Session 3: What is Real?
This session, more dialogic than the first two, has four parts: the main material in two parts, an invitation/assignment, and an afterthought. Part 1 starts with my journey beyond my “birth religion” of reductionist materialism and ends with a vivid demonstration of how organization, beauty, and intelligence are woven into the fabric of reality. The second part discuses the boundary between real and unreal, possible and impossible, citing examples like UFOs, free energy devices, and alternative cancer cures – not to make truth claims for them (although I have my opinions) – but to suggest what it takes for new “impossible” technologies to enter reality. Finally, we touch on “prophetic speech,” and the conditions in which one might speak something into existence.
Review of This Session’s Invitation
The invitation here is to bring into your awareness an event that seems like evidence that the universe is alive and intelligent, or that reality is bigger and more mysterious than our culture holds. It could by an experience of marvelous synchronicity, or mysterious communication with animals, plants, spirits, ancestors, or ETs. It could be precognitive or psychic phenomena. If you haven’t had such an experience firsthand, then ask your weirdest relatives and let it in secondhand! Then notice who you are when you fully accept that yes, this happened, and yes, it points to a larger reality. If this is true, then what is true? Who am I when I accept the invitation of this experience into a story that can accommodate it? AND, see who you are when you reject the experience, explain it away, and keep reality small and safe. Remember, this is not to prove one or another interpretation of the experience. It is to bring alive all parts of you, each corresponding to a different story. Then a choice becomes manifest. Consider sharing these stories in the discussion group(s) for this course.
Audio & Transcripts for This Session
Many thanks to Aaron Grubbs and Patsy Eisenstein for their audio prep, and to Grimm Culhane for his time transcribing this session!
Brian Swimme on New & Ancient Story podcast: The Cosmos Watching Itself (E35)
Suggested reading: The Corruption of Evidence-Based Medicine: Killing for Profit
We’ve moved all course discussions onto our online community, A New and Ancient Story. To join the discussion forum, go to the landing page and read the introduction and posting guidelines. Then, if those resonate, apply to join (all serious applicants are accepted). Once you are a member, find the discussion group for this course among the course forums on the left menu.