by Shirley Ward
“The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.”
Humanity has reached a stage in its evolution where the real work now has to begin. There is chaos in the world, to many, seemingly destructive, but if individuals are prepared to shift their energies, thoughts, opinions for the good of the whole, this whole new form of energy and thinking can lead to a new understanding of creative, complementary possibilities. With recent world events, organisational happenings and individual conflicts, the Editorial Board of Inside Out have invited me to write down my thoughts on these events, and present a constructive viewpoint of our lives and world as they are at this moment in time. There always needs to be hope in the midst of conflict and the challenge to accept tasks that are seemingly impossible!
Space Travel and the effects upon mankind
Who would believe it is over forty years since man landed on the moon; the first moon landing took place on 20th July 1969. In the 1960’s this was one of the greatest challenges ever to face mankind. Commander Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon and he spoke the historic words:-
‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’.
No-one knew the significance of that singular event, and the words that he spoke, and even now we are only just touching the tip of the iceberg. When men stood on the moon and looked back at planet earth they saw our home as it had never been seen before, blue and beautiful, and home. That isolated event from forty years ago has changed the way we look at our home, and advanced space technology holds great promise for the future of mankind. There has been a vast utilisation of the scientific ideas that went into space travel, now being used for the betterment of human life. Materials developed for space travel are now used in heart surgery, for heart valves; gastro problems are now being diagnosed by a Space Age capsule – the days of inserting pipes for gastro problems are over.
Ultrasound was developed in 1957, and ultrasound images taken on the space station are beamed down to earth via satellite links. Doctors on earth can diagnose any illness of the individuals on the space station. This technology is now used on earth to diagnose sports injuries and is hoped to be used by doctors in London to diagnose illnesses in isolated people in remote villages in rain forests and deserts around the world. All because humanity landed on the moon!
NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) satellite instruments, a by-product of space travel can now measure total ozone layers and ozone depleting substances. The ozone layer protects all life forms from the sun’s harmful radiation. Ozone is a gas that occurs naturally in our atmosphere several miles above the surface of the earth. The Hubble telescope and the space station, alongside human ingenuity have given us a new consciousness of the earth, that it is a living, breathing organism and like human beings is healthy in areas and dis-eased in others. Each one of us is earth in miniature; in fact each one of us is a universe in miniature. We are living in space, human beings, interconnected with each other, the planet and the universe in ways our consciousness would never have comprehended years ago. What happens to one of us affects another, what actions mankind make on our earth home, affects the planet. As a friend shared with me last week, she felt the planet was angry with us and was re-acting energetically to humanity. For some reason the influx of complementary medicines and energy healing that have snowballed throughout Ireland in the last thirty years are here not just for making a quick buck, but with much deeper intentions which may explain the planet’s condition.
However isolated individual events may seem – they are always part of a bigger plan. Underlying the isolated world of ordinary objects and human experiences are other realities. There is an interconnected world of patterns, rhythms, intertwined relationships, layer upon layer of concepts which form interconnectedness. The fact is that everything does interact with everything else, and how much of an interaction is only a matter of degree. The perception of interconnectedness of us all during spiritual practice gives flexibility to the boundaries of our own reality and helps us find our place of harmony in our world and beyond. Both modern physics and ancient Buddhist doctrine suggest that ‘deep’ interconnectedness embraces everything, unbound by the usual limitation of time and space.
This is where I see the great importance of the complementary medicines that now are part of everyday life in Ireland. Many of these practices are a compilation of many ancient spiritual points of view, relating to belief, cultural practices, rituals and truths originating in deeply spiritual cultures in the Near, Middle or Far East. They have given us a more profound understanding of earth energies. The chakras which form the human energy field of the body have given us a new form of the meaning of consciousness, with the understanding that the mind is in the energy field around and through the body, which may or may not be controlled by the brain. Fantastic stuff if you make time to be with the energy of all these possibilities! Understanding the effects of radiation poisoning, disease, health and the inter-relationship of people and nations through the electronic world wide web are all part of the energy interconnectedness leading us to even greater discoveries.
The planet as a living organism
This moves us into the fields of Quantum Physics, Quantum Biophysics and places energy healing to become the new medicine for the future – where energy interacts. Personal energy is connected with everything else- and each atom has its own vibrational energy. The material reality of the universe is formed by the invisible. The mind is the invisible force and in the energy fields it is the invisible moving forces that influence the physical world. Bruce Lipton in 2010 stated that the things that you cannot see shape your world and we are totally inter-related not by nature and nurture any more, but by our environment. The paradigms that we have spoken about for the last thirty or so years have happened and are continuing to happen in front of our eyes.
If, since 1969, we have seen the planet in a new light before we totally destroy it, that single act of landing on the moon may help us save our planet before our ignorance leaves our children’s’ children a dying planet. We are intrinsically linked by our own very breathing of the earth’s atmosphere – and the earth with ours. Is it any wonder that sickness and disease prevails both in individuals and the planet itself?
The work of Jean Houston
During our lives I am sure there is always one teacher or mentor who touches our hearts, mind or soul in a way that lights up our path, and puts meaning into why we are here. That person for me has been Jean Houston, and I have taken much delight in passing on her inspirational words and work to our students over the years. Jean has a great gift in enabling individuals to widen their levels of consciousness; in opening up the inner life and widening inner visionary capacity. I also believe that we need to be helped to live on different levels of consciousness in order to reach the required depth for life and also for the spiritual search or the mystic in us.
I first met Jean in County Meath in 1987 when 90 people attended her workshop ‘The Possible Human’. Many people who attended went on to do very well for themselves in Ireland using their potential, and she did make a difference. In 1991 I met her in Atlanta, Georgia when she was the keynote speaker at the International Conference for Pre and Perinatal Psychology. I also spent three weeks with her in the year 2000 on her Quest for the Grail. Her vision, embracing so many disciplines, guided us to the realisation that we were coming to the end of an era and were coming to the beginning of a new earth story. Her belief was that we were moving towards global civilisation and that there would be a reinvention of what humans can be. There also was a critical meaning for new social convention; all requiring a new consciousness gestation that has never taken place before in this way in the history of mankind and our planet Earth.
Fractals and the Fractal Dimension of our lives
One of Jean’s greatest gifts to me in 1991 was the introduction to Fractals. Fractals are a mathematical term invented by Benoit Mandelbrot, an IBM researcher in New York in March 1980. Named the Mandelbrot Set it is a geometrical shape, an icon which embodies an important aspect of how the world and universe works, often described at the Thumbprint of God. Realising this was mathematics I hesitated at first as maths was not my strongest subject! Then I realised that Fractals are repetitions of the same general patterns, even the same details, at both ascending and descending scales and all that it contains is made up of folded realities within self-similar worlds. They have characteristics of self-similarity and chaos. Jean Houston (1999)
It appears that new technology may have discovered one of the greatest mysteries of our universe – or given us a word to describe the phenomenon of rhythms and patterns. If magnified a billion times or more it would eventually cover the universe and is really infinity. It could have been discovered anytime in history by adding and multiplying forever with very complex numbers but technology discovered it. Fractal patterns are all around us, above us and within us. Trees are fractals, with their repeated patterns of large and small branches with similar details found even in the smallest twigs. Even a single leaf shows fractal repetitions of the whole tree in both its shape and branching in its vein. In a broccoli or cauliflower you will find Fractal Geometry at its best with florets arranged in self-similarity scales. For a total fractal experience peel the leaves of an artichoke!
Fractals show a holistic hidden order behind things, which I wrote about earlier, they show a harmony in which everything affects everything else, and above all, an endless variety of interwoven patterns. In the human body these endless patterns are repeated in systems of the body, the circulatory system, the nervous system and all organs of the body.
These patterns are mirrored in the universe, from a single atom, or single cell of the human body. A spiral nebula in space that measures hundreds of light years across looks remarkably similar to something that measures a thousandth of a centimetre in the eye of a firefly! This can be seen as the fractal resonance of the other – the resonance of the microcosm of the macrocosm. It is more than probable that the chakras or human energy field of each human being mirrors the energy fields of the planet earth and that of the universe.
In 1992 I put the whole concept of fractals onto the events of a human life in my teaching of psychotherapy, discovering that there was another order of fractals present of themes that recur in the leafing and branches of happenings, events, moods, tragedies and comedies. In my speciality of pre and perinatal psychotherapy, putting the concept of fractals upon preconception and conception meant that our life becomes a rhythm and pattern of the state of our parents, and their lives, before our conception. And our life bears the energy or non-energy of our conception. This concept of fractals can be put on womb trauma, birth trauma, present life fractals, ancestral fractals, future life fractals and for those who believe in reincarnation, life times may recall fractal patterns depending on cause and effect.
Hopefully these ideas and concepts will stretch your minds and inspire readers to think more deeply about the interconnectedness of not only planetary and global incidents but also personal and organisational happenings.
Tsunami – natural disasters or caused by humanity?
If nature and nurture no longer have reason to be believed, environment is now seen as the controlling factor for the fate of cells, whether those of humanity and animals, or the very cells of the earth and planet. In toxic environments cells die. Put them in a healthy environment and the cells will heal themselves. Modern physics is proving that we are not victims of our own genes but a victim of our environment.
It was Albert Einstein who said:-
‘You cannot solve a problem with the same consciousness as the consciousness that caused the event’
These words of Einstein can be taken at any fractal level we wish to take them, and as psychotherapists listening to people’s life stories daily we know how true this statement is, but how much do we take it to heart in our own lives? I’m sure in our work we may encourage clients to change the energy; that problems cannot be solved if clients are going back into the same energy in which their problems are caused. It is our own personal energy that needs to be changed in order to shift other people also.
Relating previous thoughts to the latest tsunami in Japan maybe we can all ponder on the reasons for a tsunami. The rapid displacement of the body of water takes place due to the following reasons, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, underwater explosions, large meteorite impacts, mass movements above or under water and nuclear weapons testing in seas. Often the belief that the earth’s plates shift – and are we really so stupid as a human race to test nuclear weapons under the seas? Again whether it be a natural disaster or manmade, we all know the death and destruction that is caused by a tsunami and as I write, at least ten thousand people have died in the Japanese tsunami, the island has moved 2.4 metres and the planet has again shifted on its axis. This is another real wake up call.
It was with amazement and disbelief I received the following email letter from Japan from a friend of a friend of a friend…… If we are able to trace the name of the writer we will tell you but the Editorial Board decided to publish in order for these words to be read by more people. It is beautiful in its simplicity, humility and amazing culture of kindness in such tragedy and devastation. As I write this, another earthquake measuring 7.1 has hit the same area of Japan.
Letter from Japan
‘Hello My Lovely Family and Friends,
First I want to thank you for your concern for me. I am very touched. I also wish to apologize for a generic message to you all. But it seems the best way at the moment to get my message to you.
Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to have wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. Since my shack is even more worthy of that name, I am now staying at a friend’s home. We share supplies like water, food and a kerosene heater. We sleep lined up in one room, eat by candlelight, and share stories. It is warm, friendly and beautiful. During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People sit in their cars, looking at news on their navigation screens, or line up to get drinking water when a source is open. If someone has water running in their homes, they put out signs so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets.
Utterly amazingly where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines. People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an earthquake strikes. People keep saying, “Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another”.
Quakes keep coming. Last night they struck about every 15 minutes. Sirens are constant and helicopters pass overhead often. We got water for a few hours in our homes last night, and now it is for half a day. Electricity Came on this afternoon. Gas has yet to come on. But all of this is by area. Some people have these things, others do not. No-one has washed for several days. We feel grubby, but there are so much more important concerns that that for us now. I love this peeling away of non-essentials. Living fully on the level of instinct, of intuition, of caring, of what is needed for survival, not just of me, but of the entire group.
There are strange parallel universes happening. Houses are a mess in some places, yet then a house with futons or laundry drying out in the sun. People lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking their dogs. All happening at the same time. Other unexpected touches of beauty are first, the silence at night. No cars. No-one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered with stars. I usually can only see about two, but now the whole sky is filled.
The mountains of Sendai are solid and with the crisp air we can see them silhouetted against the sky magnificently. And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this email since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if help is needed. I see no sign of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no.
They tell us we can expect aftershocks, and even other major quakes, for another month or more. And we are getting constant tremors, rolls, shaking, rumbling. I am blessed that I live in a part of Sendai that is a bit elevated, a bit more solid than other parts. So, so far this area is better off than other. Last night my friend’s husband came in from the country bringing food and water. Blessed again.
Somehow at this time I realise from direct experience that there is indeed an enormous cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world right at this moment. And somehow as I experience the events happening now in Japan, I can feel my heart opening very wide. My brother asked me if I felt so small because all this is happening. I don’t. Rather I feel as part of something happening that is much larger than me. This wave of birthing (worldwide) is hard and yet magnificent.
Thank you again for your care and love of me,
With love, in return…….
The microcosm of the macrocosm
It was Bruce Lipton, on a recent visit to Dublin who said:-
‘You are the creator of your life and you can create what you want when you get the new knowledge. When you become conscious you become the driver – if you are not conscious or aware you are less connected to the field. Negative thoughts will create negative experiences. Positive thoughts will harmonise and create positive actions. You bring into your life what you are focusing on…’
The isolated events that happen in our lives cause other events to happen on fractal levels that seriously affect the lives of others.
IAHIP AGM Tsunami – caught in the face of worldwide uncertainty.
Worldwide, societies are crying out for assistance in the transformation of people, organisations, institutions and governments. As Jean Houston (2006) describes it so aptly when she comments that too many problems in societies stem today, in part, from leadership that is ill prepared to deal with present complexities. This is not just a matter of inadequate training in the realities of global change, but even more tragically, a lack of human resourcefulness; leaders living out of a field of awareness that is both limited and limiting in their abilities to deal with the world as it is today.
For the majority of members who attended the IAHIP AGM in Dublin on Saturday 5th March 2011 they surely experienced the fractal likened to that of an earthquake, shock tremors and a tsunami, that is still reverberating amongst the members. Whether the rift will ever be healed depends on the abilities and skills of members. The essential events are reported in Hank O’Mahony’s letter to the Editors in this issue of the journal. The major factor being the way in which a small group of people mainly from Dublin dictated a vote of no confidence in the whole Governing Body, asking for a motion that the whole Governing Body stand down. This motion was never passed but three members did resign at the meeting. The very large number of people at the AGM, 136 in number, were there, due mainly to the regional meetings organised by the Governing Body to prepare a mandate for the difficulties also being encountered with the ICP. Unfortunately theses standing orders never saw the light of day at the AGM. The whole membership must be available for comment and decisions made concerning ICP, and not just the few.
I have always said of IAHIP, that members who sit on committees are often asked to do jobs they are not trained or prepared for. I needed a Law Degree when I first took over as Secretary of Complaints, as I was asked to know and do things I was ill prepared for. Leaders are not just the Chair, Officers and Governing Body – all the committees have a very important job to do to govern the association. I believe this is where we must look, deeply, to prepare individuals for these leadership tasks.
The events at the AGM do not need a brief note written five weeks after the event. It needs transparency about what really happened, and why. In the beginning I spoke of the challenge to accept tasks that were seemingly impossible, and this is one of them. We have the opportunity to research what really happened, and what is fundamentally wrong with the structures of the organisation. If there are differences of opinion of members on committees why the differences can’t be worked out through dialogue is an unknown quantity to me. We are all good people and my concern is with those who kept their dignity at the meeting, but were also hurt very deeply by the way in which they were treated by the few.
Sadly the preparation of leaders who can rise to any challenge is hampered by training that leaves even the greatest of students’ natural resources unexplored and insufficient. It is known that the leaders, like most of society, emerge as highly compromised versions of what we could be. The state of the world reflects this in a most dangerous way. The absence in the world of skilled facilitators and leaders is alarming – otherwise there would not be such chaos in countries, governments and organisations. We have new knowledge and new technologies but very few, if any, skilled leaders to advise and lead the shift to new values and practices.
Reflections for the future
Leadership today, on any fractal, is caught uncertain and unprepared in the light of too much happening too quickly. We need CPD trainings to help us prepare for the new world we live in, led by those who know what they are talking about. The re-patterning of human nature and the re-genesis of society are forces that push us to using more than that 10% of our brain to make us possible humans. Psychotherapists attend creative workshops, or run them – but the larger picture of why we attend creative workshop is not just to get hours for accreditation, but to expand our whole energy fields to find that interconnectedness in ourselves, families, organisations, nations and the world. We have studied the collective unconscious, studied behaviour patterns, experienced meditation and visualisation; know our own psychological histories; listen to people’s stories on a daily basis and are capable of empathising with our fellow human beings. We have the capabilities to understand this interconnectedness, but not until this is realised will we take that step into the future, confident of great possibilities.
My reflection has led me into energy fields deep in my subconscious that I hope might be helpful in your own lives. Given the opportunities and trainings that may become available to us we can learn to think, feel and know in new ways. With more awareness we may become more creative, more imaginative and reach realistic limits that help us and others to deal with the complex challenges of life. On that fractal level, everything we do and learn is not there solely for our own purpose, but for the good of the whole, as in the examples I have given. No event stands alone and the fractal waves of our lives and others are interconnected.
We are a constantly learning society but it seems we also have to rise above our own humanity and bring in the divine, whatever that might be for us. Our own sacredness or spirituality for living in these tumultuous times is a must to get us through. The future lies in our hands, individuals completing the gestalt with more thought for wholeness and less of the super ego, selfishness and narcissism. At whatever fractal level, we need to get out of the crisis programme conditioned in us, and pull our energy out of the old world thinking and the systems that are not working. The usual formulas and stopgap solutions born in an earlier era will not help, nor heal us. What a task and what a challenge! This is where the real work is to be done.
Shirley Ward lives and works at Amethyst, in Killaloe, County Clare. She has been a psychotherapist, international lecturer and healer for over 35 years. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Houston, Jean. PhD. (1996) ‘A Mythic Life’ Published Harper. San Francisco. USA
Houston, Jean. PhD (2006) ‘Social Artistry’ Discovering the Creative Dimensions of Leadership. Jean Houston Lecture Series. Published by Jean Houston. email@example.com
Lipton. Bruce. PhD (2005) ‘The Biology of Belief’ Pub. Elite Books, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 www.brucelipton.com
Lipton, Bruce. PhD and Bhaerman, Steve. (2010) ‘Spontaneous Evolution’ Our positive future and a way to get there from here. Pub Hay House. UK
Pert, Candace. PhD. (2003) Molecules of Emotion’ The Science behind Mind Body Medicine Pub Scribner, USA.
Radin, Dean. PhD. (1997) ‘The Conscious Universe’ Pub Harper Collins.