sábado, dezembro 24, 2005

Scientific Proof of the Existence of God

An interview with Amit Goswami by Craig Hamilton

"What is Enlightenment?" Magazine-Issue 11


Before you read any further, stop and close your eyes for a moment. Now consider the following question: for the moment your eyes were closed, did the world still exist even though you weren"t conscious of it? How do you know? If this sounds like the kind of unanswerable brain teaser your Philosophy 101 professor used to employ to stretch your philosophical imagination, you might be surprised to discover that there are actually physicists at reputable universities who believe they have answered this questionand their answer, believe it or not, is no.
Now consider something even more intriguing. Imagine for a moment the entire history of the universe. According to all the data scientists have been able to gather, it exploded into existence some fifteen billion years ago, setting the stage for a cosmic dance of energy and light that continues to this day. Now imagine the history of planet Earth. An amorphous cloud of dust emerging out of that primordial fireball, it slowly coalesced into a solid orb, found its way into gravitational orbit around the sun, and through a complex interaction of light and gases over billions of years, generated an atmosphere and a biosphere capable of not only giving birth to, but sustaining and proliferating, life.
Now imagine that none of the above ever happened. Consider instead the possibility that the entire story only existed as an abstract potentiala cosmic dream among countless other cosmic dreamsuntil, in that dream, life somehow evolved to the point that a conscious, sentient being came into existence. At that moment, solely because of the conscious observation of that individual, the entire universe, including all of the history leading up to that point, suddenly came into being. Until that moment, nothing had actually ever happened. In that moment, fifteen billion years happened. If this sounds like nothing more than a complicated backdrop for a science fiction story or a secular version of one of the world"s great creation myths, hold on to your hat. According to physicist Amit Goswami, the above description is a scientifically viable explanation of how the universe came into being.
Goswami is convinced, along with a number of others who subscribe to the same view, that the universe, in order to exist, requires a conscious sentient being to be aware of it. Without an observer, he claims, it only exists as a possibility. And as they say in the world of science, Goswami has done his math. Marshalling evidence from recent research in cognitive psychology, biology, parapsychology and quantum physics, and leaning heavily on the ancient mystical traditions of the world, Goswami is building a case for a new paradigm that he calls "monistic idealism," the view that consciousness, not matter, is the foundation of everything that is.
A professor of physics at the University of Oregon and a member of its Institute of Theoretical Science, Dr. Goswami is part of a growing body of renegade scientists who in recent years have ventured into the domain of the spiritual in an attempt both to interpret the seemingly inexplicable findings of their experiments and to validate their intuitions about the existence of a spiritual dimension of life. The culmination of Goswami"s own work is his book The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World. Rooted in an interpretation of the experimental data of quantum physics (the physics of elementary particles), the book weaves together a myriad of findings and theories in fields from artificial intelligence to astronomy to Hindu mysticism in an attempt to show that the discoveries of modern science are in perfect accord with the deepest mystical truths.
Quantum physics, as well as a number of other modern sciences, he feels, is demonstrating that the essential unity underlying all of reality is a fact which can be experimentally verified. Because of the enormous implications he sees in this scientific confirmation of the spiritual, Goswami is ardently devoted to explaining his theory to as many people as possible in order to help bring about what he feels is a much needed paradigm shift. He feels that because science is now capable of validating mysticism, much that before required a leap of faith can now be empirically proven and, hence, the materialist paradigm which has dominated scientific and philosophical thought for over two hundred years can finally be called into question.
Interviewing Amit Goswami was a mind-bending and concept-challenging experience. Listening to him explain many ideas with which he seemed perfectly at home, required, for me, such a suspension of disbelief that I at times found myself having to stretch far beyond anything I had previously considered. (Goswami is also a great fan of science fiction whose first book, The Cosmic Dancers, was a look at science fiction through the eyes of a physicist.)
But whether or not one ultimately accepts some of his more esoteric theories, one has to respect the creativity and passion with which he is willing to inquire. Goswami is clearly willing to take risks with his ideas and is fervently dedicated to sharing his investigation with audiences around the world. He speaks widely at conferences and other forums about the exciting discoveries of the new science and their significance, not only for the way science is done, but for society as a whole. In India, the country of his birth, he is actively involved in a growing organized movement to bridge the gap between science and spirituality, through which he is helping to pioneer a graduate institute in "consciousness studies" based on the premise that consciousness is the ground of all being.
Goswami is considered by some to be a pioneer in his field. By attempting to bring material realism to its knees and to integrate all fields of knowledge in a single unified paradigm, he hopes to pave the way for a new holistic worldview in which spirit is put first. In fact, as far as we know, he is the only new paradigm scientist who is taking a clear stand against the relativism so popular among new age thinkers. At a time when the decay of human values and the erosion of any sense of meaning has reached epidemic scale, it is hard to imagine what could be more important than this.
And yet, for all the important and valuable work he seems to be doing, in the end we are left with serious reservations as to whether Goswami"s approach will ultimately lead to the kind of transformation he hopes for. Thinkers such as Huston Smith and E. F. Schumacher have pointed to what they feel is an arrogance, or at least, a kind of naiveté, on the part of scientists who believe they can expand the reach of their discipline to somehow include or explain the spiritual dimension of life. Such critics suggest that the very attempt to scientifically validate the spiritual is itself a product of the same materialistic impulses it intends to uproot and, because of this, is ultimately only capable of reducing spirit, God and the transcendent to mere objects of scientific fascination.
Is science capable of proving the reality of the transcendent dimension of life? Or would science better serve the spiritual potential of the human race by acknowledging the inherent limits of its domain? The following interview confronts us with these questions.

WIE: In your book The Self-Aware Universe you speak about the need for a paradigm shift. Could you talk a bit about how you conceive of that shift? From what to what?

AG: The current worldview has it that everything is made of matter, and everything can be reduced to the elementary particles of matter, the basic constituents building blocks of matter. And cause arises from the interactions of these basic building blocks or elementary particles; elementary particles make atoms, atoms make molecules, molecules make cells, and cells make brain. But all the way, the ultimate cause is always the interactions between the elementary particles. This is the beliefall cause moves from the elementary particles. This is what we call "upward causation." So in this view, what human beings you and I think of as our free will does not really exist. It is only an epiphenomenon or secondary phenomenon, secondary to the causal power of matter. And any causal power that we seem to be able to exert on matter is just an illusion. This is the current paradigm.

Now, the opposite view is that everything starts with consciousness. That is, consciousness is the ground of all being. In this view, consciousness imposes "downward causation." In other words, our free will is real. When we act in the world we really are acting with causal power. This view does not deny that matter also has causal potencyit does not deny that there is causal power from elementary particles upward, so there is upward causation but in addition it insists that there is also downward causation. It shows up in our creativity and acts of free will, or when we make moral decisions. In those occasions we are actually witnessing downward causation by consciousness.

WIE: In your book you refer to this new paradigm as "monistic idealism." And you also suggest that science seems to be verifying what a lot of mystics have said throughout history that science"s current findings seem to be parallel to the essence of the perennial spiritual teaching.

AG: It is the spiritual teaching. It is not just parallel. The idea that consciousness is the ground of being is the basis of all spiritual traditions, as it is for the philosophy of monistic idealismal though I have given it a somewhat new name. The reason for my choice of the name is that, in the West, there is a philosophy called "idealism" which is opposed to the philosophy of "material realism," which holds that only matter is real. Idealism says no, consciousness is the only real thing. But in the West that kind of idealism has usually meant something that is really dualism that is, consciousness and matter are separate. So, by monistic idealism, I made it clear that, no, I don"t mean that dualistic kind of Western idealism, but really a monistic idealism, which has existed in the West, but only in the esoteric spiritual traditions. Whereas in the East this is the mainstream philosophy. In Buddhism, or in Hinduism where it is called Vedanta, or in Taoism, this is the philosophy of everyone. But in the West this is a very esoteric tradition, only known and adhered to by very astute philosophers, the people who have really delved deeply into the nature of reality.

WIE: What you are saying is that modern science, from a completely different angle - not assuming anything about the existence of a spiritual dimension of life - has somehow come back around, and is finding itself in agreement with that view as a result of its own discoveries.

AG: That"s right. And this is not entirely unexpected. Starting from the beginning of quantum physics, which began in the year 1900 and then became full-fledged in 1925 when the equations of quantum mechanics were discovered, quantum physics has given us indications that the worldview might change. Staunch materialist physicists have loved to compare the classical worldview and the quantum worldview. Of course, they wouldn"t go so far as to abandon the idea that there is only upward causation and that matter is supreme, but the fact remains that they saw in quantum physics some great paradigm changing potential. And then what happened was that, starting in 1982, results started coming in from laboratory experiments in physics. That is the year when, in France, Alain Aspect and his collaborators performed the great experiment that conclusively established the veracity of the spiritual notions, and particularly the notion of transcendence. Should I go into a little bit of detail about Aspect"s experiment?

WIE: Yes, please do.

AG: To give a little background, what had been happening was that for many years quantum physics had been giving indications that there are levels of reality other than the material level. How it started happening first was that quantum objects - objects in quantum physics - began to be looked upon as waves of possibility. Now, initially people thought, "Oh, they are just like regular waves." But very soon it was found out that, no, they are not waves in space and time. They cannot be called waves in space and time at all- they have properties which do not jibe with those of ordinary waves. So they began to be recognized as waves in potential, waves of possibility, and the potential was recognized as transcendent, beyond matter somehow.
But the fact that there is transcendent potential was not very clear for a long time. Then Aspect"s experiment verified that this is not just theory, there really is transcendent potential, objects really do have connections outside of space and time - outside of space and time! What happens in this experiment is that an atom emits two quanta of light, called photons, going opposite ways, and somehow these photons affect one another"s behavior at a distance, without exchanging any signals through space. Notice that: without exchanging any signals through space but instantly affecting each other. Instantaneously.
Now Einstein showed long ago that two objects can never affect each other instantly in space and time because everything must travel with a maximum speed limit, and that speed limit is the speed of light. So any influence must travel, if it travels through space, taking a finite time. This is called the idea of "locality." Every signal is supposed to be local in the sense that it must take a finite time to travel through space. And yet, Aspect"s photonsthe photons emitted by the atom in Aspect"s experiment - influence one another, at a distance, without exchanging signals because they are doing it instantaneously - they are doing it faster than the speed of light. And therefore it follows that the influence could not have traveled through space. Instead the influence must belong to a domain of reality that we must recognize as the transcendent domain of reality.

WIE: That"s fascinating. Would most physicists agree with that interpretation of his experiment?

AG: Well, physicists must agree with this interpretation of this experiment. Many times of course, physicists will take the following point of view: they will say, "Well, yeah sure, experiments. But this relationship between particles really isn"t important. We mustn"t look into any of the consequences of this transcendent domain - if it can even be interpreted that way." In other words, they try to minimize the impact of this and still try to hold on to the idea that matter is supreme.
But in their heart they know, as is very evidenced. In 1984 or "85, at the American Physical Society meeting at which I was present, it is said that one physicist was heard saying to another physicist that, after Aspect"s experiment, anyone who does not believe that something is really strange about the world must have rocks in his head.

WIE: So what you are saying is that from your point of view, which a number of others share, it is somehow obvious that one would have to bring in the idea of a transcendent dimension to really understand this.

AG: Yes, it is. Henry Stapp, who is a physicist at the University of California at Berkeley, says this quite explicitly in one of his papers written in 1977, that things outside of space and time affect things inside space and time. There"s just no question that that happens in the realm of quantum physics when you are dealing with quantum objects. Now of course, the crux of the matter is, the surprising thing is, that we are always dealing with quantum objects because it turns out that quantum physics is the physics of every object. Whether it"s submicroscopic or it"s macroscopic, quantum physics is the only physics we"ve got. So although it"s more apparent for photons, for electrons, for the submicroscopic objects, our belief is that all reality, all manifest reality, all matter, is governed by the same laws. And if that is so, then this experiment is telling us that we should change our worldview because we, too, are quantum objects.

WIE: These are fascinating discoveries which have inspired a lot of people. A number of books have already attempted to make the link between physics and mysticism. Fritjof Capra"s The Tao of Physics and Gary Zukav"s The Dancing Wu Li Masters have both reached many, many people. In your book, though, you mention that there was something that you felt had not yet been covered which you feel is your unique contribution to all this. Could you say something about what you are doing that is different from what has been done before in this area?

AG: I"m glad that you asked that question. This should be clarified and I will try to explicate it as clearly as I can. The early work, like The Tao of Physics, has been very important for the history of science. However, these early works, in spite of supporting the spiritual aspect of human beings, all basically held on to the material view of the world nevertheless. In other words, they did not challenge the material realists" view that everything is made up of matter. That view was never put to any challenge by any of these early books. In fact, my book was the first one which challenged it squarely and which was still based on a rigorous explication in scientific terms. In other words, the idea that consciousness is the ground of being, of course, has existed in psychology, as transpersonal psychology, but outside of transpersonal psychology no tradition of science and no scientist has seen it so clearly.
It was my good fortune to recognize it within quantum physics, to recognize that all the paradoxes of quantum physics can be solved if we accept consciousness as the ground of being. So that was my unique contribution and, of course, this has paradigm-shifting potential because now we can truly integrate science and spirituality. In other words, with Capra and Zukavalthough their books are very good - because they held on to a fundamentally materialist paradigm, the paradigm is not shifting, nor is there any real reconciliation between spirituality and science. Because if everything is ultimately material, all causal efficacy must come from matter. So consciousness is recognized, spirituality is recognized, but only as causal epiphenomena, or secondary phenomena. And an epiphenomenal consciousness is not very good. I mean, it"s not doing anything. So, although these books acknowledge our spirituality, the spirituality is ultimately coming from some sort of material interaction.
But that"s not the spirituality that Jesus talked about. That"s not the spirituality that Eastern mystics were so ecstatic about. That"s not the spirituality where a mystic recognizes and says, "I now know what reality is like, and this takes away all the unhappiness that one ever had. This is infinite, this is joy, this is consciousness." This kind of exuberant statement that mystics make could not be made on the basis of epiphenomenal consciousness. It can be made only when one recognizes the ground of being itself, when one cognizes directly that One is All.
Now, an epiphenomenal human being would not have any such cognition. It would not make any sense to cognize that you are All. So that is what I am saying. So long as science remains on the basis of the materialist worldview, however much you try to accommodate spiritual experiences in terms of parallels or in terms of chemicals in the brain or what have you, you are not really giving up the old paradigm. You are giving up the old paradigm and fully reconciling with spirituality only when you establish science on the basis of the fundamental spiritual notion that consciousness is the ground of all being. That is what I have done in my book, and that is the beginning. But already there are some other books that are recognizing this too.

WIE: So there are people corroborating your ideas?

AG: There are people who are now coming out and recognizing the same thing, that this view is the correct way to go to explain quantum physics and also to develop science in the future. In other words, the present science has shown not only quantum paradoxes but also has shown real incompetence in explaining paradoxical and anomalous phenomena, such as parapsychology, the paranormaleven creativity. And even traditional subjects, like perception or biological evolution, have much to explain that these materialist theories don"t explain. To give you one example, in biology there is what is called the theory of punctuated equilibrium. What that means is that evolution is not only slow, as Darwin perceived, but there are also rapid epochs of evolution, which are called "punctuation marks." But traditional biology has no explanation for this.
However, if we do science on the basis of consciousness, on the primacy of consciousness, then we can see in this phenomenon creativity, real creativity of consciousness. In other words, we can truly see that consciousness is operating creatively even in biology, even in the evolution of species. And so we can now fill up these gaps that conventional biology cannot explain with ideas which are essentially spiritual ideas, such as consciousness as the creator of the world.

WIE: This brings to mind the subtitle of your book, How Consciousness Creates the Material World. This is obviously quite a radical idea. Could you explain a bit more concretely how this actually happens in your opinion?

AG: Actually, it"s the easiest thing to explain, because in quantum physics, as I said earlier, objects are not seen as definite things, as we are used to seeing them. Newton taught us that objects are definite things, they can be seen all the time, moving in definite trajectories. Quantum physics doesn"t depict objects that way at all. In quantum physics, objects are seen as possibilities, possibility waves. Right? So then the question arises, what converts possibility into actuality? Because, when we see, we only see actual events. That"s starting with us. When you see a chair, you see an actual chair, you don"t see a possible chair.

WIE: Right - I hope so.

AG: We all hope so. Now this is called the "quantum measurement paradox." It is a paradox because who are we to do this conversion? Because after all, in the materialist paradigm we don"t have any causal efficacy. We are nothing but the brain, which is made up of atoms and elementary particles. So how can a brain which is made up of atoms and elementary particles convert a possibility wave that it itself is? It itself is made up of the possibility waves of atoms and elementary particles, so it cannot convert its own possibility wave into actuality. This is called a paradox. Now in the new view, consciousness is the ground of being. So who converts possibility into actuality? Consciousness does, because consciousness does not obey quantum physics. Consciousness is not made of material. Consciousness is transcendent. Do you see the paradigm-changing view right here how consciousness can be said to create the material world? The material world of quantum physics is just possibility. It is consciousness, through the conversion of possibility into actuality, that creates what we see manifest. In other words, consciousness creates the manifest world.

WIE: To be honest, when I first saw the subtitle of your book I assumed you were speaking metaphorically. But after reading the book, and speaking with you about it now, I am definitely getting the sense that you mean it much more literally than I had thought. One thing in your book that really stopped me in my tracks was your statement that, according to your interpretation, the entire physical universe only existed in a realm of countless evolving possibilities until at one point, the possibility of a conscious, sentient being arose and that, at that point, instantaneously, the entire known universe came into being, including the fifteen billion years of history leading up to that point. Do you really mean that?

AG: I mean that literally. This is what quantum physics demands. In fact, in quantum physics this is called "delayed choice." And I have added to this concept the concept of "self-reference." Actually the concept of delayed choice is very old. It is due to a very famous physicist named John Wheeler, but Wheeler did not see the entire thing correctly, in my opinion. He left out self-reference. The question always arises, "The universe is supposed to have existed for fifteen billion years, so if it takes consciousness to convert possibility into actuality, then how could the universe be around for so long?" Because there was no consciousness, no sentient being, biological being, carbonbased being, in that primordial fireball which is supposed to have created the universe, the big bang. But this other way of looking at things says that the universe remained in possibility until there was self-referential quantum measurementso that is the new concept. An observer"s looking is essential in order to manifest possibility into actuality, and so only when the observer looks, only then does the entire thing become manifest including time. So all of past time, in that respect, becomes manifest right at that moment when the first sentient being looks.
It turns out that this idea, in a very clever, very subtle way, has been around in cosmology and astronomy under the guise of a principle called the "anthropic principle." That is, the idea has been growing among astronomers - cosmologists anyway - that the universe has a purpose. It is so fine-tuned, there are so many coincidences, that it seems very likely that the universe is doing something purposive, as if the universe is growing in such a way that a sentient being will arise at some point.

WIE: So you feel there"s a kind of purposiveness to the way the universe is evolving; that, in a sense, it reaches its fruition in us, in human beings?

AG: Well, human beings may not be the end of it, but certainly they are the first fruition, because here is then the possibility of manifest creativity, creativity in the sentient being itself. The animals are certainly sentient, but they are not creative in the sense that we are. So human beings certainly right now seem to be an epitome, but this may not be the final epitome. I think we have a long way to go and there is a long evolution to occur yet.

WIE: In your book you even go so far as to suggest that the cosmos was created for our sake.

AG: Absolutely. But it means sentient beings, for the sake of all sentient beings. And the universe is us. That"s very clear. The universe is self-aware, but it is self-aware through us. We are the meaning of the universe. We are not the geographical center of the universe - Copernicus was right about that - but we are the meaning center of the universe.

WIE: Through us the universe finds its meaning?

AG: Through sentient beings. And that doesn"t have to be anthropocentric in the sense of only earthlings. There could be beings, sentient beings on other planets, in other stars - in fact I am convinced that there are - and that"s completely consonant with this theory.

WIE: This human-centered - or even sentient-being-centered - stance seems quite radical at a time when so much of modern progressive thought, across disciplines from ecology to feminism to systems theory, is going in the opposite direction. These perspectives point more toward interconnectedness or interrelatedness, in which the significance of any one part of the whole - including one species, such as the human species - is being de-emphasized. Your view seems to hark back to a more traditional, almost biblical kind of idea. How would you respond to proponents of the prevailing "nonhierarchical" paradigm?

AG: It"s the difference between the perennial philosophy that we are talking about, monistic idealism, and what is called a kind of pantheism. That is, these views - which I call "ecological worldviews" and which Ken Wilber calls the same thing - are actually denigrating God by seeing God as limited to the immanent reality. On the face of it, this sounds good because everything becomes divinethe rocks, the trees, all the way to human beings, and they are all equal and they are all divinityit sounds fine, but it certainly does not adhere to what the spiritual teachers knew. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna, "All these things are in me, but I am not in them." What does he mean by that? What he means is that "I am not exclusively in them."
So there is evolution, in other words, in the manifest reality. Evolution happens. That means that the amoeba is, of course, a manifestation of consciousness, and so is the human being. But they are not in the same stage. Evolutionarily, yes, we are ahead of the amoeba. And these theories, these ecological-worldview people, they don"t see that. They don"t rightly understand what evolution is because they are ignoring the transcendent dimension, they are ignoring the purposiveness of the universe, the creative play. Ken Wilber makes this point very, very well in his book Sex, Ecology, Spirituality.

WIE: So you would say they have part of the picture but that without this other aspect that you are bringing in, their view is very...

AG: It´s very limited. And that"s why pantheism is very limited. When Westerners started going to India, they thought it was pantheistic because it has many, many gods. Indian philosophy tends to see God in nature, in many things - they worship rocks sometimes, that kind of thing - so they thought it was pantheistic and only somewhat later did they realize that there is a transcendent dimension. In fact, the transcendent dimension is developed extremely well in Indian philosophy, whereas the transcendent dimension in the West is hidden in the cave of a very few esoteric systems such as the Gnostics and a few great masters like Meister Eckhart. In Jesus" teachings you can see it in the Gospel according to Thomas. But you have to really dig deep to find that thread in the West. In India, in the Upanishads and the Vedanta and the Bhagavad Gita, it is very much explicit. Now, pantheism sounds very good. But it"s only part of the story. It"s a good way to worship, it"s a good way to bring spirituality into your daily life, because it is good to acknowledge that there is spirit in everything. But if we just see the diversity, see the God in everything, but don"t see the God which is beyond every particular thing, then we are not realizing our potential. We are not realizing our Self. And so, truly, Self-realization involves seeing this pantheistic aspect of reality, but also seeing the transcendent aspect of reality.

WIE: In addition to being a scientist, you are also a spiritual practitioner. Could you talk a little bit about what brought you to spirituality?

AG: Well, I"m afraid that is a pretty usual, almost classic, case. The ideal classic case, of course, is the famous case of the Buddha, who recognized at the age of twenty-nine that all of his pleasure as a prince was really a waste of time because there is suffering in the world. For me it was not that drastic, but when I was about thirty-seven the world started to fall apart on me. I lost my research grant, I had a divorce and I was very lonely. And the professional pleasure that I used to get by writing physics papers stopped being pleasure.
I remember one time when I was at a conference and all day I had been going around, beating my own drums and arguing with people. Then in the evening when I was alone, I felt so lonely. And I realized that I had heartburn, and I had already exhausted a full bottle of Tums and still it would not go away. I discovered suffering; I discovered suffering literally. And it is that discovery of suffering that brought me to spirituality, because I couldn"t think of anything else. I couldn"t think of any other way - although I had given up the idea of God entirely and had been a materialist physicist for quite some time. In fact, when my young children asked me one time, "Are you an atheist?" I said something like, "Yeah." And, "Is there a God?" And I said, "No, I don"t believe in God." That kind of thing was quite common for me to say. But in that era, around thirty-seven, that particular world - where God didn"t exist and where the meaning of life came just from brain-pursuits of glory in a profession - just did not satisfy me and did not bring happiness. In fact it was full of suffering. So I came to meditation. I wanted to see if there was any way of at least finding some solace, if not happiness. And eventually great joy came out of it, but that took time. And also, I must mention that I got married too, and the challenge of love was a very important one. In other words, I very soon discovered after I got married for the second time that love is very different than what I thought it was. So I discovered with my wife the meaning of love, and that was a big contribution also to my own spirituality.

WIE: It"s interesting that, while you turned to spirituality because you felt that science wasn"t really satisfying your own search for truth, you have nevertheless remained a scientist throughout.

AG: That"s true. It"s just that my way of doing science changed. What happened to me, the reason that I lost the joy of science, was because I had made it into a professional trip. I lost the ideal way of doing science, which is the spirit of discovery, the curiosity, the spirit of knowing truth. So I was not searching for truth anymore through science, and therefore I had to discover meditation, where I was searching for truth again, truth of reality. What is the nature of reality after all? You see the first tendency was nihilism, nothing exists; I was completely desperate. But meditation very soon told me that no, it"s not that desperate. I had an experience. I had a glimpse that reality really does exist. Whatever it was I didn"t know, but something exists. So that gave me the prerogative to go back to science and see if I could now do science with new energy and new direction and really investigate truth instead of investigating because of professional glory.

WIE: How then did your newly revived interest in truth, this spiritual core to your life, inform your practice of science?

AG: What happened was that I was not doing science anymore for the purpose of just publishing papers and doing problems which enabled you to publish papers and get grants. Instead, I was doing the really important problems. And the really important problems of today are very paradoxical and very anomalous. Well, I"m not saying that traditional scientists don"t have a few important problems. There are a few important problems there too. But one of the problems I discovered very quickly that would lead me, I just intuited, to questions of reality was the quantum measurement problem.
You see, the quantum measurement problem is supposed to be a problem which forever derails people from any professional achievement because it"s a very difficult problem. People have tried it for decades and have not been able to solve it. But I thought, "I have nothing to lose and I am going to investigate only truth, so why not see?" Quantum physics was something I knew very well. I had researched quantum physics all my life, so why not do the quantum measurement problem? So that"s how I came to ask this question, "What agency converts possibility into actuality?" And it still took me from 1975 to 1985 until, through a mystical breakthrough, I came to recognize this.

WIE: Could you describe that breakthrough?

AG: Yes, I"d love to. It"s so vivid in my mind. You see, the wisdom was in those days - and this was in every sort of book, The Tao of Physics, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Fred Alan Wolf"s Taking the Quantum Leap, and some other books too - everywhere the wisdom was that consciousness must be an emergent phenomenon of the brain. And despite the fact that some of these people, to their credit, were giving consciousness causal efficacy, no one could explain how it happened. That was the mystery because, after all, if it"s an emergent phenomenon of the brain, then all causal efficacy must ultimately come from the material elementary particles. So this was a puzzle to me. This was a puzzle to everybody. And I just couldn"t find any way to solve it. David Bohm talked about hidden variables, so I toyed with his ideas of an explicate order and an implicate order, that kind of thing - but this wasn"t satisfactory because in Bohm"s theory, again, there is no causal efficacy that is given to consciousness. It is all a realist theory. In other words, it is a theory on which everything can be explained through mathematical equations. There is no freedom of choice, in other words, in reality. So I was just struggling and struggling because I was convinced that there is real freedom of choice.
So then one time - and this is where the breakthrough happened - my wife and I were in Ventura, California and a mystic friend, Joel Morwood, came down from Los Angeles, and we all went to hear Krishnamurti. And Krishnamurti, of course, is extremely impressive, a very great mystic. So we heard him and then we came back home. We had dinner and we were talking, and I was giving Joel a spiel about my latest ideas of the quantum theory of consciousness and Joel just challenged me. He said, "Can consciousness be explained?" And I tried to wriggle my way through that but he wouldn"t listen. He said, "You are putting on scientific blinders. You don"t realize that consciousness is the ground of all being." He didn"t use that particular word, but he said something like, "There is nothing but God." And something flipped inside of me which I cannot quite explain. This is the ultimate cognition, that I had at that very moment. There was a complete about-turn in my psyche and I just realized that consciousness is the ground of all being. I remember staying up that night, looking at the sky and having a real mystical feeling about what the world is, and the complete conviction that this is the way the world is, this is the way that reality is, and one can do science. You see, the prevalent notion - even among people like David Bohm - was, "How can you ever do science without assuming that there is reality and material and all this? How can you do science if you let consciousness do things which are ‘arbitrary"?" But I became completely convinced - there has not been a shred of doubt ever since - that one can do science on this basis. Not only that, one can solve the problems of today"s science. And that is what is turning out. Of course all the problems did not get solved right on that night. That night was the beginning of a new way of doing science.

WIE: That"s interesting. So that night something really did shift for you in your whole approach. And everything was different after that?

AG: Everything was different.

WIE: Did you then find, in working out the details of what it would mean to do science in this context, that you were able to penetrate much more deeply or that your own scientific thinking was transformed in some way by this experience?

AG: Right. Exactly. What happened was very interesting. I was stuck, as I said, I was stuck with this idea before: "How can consciousness have causal efficacy?" And now that I recognized that consciousness was the ground of being, within months all the problems of quantum measurement theory, the measurement paradoxes, just melted away. I wrote my first paper which was published in 1989, but that was just refinement of the ideas and working out details. The net upshot was that the creativity, which got a second wind on that night in 1985, took about another three years before it started fully expressing itself. But ever since I have been just blessed with ideas after ideas, and lots of problems have been solved - the problem of cognition, perception, biological evolution, mind-body healing. My latest book is called Physics of the Soul. This is a theory of reincarnation, all fully worked out. It has been just a wonderful adventure in creativity.

WIE: So it sounds pretty clear that taking an interest in the spiritual, in your case, had a significant effect on your ability to do science. Looking through the opposite end of the lens, how would you say that being a scientist has affected your spiritual evolution?

AG: Well, I stopped seeing them as separate, so this identification, this wholeness, the integration of the spiritual and the scientific, was very important for me. Mystics often warn people, "Look, don"t divide your life into this and that." For me it came naturally because I discovered the new way of doing science when I discovered spirit. Spirit was the natural basis of my being, so after that, whatever I do, I don"t separate them very much.

WIE: You mentioned a shift in your motivation for doing science - how what was driving you started to turn at a certain point. That"s one thing that we"ve been thinking about a lot as we"ve been looking into this issue: What is it that really motivates science? And how is that different from what motivates spiritual pursuit? Particularly, there have been some people we have discussed - thinkers like E. F. Schumacher or Huston Smith, for example - who feel that ever since the scientific revolution, when Descartes"s and Newton"s ideas took hold, the whole approach of science has been to try to dominate or control nature or the world. Such critics question whether science could ever be a genuine vehicle for discovering the deepest truths, because they feel that science is rooted in a desire to know for the wrong reasons. Obviously, in your work you have been very immersed in the scientific world - you know a lot of scientists, you go to conferences, you"re surrounded by all of that and also, perhaps, you struggle with that motivation in yourself. Could you speak a little more about your experience of that?

AG: Yes, this is a very, very good question; we have to understand it very deeply.
The problem is that in this pursuit, this particular pursuit of science, including the books that we mentioned earlier, The Tao of Physics and The Dancing Wu Li Masters, even when spirituality is recognized within the materialist worldview, God is seen only in the immanent aspect of divinity. What that means is: you have said that there is only one reality. By saying that there is only one reality - material reality - even when you imbue matter with spirituality, because you are still dealing with only one level, you are ignoring the transcendent level. And therefore you are only looking at half of the pie; you are ignoring the other half. Ken Wilber makes this point very, very well. So what has to be done of course - and that"s when the stigma of science disappears - is to include the other half into science. Now, before my work, I think it was very obscure how this inclusion has to be done. Although people like Teilhard de Chardin, Aurobindo or Madame Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophy movement, recognized that such a science could have come, very few could actually see it.
So what I have done is to give actual flesh to all these visions that took place early in the century. And when you do that, when you recognize that science can be based on the primacy of consciousness, then this deficiency isn"t there anymore. In other words then, the stigma that science is only separateness goes away. The materialist science is a separatist science. The new science, though, says that the material part of the world does exist, the separative movement is part of reality also, but it is not the only part of reality. There is separation, and then there is integration. So in my book The Self-Aware Universe I talk about the hero"s journey for the entire scientific endeavor. I said that, well, four hundred years ago, with Galileo, Copernicus, Newton and others, we started the separatist sail and we went on a separate journey of separateness, but that"s only the first part of the hero"s journey. Then the hero discovers and the hero returns. It is the hero"s return that we are now witnessing through this new paradigm.

segunda-feira, dezembro 05, 2005

The Gathering

The following material is excerpted fromVoyages Into the Afterlife: Charting Unknown Territory, the third book in my Exploring the Afterlife Series. These experiences took place during a program at The Monroe Institute. called, Exploration 27.

Copyright: Bruce A. Moen, All Rights Reserved


Bob Monroe's second book, Far Journeys, was first published in 1985 and in it, in a chapter entitled, The Gathering, Bob described an area now called Focus 34/35 in the Exploration 27 program. According to Bob's 1985 description, Beings, or Intelligences, from many other locations within the physical universe are gathered together around the earth to witness what have come to be called, the Earth Changes. Much has been written by many other authors about these events, including dire predictions of horrific alterations to earth's land masses and populations. Each participant in the program has the opportunity to learn about these coming events via first hand, direct experience. Each comes to this opportunity with his or her own preconceived notions, which I'm certain color the experience. For readers not familiar with Bob's description of the Gathering it's excerpted from Far Journeys below. Bob was exploring Out of Body (OOB) and had been led to the Gathering by his INSPEC, someone he, years later, discovered was a future self. This excerpt is the first half of a nonphysical conversation between Monroe and his INSPEC, whose words are in parentheses and italics. The second half is reprinted later.

From Far Journeys, pages 230-232, A Dolphin Book, DOUBLEDAY & COMPANY, INC. , GARDEN CITY, NEW YORK, 1985
We were out in space somewhere between the earth and the moon, indeterminate distance, fifty thousand miles plus from the surface of the earth. It was very clear and detailed, not as it was before. I turned to look at the moon and blanked. No more than a thousand feet away, or so it seemed, was an immense, solid-appearing object gray in color, long and slender, conical-shaped with a hemispheric dome at the widest end -- the other was somewhere in the distance, at least several miles. It appeared motionless, but I had the definite precept of M Band radiation from it. A spaceship, a physical spaceship?

(In your terms, that is correct. It is not a human construct. There are many of such around the physical earth at this point. Their origins are of your physical universe but not necessarily of your time reference.)

"Many" could be five or five thousand. There was no point in trying find out. But why around our earth, was it . . .

(They are focused on the planet earth and humans just as you observed the others, and for the same purpose. Shall we move on? The answer will come soon.)

My curiosity accepted gladly.

CLICK! (Ed note: indicates a shift of awareness to a new area.)
My immediate precept of the earth was a pinpoint of reflected light in the distance, no larger than a small star. From it came irregular waves of energy, multidimensional, pulsing, intermittently broken by occasional quick flares, a complex unorganized pattern composed not of light or electromagnetic or gravitic structure, but of some other energy that I couldn't define. I was so completely fascinated by the display that I did not at first notice the background. As far as I could perceive in all directions, with the earth at the center, was a host of forms, countless numbers, it seemed. Some had shape, others appeared as not more than a wisp of cloud vapor, all glowed in various degrees of intensity. From those nearest us, I had the same precept of expectancy, of waiting for the show to begin. It must be some big show to attract all of these . . .

(It is what we call the gathering. These have manifested from other nearby energy systems only to witness the big show, as you call it, just as those within the physical spacecraft and your final-process humans . . .)
End of quoted material.

After our briefing by the trainers, just prior to our first attempt to reach The Gathering, our group was asked to stand in a circle. As we assembled and worked at making our circle more round than oblong, Tom, one of the participants, began clowning around.

In a singsong voice he said, "You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out . . . ," making reference to a teenage, sock hop dance called the Hoky Poky.

He was standing close to me and while watching him, my mind was suddenly yanked back to a memory from the first tape exercise of the program. It was then I'd first seen our group gather around the crystal at TMI There in Focus 27. We'd gathered, nonphysically, standing silently in a circle around the crystal and had all joined hands. Then as if on cue, we'd each stepped forward, in unison, into the circle with our right foot as we reached our joined hands downward, toward the base of the crystal. Then we'd raised our hands, stepping back in unison, each moving our right foot outside the circle. Our clasped hand movement continued, upward and outward until, from above, we looked like a huge lotus blossom. While raising our hands and stepping back we'd made a sound. And with the joyous sound of our "WOOO-AAAHH," the crystal had come alive in silent explosions of incredible power. Vibrant energies in yellows, oranges, reds, pinks and whites shot up through the crystal and showered down upon all of us. Memory of that scene begged that we repeat it in the physical world. My voice stumbled out as I explained the scene to our group that I'd seen during our first tape exercise, and asked that we do it right then. After showing everyone once what the body movement looked like, they all joined me in unison, as if on cue. They moved and made the sound as if we'd practiced for hours. It was absolutely incredible! By the second WOOO-AAAHH I could feel a tremendous column of energy the size of our circle shooting straight up out of the floor. By the fourth sound my entire body began to heat up, like a full body fever of 104, with pure joy the only accompanying feeling. After eight or nine WOOO-AAAHHs we all stopped in unison, again as if on cue. There were several comments about feelings of energy and heat running through people's bodies. With that finished, we all headed for our CHEC units to explore the Gathering for the first time.

After resonant tuning and the affirmation I went directly to the crystal at TMI There to wait for the rest of our group to gather. One by one everyone walked in and formed a circle at the base of the crystal. When we were all assembled we repeated our WOOO-AAAHH, lotus blossom movement and sound. Colored light and sparks cascaded up into the air and showered down everyone, charging each of us with Pure Unconditional Loving energy from the crystal. Then, following instructions on the exercise tape, we used a slingshot method, suggested by the trainers, to reach Focus 34/35. I first shifted to the Earth Core Crystal with a feeling like stretching a long rubber band. It became darker and darker as I approached the heavy vibration of EC F-27. Then, letting go of EC F-27, I felt myself accelerating through all the Focus levels toward the crystal at TMI There in Focus 27 as my field of vision became lighter and lighter. Flying through the brightness of the crystal at TMI There, I shot past it and entered a vast expanse of empty blackness. I continued to feel a sense of movement through the blackness until the Hemi-Sync sounds stabilized at Focus 34/35. Without any way of knowing if I'd actually arrived at the Gathering, I opened my perception to my surroundings, trying to sense whatever was in the vicinity.

There seemed to be nothing but blackness at first, then things lightened up and I sensed something moving through my field of view from above to below. Focusing my attention on the movement, perceptions of strange shapes began to form in my imagination. Rolling clouds, a huge snail shell looking object, and then a long cylinder. The cylinder appeared to be several thousand feet long and had what looked like a dish antenna on one end. Occasionally I heard strange gurgling sounds. Then something that looked like a huge mushroom went by, a large flat cap and stalk that reminded me of images of the Disk from my vision over twenty years ago. Then an odd looking shape like giant puffball came into view and I had the sense it contained intelligence of some type. I decided to try to make contact with it.

"Hello? . . . excuse me? . . . anybody home?" I called out tentatively. There was a funny gurgling noise and then I could feel something moving inside the puffball. It seemed to be sort of pulling itself into a form separate from the rest of the form. It felt like the inside of the puffball was filled with a sort of conscious Jell-O and a portion of it was separating and organizing itself into a form that could communicate with me. A little ball of this conscious Jell-O sort of oozed out of the rest of the mass and popped into view. My sense was that it was a shy sort of Being and not exactly sure how to communicate with me.

"Hi, my name is Bruce and I'm here on a tour with a group from earth. We're here to learn about the Gathering. Is that where I am?"

I could feel the little Jell-O ball in front of me working up the courage to begin speaking. When it did, I almost burst out laughing at the sound of its voice. It was a fast, very high pitched, squeaky voice, higher and faster then the Walt Disney's Chip and Dale, cartoon chipmunk voices, but with a similar sound. It spoke in repetitive, fast past sentences.

"Yes, this is the Gathering, you're in the right place, this is where many are gathered to observe the earth school. Sorry it took so long to get started, not used to acting as a separate individual, apart from the main body, took a while to separate this form from the whole to be able to communicate with you, can you understand my communication?"

"It's a little fast and high pitched, but yes, I understand. While I was waiting for you, I got the impression you were reorganizing and separating a portion of your consciousness. This isn't your native form of being?"

"Oh no, my form is more that of a whole, conscious on my many levels simultaneously, you seem to need a narrower band, smaller fraction of the whole, less than all levels available at once, to receive my communication, hence the separation. I'm just a small portion what's available, more at once would appear to be too much for you to comprehend, overload your switchboard, probably jam your circuits."

"I did hear a funny gurgling sound just before I felt you begin to separate from the whole," I said, wondering if it was somehow connected.

"Yes, we tried to communicate as a whole at first, but it was obvious from your response your weren't getting it, no comprendo, nada, over your head." The high squeaky voice was comical, cute and effective.

"Can you tell me why you're here?" I asked, prompted by Dar's voice on the tape to ask the question.

"We're here to witness the Big Event and report back to our home world. We're an information gathering unit. Like a news crew, you know, live from the scene, cub reporter, film at eleven, now back to the studio. We send reports of events as they unfold here back to our home world. We're from a different galaxy then yours.

I must have worded my next question poorly. All I intended to ask was a friendly, "Where you from," kind of question, like you'd ask any stranger, just to make polite conversation. When I did, the little blob I was talking to stopped abruptly and was quiet for about two seconds. I expected he would point to a distant star and say something like, "Our home world is over that way." That's not what happened . . .

"I'll show you, come right this way," it said in a determined, squeaky little voice.

I had the impression we both turned to the right and then the little guy pointed into space with something. After that, everything happened so fast, it will take longer for you to read the next sentence than it took for everything to happen. A bright yellow tube, like a Tube of Knowing I'd seen earlier, leaped forward and in an instant traversed thousands of light years of space. The Tube's straight line course then bent at an angle and leaped forward another couple of thousand light years. It's hard to believe what happened next. The little guy and I zipped along the first section of the tube in one or two milliseconds, turned and flashed across another couple thousand light years of space in the next millisecond or so. The whole while I could clearly see the stars and blackness of space ahead of us and feel a sensation of speed that is beyond comprehension in any physical world context. Each time we came to a place where the Tube bent and went off in different direction I could feel a slight sideways acceleration through the turn. While we were moving I could see the Tube continuing to form in straight line sections extending past the farthest stars I could see. At various, oddly spaced points the next Tube section would shoot off at a different angle, then continue in a straight line past the distant stars, only to repeat the cycle again. I have no way of knowing how far we actually traveled, but it had to be multiple, millions of light years. Then I saw the Tube had stopped forming up ahead and when we reached the end, we stopped.

"There it is, my home world, where we live, where we send the film at eleven," the high pitched, squeaky voiced little blob said to me.

I looked down and realized I was looking at a planet. It had swirling cloud patterns and its surface appeared to be mostly blue, and tan colors. We stayed for perhaps half a second.

"Well, seen enough? Well, okay then, time to go," my little buddy squeaked out.

The Gathering Part 2

We started moving backwards and the planet quickly became a pin point of light in the distance and then disappeared. My impression was that we came back along the same route we'd taken to get to the little guy's home world. We flew backwards the entire time, again at a speed beyond the meaning of the word. Along with the sensation of moving backwards, I could feel the bumps each time the Tube changed direction. Visually, I could see star fields that were stable images for a few milliseconds, and then with each bump I could see a different field with stars in different positions. When we came to a stop, we were back where we'd started, floating next to the giant puffball shape. My impression was that the entire trip took two, maybe two and a half seconds at the outside. I know in physical world terms such a trip, traveling millions of light years in seconds, is impossible. I also know I experienced it. It was very long trip, we moved very fast, and we did not travel in a straight line. I floated quietly for five or six seconds, reviewing images of our trip and trying to restabilize my thinking. The trip left me with a feeling of mental shock like being hit with a baseball bat in the psyche.

"You okay?" the little guy squeaked, with a feeling of concern carried on his voice.

"Yeah, that trip seems to have jumbled me a little, but it feels like I'm coming back around. Yeah, I'm okay, no harm done." I still needed a few seconds before my head cleared and I remembered where I was and what I was supposed to be doing.

"You said earlier you're here to observe the Big Event, can you tell me what it is?"

"Sure, the core crystal of your planet is moving into alignment with a very distant object. It's an alignment at an intergalactic level," the little guy said, flatly.

"What's the object the core crystal is aligning with?" I asked, curious.

"The Big Guy, head honcho, mister big, the main man, center of the universe, the beginning, the grandfather of all grandfathers, get it?" he replied.

From his redundant answers an image formed in my awareness. It was similar to the Uranus / Bimini axis alignment, except it was the main earth core crystal and some very distant object. There was a sense that this alignment would make a pathway through which some kind of energy would enter and be infused into the earth core crystal. Whatever this energy is, it would become a part of a new "consciousness environment" for earth's inhabitants, both physical and nonphysical. My sense was that this was not yet perfectly in alignment, but very close. Close enough, earth's inhabitants were already feeling the effects from just the fringes of the distant object's energy. The effects would continue to intensify as perfect alignment approaches.

"How soon before this Big Event takes place?" I asked.

"It has already begun. Complete alignment will occur very soon," the little blob replied.

"What happens at complete alignment?" I asked.

A visual image formed in response to my question. It bore a strong resemblance to the final scene from the movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey. An image of the planet earth shone brightly, against the blackness of space and distant stars. A ball of bright light emerged from the earth and rose upward. The ball of light was the size of the earth and inside the ball I could see the fully formed body of an infant human. Its eyes were open and it was looking around.

"So, when the earth core crystal and this distant object are in perfect alignment, there will be a birth of some kind?" I asked.

"Yes, a birth, a human birth would be a way to describe the Big Event," the little guy replied.

"Why are you here to witness this birth," I asked.

"We are all here at the Gathering to witness it because the change it represents may effect us all. We're recording the event to try to better understand the effects it may have upon all of us. There's also the aspect of a desire to record it so we are better prepared to deal with this change should it occur on our own home world," he replied straightforwardly.

"What emotional effect will this have on earth's inhabitants?" I queried.

"Emotional effect? That doesn't translate to anything I'm familiar with, sorry can't help you there, maybe try someone else in the area," the little guy squeaked back.

"Oh, okay. Well thanks for your help, I'll check around a bit," I responded.

With that I sensed the little blob I'd been communicating with oozed back into the puffball shape and merged back together with rest of itself. Opening my perception to a wider field, I watched as the puffball drifted away and several more odd shapes floated past. Then Dar's voice on the tape suggested that we try to contact an earth school graduate if there were any around us. I decided to give that a try.

"Hello? . . . is there an earth school graduate in the area I can communicate with?" I asked, sort of casting my bread upon the waters. A voice deep bass, very low frequency voice came rumbling back in response.

"Yes, I'm here, how can I be of service?" the lower than James Earl Jones voice asked.

"I'm curious about the emotional effect the Big Event will have on earth's inhabitants. Can you give me any information on that?" I asked.

"Hmmm . . .," came back, sounding like the lowest note possible being played on a pipe organ. "Emotional effects . . .? It's been so long since I've experienced emotional effects I don't seem to be able to remember enough to give you a meaningful answer," the deep voice replied.

Not getting an answer from a supposed earth school graduate made me immediately feel suspicious. How could someone who went through the earth school profess not to remember about emotional effects. It felt like I was dealing with an impostor!

"Let's try this," I heard the deep voice say, with a deep, vibrating rumble.

Then something grabbed my attention, to say it was a vibration doesn't really describe it, but that's as close as I can get. I began to feel a definite sense of acceleration within the vibration. It kept moving faster and faster carrying a feeling of hyper alertness into my awareness. Then the feeling faded.

"That's the best I can do to describe it, I realize from your perspective, it's not much, but it's the best translation I can give you. Hope it's been helpful," the deep voice rumbled out.

"Well, I felt something. And it had a definite sense of acceleration of something, but that's all I got," I responded.

"You'll be getting more, soon," boomed out to me.

"Okay . . . well . . . thanks your for your input," I replied, then I moved away to explore a little on my own.

A short time later Dar's voice cut in requesting we all return to the crystal at TMI There. I arrived early and found Bob and Ed waiting for me.

Addressing Ed, Bob said, "Told you his energies would be beneficial to the group!"

"Never doubted it for a moment," Ed replied with a chuckle.

Then addressing me, Bob went on, "We had to prime the pump a little with Tom's Hoky Poky dancing, but you caught our intent right away after that. I just can't tell you how important it was for the group to perform that little ritual before this exercise. By the time you guys were done everyone in your group was positively glowing with energy. It made the leap to the Gathering so much easier for everybody."

"Bob's right," Ed added, "this is the best shot at conscious exploration of the Gathering, by the largest number of people we've seen in since the beginning of the program. Your group is doing extremely well. Everybody working over here on our side is just thrilled with how well this Exploration 27 group this is doing."

"And just wait," Bob said excitedly, "there's more, there's a lot more."

"Geez, Bob, you're going to give me a case of performance anxiety if you keep talking like that," I laughed.

"Nonsense, we took care of that in the beginning, remember? Nothing is going to happen until later? Well, later is still now, just relax and let come what comes, you'll do just fine," Bob replied. "Looks like almost everyone is back, I'd suggest you rejoin your group and have fun!"

Indeed, everyone had returned and we all joined hands in our circle at the base of the crystal and repeated our WOOO-AAAHH exercise until it was time to return to C-1 consciousness.

In the debriefing that followed this exercise the energetic effect of the physical world WOOO-AAAHH we had done just before embarking was very apparent. Almost everyone remarked about the strong sensation of body heat they'd felt throughout the exercise. Most had to kick off the blankets they usually needed to keep warm in their CHEC units. Some had opened the privacy curtain of their CHEC unit and a few had to remove clothing in an attempt to cool down. From my previous experience with such body heat sensations I knew this indicated tremendous flows of energy. Such energetic flows greatly facilitate maintenance and focusing of awareness. Like putting additional batteries in a flashlight, it has the effect of increasing brightness of the mind. Body heat is one of the telltale signs.

I was still pondering my first experiences at the Gathering, later that evening, when I headed down to the dining room for supper. Arriving a little late, as usual, I found myself sitting at a table, alone again with Ed Carter. Guess we're both a little slower than the rest of our group when it comes time to eat. Ed had looked over the articles, rough draft chapters and skimpy outline of my first book. We talked a little about what I'd written and what we'd each experienced at the Gathering.

During our dinner conversation Ed mentioned he'd invited a man named Frank to join us for breakfast Friday morning. Frank is a partner in Hampton Roads Publishing Company, located in Charlottesville, Virginia, a half hour drive from TMI. Ed said he thought Frank might be interested in what I was writing. And meeting him over breakfast would be an opportunity to have someone in the business assess the possibility of publishing it as a book. I felt a little excitement at the prospect of meeting him, and then Ed's and my conversation turned to what we'd experienced during the day's tape exercises, and thoughts of books and Frank faded into the background.


Thursday was the last full day of the program and our first tape exercise task was to return to the Gathering at Focus 34/35. We were to again make contact with one of the intelligences there and continue to explore both their reasons for being there and whatever we could find out about the so called earth changes. Bypassing the Hemi-Sync sound guidance, I shifted to my place in Focus 27 once again, immediately after resonant tuning and the affirmation. White Bear was waiting at the lake shore as usual.

"One more leaping exercise I want to show you," he toned, in a series of squeaks and squawks. "Elements of this one should keep you busy for quite some time."

"Okay, let's see what you've got for me this time," I replied boldly.

"The first element we need to talk about, before we get started," White Bear toned, solemnly, "is your focus of attention. In our exercises so far, where has your focus of attention been?" he asked.

"I'm not sure what you're asking me?" I replied.

"Put it this way, where have you been watching yourself from? Where's your vantage point been? What have you seen during our leaping exercises?" he questioned.

"Well, now that you mention it, I realize I've been seeing myself leap up into the air from the outside. I've been watching my body go through the air and land on the lake. Then I kind of rejoin it while we're talking. Why, what's important about my point of view?"

"Up until now you've been watching a body fly through the air. If I say it hasn't really been you doing the leaping, do you understand what that means?" White Bear toned, a sense of serious inquiry emanating from him.

"I think I get it. This has something to do with seeing myself as a physical body, doesn't it?"

"Couldn't have said it better myself," he replied, chuckling. "I'll wait quietly now, while you explore this element."

I stood there trying to understand what White Bear was getting at. I kept hoping he'd give me a hint, but none were forthcoming. Then it began slowly seeping into my awareness.

"The lake is a thought form I've projected into Focus 27. The splashes when I dove into the lake were responses of that thought form to my expectations, based on my belief in being a physical body. But, I remember I saw those splashes from my vantage point here, at the edge of the lake. The body I saw leaping, diving and splashing, I saw as separate from the me observing the experience. I was projecting a thought form of my body into Focus 27, and then watching it! I wasn't actually leaping! I was watching the body thought form, that I was projecting, as it was leaping!"

"And what," White Bear toned, "what do you suppose is the next lesson in leaping?"

"To actually do the leaping! Not watch my projection of a thought form of myself doing it, from a separate location, but actually do it myself!"

"You catch on quick!" he toned with a look of surprise. "There's a special form of leaping your are to use for this exercise. Watch me closely."

With that, White Bear shot up into the air along his usual trajectory, but he was doing forward somersaults from the time his feet left the ground. He was bent forward at the waist, with his knees tucked up against his chest, and his hands gripping his ankles. Just before he landed, his body stretched out like an Olympic gymnast finishing a perfect ten floor exercise routine. Landing on his toes, he brought his arms down from above his head and straight down along his sides. When he finished, his tones beckoned me to repeat his movement.

I immediately found myself off to one side, watching my body attempt the leaping somersault I'd just watched White Bear do. I had all the basics, with an awkward, amateur form, and I landed with my legs still tucked up against my chest. I made a very big splash.

"Bruce, where are you?" I felt White Bear tone. That's when I realized I was still standing on the shore, looking at myself and White Bear on the lake.

"Whoops! I was supposed to do the leaping, not watch a thought form of my body leaping," I toned back with embarrassment.

"This can be a difficult exercise. It takes tight focus of attention. Watching yourself instead of being yourself is a common trait for physical humans. Let's try it again," he toned, with a sense of encouragement.

For the next several attempts, White Bear stood on the shore and watched as I attempted this new form of leaping. He suggested that as a beginning exercise I could just try to stay in the body thought form I was projecting as it was leaping. I was astounded at how difficult this is to do. Once or twice I managed to be in my body thought form for a short portion of the leap. When I did, it felt like I was flashing back and forth between my standing position on the lake shore and my head over heels flying through the air. For the brief snatches of time I was actually in my leaping body, I could feel the sensation of somersaulting through the air. Dar's voice on the exercise tape cut my leaping exercises short with her request that we all meet at TMI There.

"For brief moments you are leaping properly. If you focus your attention on feeling the bodily sensations as you somersault through the air it will help you develop the tight focus required. Know that successfully experiencing these bodily sensations from the beginning to the end of your leap is only in intermediate step toward what leaping can ultimately teach you. Don't get hung up thinking you've mastered it at that point, all it means is you're just beginning to learn," White Bear cautioned.

"What can leaping ultimately teach me?" I asked, knowing beforehand what he would say.

"You will discover it when your leaping teaches it to you," White Bear laughed.

"Can't blame me for trying to find a short cut," I laughed back.

"I think you will find that all such attempts at short cuts, are really long cuts," he barked back. Then it was time to join the group at the crystal.

Before this exercise began most everyone had expressed some excitement and interest in further exploring the earth changes. So much has been written on the subject, predicting death, destruction and catastrophe, I was very interested in what we might discover too.

To be sure, each of us viewed our contacts at the Gathering through our own, unique sets of filters. What we perceive is always colored by our past experience and the contents of our personal library of images and beliefs. So with all our baggage and perceived notions we were ready to explore and gather first hand information once again. We used the same slingshot method to reach the Gathering at Focus 34/35. From darkness at EC F-27, at the Earth Core Crystal, I rocketed through the light at the TMI There crystal and into the darkness beyond. When the Hemi-Sync tones began to stabilize I opened my awareness to the lightening surroundings and waited for an impression to form. Several odd shapes floated into and out of view. The large, dark, mottled snail shell-looking thing came into view again above me and floated downward out of view. Next, the long tubular structure with the large satellite dish shape on one end moved by and faded from view as it moved from my right to my left. Then I could feel something very large directly in front of me, giving off impressions of hard, shiny, metallic and curved. I couldn't see it yet, but there seemed to be many individuals grouped together inside and they were busily working at various activities. I took this to be one of the intelligences at the Gathering and so I opened my intent to communicate with them. I'll refer to this intelligence as the "2ndGathgroup" because they were the second group I contacted at the Gathering. 2ndGathgroup isn't a name they gave me to call them. They might have had a name they called themselves, but it didn't occur to me to ask for one. So, we're stuck with 2ndGathgroup as their moniker.

As it turned out, there was a purpose in White Bear's teaching me his tonal language beyond just being able to communicate with him. During my first encounter at the Gathering, ordinary verbal communication had been sufficient. 2ndGathgroup didn't have a verbal language capability. They spoke in the same, Star Wars, R2D2 beeps and squawks as White Bear. If he hadn't patiently prepared me to communicate in this way, contact with 2ndGathgroup would have been impossible. To emphasize the way we communicated, how it sounded to my nonphysical ears, I'll try to describe the sound of it, at least for a little while. I discovered White Bear was right, the method he taught me is a universal language. Still, you'll probably have difficulty understanding what I mean when you read, I turned to the 2ndGathgroup Spokesman and said, 'Shreeeep, wop, wop, rerrrrr, pop, snap, nurt, nurt. It's completely unintelligible squeaks and squawks to the ear, but the sounds carried more information in two squeaks, than several paragraphs of text. Floating there in Focus 34/35, I faced the large, metallic object I could feel in front of me and opened my intent for contact.

"Hmmmmmm, meep, meep," I toned out to them, indicating I was an explorer from The Monroe Institute's Exploration 27 program interested in communication.

"Screeep, pop," came back, indicating it would take a moment for one of their group to separate himself from the rest and act as a liaison or spokesman. After a short wait I had the impression that one of their group moved out to my immediate vicinity, distinctly apart from the massive craft I could feel near by.

"Ommmm, beep," I toned out to him, asking him to tell me who he was.

Dropping the tone language sounds for now, he said, "We are a telepathic race, all connected to each others' thoughts in an instantaneous manner. We are a group consciousness. It was somewhat difficult to separate myself from the group to communicate with you, but here I am. As a telepathic group, all other members of the crew can listen in on our conversation through me. What is your interest in communicating with us?"

"I'm exploring this region of space to learn about something we call the Gathering," I replied. "I'm one of eighteen people participating in a program to explore beyond physical earth existence and learn what I can. What is your interest in communication?" I queried.

"We've come to this region to witness events taking place on the earth. Specifically the great event which is happening here to the earth school. You know anything about that?" he asked.

"We call it the Earth Changes but there seems to be lot of confusion about exactly what that means," I responded.

At this point Dar's voice came in on the tape and suggested I ask a question, I focused my attention on the 2ndGathgroup Spokesman and toned it.

"I've noticed there are many other groups gathered here also, what is your relationship to those other groups?" I asked.

"We are mostly all members of an intergalactic group, you might call it a federation. There are also some loners here who came on their own to observe these events. They are not members of our federation but are welcome to be here to observe. As federation members, we are part of a network that shares information in a cooperative effort to learn more about each other and the unknown. Every member of the federation with the capability has a contingent here to observe and we share our information with other members who haven't the capability," he replied.

Dar's voice stated the next question, "What proportion of those gathered here are Earth School graduates?" I passed it on to the 2ndGathgroup Spokesman.

"Their actual numbers are very small, perhaps five or six percent, but their power is great," he replied.

"How do those gathered here identify themselves and their current locale," I asked my host, prompted by Dar's voice on the tape.

"As a network of Aliens, or Other Home Worlders if you prefer. We each have our own home world in the physical universe. Each home world has sent a contingent here to observe the earth changes as you call them. We are located here where you've found us, in relatively close proximity to the earth. But we are just a small group of astronauts here on a mission from our home world. It's our understanding that one of the potential results of the earth changes, as you call them, is that earth will be joining our federation."

"What is the focus of your interest in your observation of the great event as you call it?" I asked, rephrasing the question Dar's voice suggested on the tape.

"We are here to try to gain some understanding of the energies involved in the great event," he replied. Calling my attention to the interior of his ship, he said, "As you can see we have brought the most sophisticated equipment available, from our home world to record this great event."

As I looked around the interior of their ship my impression of the control room was that of a NASA moon shot. Row upon row of computer monitors, technicians, sensors, control consoles, recording equipment and other assorted gear. It felt like there was close to a football field size area in their ship filled with technicians and equipment. Quite impressive.

"What sort of energies are you interested in recording?" I asked.

His answer came in a series of squawks and squeaks that translated themselves into images. The first one was an image of the earth that looked about two or three times the diameter of a full moon. As I looked at it I wondered if this gave some clue as to the distance from earth to 2ndGathgroup's ship. I could see the huge crystal within the earth aligned to the axis of rotation. At one end, near the north pole, a ring was placed around the crystal. The word "LOVE" was engraved on the ring. In response to my question about the nature of the energies 2ndGathgroup was here to record, the ring slid from the end of the crystal to the center. With the images of the crystal and the earth superimposed the ring moved to the core center of the earth.

These images then translated themselves into the following information. The energies are about a change in the duality nature of the earth school. When they're infused in the earth's core crystal some of the confusion we earth people have about this duality nature may be cleared up. The crystal symbolized the polarizing nature of the earth school where every thing can be described in terms of opposites. Polar opposites like hot and cold, wet and dry, tall and short are just a few examples. Moving the ring, labeled LOVE, from one end of the crystal to the center, symbolized a change in which we in the earth school would now recognize our confusion. We would have the opportunity to understand that Love does not have a polar opposite called hate. That is a confusion, caused by the duality nature of the earth school. As a result of the ongoing earth changes, the true opposite of Love would be revealed to be No Love, or lack of Love.

As I watched the images and listened to the translations from the 2ndGathgroup Spokesman I noted his flat tone, and clinical description of the earth changes. I realized he had absolutely no understanding of what he was describing at an emotional, feeling level. At a mental, feeling level, the Spokesman and his group reminded me of the Vulcan character, Mr. Spock, from the Star Trek television series. Totally incapable of experiencing anything at an emotional feeling level. Not a single member of this telepathic race had the slightest inkling of what Love felt like. To them, Love was just an energy like heat or light. It might be more useful to them if Love's energy came in the form of a wooden log. At least then it would provide heat when burned it in a fireplace. At least then it would have some reason for existence. Any actual use for energies such as Love was inconceivable to them. These guys were totally clueless. They were completely without any ability to perceive from an emotional, feeling perspective and lacked any means of emotional expression of such energies.

Responding to my query about any messages he might have for Earth's inhabitants, the 2ndGathgroup spokesman replied. "Many of your people will make the leap to your Focus 27 soon and will have to exist there for a very long time. There will be great reductions in overall earth population. Do what you can to prepare your people for this event."

"Can you give me a sign that will help me validate the information I've received from you?" I asked, again prompted to do so by Dar's voice on the tape.

The Gathering Part 3 (conclusion)

In response I was shown the image of a comet with a very large, tear drop shape. Existence of this comet would be a surprise to the general population of earth. My mind flashed back briefly to my tour of the Coordinating Intelligences. Then, as I watched the comet approach Earth, in the background I could hear the line from a sixties tune that goes, "This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius." From that information I interpreted that the comet might come out of Aquarius in the Zodiac or might indicate the new way of thinking nature of Aquarius. I also noted that Uranus is Aquarius's planetary ruler, meaning the energies of the two are similar. So, this comet might in some way be linked to events consistent with that energy which tends toward sudden, unexpected, bizarre changes, usually uncomfortable in some way.

Next I had the impression of something very far distant, millions or billions of light years away. Whatever this was would align with the earth's rotational axis on the north pole side. This alignment would allow connection with some form of energy that would enter the earth's energetic system. The approaching comet would provide a triggering event to establish this energetic connection. At the end of the image sequence I was shown a crab that I took to mean there is some connection between the comet and the Zodiac sign of Cancer, which is energetically similar to the Moon. The moon's energies deal with the emotions, the distant past and the feminine principle.

As a side note, I was a little flabbergasted after returning home from the program, by an article in The Rocky Mountain News, here in Denver. The story was the first public announcement of the sighting of a previously unknown comet discovered by an amateur astronomer in Japan, on January 30, 1996. This is the comet named Hyakutke after its discoverer. Astrologically, January 30 occurs when the sun is in the sign of Aquarius in the Zodiac. I was further floored by the projected path of the comet, printed along with the article in the newspaper. Its path viewed from earth, the article disclosed, would bring it very, very close to the North Star, Polaris. Polaris is the one star which is aligned to the earth's rotational axis on the north pole side of the globe. The article stated that comet Hyakutke would pass within 9.3 million miles of earth in late March of 1996, and then continue on, around our sun. As I was reading the article the hairs were standing up on the back of my neck as I remembered the images from my 2ndGathgroup contact. I'm still very curious about the meaning of the crab in those images. For whatever it all means, I feel like the appearance of comet Hyakutke gave me some level of confirmation of the information I received.

Another of Dar's voiced questions on the tape asked, "What will be the emotional impact of the earth changes on human beings." When I asked that question my earlier suspicions about the feeling nature of 2ndGathgroup were confirmed. My host could not use his normal tonal language to respond to my question. Instead he attempted to tone back to me the sound in our English language that caused him confusion. Nothing in his tonal language equated to the energy of the word "emotional." He could only try, with great difficulty, to repeat back the English language sound of my word.

"EEEE . . . MMMM . . . OOOOOOOH . . . SHAAA . . . UN . . . ALLL impact?" was his response, spoken in very broken tonal English followed by a huge question mark.

"Yes emotional impact, you know, feelings. For example, if you were on the earth when this Love energy enters the core crystal, what expression would you give that energy as an individual?" I toned back to him. By the dumbfounded look on his face I could see this guy was drawing a complete, clueless blank.

"We are a telepathic race and as such have almost no understanding of what it means to experience anything as an individual. We are all connected together in an instantaneous access fashion and all of us experience everything as a collective unit. A member of our race, acting as an individual, causes great disruptions in the flow of information between the rest of us. It does happen occasionally, but it's greatly discouraged. We've had to develop a form of group consciousness which is relatively cooperative and uniform. This cooperation emanates from the group as a whole and is controlled by the group as a whole."

"We in the earth school perceive ourselves to be individuals, separate from the rest of our group," I responded. "Most people here operate as if their thoughts can be held in complete privacy. I don't personally believe that myth myself, but that's what most earth people believe and live by."

Now I was the one feeling a little dumbfounded. I was having difficulty following the meaning of my host's dissertation. I was trying to conceive of and understand the implications of being a member of a telepathic race. I kept asking myself what it would be like to live as a member of such a race where all minds are connected? What were the implications of each member's thoughts being freely, instantaneously perceived by all others? On earth that would mean the thoughts of an aboriginal native in the Outback of Australia would be running through the mind of a New York stockbroker. The thoughts of a suicidally depressed women in China would be drifting through the mind of Queen of England. The thoughts of a Holy War, Muslim soldier in Baghdad would be flooding through every other mind in the world. It would be the complete and utter chaos of listening to five billion different radio stations, all broadcasting through the single radio receiver of my mind. For me to function at all there could be no cultural, sexual, religious, ideological or nationalistic differences what so ever. Such an existence is inconceivable to me. Yet, 2ndGathgroup's telepathic existence had to deal with all these individual differences in order to function. Now I was the one drawing a blank. I was the one with the clueless look on my face.

"Reep, rang, rang, wacko!" I toned to the Spokesman, meaning, "the implications of your telepathic existence for the individual mind in the human earth school are incomprehensible. Such telepathic connection does occur for some individuals here, but it is definitely discouraged. Here, we call those kind of people insane. Not too many years ago we burned those kinds of people at the stake as witches." Realizing my contact with 2ndGathgroup held the potential to learn more about their impossible way of life, I continued listening to the Spokesman's explanation.

"If individual thoughts were not tightly controlled," the Spokesman continued, "with our telepathic ability our consciousness would be jammed by the simultaneous reception of all of the individual thoughts of the billions of inhabitants in our race. No one could possibly exist or think in such a jumble of random thoughts."

"And yet," I toned to the Spokesman, "that's exactly how we in the earth school live our lives, but without conscious telepathic connection."

"This is beyond our comprehension!" exclaimed the Spokesman. "We've always thought your way of living was impossible."

"Yeah, I think you're way of living is impossible too! We in the earth school evidently took a different evolutionary route to conscious awareness. Our adaptation was to close down our awareness of others in our group to survive and function as individual beings, separate from the whole."

"We on the other hand, have evolved a way of thinking our thoughts as a telepathically connect whole," the Spokesman declared. "When you mention existence as individuals, we became more interested in communication with you. We want to learn how it is you earth schoolers manage to exist as individuals. This is one of the things we have come to observe and record. As for that other sound you made, that EEEE . . . MMMM . . . . sound, we have no contact, zero understanding, no comprehension, nothing on file, whatever it is, it is not in our language or awareness in any form. But as explorers we understand that many times great understanding comes from probing that which is unknown. The thing you refer to with your EEEE . . . MMMM . . . sound definitely qualifies as an unknown. Is this thing connected in some way with learning to feel?" he asked.

"Yes, emotional impact and feeling are very closely related in earth school reality. They are sort of two ways of communicating about the same thing," I told him. "Some of us view emotion as an energy and feelings as the impact of emotional energies."

"Really! This is great! The major goal of our mission here is to learn about feeling. That's why we brought all this equipment and these technicians here from our home world. Our primary mission is to observe and record whatever we can about this feeling thing, whatever it is."

"I see, and that's a lot of fine looking equipment you have here too. Look, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I'm pretty certain all your instrumentation and hardware is going to be useless to fulfill your primary mission," I toned to the Spokesman.

The very next thing I heard sounded like the voices of a thousand, individual turkeys screaming at the top of their lungs and echoing around inside a huge, hollow tin can.

"Squabble . . . . squabble, squabble . . . . squabble, squabble, squabble exploded from the control room of the 2ndGathgroup's ship. They had temporarily lost control of their group mind, in the logical incongruity they saw in my remark. In the feel of the sound as hundreds of the crew members shouted out in their thoughts, I heard things like "What that earthling is saying is impossible. Our technology is so far ahead of theirs, he doesn't know what he's talking about."

It took a good ten seconds or more for the squabbling sound of a thousand turkeys in the big tin can to quiet down. I immediately knew I'd just witnessed an example of what happens when there is strong, individual expression within the group mind of a telepathically connected race. Utter chaos broke loose in their thinking process, as they reacted to the logical impossibility of my statement. After a short struggle, they got themselves back in the groove of their normal form of consciousness, and then the Spokesman connected with me again.

I continued, "In my opinion, as an earth school student, in order for you to fulfill your mission your won't be able to rely on your hardware."

The sound of a thousand turkey voices screaming in a big tin can erupted again. "Squabble . . . . . squabble . . . squabble, squabble, squabble, squabble, squabble," flew around like a zillion ping pong balls, bouncing and ricocheting off every thing and every one inside their ship until the crew regained control of their individual thoughts. It quieted down more quickly this time.

"As you've probably noticed, there is some disbelief on the part of most of our crew on that point," the Spokesman said, "could you explain more please, about our . . . a . . . hardware inadequacy."

"Not so much inadequacy as unsuitability," I replied. "You see, the only way I know to observe and record the feeling or emotional impact of an energy such a Love is for me to be the instrumentation. I think to complete your mission, you'll have to become the detectors and recorders yourselves. It will require that you use your body as the hardware. Your other instruments might pick up something, but it will most likely not fulfill your mission to understand the meaning of feelings."

Such an idea had obviously never occurred to these guys. A minor bit of squabbling broke out off and on during an extended silence, as the 2ndGathgroup pondered the meaning of what I was saying.

"Since the energy of Pure Unconditional Love is involved in the great event we are here to record, is there any way you can demonstrate to us what you mean, by using that specific energy?" the Spokesman asked.

Now it became clear to me why Robyn, one of the women in our group, had suddenly appeared near by just a few moments ago. I'd caught her arrival and wondered why she showed up.

"Just a moment please," I toned back to the Spokesman.

Then I turned my attention to Robyn, "Shereep, nanck, grreeech, grreeech," I toned to her. In doing so, she took into herself, understood and remembered the entire story from my first point of contact with 2ndGathgroup, to just after she'd arrived. I ended my toning to Robyn with the question mark, "Can you help me with a demonstration for these guys?"

Robyn took it all in and immediately toned back, "Sure let's give it a try, this could be a lot of fun!"

Then turning our attention to the Spokesman, Robyn and I indicated our willingness and readiness to demonstrate.

"Just a moment," he said, "we want to do an instrument check to make sure everything is ready to record." Then, after a few moments, "Okay, go ahead and begin your demonstration."

Robyn and I stood face to face a few feet apart. We gazed deeply into each other's eyes, smiling, and allowing a feeling of Pure Unconditional Love to build up in both of us. We each let our individual expression of Pure Unconditional Love energy generate our own, unique tone with in us, separately. My tone sounded so real to me, I was sure a physical world tape recorder could have picked it up and played it back. We let the power of our tones build up and each projected ours to the heart of the other. When we did, our hearts were joined together in expression of Pure Unconditional Love.

Our tones were at slightly different frequencies and in their joining I could both hear and feel a beat frequency! I probably shouldn't have been surprised, but I was! Joining our tones, two separate, individual expressions of Pure Unconditional Love, behaved just like Hemi-Sync sound. The resulting beat frequency carried a feeling like a combination of deep gratitude and totally loving acceptance of everything and everyone. Absolute Bliss! Robyn and I let the beat frequency's power build up between us for about ten seconds and then diverted a portion of its energy toward the 2ndGathgroup Spokesman. We held it there for five or six seconds and then both switched it off, simultaneously. After stopping, I looked around inside the ship to get an image of what the technicians were doing. They were all busily checking the readouts at their workstations.

"Jabber, pop, pop, snap," came back from the Spokesman. "Our instruments registered something, but it makes no sense to us, some sort of time anomaly we think."

Robyn and I waited for the minor squabbling sound in the background to quiet down.

"Well, it's great that your instruments registered something. But like I said before, to complete your mission of observing and recording the feeling and emotional impact of Pure Unconditional Love energy YOU must become the data gathering devices."

They were very confused again by this statement. "Squabble, squabble . . . squabble," broke out in minor pockets of the crew, bouncing around from one area to another. It reminded me of what would happen if scientists here in the earth school were trying to learn about Love using oscilloscopes, sensors and other physical world hardware. They might be able to sense the smoke, but they'd never feel the fire.

Just then Dar's voice came in on the tape informing us it was time to return to the crystal at TMI There.

I toned to the Spokesman, "Sorry, we have to return to our . . . uh . . . base now. I hope that demonstration helped."

Without waiting for a reply, Robyn and I turned to leave, heading for TMI There. As we left, looking back I saw a rather puzzled look on the 2ndGathgroup Spokesman's face. I can only assume our sudden departure was another form of logical incongruity to him. I had the distinct impression he just couldn't logically fathom why we'd leave right in the middle of his important experiments.

We went to TMI There, gathered with the rest of our group around the crystal and basked in its energy for a little while. Feeling fully recharged we all left for our CHEC units and C-1 consciousness at Dar's request.


The next tape exercise was the last one of the Exploration 27 program. It had been such an exciting, interesting experience that I approached its end with a bitter sweet feeling. Bypassing the Hemi-Sync guidance to Focus 27, I arrived at my place to find all the hanging chairs occupied except the one, where I sat down. Everyone was all smiles around the table. Bob was the first to speak.

"Well, for a program in which nothing was going to happen until later, it's been quite a ride hasn't it!" he remarked. "I can tell you now, there's even more that comes later. I'm looking forward to working with you in the future. For now, we all just want you to know how much we appreciate what you've done, for us, for your group and for your Self. This has been the best Exploration 27 program yet and you've helped to make that happen."

"And the progress you've made toward learning the meaning of Love," Rebecca said, "Bruce, I'm so pleased and happy for you! It's just marvelous!"

"When the program is over, and you've gone home," White Bear toned, "come here whenever you like, and we'll continue your leaping practice. You've got enough of the basics to keep you busy for a while. Remember, leaping can teach you much!"

"I remember the early days, Bruce," Coach chimed in, "your struggle to find Rebecca at the Flowers, our first meeting. Son, you've grown so much in so little time. I know your curiosity will drive you on to places you can't even imagine right now. I'll always be nearby, watching and cheering."

"And as for me," Sensuous said, in a voice dripping with honey, "I'm looking forward to the time you remember where we were once together. Until then, look for me in your dreams, and surrounding you in the environment of your waking hours."

With that, it was time to go to TMI There and meet my group at the crystal. Before I left, everyone around the table stood and applauded. I get choked up just remembering the scene. When I arrived at the crystal, Bob and Ed were waiting for me off to the side. Bob motioned me over and I walked to where they were standing.

"One more thing before you go," Bob said, "Blah blah . . .blah, blah, blah."

Blah, blah isn't exactly what he said, but whatever he was saying seemed like idle nonsense. Then I felt someone standing to my right, two feet away. I turned and looked to see who it was and it was the same guy I'd seen a day or so earlier, when Bob was talking nonsense. The same unknown guy.

"Bob, that same guy is standing here again, who is he?" I asked.

Bob went on blabbing like he hadn't heard me. I turned to Ed.

"Ed, who is that?"

Ed, just smiled and stood there without saying a word. This was really puzzling behavior and it was frustrating not to get an answer. I looked at the guy again. It was the same guy, same medium length, coal black hair. Same neutral expression on his face. Same long side burns, almost mutton chops, maybe five feet, seven inches tall. No beard, no mustache, dark brown eyes, average weight and a Mediterranean complexion. I turned back to Bob.

"Come on, Bob, who this guy?"

He just shrugged and said, "Isn't he with you?"

"Come on, Bob . . . Ed . . . who is this guy?"

Feeling frustrated at their antics, I walked away and joined my group at the crystal. Before beginning this tape exercise I had decided I wouldn't go to Focus 34/35 this time to explore on my own. Instead I intended to see what I could do to assist other members of our group. During our debrief sessions between tapes it was apparent some of them were having a little difficulty in their exploration at the Gathering. Since I was having such an easy time and had already received more information and insight than I thought possible, I decided to help some of my buddies. After we performed our lotus blossom WOOO-AAAHH a few times I held back a little when everyone else took off for Focus 34/35. After I started moving in that direction my plan was to look for any stragglers from our group. I was just about to place my intent on assisting them when I felt a very odd, very strong pull. Like some kind of strange gravity was pulling on the very top of my head, is the best way I can describe it. I had no idea what this strange force was, or why it was pulling on me, so I did what seemed the reasonable thing to do. I let go of my forming intent and let the force pull me to wherever it wanted me to go. After a brief sensation of movement through blackness, I found myself standing in front of the 2ndGathgroup Spokesman again, inside his ship

"Sorry for the intrusion, but you left before we really gathered anything from the demonstration experiments. This is very important to our mission here and we want to continue. Could you demonstrate the EEE . . . MMM impact of Pure Unconditional Love energy for us again," the Spokesman asked. "We didn't really get anything we can use from your last demonstration, but we're pretty certain whatever it is you did has something to do with why we're here to observe and record."
"Of course, I'd be happy to," I replied.

Then looking around inside their space craft, I notice two of the 2ndGathgroup's crew, standing face to face on a raised platform in the control room. They were positioned between the Spokesman and me, and standing stiffly on the platform.

"Yes," the Spokesman said, "these two from our ship have volunteered to participate in the experiment. Since you said we would have to be the sensing and recording devices, two of our crew members have volunteered to allow you to demonstrate using their bodies. We've selected a male and a female for the experiment since in your previous demonstration a male and female of your race were present."

The image of those two volunteers still stands out in my mind. They stood at attention, military style. They were both dressed in uniforms that made it difficult to determine if males and females of their race had any visible, distinguishing features. Also, they were either wearing some sort of helmet or these guys have very large heads. Their heads seemed disproportionately large for the rest of their body size. Both had volunteered for a mission all of 2ndGathgroup considered potentially dangerous. Like a couple of gung-ho Marines, they'd volunteered, understanding full well it might cost them their lives. These were dedicated, professional explorers who understood the concept of risk versus gain. Knowing they might be killed didn't deter their logical understanding that someone must volunteer to fulfill the overall mission of the group. The potential gain for their race was a necessary risk.

As I was looking over the two volunteers, Robyn came into view again. I acknowledged her presence and let out a, "Sqweeeeeek, beep" to her, bringing her up to the present. With it she got everything that had transpired since before the exercise tape started, when I had decided not to explore on my own this time.

"Sure, I'm game. Let's demonstrate it again for them," was Robyn's response to their request. "These two volunteers are so serious! Think we should tell them it isn't going to hurt?" she laughed. "Naw, let's let them find out on their own," she said, punctuating her statement with a devilish giggle.

Standing back about ten or fifteen feet from the two volunteers both Robyn and I looked them over carefully.

"I don't know, Robyn. Which one is the male and which is the female?" I toned to her, trying to keep a straight face.

Her giggling response was, "Hmmm, that's a good question, Bruce. In those suits it's really hard to pick out any recognizable, distinguishing features, if their males and females have any that is."

"Ya, I'd really kind of like to get this right, you know," I giggled back to her. "Hmmm, I think the male is the one on the left."

"Ya," she responded, "I was thinking the one on the right was the female. Let's just go with that."

We each flew over to a position very close to, and behind the volunteers, Robyn stood behind the female, I behind the male. The volunteers were somewhat transparent to my vision and looking through them, I could see Robyn's smiling face, superimposed over the less visible body of the female volunteer. I nodded to the Spokesman, indicating Robyn and I were ready to begin the demonstration.

"Just a moment," he said, "let us check to make sure all of our instrumentation is ready to record."

I glanced at the technicians in the control room, all eyes were glued to their monitors and readouts.

"Okay, you may begin when you're ready," the Spokesman said.

I turned to look directly into Robyn's eyes, she was smiling confidently, happily. So was I. A feeling of Pure Unconditional Love began to fill each of us. We both let the feeling build up a little for a moment or two and then, as if on cue, in unison we stepped into the bodies of the volunteers from behind. We stood there gazing into each others hearts, allowing the emotional expression of Love to build for perhaps three or four seconds. I took a quick look at the technicians in the control room. They all looked completely stunned, frozen in place, even the Spokesman was effected. Not a single one had the intense focus on their monitors and readouts I'd seen just seconds before. Instead, blissful, ecstatic smiles were just beginning to form on some of their faces. I suddenly realized that since these guys were a telepathic race, they were all experiencing what the volunteers were experiencing. I looked back at Robyn and as if on cure, she and I both stepped back in unison, out of the bodies of the volunteers.

The control room became a flurry of frantic activity as the technicians snapped out of their stunned stupor to check readouts on all the instrumentation. Not a single one had maintained consciousness during our demonstration. In Monroe Institute parlance they had all "clicked out".

"Ah . . . MMM . . . this is very unusual," the Spokesman said. "I assure you this has never happened before! We seem to have experienced some sort of total malfunction of every piece of our equipment. System clocks show approximately three of your earth seconds elapsed during the experiment, but not a single other instrument registers anything! I apologize for any inconvenience, but would you mind demonstrating again?"

I glanced over to get Robyn's okay and was surprised to see her gone. Instead, Rebecca was standing in her place, behind the female volunteer. Rebecca smiled and nodded her agreement. I turned back to the Spokesman.

"Believe me when I say, it will be my great pleasure to repeat the demonstration for you again," I toned to him.

"Very well, we'll need a few moments to recheck our instruments and reset all our recorders."

"That would be fine with us. Please take all the time you need to be certain all your instrumentation is ready," I replied.

Turning back toward the female volunteer, Rebecca and I stood, beaming radiant smiles to each other, waiting for the go ahead from the Spokesman. I had to suppress the urge to giggle as I said, out loud, "We're ready when you are."

After a moment the Spokesman nodded indicating they were ready. Looking directly into each others hearts, Rebecca and I simultaneously stepped into the bodies of the volunteers. We let the feeling of Pure Love building between us continue to rise in power for perhaps six or seven seconds this time. I took a quick survey of the control room to check on the technicians. Their silly, goofy-looking, love-struck smiles had started again. We continued until most of them had their heads leaning back over their chairs, in a completely relaxed position, an expression of open-jawed bliss on all their faces. They were all completely and totally clicked out, totally unconscious. Then Rebecca and I stepped back in unison, out of the bodies of the volunteers.

The technicians had more time to relax their bodies into the Pure Unconditional Love feeling during this demonstration. They had slumped into their chairs in deep relaxation and some got quite a jolt when we abruptly stepped out of the volunteer's bodies. Their physical bodies jerked violently back into the positions they had been in just before we started. It registered with several of them that their body position had changed during our demonstration. We might even have caused a case or two of whiplash if these people have necks like ours. Most had just suddenly catapulted themselves back to the body positions they'd been in just before we started, without realizing anything out of the ordinary had happened. The control room became a flurry of activity again, and when it settled down the Spokesman addressed me.

"I apologize," he said, "this is highly unusual. We seem to have had another malfunction with our equipment. This time our system clocks show approximately seven of your seconds elapsed. And this is odd too. None of our crew has any memory of what occurred during those seven seconds. We're experiencing a loss of time during your demonstration. I know it might be an inconvenience, but would you mind demonstrating again?"

"Not at all," I replied, "it will be our great pleasure."

This time Franceen's smiling face greeted me as I turned back, expecting to see Rebecca. Franceen had taken Rebecca's place and we were both doing our very best to suppress a severe case of the giggles.

"Whenever you're ready," I called out.

The Spokesman nodded after their instrument check, signaling they were ready to record our next demonstration of Pure Unconditional Love energy's, emotional impact. This time, Franceen and I allowed the feeling to build up for perhaps twenty seconds or so. I was floating in a warm, cozy sea of Pure Unconditional Love, a bliss I could have stayed in forever. Smiling from ear to ear, I turned to look over the control room technicians. We'd held the state long enough that a few of them we beginning to regain some level of consciousness just before we stepped out of the volunteer's bodies. A few of them were just beginning to catch the faintest whiff of the feeling. The rest, almost all of them, hadn't regained consciousness and again lurched violently forward to their pre-demonstration positions. None was quite sure what was going on, but there were a few who were almost conscious of the feeling.

"Squabble . . . . . squabble, squabble . . . . squabble, squabble, squabble, squabble," erupted in chaos in the control room.

"This is completely unexplainable!" the Spokesman blasted, after the screaming turkey sounds subsided in the ship. "We've experienced the same malfunction of our equipment again! A little over twenty seconds this time! But this time, some crew members claim something happened during the missing time. Nobody is able to describe what happened in terms the rest of us can understand. We're postulating you're demonstrating some sort of control of time. It appears you earth school people are capable of making time disappear by rendering us all unconscious. If our system clocks are correct, you're somehow able to remove our awareness of the passing of time, and we are unable to resist. Some crew members view this as a potentially dangerous threat to our security. All the squabbling you heard was required to restore order and get the entire crew's agreement and consent to continue these experiments. All have agreed to do so, due to the importance of our mission, but we must also consider our security. Are we getting close to logical point at which to terminate further experimentation?" the Spokesman asked.

"Your perception of missing time is most likely the same thing we call 'clicking out'," I replied. "Some in the earth school understand that when we experience something completely beyond our ability to comprehend, unconsciousness is often the result. For us, this is an indication something beyond our ability to understand is taking place during the missing time. Clicking out is a common experience for earth people too, it means 'unconscious to the experience.' We'll try it again and I think this time you'll get it. Let us know when you're ready."

I looked over and saw Robyn had returned, taking Franceen's place. She was beaming an absolutely radiant, loving smile from every molecule of her Being. Bright pinks and yellows filled the space surrounding her. I realized, as I was looking at Robyn, that her place had been taken by Rebecca and Franceen to communicate the impersonal nature of Pure Unconditional Love energy. It had been done to demonstrate that this was not an energy that could be experienced by only one pairing of humans. It demonstrated that Pure Unconditional Love can be shared between any individuals.

We waited for the signal from the Spokesman, and then stepped into the bodies of the volunteers again. This time I checked the control room guys right before we stepped in, and followed their progress throughout the demonstration. Many of them were no longer bothering to pay any attention to their workstation consoles, monitors or readouts. They were leaning back in their chairs, relaxed, and waiting for the demonstration to begin. As we stepped in, the love-struck expressions returned to their faces, telling me they were again stunned by the power of the experience. Robyn and I let the feeling build higher and higher until it was reminiscent of my experience during the first tape of the program. It continued building until it felt like it had when Nancy Monroe enveloped Bob, Ed, Rebecca and me in a cloud. It felt like I was going to burst into flames again. Robyn and I held that level for over a minute and a half. We held it so long our bodies disappeared and were replaced by a single, soft ball of gently swirling pastels. Warm gentle currents of soft, loving beauty wafted through the single orb in which Robyn and I had become One Being, loving itself. We glowed with the fire and power of the sun.

Somewhere after the first minute or so of holding that feeling, some of the technicians in the control room regained enough consciousness to begin moving their bodies. We continued to hold the feeling of ecstatic bliss. A few technicians were able to stand and move around the ship. A few of them consciously took in the full force, ecstatic blast of the glowing ball, Robyn and I had become as the expression of Pure Unconditional Love energy between two human beings.

The blissed-out joy in those few technicians faces, as they looked at one another in the control room, clearly indicated they were acutely aware of the feeling. We held the feeling long enough to insure that those who were conscious would retain memory of the experience. Once we were certain of that, Robyn and I gradually let the feeling subside, separating back into our individual selves. Then, slowly, we turned down the feeling until it flickered like the flame of a candle. As we held the feeling, low and flickering, a few more technicians began to move around the control room. The gradual reduction minimized the shock to the crew when, at last, we stepped out of the volunteer's bodies. As we stepped out, and the energy level dropped for the 2ndGathgroup, I felt an immediate, collective yearning coming from the few conscious members of the crew. They had experienced the feeling of Pure Unconditional Love at a powerful, emotional level and wistfully yearned to experience it again. A wispy feeling of missing that energy floated from the few crew members who'd felt it.

As the rest of the technicians regained consciousness I could sense the feeling of Pure Unconditional Love moving from those who become conscious during the demonstration to those who had not. Before the demonstration I hadn't even considered this possibility. The memory of the experience, firmly imprinted in the minds of just a few members of the crew, quickly spread throughout the ship. Thoughts were no longer the only things communicated telepathically between them, now the feeling of Pure Unconditional Love passed between them too. Immediately following the feeling's spread through the remainder of the crew, the collective yearning to feel it again, coming from the entire crew this time, washed over me like a gentle, twenty-foot roller out at sea. There is such a bitter sweet longing in that feeling.

Without realizing it would happen, without any thoughts about the consequences, all of 2ndGathgroup had just experienced the emotional impact of both Pure Unconditional Love Energy, and its true polar opposite, its absence. The sense of yearning dropped a little over time as we all stood in silence, but remained in the background energy of the entire crew as we continued.

I looked over at the Spokesman, "I think you got it this time," I said. "Judging by the looks of your crew and the feeling of yearning I sense coming from them I'd say you guys definitely got it this time."

"Yes . . . yes . . . something . . . very . . . unusual . . . has happened, . . . . . we're not sure what to make of it yet," he slowly replied. "But we can all recall from our collective memory something . . something beyond our ability to express it in words. Is that what you call a feeling?"

"Yes . . . yes, that was a feeling. And although we on earth label our feelings with words, feelings are something quite apart from, and far beyond word's ability to express. They are the experience of an emotional energy within ourselves, as Pure Unconditional Love energy is now for you," I replied.

We all fell silent again for a little while, letting the impact of the experience soak in. During the silence, two other members of our Exploration 27 group flew in and hovered together, nearby. I'll call them Julie and Rollo. As program participants, these two had been falling in love with each other over the past several days. I wasn't surprised at all that they were hand in hand, exploring together.

Then, suddenly shifting gears, I addressed the Spokesman, "Say, listen, my friend and I have some other things we must do now and we need to be moving along."

"Is there any way we can have, another demonstration of that feeling?" 2ndGathgroup's Spokesman toned.

The two volunteers were still standing on the platform, ready to continue their mission in another demonstration.

I looked over at Rollo and Julie and toned, "Screeeep, bip, bip, whoosh, whoosh?"

In those few sounds both, were given the complete story of what had happened since the beginning of my first encounter with 2ndGathgroup. It ended with a question mark because I was asking if they would mind taking our places in another demonstration.

They turned to look, starry-eyed, into each others' faces, acknowledging to each other they were willing to participate. Both turned back to look at me, and their happy, smiling, response was, "Sure, it will be our pleasure!"

"Remember guys, this is an exercise to demonstrate the emotional impact of Pure Unconditional Love energy," I remarked. "It might be a good idea to go easy on the sexual aspects of this for now. I'll leave that up to you two."

Turning toward Robyn, smiling warmly, I expressed my gratitude and thanks, acknowledging her for the powerful, wonderfully loving Being that she is. We both allowed the feeling of Love to well up inside us as we hovered there, tears of joy in our eyes, looking into each other's hearts. Then I turned back, looking toward the 2ndGathgroup Spokesman. As Robyn and I hovered there, watching, I could clearly see him smiling in anticipation as Julie and Rollo swooped toward their positions behind the two volunteers. That was my last contact with 2ndGathgroup. As I accelerated away, that last image faded into the blackness.
End of Article

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