Think Smarter World is focused on the raising of personal and societal consciousness and the overall journey to a more enlightened world. That journey begins and ends with each individual’s own transformational path to higher levels of consciousness. There is no one perfect model for this, but one good example comes from the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), the consciousness research institute founded by NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell in the 1970’s:
The path starts on the left with a “Noetic Experience” – which as defined by IONS as follows:
no•et•ic: From the Greek noēsis/noētikos, meaning inner wisdom, direct knowing, or subjective understanding. As defined by philosopher William James in 1902, noetic refers to “states of insight into depths of truth unplumbed by the discursive intellect. They are illuminations, revelations, full of significance and importance, all inarticulate though they remain; and as a rule they carry with them a curious sense of authority…”
In other words a “personal awakening” first takes place, an insight that you didn’t have before, or revelation of a deeper reality than what you’ve been accustomed to occurs. Thus the journey to enlightenment and higher states of consciousness begins. This awakening is what the Buddha prescribed in order to “get on the path” – the eightfold noble path of the Buddhist tradition. Thus the awakening, is just the beginning.
The IONS diagram does a good job of highlighting that as you migrate the path, there will be turns where you must be careful in your navigation lest you “veer off”. So, as you move from awakening to exploration, your next step should lead to finding a solid practice that leads to enlightenment, otherwise, you can get stuck in “continually seeking” a “magical fix” rather than moving forward with a committed practice leading to lasting transformation.
As you progress on the path to transformation and growth in consciousness, the IONS diagram gives you solid sign-posts to determine if you are moving in the right direction: Life becomes a practice, where things appear as opportunities for development rather than problems or hindrances; I becomes We, instead of reverting back to Me; Next, we start living deeply with more understanding of the interconnected nature of things; Finally, seeing how the “other” is really us, we develop the desire to be of service to others as they are in essence ourselves and bring that ethos to our families and communities. The result is a profound shift in personal consciousness which leads to significant societal transformation for the benefit of all.
I’ve travelled this path myself and in the course of doing so I have found various resources to be most helpful. I would like to share them with you. In my experience, successful navigation of the road to enlightenment requires a holistic approach which unites best practices of heart and mind. Specifically, I believe there are four major pillars which help us achieve interconnectedness in all aspects of our lives and when all four quadrants are fully developed and working together, great things can happen:
- Systems Thinking is a set of tools and thinking approaches that are holistic in nature. It is meant to see the connections between people, events, issues, and more that are present in any given situation. When we learn to think in a Systems approach, we learn to expand our field of view and see all the moving and interconnecting parts in any given problem or opportunity and therefore are more likely to make more effective decisions and create better solutions.
- Mind-Body-Spirit Harmony -The 24/7 always on realities of our modern life styles are putting great strain on our health. Too many of us are living with high levels of stress caused by rapid changes in technology and globalization. We now know that these mental stressors have a direct effect on the health of our bodies. Fortunately, ancient wisdom has given us solutions such as meditation, mindfulness practice, along with modern concepts from the field of psychology such as emotional intelligence, which allow us to regain control of our mental and physical health. We are also (re) learning how our thoughts actually create our physical reality – our bodies and everything in our physical experience. When we harness those skills, we effectively create and control our world.
- Leveraging the World’s Knowledge and Wisdom – The Internet is allowing anyone to access the world’s collective knowledge and wisdom at a touch of a button. This is unprecedented in human history. We have shown that people and societies dramatically advance when they are able to acquire and share knowledge more quickly. Think of how the renaissance took hold once the printing press arrived and how technological advancement accelerated with the world-wide patent system allowing knowledge and ideas to more freely enter the public domain. Most of us are only scratching the surface in what the access to this endless pool of knowledge and wisdom can do for us. Think Smarter World will show you many ways to access the best aspects of this vast treasure trove.
- Unity Consciousness – Despite our significant levels of technology and wealth, as a global society, we seem unable to solve major challenges – poverty, homlessness, climate change, rising income inequality, armed conflict, global financial instability, and more. There are certainly many caring people who are trying their best to alleviate the issues, but frankly, they are vastly outnumbered by those who continue to thrive on the principles of “Us vs. Them, “Winning is Everything” and “It’s Not My Problem”. But the forgotten reality is that “We are actually Them”, in fact we are the same. This is Oneness in a nutshell and what major spiritual traditions have told us for thousands of years. Over the last 80+ years though, various scientific disciplines (Quantum Physics, Neuroscience, Biology) have been showing that the ancient wisdom is actually true. This is matched with reports from the field of psychology of the existence of past lives, and from accounts of near death experiences that show our physical material world is just one aspect of our existence and underneath it all we are connected to each other and everything via an all encompassing energy field at the subatomic level. Us really is them! Once more of us understand this, it would be difficult for us to continue living the way we are. Solving the world’s problems would become much easier as we naturally came together as One people.
My book, Think Smarter in a Digitally Enabled World gives a complete overview of the four pillars in action. You can download a free pdf copy when you sign up for the Think Smarter World newsletter and you can also get a hardcover, paperback, or kindle version on Amazon. An e-book version is also available on Apple iBooks.
To deepen your knowledge further, here are recommended resources covering the four pillars of interconnectedness that will help you on your own personal journey towards enlightenment:
- Introduction to Systems Thinking (pdf white paper), by Daniel Kim
- Systems Thinking: A Means to Understanding our Complex World (pdf white paper), by Linda Booth Sweeney
- Thinking in Systems: A Primer, by Donella H. Meadows
- Resisting Structural Evil, Love As Ecological – Economic Vocation, by Cynthia D. Moe-Lobeda. A crucial and important book for understanding that by participating in various societal systems that we have collectively created – economic, political, medical, educational, etc – we inadvertently end up supporting the types of “evil”, or harm to others, that we would never consciously desire to. Crucial reading for those willing to look for real solutions to societal problems through understanding the systems that create and sustain them.
- The Systems Bible: The Beginner’s Guide to Systems Large and Small, by John Gall
- Habits of a Systems Thinker, The Waters Foundation
- How Engineers Think in terms of Systems: Systems-level thinking is more than just being systematic; rather, it’s about the understanding that in the ebb and flow of life, nothing is stationary and everything is linked.
- We are not the Enemy! Thoughts on Habits and the Challenge of “Enlightenment” – or of being a Systems Thinker, article by Lorraine Filipek, Ph.D. in the Systems Thinking World Journal
- The Systems Thinker – Systems Thinking Resource Hub
- Emotional Balance: The Path to Inner Peace and Harmony, by Roy Martina
- The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation, by Thich Nhat Hanh
- Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice, By Shunryu Suzuki
- The Zen Book, by Daniel Levin
- Insight Meditation: A Step-by-Step Course on How to Meditate by Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein
- Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One, by Dr. Joe Dispenza
- Every Word Has Power: Switch on Your Language and Turn on Your Life, by Yvonne Oswald
- Healing Yourself with Light: How to Connect with the Angelic Healers, by LaUna Huffines
- The Alchemy of Voice: Transform and Enrich Your Life Through the Power of Your Voice, by Stewart Pearce
- Unlimiting Mind: The Radically Experiential Psychology of Buddhism, by Andrew Olendzki
- Decoding the Human Body-Field: The New Science of Information as Medicine, by Peter H. Fraser, Harry Massey, Joan Parisi Wilcox
- Light: Medicine of the Future: How We Can Use It to Heal Ourselves NOW, by Jacob Liberman O.D. Ph.D.
- The Intenders Handbook, by Tony Burroughs
- Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change, by Shawn Achor
- Endless Energy: The Essential Guide to Energy Health, by Debra Green
- The Sound Healing of Tom Kenyon (his audio tracks are excellent to use with meditation in order to reach deeper states of consciousness).
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
- The Heart-Math Institute, Science of the Heart: Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance
- The Heart’s Note, by Stewart Pearce. The heart is the spiritual gateway to higher levels of consciousness and plays the critical role in achieving mind-body harmony. This is the “user’s manual that should have been included…”.
- Hacking the Human Biofield – The 30-day Plan to Grow a New Body and Mind, by Dr. Alberto Villodo
- The Quantum Diet (article), by NESHealth, Inc.
- Dr Mercola Interviews Professor Gerald Pollack on the Fourth Phase of Water. Your body consists of over 99 percent water molecules, but the water in your cells is not regular water, but highly structured water with special properties. There is a fourth phase of water, not H2O but H3O2, and can be called living water. It’s more viscous, dense, and alkaline than regular water; has a negative charge, and can hold energy, much like a battery, and deliver energy too. The key ingredient to create this highly structured water is light, i.e. electromagnetic energy, whether in the form of visible light, or infrared wavelengths, which we’re surrounded by all the time.
- GreenMedInfo.com – GreenMedInfo is dedicated to providing evidence-based natural medical information. If you want to approach health from a natural, holistic basis with well written and researched information to guide you, then this site is a must.
Proactive Access to Knowledge and Wisdom
- The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe, by Lynne McTaggart
- The Biology of Belief by Bruce H. Lipton
- Gaia TV – Gaia is the world’s largest resource of conscious media to empower the evolution of consciousness. This is perhaps the best thing you can do to access information about the true nature of reality. Highly Recommended.
- The Holographic Universe: The Revolutionary Theory of Reality, by Michael Talbot
- The Global Brain: The Awakening Earth in a New Century, by Peter Russell
- The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism, by Fritjof Capra
- Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics, by Gary Zukav
- Quantum Economics: Unleasing the Power of an Economics of Consciousness, by Amit Goswami PhD
- The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell), by Joseph Campbell
- The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life, Vol. 1, by Drunvalo Melchizedek
- An Overview of the emerging Quantum Reality, by The Institute of Noetic Sciences
- Recovering the Soul: A Scientific and Spiritual Approach, by Larry Dossey
- The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena, by Dean Radin PhD
- Science and Non-Duality Institute, Science and Nonduality provides a forum where preeminent scientists, philosophers, teachers, artists and a large, international community gather to explore and advance the new paradigm emerging in spirituality, that is both grounded in cutting-edge science and consistent with the ancient wisdom of nonduality — the deep understanding of the interconnectedness of life.
- Institute of Noetic Sciences, IONS conducts, sponsors, and collaborates on leading-edge research into the potentials and powers of consciousness, exploring phenomena that do not necessarily fit conventional scientific models while maintaining a commitment to scientific rigor.
- Center for Quantum Activism – Quantum Activism is the idea of changing ourselves and our societies in accordance with the principles of quantum physics.
- The Venus Project – Designing A Society that is beyond Politics, Poverty, and War
- The Intelligent Optimist Magazine: The magazine presents optimism as the most effective, efficient and by scientific research confirmed strategy to drive the innovation and creativity that are necessary to solve the problems and meet the challenges that people and society face.
- Brain Pickings – The Weekly Digest of Interestingness: Brain Pickings is a one-woman labor of love (Maria Popova) — a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why. Mostly, it’s a record of her own becoming as a person — intellectually, creatively, spiritually — and an inquiry into how to live and what it means to lead a good life.
- TruthDig.com, Drilling Beneath the Headlines…
- Lion’s Roar Magazine – Buddhist Wisdom for our Time
- Science Set Free Podcast, with Rupert Sheldrake
- Conversations Beyond Science and Religion Podcast, with Philip Comella
- A selected list of downloadable peer-reviewed journal articles about Telepathy, Consciousness, and other PSI (Psychic) phenomena, most published in the 21st century – compiled by Dean Radin.
- OpenCulture.com – The best free cultural & educational media on the web
- The Law of One books were channeled by L/L Research (Carla Rueckert, Don Elkins, and Jim McCarty) between 1981 and 1984. The books (there are five) can be purchased from L/L Research’s online store or freely downloaded from their library. This site includes all of the questions and answers from the books, as well as about 60 more questions and answers that were discovered in the Relistening Project. *If you want to unearth the true nature of reality that has been hidden from humanity for eons, then this is the place to start. The Sons of the Law of One Podcast is a great companion item where you can listen to many other channeled readings from advanced level consciousnesses. Highly Recommended.
- Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment, by Marc Gafni
- The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer
- A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
- Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, by Adam M. Grant
- A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, by Marianne Williamson
- A Course In Miracles, by Foundation For Inner Peace. A profound channeled work from the 1960’s – this is divine consciousness teaching which every human should strive to master.
- The Gnostic Gospels – A startling account of the meaning of Jesus and the origin of Christianity based on Gnostic gospels and other secret texts, written almost 2,000 years ago, discovered in 1945 near Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt, by Elaine Pagels
- Jesus Lived in India – His Unknown Life Before and After the Crucifixion by Holger Kersten
- Jesusgate – A History of Concealment Revealed by Ernie Bringas
- The Kybalion – A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece, by the Three Initiates
- The Super Beings – They are with us now…demonstrating what we all can and must become, by John Randolph Price
- Many Lives, Many Masters, by Dr. Brian L. Weiss
- The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life, by Deepak Chopra
- The Third Millennium: Living in the Posthistoric World, by Ken Carey
- Calling Humanity: Information for the New Times, by Jose Trigueirinho
- A Journey to Oneness: a Chronicle of Spiritual Emergence, by Rasha
- Jesus (Enlightenment Collection), by Deepak Chopra
- Buddha (Enlightenment Collection), by Deepak Chopra
- Tao Te Ching, by Stephen Mitchell
- Great Human Potential: Walking in One’s Own Light, by Tom Kenyon
- The On Being Podcast with Krista Tippett
- Buddha at the Gas Pump Podcast – Interviews with “ordinary” spiritually awakening people, with Rick Archer
- The Spiritual Library Youtube Channel. Has an excellent selection of audio / video lectures of the great British Zen Philosopher Alan Watts and others.
- The Empathy Library. The Empathy Library is a digital treasure house to share inspiring books and films to spark a global empathy revolution.
- Jesus & Buddha: This 45 minute film helps us understand how following the path of the Buddha has informed and deepened the understanding for some prominent spiritualists of who Jesus was and what he taught. Combining key aspects of both traditions allows us to live lives filled with joy and gratitude, compassion and service.
Here are core Think Smarter World articles that speak to the elevation of consciousness:
- Mindfulness, Pathway to Divine Consciousness
- The (re)-Discovery of the Human Energy Field
- The Core Principles of the New Spiritualist
- 20/20 Consciousness
- Seeing the Oneness of our Reality
- Mindfulness – Experiencing Reality in HD
- How Yogic Breathing Transforms the Mind and Body
- What the Mind Needs to Tune into Cosmic Intelligence
- Co-Creating with Source Energy – The New Paradigm of Success
- Mystic Insights No. 7 – The Spiritual Mystic
- Mystic Insights No. 8 – Don’t Let the Body Limit Love