“The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.”   —James Baldwin

I love this quote!  One important component of my life is an ongoing exploration of what I understand Reality to be: it includes our amazing, aching, thriving, much abused, resilient, sacred mother earth; our miraculous, exciting, evolving bodies with our collective and individual consciousness(es); and, last but not least :-), the dazzling, humongous, and mysterious cosmos we find ourselves embedded in…

Here are two radical ways of ‘looking at reality’  —  I’d love to hear if they help pop you out of some familiar patterns and let you see things differently, as they did for me!

What the Bleep Do We Know is a “revolutionary cinematic blend of dramatic film, documentary, animation and comedy, while serving up a mind-jarring blend of Quantum Physics, spirituality, neurology and evolutionary thought,” which came out some years ago, but is ever fresh in the light of our new understandings of ourselves and our universe.   (You can actually watch the whole film on YouTube.)  I highly recommend it (though it drags a bit in the middle).  It will blow your mind, literally.  And I imagine, it will lead you to alter the way you look at reality as well…

One key notion is to recognize that day to day, in our usual lives, we are playing a role in the unfolding of life and the universe.  All our thoughts, our actions, are ‘changing reality’ all the time, both inside and out.  Many spiritual and environmental leaders say that what is needed is for us to play this role consciously, to be part of the upward trend in how reality evolves.  I’m watching the film again tonight with my women’s group, and I look forward to it!

Secondly, there is an inspiring, and free, series on the Web, called Beyond Awakening:  The Future of Spiritual Practice, which is integrally about all of this.  Here is the Home site, which currently tells about an upcoming event, an interview with Dr. Stanislav Grof, a well known and, by many, respected researcher into non-ordinary states of consciousness — read LSD and other substances.  Grof has also taken his studies deep into the field of non-drug self-exploration, and understanding of our inner and outer worlds. Go have a read and consider registering for the series.  In addition to the interview with Stan Grof this Sunday, there are inspiring and provocative talks from the past several years, all available for free downloading to all registrants.

I find Grof’s work exciting and encouraging, full of challenges but also inspiration.  He, and indeed, many other speakers in the Beyond Awakening series, tackle such topics as why we matter, who we are, how we fit into the BIG picture, how we can be part of the evolution of consciousness, and why it is so important to understand this at the critical juncture where we find ourselves.

Stan Grof is no slouch academically or intellectually. So I was most interested to learn some of the principles he has come to accept:   1) There is an optimizing force, some say divine, some say intelligent, operating in the universe.  2) There is chaos and disorder happening as well.  3) These are parallel realities, both exist, both are true.  4) We human beings can be openings for this benevolent force, and we can, as Grof says, “shape existence and consciousness so it can evolve in the most healthy ways possible. And thus the world, and Divine Intelligence needs us to create those openings, and to serve as vehicles for it.”

Now what do you make of that? 🙂  A magnificent reason for being alive, eh?

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, andgrowth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)








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