, including our own little planet, the result of mindless chance? Are We humans simply one more entity that has gradually emerged throughout the long course of evolution on planet Earth? Just one more creature of flesh and blood, albeit one with an unusually highly developed brain? Or is there more to us than that-a spiritual dimension, a consciousness, that exists independently of our physical body, independently of our brain, though all is intricately connected? Are we the only creature on Earth to question who we are and why we are here, what is the purpose of our lives?
I have spent many years in the forest studying the behavior of our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees. Biologically we differ from them in the composition of our DNA by only just over 1 percent (with the main difference, I on told, being in the expression of the genes). And there are remarkable similarities too in the composition of blood and immune system and anatomy of the brain. There is now proof that chimpanzees are far more intelligent than mainstream science used to believe; they can solve complex problems, lean four hundred or more signs of American Sign Language (ASL), and use these to engage in meaningful exchanges with humans and even other apes. And many other mammalian species are far more intelligent than most scientists, until very recently, were prepared to admit so that, finally, there is much interest in investigating the intelligent behavior of birds, octopuses, bees-and even communication between trees.
Chimpanzees and many other animals, we now conclude, are sentient beings, capable of feeling joy and sadness, anger, grief, depression, and other emotions. Certainly they feel pain. Like us, chimpanzees have a dark side and are capable of violence and even a kind of primitive warfare. Like us, they also show compassion and empathy. They have a definite sense of self: they can recognize themselves in mirrors. They can understand the wants and needs of others. They have a theory of mind. And it is possible that they have what I can only describe as a sense of awe at the wonder of nature. For example, they perform impressive and rhythmic displays at the base of magnificent waterfalls deep in the forest and then sit, watching as the water falls down and down and then flows past them and away. What is it that is always coming, always going, always here? If they could but discuss these feelings might this not result in the emergence of an animistic religion: worship of the powerful forces of nature, of water, sun, moon ... ?
It is the explosive development of our intellect, possibly triggered in part by our ability to communicate, using words (spoken or written) about things that are not present, to make plans for the distant future, above all to discuss ideas and problems, that sets us apart from other animals. Some chimpanzees and other animals love to paint-that is they make marks on paper with different colors and even distinctive patterns-but even the most talented of them could not produce a Rembrandt or a van Gogh, or even the smiling or angry stick figures drawn by small children in kindergarten. Nor could they formulate a theory of relativity or unravel the human genomc. And it is inconceivable they could puzzle over the kind of questions asked by Laszlo in this book.
Of course, along with increasing intelligence and a deeper understanding of consciousness, we have also developed a heightened sense of morality. A sense of good and bad behavior. My understanding of the natural world has taught me that there is much that, by our moral standards, is cruel-"nature red in tooth and claw," as Tennyson famously wrote. But we cannot equate a carnivore killing and eating its prey, even eating the unfortunate victim while it is still alive, with a human being who deliberately inflicts torture, physical or mental, on another sentient being. The animal is merely obeying its nature. Our heightened moral values and superior intellect put us in a different position. We can cause harm to another with full understanding that our actions will cause pain, fear, distress. Only this, I believe, can be described as evil. And this we must fight, in ourselves and others, as we move through life.
In fact, our purpose is to do good, to honor the Golden Rule by doing unto others as we would have them do unto us, an admonition that is present, in a similar form, in just about all the great religions. And it is easy to understand why this should be so. But we are also admonished to "love our neighbors as ourselves," and for a long time I queried this: how could I love myself, with all my imperfections, my sometimes selfish or unkind behavior? Until finally I realized that the "self" I was to love was the flame of pure spirit that is in each of us, linked to the One Consciousness of the universe. And that which is loved can grow.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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