The great divide between scientific and mystical views of reality lands on the question of our subjective awareness. Measures can be made of physiological and behavioural effects of meditation practices, but it is much harder to demonstrate objectively the transformative experiences that a seeker may undergo in a disciplined practice over years.
Ultimately it comes down to how someone feels. This domain of feeling is so extraordinary and intricate in our subjectivity, and yet it has often been quite disregarded as the source of our capacity to orientate and connect with our environment. The word “feeling” is ambiguous in the English language. It includes both emotions and the more diffuse area of perception. In its medieval origins it meant the physical sensation of touch through experience or perception. Touch remains the most helpful way of capturing the lived experience of feeling as we encounter daily life. The domain of feeling is continuously flowing through a shifting synthesis of qualities and textures as an overall array of diffuse meaning coloring and sculpting our responses and moods.
Music is a primordial expression of such feeling. Within our current dominant scientific discourse, the fact that such a feeling array is informing us of much more than our physical and mental state is not yet articulated. Yet from the perspective of perennial philosophies, within the experience of feeling are all the domains of our subtle fields of consciousness.
According to the philosophy of Rudolph Steiner, we have twelve senses in our makeup. The sense of touch is core. Through touch we are woken up to the world, and through the radiation of touch information throughout our system we are enlivened. We are reminded of our primordial separateness and our wish to connect through touch. Steiner said that without touch we would never become conscious of the Divine. When we touch something we are both so close and so far from it.
Sensitivity is our radar system. In the confusion of different information pathways in which we are ceaselessly immersed, sensitivity is our capacity to fine tune, to touch as it were, significant elements from the whole. So sensitivity is expressed in our fields of perception, and our capacity to notice – and further to notice what we notice. This perceptual capacity continues to develop throughout life. Specialists in any field become hyper-conscious of such elements as electric fields, or the way that patients’ skin color denotes subtle changes in health, or the way that plants signal malaise, or if notes played are offkey.
The distinction to be made between scientific and metaphysical approaches to knowledge has been in the discernment of information. Spiritual traditions have confronted this issue by evolving specific protocols of practice, of directing attention, of cultivating a stringent observer and witness, and of purifying the filters of attachment and desires and egotism that cloud the lens of perception. Within Vedic philosophy, the higher realms of human consciousness involve a shift from thinking consciousness to a more direct feeling consciousness.
In the Heartfulness tradition of meditative practices, all the teachers have proposed that the realm of the divine is known through feeling, and this feeling connects the divine Reality with the whole field of humanity. It is an unimaginable realm. We can only conceive it as a kind of enormous filigree network of intensity which is absolutely soft and fine. It is at the most subtle level of our existence. One clear sign of a spiritually evolved person, a truly human person, is one who is consistently alert and sensitive to situations and others. So from this point of view, the journey of spiritual evolution is one of increasingly refining our tools of perception, our capacity to feel the faintest trace of something, and to glimpse its meaning directly.
Mind as Embodied Cognition
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The Ber Tree
V. RAMAKANTHA, Ph.D., is a former Indian Forest Service officer and member of the Green Initiative at the international Heartfulness Center, Kanha Shanti Vanam, India. Having spent most of his working life living in forests and jungles, in tune with the natural world, he shares his knowledge about some of the amazing medicinal plants of India, in this case the Ber Tree.
Decision-Making versus Implementation
DR. ICHAK ADIZES explores the different qualities and skills needed to make a decision and then to implement it – when to be open-minded and when to be closed-minded, and how to find a common interest so that all stakeholders can work together to implement a decision.
THE ZERO BALANCING POINT
JANMARIE CONNOR explores some practical ways to create harmony and balance where there is tension, conflict and disagreement. How can polar opposites coexist?
Feeling, Sensitivity and Consciousnes
ROS PEARMAIN, Ph.D., has been integrating the fields of psychology, psychotherapy and spirituality, through both practical and philosophical approaches, for over 40 years. Here she explores the way a spiritual practice opens up the levels of feeling and sensitivity, as we expand into deeper and deeper levels of consciousness, and how our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies are integrated through the heart.
Creating Balance FINDING YOUR COLORS AMIDST THE BLACK AND WHITE
MAMATA VENKAT opens up about the challenge of finding selfcompassion and self-acceptance in a world of judgment and criticism. She also offers 10 tips from her own experience about how to cultivate a self-nurturing approach to life.
Toward Zero and Beyond
ALAIN DESVIGNE is the CEO of a leading solar company, the Amarenco Group. He strives to contribute to sustainability in every field of life. Here he explores the nature of reducing and minimalizing our use of resources in the world, by working on our reaction emissions and inner climate changes.
The Birds of Kanha
RAJESH MENON is a photographer from Delhi, who specializes in images from nature. Here he shares some of the beautiful birds of Kanha Shanti Vanam, the 1300 acre property outside Hyderabad, India, that is the international headquarters of the Heartfulness Institute. It is also a green sanctuary.
Giving More, Taking Less
FRANCOIS BOUDERLIQUE learnt about the basic principle of Nature – to give more than you take – when he left a high-powered banking job in Paris to live and farm in Kutch, India. He realized that his understanding of eco farming was colored by his past and he needed to open his eyes to a new reality.
Megha Bajaj shares some simple tips on how to develop the capacity for intuition, which can be cultivated in daily life.
YOGA & PEACE
DEEPAK CHOPRA speaks with DAAJI about the role Yoga has to play in bringing about world peace. This is an excerpt from their conversation broadcast on International Day of Peace, September 21, 2020. That documentary is available at https://heartfulness.org/en/international-day-of-peace/.
Gluten and dairy restriction:OUR CHILDREN DESERVE BETTER!
When children experience respiratory, digestive, behaviour, or other health challenges, many parents naturally seek out dietary solutions. Unfortunately, the prevailing confusion in this area provides fertile ground for misconceptions and counterproductive dietary fads. Among contemporary trends, avoiding gluten and/ or dairy products are two of the most popular. Does taking your children off gluten or dairy really help? Do such recommendations rest upon fallacy or fact? As it turns out, though born of legitimate concerns, the impulse to discontinue gluten or dairy products is generally misguided, and may distract parents from truly important steps that can help kids to eat right, grow, and thrive.
Corsair 4000D Airflow
Obsidian meets 2020
PRO PILOT TURNING TIPS
The keys to flying smooth, consistent moves every time
The Puzzle of Mineral Names
DISCOVERING THE LOGIC BY UNDERSTANDING THE PROGRESSION
Peaceful Coexistence in “Cat-tivity”
Fanciers with a social media presence have recently been deluged with cute posts about our new four-footed furry supervisors.
Shure Aonic 50: Excellent Audio, Merely Good ANC
The Shure Aonic 50 headphones are priced to compete with the best noise-canceling headphones on the market. Sonically, they deliver a wonderful audio experience that will appeal to those seeking an accurate sound signature. When it comes to active noise cancellation (ANC), however, the headphones are merely good, not great. So while we enjoy the Aonic 50’s comfortable fit and quality sound, if ANC is your top priority, you can find better options in this high price range, including the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.
GREATER REALITY LIVING- Internalize the Great News: You are a Forever Being
In the third century B.C., Aristotle wrote: "Let us live as if we were immortal." We can now state much more assuredly: "We are immortal. Let us live accordingly."
How To Find Emotional Freedom
Take back your birthright to feel, express and let go.
The Patty Shop
Jolting along mud-choked roads, sending up spurts of brownish ooze, the district bus is clambering up and down the humpbacked hillocks.
The Other Woman
A stalled train and shifting visage make for an eerie commute.