Mind and Futures in the media this week – #1, Jan. 2, 2013

smart-future-technology-smart-computer

 

Here’s a roundup of some of this week’s most significant articles and internet events related to mind and the future. This post may be updated over several days.

AI and IT

Farhad Manjoo, Wall Street Journal: “Stop Pouting About Tech’s Next Big Thing, It’s Here”.

Main idea: AI is augmenting, rather than superseding, humans.

“…robots aren’t necessarily coming for your job. It’s been a cliché in the Valley for years that machines will replace humans across a wide variety of job types. But while artificial intelligence is still advancing at a furious pace, I was thrilled that AI is augmenting, rather than superseding, humans. Look how Redfin used tech to create better real-estate agents rather than replace them, or how the app Duolingocrowdsources human intelligence to produce better translations than machines are capable of.

I think we’re witnessing the dawn of a new paradigm in machine-human cooperation: Combining machine intelligence with biological intelligence will always trump one or the other. Machines make us better, and we make machines better. There’s still hope for us. Welcome to the bionic future.”

 

Sydney Morning Herald: “Brain-like computers are learning from experience”.

Main idea: Computers are beginning to learn like to learn like humans – correcting their own mistakes

“The new computing approach, already in use by some large technology companies, is based on the biological nervous system, specifically on how neurons react to stimuli and connect with other neurons to interpret information. It allows computers to absorb new information while carrying out a task, and adjust what they do based on the changing signals.

In coming years, the approach will make possible a new generation of artificial intelligence systems that will perform some functions that humans do with ease: see, speak, listen, navigate, manipulate and control. That can hold enormous consequences for tasks like facial and speech recognition, navigation and planning, which are still in elementary stages and rely heavily on human programming.”

Business and Innovation

Gill Oliver, Oxford Mail: “Quantum idea is ‘catching on’ with the top managers”.
Main Idea: Danah Zohar is still teaching organisations the relevance of quantum physics to business and innovation.

Zohar says: “People in today’s companies are better understood and treated as conscious creators and implementers of ideas, rather than as programmable machines… Quantum mechanics provides an understanding of the mind-brain connection that is not only completely in accord with intuition and common sense but that also describes the way in which mind-brain processes act to fashion the activities of our brains in the service of our ideas.”

 

Human Intelligence

Adam Marshall, Today Tonight: “The remarkable bat man”. –

Main Idea: This incredible story shows how human intelligence can be developed in ways that are scarcely imaginable to ordinary folk. Daniel Kish has been blind since birth but uses a constant clicking sound to picture his surroundings – much like a bat.

“It is a form of echolation. He effectively sees with his ears and that is why he has been labelled as ‘bat man’… With every click, an image is constructed in his mind based on the echo that bounces back. Daniel likens it to flashing a torch in the dark.

“This is a skill that people can learn,” he says. “We’ve taught upwards of a thousand blind students all over the world and going.””

Books

Craig Weiler: Psi wars TED, Wikipedia and the Battle for the Internet

Subject: Craig Weiler recounts his experience of the TED controversy which saw videos of talks by Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock effectively censored.

 “This book explores the basis for the controversy and why so many intellectuals support major changes in scientific thinking.

The book also explores the question: What’s up with these science reactionaries? It also examines the people and the organizations who lobby the mainstream media, universities, and scientific organizations, and who work together to bend Wikipedia to their point of view.

The controversy over the nature of reality has a profound effect on our society. Chances are that some of the science you read about in Wikipedia, and popular magazines and newspapers, has been altered to reflect the views of these skeptic reactionaries who have organized to “protect” you from “crazy” ideas.

Steaphen Pirie: Simple Tools for Clarity, Understanding and Betterment  

Topic: Non-fiction. Stephen Pirie outlines practical tools for better thinking, Useful for organisations and individuals. Incorporates the idea of the extended mind.

My Amazon review:

Steaphen Pirie has put together a very succinct volume here. Tools for betterment are precisely what you’ll get from this book. The tools help us not only in reframing experience and seeing things in a new light, but in helping us tap into the intuitive mind. The latter incorporates non-local awareness, an important expansion of human intelligence, and part of what Pirie calls The Big Now. The author implores us to be adventurous, bold, and honour hunches and explore future possibilities. His view is to balance left and right-brain thinking, the masculine and the feminine dimensions of mind. It is a noble quest, and one well worth embarking upon!

Charlotte Grace: THE SPIRIT HEALER: In Search of Truth

Topic: Autobiography by Charlotte Grace, recounting her mystical and spiritual adventures – and misadventures.

My Amazon review:

“Charlotte Grace has produced a fascinating and very honest autobiographical account of her spiritual journey in The Spirit Healer. The book moves along at a lively pace with enough worldly adventure and metaphysical escapade to keep the reader riveted to the page. The book is laced with wisdom and insight, some of it coming from Grace herself, with the rest being from her spiritual sources.

The Spirit Healer should be particularly useful to those who have experienced psychic and visionary experiences, and not been certain how to integrate them into their lives. It is not necessarily easy to experience these kinds of things. In particular there can be challenges in coming to understand how to continue to live and relate to other human beings who do not necessarily understand them or accept them. Grace’s story provides a few cautionary insights for those who might be a little unworldly, in this regard.”

What Can I do about Feeling Ugly and Unlovable? (The 5 Minute Mystic #7)

Many people feel that they are not lovable. They may feel ugly and bad, regardless of what they actually look like. In this edition of The Five Minute Mystic I answer this question from Lesley, and suggest what can be done to address the problem and to heal.

Dear Marcus

Can you give me some advice? Do you have anything that will help me feel more accepting of myself, warts and all? I am on this solitary path where people shun me and don’t understand me and look at me with disdain. Thanks, Lesley

 

 

Breaking the Chains of Karma: Sunil’s Story (The 5 Minute Mystic)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short link to this page: http://ow.ly/lPuSh

This is a rather special edition of The Five Minute Mystic. And not just because it is longer than usual!

Recently a man from India (I shall call him Sunil) wrote me an email (you can see it below). In the email Sunil describes his experience of suffering because of a poor sense of self-worth: essentially of feeling unlovable. I feel that his case deserves special consideration, as it reflects many of the issues that we face in our lives, though perhaps on a greater scale than average. I go into some depth about how personal biography (childhood) and the idea of karma and past lives affects us in daily life. It also touches upon the evolution of the human oversoul. I think it contains much that is important for people who are on a spiritual journey.

Here is Sunil’s email, and my response is contained in the two videos, below that.

Finally, thank you Sunil for having the courage to share your story with us.

Regards,

Marcus

PS. It isn’t possible to explain some important subjects at length in a video. If you want to know more about why I do not believe in the popular idea of karma, you can read more my ebook The Truth about Karma: http://ow.ly/lwNS6. And find out more about Life Alignment here.

 

Dear Mr. Marcus Anthony,

I am really glad to write this email, because currently I am reading your book Discover Your Soul Template. It has provided a lot of insight for me.

 OK I’ll tell my story. I must be honest about myself. I got your book in some site only for free. I am in India, especially South Indians don’t have much money to get direct counselling…

 My problem is that I can’t… talk to people in general, mostly with females and the also same energy with males… I am feeling high pressure in my head and my eyes, I am feeling fear, shame, low self-esteem, doubt and anxiety every time (I) interact with women, but I very much love women and sex.

 I am 33 years old now. For the past 16 years I have been suffering from the same problem. I don’t know how it started in my life, but it hurts me (greatly). Almost all the day I am affected (by) this (great) pain.

 In general, I like to talk to people, particularly women, and also men, but I can’t do that. I don’t have that concentration power, because (the feeling) simply overrides my conscious mind. My face becomes full of tightness and I (cannot look at) people’s faces directly. During the experience I just want to escape from the situation.

 Sometimes I talk with people with confidence, (and during) that time I am normal, but it only lasts for 1 to 2 hours normally… But in my anxiety time, they are not able to interact with me happily, my eyes become like starring too much.

 I want to seriously get rid of this problem. Kindly guide me for this soul problem. I am looking (to) you as my deepest friend and spiritual teacher.

 I am expecting your email of healing power.

 Sunil

Short links: Part 1: http://ow.ly/lPrSS,  Part 2:  http://ow.ly/lPrYK

 

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How to Distinguish the Ego from the Inner Sage? (5-min Mystic #5)

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Here we go again with another installment of The Five Minute Mystic. The question I am answering comes from Graham, who asks:

“During meditation I hear a strong voice – I assume it’s the ego – and a quiet voice that comes from much deeper. Also it’s hard to register what the quiet voice is saying and showing me, as it is right on the verge of sleep and hard to understand. How do you better connect with the quiet voice and how do you distinguish what part of you the voices are – ego sage or child?” See my answer in the video, below.

If you have a question you would like me to answer, email it to me, marcus@marcustanthony.com; or alternatively write it in the comments section below.

All the best,

Marcus

 

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The Future of Consciousness project overview

The Coming Consciousness Revolution refers to the fast-approaching era of science and culture which acknowledges the reality of the extended mind and the spiritual dimensions of human experience. The Coming Consciousness Revolution explores exciting developments & possibilities in a wide array of domains including business, spirituality, philosophy, social media, education & learning, the arts, health & healing biology, physics, consciousness studies, computing etc.

The short link to this page is: http://ow.ly/kCOGH

This is it! I have made references on previous occasions to something I have called The Future of Consciousness(formerly The Great Mind Shift). However this is the first time I have mentioned a project which I have been developing over the past few weeks that goes by the very same name: The Future of Consciousness. You can see an overview of the project below the book cover.

I have already formed a Meet Up group in Melbourne. Our first meeting just two days ago was very promising, with an enthusiastic fourteen members attending. This particular Meet Up group is for Melbournites only (unless you are willing to fly in to our meetings!). However, there will eventually be a Mind Shift web site all of its own, and anybody, anywhere across the globe is free to visit or become a member. Meanwhile, you can read regular updates here on this page.

I listed some initial practical possibilities for this project here.

Without further ado, here are the details of the The Future of Consciousness project, in its essence. Note that the project appears under its original name, The Coming Consciousness Revolution.

PS: If you wish to be kept up to date about research and developments regarding The Future of Consciousness (interviews, videos, the book project, important links to other works etc.) just email me at newsletter@marcustanthony.com, and I will send you updates every month or so.

Marcus

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 GMS cover basics

The Future of Consciousness

What it means for the future of science, life and business

Initiated by:

Marcus T. Anthony, PhD,

Director, MindFutures

“Where will The Coming Consciousness Revolution take us, and how can we create opportunities from it?”

The Coming Consciousness Revolution refers to the fast-approaching era of science and culture which acknowledges the reality of the extended mind and the spiritual dimensions of human experience. The Future of Consciousness explores exciting developments & possibilities in a wide array of domains including business, spirituality, philosophy, social media, education & learning, the arts, health & healing biology, physics, consciousness studies, computing etc.

The Coming Consciousness Revolution heralds an era of tremendous opportunity for all those passionate about expanded human futures and the untapped potentials within the human mind.

Overview

·        Futurist Marcus T Anthony indicates a new direction of change, & outlines what it will mean for life, work, science, education & society

·        A key purpose of The Coming Consciousness Revolution is to stimulate thinking & get people to begin expanding their thoughts about what is possible with the future of mind

·        This project has a practical focus: aimed at people who would like to seize opportunities

·        The Great Transition is a stimulus to encourage those with the imagination & foresight to explore concrete opportunities in business, career, research or life orientation.

Motivation

·        A major shift is emerging – a dramatic change in what it means to be human

·        The 21st century will increasingly be an era of connectedness, both technologically & spiritually

·        Old notions of consciousness being localised in brains will be replaced by reality of the extended mind – a mind that is in dynamic relationship with other people, the environment & the cosmos itself.

Aims of the Project

·        To publish The Coming Consciousness Revolution (book), which will be a powerful reference book (updated regularly)

·       To form The Coming Consciousness Revolution group (international think tank) to bring together a group of committed, influential experts to form a pool of knowledge & resources

·       To present an overview of some of the most important current ideas and/or scientific developments in practical applications of The Coming Consciousness Rebolution

·       To make informed predictions about where each domain may develop in the coming decades as The Coming Consciousness Revolution takes more definite form

·       To suggest opportunities for learning, business and personal growth in each domain

·        To present video and text interviews with leading thinkers in each domain

·       Regular updates (www.mind-futures.com/great-mind-shift)

PS: If you wish to be kept up to date about research and developments regarding The Coming Consciousness Revolution (interviews, videos, the book project, important links to other works etc.) just email me at newsletter@marcustanthony.com, and I will send you updates every month or so.

Marcus

The spiritual trap: “I will be OK when I am healed!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following extract is from my brand new ebook Games You Play to Deny Yourself Divine Love, which is now available on Amazon.com (if you would like a review copy, email Marcus, mindfutures@icloud.com). This book is part of an ebook series called The Deepening. The other two ebooks published so far are:

Trolls and Demons: How to Remain Awake in the Age of Online Zombies

The Truth about Karma

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I will accept myself when I am more spiritual

Ah yes. I am spiritual. Very spiritual! And I am becoming more spiritual. Soon I will be so spiritual that all those sheeple out there will be so far beneath me that I will not even know they exist!

There’s no more guaranteed way to sabotage a spiritual journey than to go on a spiritual journey. Where are you going, exactly? When will you get there?

Can you see the problem?

In setting up the journey, you are saying that where I am now is not okay. I must arrive somewhere else, later on – only then will I be whole and complete. This here and now is not good enough. Indeed, I must become more spiritual. Like the Dalai Lama, the Pope, Jesus, or the Buddha. Or maybe I can just be as enlightened as my spiritual teacher. Sure, I am not there yet. But I will be. One day. In the future. But not now. Not here.

Not ever.

The mind loves this spiritual game. It is a guaranteed way that it never has to release its power over you, for it sets up a perpetual cycle of conditional love. I will be OK when I am truly spiritual, when I get to the top of that mountain.

“I need to be perfect”

Jesus was perfect. He couldn’t be tempted by the devil, and he never had a wicked thought. The Buddha just sat around being all enlightened. I’m not there yet, but maybe one day I will be.

Sorry, but you are not going to be like Jesus, and you haven’t got a hope of being like the Buddha. No, you are just fine the way you are.

Make no mistake. There are lessons we can learn from the spiritual greats. There are subtle distinctions about the way mind and cosmos interact, between the way the ego and higher self operate. But you are not here to be like anyone else. You are just magnificent in what you are right now. If you stop and relax long enough, you might just discover this for yourself. So do yourself a favour and spare yourself those thirty years of penance or meditation you think you need to become perfect.

The key to awakening lies in the deep acceptance of all that you already are, including all those parts of yourself you deem to be unacceptable.

Get it through your thick head (or thick mind). You are never going to be perfect. Not ever!

Here’s another secret. No mind that has ever existed on this planet has ever become enlightened. That’s right. No mind has ever reached nirvana because the mind by its very nature exists in separation, and if you want to continue to exist on this plane of existence, a mind comes in very handy from time to time.

The truth is that the Deepening is a relaxation into the perfection that you already are. The mind can never live up to the ridiculous expectations which you place upon it. So don’t bother.

If you are not having a good time, why bother anyway?

Is your ultimate enlightenment worth the cost of being a boring, miserable SOB till the year 2050?

I don’t think so.

So snap out of it.

 

“I will be OK when I am healed”

 Don’t interrupt my pain. I’m healing!

You have to give it to the mind for this one, for it is pure genius. Trying to heal is perhaps the perfect trap the mind sets up to fool itself. In this common scenario, you set out to heal yourself after you acknowledge that that there is pain within your soul. Your mind then declares: “My goodness! This is what is stopping the light from shining within me! I must go on a healing journey in order to awaken! I must get rid of this damn pain. When I no longer hurt, I will be free – and enlightened!”

Do you see the trap? In trying to get rid of the pain, the ego is rejecting the wounded child within. The ego is rejecting itself. Ironically, shutting out the light. Here the mind is saying that the current me, with all this pain and suffering, is not acceptable. But one day, when I get rid of all this damn anger, sadness and fear I’ll be okay. Not till then though!

What I am talking about involves a very subtle distinction. It is generally true that we have to acknowledge our pain before we can heal. If we suppress our hurt and emotions they will never heal. But we have to bring a loving, non-judgmental awareness to our pain. For any judgment of the wounded child will simply drive it further into unconsciousness.

Further, as Caroline Myss points out in Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can, the mind can become addicted to the healing process, especially the sense of intimacy that one gets from being part of a healing group, or sharing one’s pain with another.

“How will I connect with my wounded fellow-journeymen when the pain is gone?” asks the mind in terror. The answer is twofold. Firstly, in bringing your mind into presence with another, you connect in the intimacy of the moment. And this is a far more beautiful connection than one based on trying to swap emotional baggage. Secondly, there are plenty of ways to interact with others without bringing emotional pain into it. Join a hiking group. Discuss philosophy or gardening. Play sport.

“But these things are not intimate!” the ego complains. And no, they are not intimate in the same way. But often the sense of connectedness you get in sharing your pain emerges from a subtle level of dysfunction. In particular, the intimacy of healing groups can often be a co-dependent process, where people unconsciously begin carrying each other’s wounds. So you walk out of the group with lots of little inner children clinging to you back because you are rescuing everyone – or possessed by someone to whom you gave your power away.

To be perfectly blunt, no healing will occur while your wounded energy is in someone else’s possession. This is a blatant form of giving your power away to another individual or group.

The most effective solution to the sense of emptiness that may ensue after leaving behind the intimacy of healing groups or friends is simply to begin to connect deeply with what is before you in every moment, in deep presence. In the end, this is the only thing that will fill the void.

Cover Games play love

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Council of Sages: extract from Marcus T Anthony’s “The Deepening”

The Deepening: The Art of Unconditional Love is futurist and mystic Marcus T. Anthony’s latest book. It is the follow-up to the successful volume Discover Your Soul Template. The central focus of The Deepening is how to find unconditional love within yourself, and then shining that light out into the world. The book relates the author’s personal inner journey of self-discovery and healing. The Deepening states that unconditional love is the ultimate destination of your soul, and of the oversoul of humanity.

This extract comes from one of the later chapters in the book, and discusses the idea of the emergence of Councils of Sages, and how they might help transform our world. The Sages on such councils will consist of those who have discovered the light within themselves, and learned the art of unconditional love. Some of you who read my old blog may recognise the idea of the Council of Sages from a post I wrote about the idea about a year ago.

Marcus

 

The Deepening: The Art of Unconditional Love. Council of Sages: by Marcus T. Anthony

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How to Learn Something # 1: Explore the New

And now for something completely different (as the Monty Python team used to say). Just for fun, I am putting together a series of videos about how to learn quickly and effectively. It’s rather humbly called”, “How to learn Something”. Over the years I have learned a lot of new things quickly and effectively, including many things I once thought were impossible. On a not quite so humble note, I call my learning theory the Anthony Learning Method. I’ve deliberately kept the videos low key, because these are principles that are simple and don’t require any dressing up. There will be more videos, which will follow at irregular intervals. Each video will introduce a new principle.

Happy learning,

Marcus

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What are Deep Futures?

POPULAR REFERENCE: Deep down many images of the future are really shallow. That’s a play on an old joke, but let me explain.

Futures are not simply dry scenarios, not merely the compact, politically correct visions of policy makers and government think tanks. They are the images which fire our hopes and dreams within the present. Futures, whether preferred, probable, or possible, can call us to action, and can inspire us to reach higher and further. Human beings do not respond well to dry, empirical data. If that were the case, data for increasing greenhouse emissions would have seen a much greater shift in consumer awareness than we have observed. We human beings need something to be passionate about, something that gives us meaning and hope, something that brings us into deep relationship with each other, the world, and Gaia. They employ other ways of knowing and permit the use of intuition and exploration of inner worlds.

To summarise, futures with depth contain these elements:

  • They inspire. They instil us with passion, and ignite something deep within us.
  • They are the big picture. They encourage us to see things in broader perspective, including the cultural, national, civilisational, the Gaian, and the spiritual.
  • They honour both the head and the heart. They permit rational and intuitive ways of knowing and living to co-exist.
  • They permit expression of multiple cultures and worldviews, not just dominant ones
  • They are deeply meaningful, not merely interesting, amusing, or engaging
  • They permit deep connection with each other, with nature, and with inner and spiritual worlds
  • They honour universal human values: peace, beauty, freedom, justice, and love (including freedom of thought and information, and financial freedom).People and Gaia lie at the heart of the future, not merely money and machines.

All futures work is embedded within worldviews and paradigms, and this typically includes implicit hegemonies. The other becomes part of the disowned future. Like so many civilisations, the Western critical/rational worldview tends to see its version of social expression as a result of ineluctable historical forces – in this case the march of progress away from superstition and the primitive and toward the rational and technological. Many non-Western countries have adopted a version of this worldview as their preferred future. Chinese central government policy makers, for example, have developed the model of “scientific development”, which, in practice, is extreme capitalism without democracy. Yet futures centred within the critical/rational worldview are but one expression of multiple possible futures. A key role of the postconventional futurist is to offer provocative alternatives.

The concept of Deep Futures is effectively a synthesis of the critical/rational and mystical/spiritual worldviews. The concept of DF is broadly representative of the philosophical perspective of postconventional futurists in general. Deep Futures is therefore no less “subjective” than any other expression of Futures.

The kind of science, education, and culture that we have developed in modern society make us proficient at analysing, classifying, and experimenting. But we are not so good at putting things back together, at identifying what is important, what is moral, what is great. Deep Futures, as I see it, has a prime aim of bringing together rational and intuitive thinking, to assist us in developing minds and futures that can help us thrive in a dynamic and rapidly changing world.

Marcus

 

 

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