🌟 STEVE TAYLOR: Why Science Needs Spirituality & What It Means for You! | Spiritual Science
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hi everyone welcome back Michael Sandler your host on inspire nation if you've ever wanted to make more sense of science and spirituality and how they fit together then do we have the spiritual science show for you today I'll be talking with Steve Taylor PhD senior psychology lecturer at Leeds Beckett University the author of numerous books on spirituality and psychology ranked one of the hundred most spiritually influential living people by mind body and spirit magazine and the author of a phenomenal new treatise of science and spirituality spiritual science and that's just what I want to talk with him about today about a new vision of the world that transcends conventional science and religion and what it means for all of us that plus we'll talk about quantum teleportation the chicken and the egg the power of spirit force Elysion and Myna birds what on earth is neuro mania and what in the world zombies and consciousness have to do with anything so welcome back to the show Steve are you ready to shine I am indeed definitely whoo so now I asked this question a bit similarly last time but I can't resist going there again and though people can check out the other interview for your full background but what was the religion of your family growing up it was football or soccer as you call it in the US that was my only religion you know my father was a fundamentalist monsoon iced tea fan and like all fundamentalists we we felt opposed to other people who belong to other football team football the football clubs and that was that was what gamers meaning and purpose soccer very very good so and you had that meaning in purpose this external meaning and purpose also filled with science until maybe a friend began to crack the shell when he brought you to if I understand it right a meditation class or talk when you were 18 that's right yeah I mean like like a lot of people who grow up in a secular culture particularly Western Europe which is extremely secular and we were kind of toward that the fundamental reality of the world is matter the materialism could explain the world it could explain the universe and we were kind of tore implicitly that the mind is just a projection of the brain the mind has no existence of its own accord it's just a kind of shadow of the brain so when I was about 18 and a friend told me about a meditation I talked about meditation which was taking place at a local library and so we went along and the guy I think he was he was a TM Transcendental Meditation teacher and he was using phrases like like meditation is the way to experience the Bliss of consciousness and he was saying it by meditating you can tune into consciousness itself and experience the purity of consciousness and at the time I thought what is he talking about you know what is this thing called consciousness surely I am just a brain what else is there I'm just little molecules and atoms and a brain and a body so what's this thing called consciousness it didn't make sense to me at the time until I actually began to meditate and then it did begin to make sense obviously and how did that affect your worldview as you join the science community well I was always kind of a reluctant scientist oh only in the sense that I never really subscribed to the standard scientific model of the world you know I became a psychologist but I never get shared the skepticism of other psychologists towards towards spirituality or towards say phenomena towards near-death experiences I was always opens to those things and I was always very suspicious of the way that mainstream scientists tried to dismiss and all of these experiences as as tricks of the mind or self delusions so I was always really you know I always thought myself to be a kind of you know a bit of an outsider so thank you for sharing on that there's something you talk about later in the book called the enlightenment movement which isn't exactly what one would think it is what has been this movement in science over time that has affected kind of bringing spirituality in science together well originally a lot of the the most prominent early scientists like people like Newton Descartes and people of that of that ilk they were actually very religious you know that they didn't think in terms of this division between religion and science I mean Newton you know he wrote more about write theology than he did about science he saw his science as a kind of incidental byproduct of his work and he saw the the purpose of his scientific work as a way of understanding God's creation or the laws that God had created so he's only really in the and there's a late 19th century this division between science and spirituality opened up originally is the Enlightenment movement was sort of an 18th century movement to kind of supersede superstition and religion and that led to the kind of modern materialism which is very suspicious of religion or spirituality and which claims that you know you can explain the world you can explain all of human behavior in terms of material particles and what are the this is such a loaded questions are we hitting the end of the road with this and what is the danger of this worldview of materialism I think it is you know we are close to the end of the road one of the dangers of materialism is that it promotes a kind of nihilism sense of meaninglessness you know if we are just made up of material particles if we are just biological machines if the only purpose of our lives is to survive and reproduce then life is essentially meanings meaningless you know we're just here for 70 or 80 years you know just to survive and reproduce and what are we gonna do just have a good time just enjoy serfs just buy as many things as we can just achieve as many things as we can take as much as we can from the world you know because there's really no point there's no really no other point so I think in that sense the philosophy of materialism leads to materialism as a lifestyle of consumerism and it leads to a sense of disorientation as well you know and basic sense of you know psychological unease this feeling that you know there's really no point to life because we're just machines and I think it promotes selfishness as well the idea that human beings are essentially made up of selfish genes and that we care we only care about our own survive on a reproduction that promotes a kind of essential self-centeredness that we are in our own survival is paramount the needs of other people are not really important and also there's the issue of environmental destruction the idea that living living beings are just machines that Nature Reserve is just a very complicated machine that means that you know we don't really feel any connection to make sure nature is there just to just as a supply of resources just for us to exploit and abuse yeah there's a term you actually use which I see think is too apt and we had this massive wildfire it came a mile and a half from the house this summer where we moved from for four months ago became ground zero for a massive hurricane just two weeks ago and there's a term that you use Eco psychopathology hmm yeah well and if you think about Psychopaths the the essential characteristic of psychopaths is that they have no sense of empathy they cannot empathize with other human beings so other human beings are just objects to them they're just objects which they can use to satisfy their own desires so you know Psychopaths they spend all the time manipulating and exploiting other people because they have no sense of their causing any suffering towards other people and we if you think about it we have the same attitude towards the environment you know we we tend not to feel empathy towards natural things we see natural things as objects just as Psychopaths do towards other living beings you know and whereas other earlier indigenous peoples they had a sense that they were deeply interconnected with the natural world and they had a deep sense of respect towards natural things and we've lost that you know natural things have just become objects to us and in the same way that Psychopaths manipulate other people we manipulate and exploit nature since you mentioned thank you for sharing you mentioned the term deeply interconnected I want to jump all the way toward the end of your book I want to go to quantum mechanics here quantum physics I want to go to entanglement theory I want to go to the beginning of the quote universe as we know it how all particles are related or connected and there was no distance between us which means something very interesting now doesn't it well yeah the idea of entanglement is the once two particles have contact or once they kind of split away from one original particle then they are always interconnected they are always entangled so you know even if they are miles apart they still behave as if they are together as if they are connected so if one particle moves in a certain direction the other particle move in parallel with it so they always have it behave as if they're twinned and the important point about that is that probably at the beginning of the universe all particles were compressed in a very dense and dense mass and therefore they would have all that content with each other and that suggests that you know literally every single particle in the universe is entangled and interconnected so and to go from there to bring it to to spiritualism here or where we're going today you say that where that all things share this common spiritual essence there are no separate or distinct entities what does that mean that's what I call pan spiritism that's my the worldview I try to put forward in the book and it's the idea that I'm you know according to standard science the essential reality of the universe is matter you know and all things have built up from basic material particles but according to my my view the basic reality of the universe is spirit or you could call it fundamental consciousness I sometimes use the term fundamental consciousness but that is the ground of the universe spirit or consciousness and the material world actually emerges from that consciousness so the consciousness is the original source the primal source of the universe and matter well the whole universe itself emerges from conscious and that means that all material particles are deeply interconnected because they emerge from the same source and they are also pervaded with consciousness so they share the same essence the same substance and that applies to us as well our own being is you could you could say it's an influx of fundamental consciousness or spirit so our own being partakes in the spirit of the universe we are essentially one with the whole universe and were one with every other living being and every single material particle of the universe so now thank you for sharing and this is this is catching on at least outside of scientific circles maybe actually before we dive into things further what's the difference between science and scientist well you mean one of the things you become aware of if you listen to a lot of mainstream modern scientists something that people at Richard Dawkins maybe Steven Pinker or the well know scientists if you listen to them for a while you become aware that they're not just sort of speaking objectively and impartially about how they see the world they actually have a kind of belief system you know in in some ways they're not dissimilar from religious people they make a lot of assumptions about the world and make an assumption that consciousness is produced by the brain they make an assumption that life is fundamentally purposeless they assume that the main kind of factor in human behavior is jeans or maybe neurons they're the kind of the essential principles that that kind of lead to different types of human behavior so you know they're not objective scientists they actually have a belief system which is made up of different assumptions in the same way that religious people have a belief system made up of certain assumptions and that is what I call scientist scientist and scientism is the belief system of materialism which is derived from a few scientific findings but it's not really science itself a lot of people confuse the two they think that science equates with scientism that if you are a scientist you must believe that and we are genetic machines consciousness is produced by the brain sigh phenomena do not exist is all these attendants of of scientism so scientism is basically the belief system which has do what she has kind of been extrapolated from some scientific findings it's it's fascinating to me because you mentioned Newton we can certainly talk about Charles Darwin who isn't what we believe him to be or what has been attributed to him but if we go all the way back to the to the Greeks to the time of Plato you've got logos you've got noose and you've got anima Mundi soul yeah world saw yeah that's right that's from Plato a lot of the you know the original Greek philosophers they believed in this kind of all-pervading spirit and the kind of thing we've been talking about yet they believe that there is a fundamental source a fundamental spiritual source from which the world originates and they believe that this spiritual force pervades everything so that essentially all things are united because they share the same essence and also you know the human the essence of the human soul also derives from this spiritual source so that was a very convey you know the the Stoics called it Numa which was their word for spirit and and these ideas you know they're very similar to a lot of the ideas of spiritual traditions like Brahman in Indian philosophy Dao in Chinese Taoism and so forth so it's a very you know it's a very traditional idea and even indigenous spiritual perspectives as well oh yeah absolutely yeah I mean that was one of the when I wrote a book called the fall about 15 years ago it's my first book I did a lot of research because the book was about anthropology in archaeology I did a lot of research into anthropology and studied a lot of indigenous tribes and one of the things I found was that in almost every case actually in every case that I could find indigenous peoples had a concept of an all-pervading spiritual force they allow them did not believe in in God as we understand it they didn't have day as we understand that but their fundamental principle was that the whole world including their own being or living things even space itself was pervaded with some form of lifeforce so you know the most famous example is the Native Americans they called it the great mystery or the Great Spirit but every other indigenous people from New Guinea from Africa from everywhere in the world they had similar concepts I love that you brought up Shintoism in the book as well and Shintoism as as animated life force or spirits in everything yeah yeah so he's not just indigenous cultures also some modern industrial cultures such as Japan and Korea in Korea there are similar beliefs so yeah that kind of natural spirituality that survived in in Shintoism in Japan and also in Korea so thank you from there and I want to go into some of the science that actually shows the indigenous may have been right on the mark but before we do that you say although spirit forces in all things not all things have individual spirit and although consciousness is in all things not all things are conscious what do you mean by this well this is where my worldview is a bit different from what's called Pan psychism Pan psychism has become quite popular in philosophy at the moment because Pan psychism is a way of explaining how mind emerges from matter that's the thing which modern scientists kind of material scientists but it really differed to explain how basic physical particles could give rise to consciousness or mind there's no studies that show it are there not a single one now it's just an assumption there's no evidence for it at all if that's you know a lot of the evidence points to other other viewpoints but um yeah the fundamental idea of Pan psychism is that all material things have a degree of consciousness so even the smallest particles in the universe atoms every atom has a certain degree a very very tiny degree of consciousness or mind so you don't have to explain how matters sorry how mind emerges from because it was always there from the beginning but my type but my philosophy is slightly different to that because I call it pan spiritism and as I said before it's this idea that the fundamental reality the universe is consciousness and all material things emerge from consciousness but then we need to think about how does our own individual consciousness emerge and I think that when living beings develop and they develop cells and the cells come together to form brains and nervous systems then the function of the brain or even just a cells a group of a few cells when that happens the cells become able to receive and transmit consciousness which is out there into an individual being so individuals beings become become alive because they can transmit and receive consciousness so I think you know yeah the standard materialistic model is that the brain produces consciousness but I think that it's actually the brains Rho is actually to receive consciousness like a transmitter it sort of picks up consciousness and then can eliza's it into our own individual being that's why you were driven not you were you're listening to something what was it all things in the mind or some sure like that where there was a psychologist on who said the hippocampus got full that's right yeah that's one of the symptoms of normal science is that the mind is just the brain so yeah there was this psychologist he was saying that memory is related to the hippocampal compass and when that gets full people get tired and it gets full of memories and there needs to be more space and memories push each other out but that's nonsense of course because it's just a physical thing you know if you opened it up you wouldn't see any memories you just see cells memory is in a mentor a psychological function and you can't reduce it to brain cells so what's interesting you use the term reduced there and and one of the most fascinating things to me and you point it out in the book is there is this pattern not of chaos in the universe but of increasing complexity mmm yeah I think life has a natural tendency to move towards greater complexity as a natural kind of dynamic quality I think that's what impels the evolution you know evolution is traditionally described as a kind of random process it's created by random mutations and natural selection they're the two main forces which give rise to evolution but I think you know you need to think in terms of a kind of creative dynamic principle which moves towards greater and greater complexity so if you begin what you begin with the most simple particles of matter which emerge from consciousness and that probably happened you know several billion years ago and there's a kind of a natural process by which those particles grouped together they become more complex eventually they become able to catalyze consciousness that they become inwardly alive and sentient once they become sentient sentience increases more and more particles more and more cells come together so that sentience can intensify so that living beings can become more and more conscious and that's new that equates with the process of evolution which is partly a kind of physical process by which living beings become more varied more diverse they also become more complex more organized but inwardly they become more and more conscious so consciousness itself I think has this kind of natural creative dynamic quality which moves towards complexity awesome thank you I think we need to go to Darwin right now and and we need to talk about why he never even said survival of the fittest but but as a second thing you just mentioned something so incredibly important not only do we evolve towards more complexity but we have an inner component which if we were talking quote survival of the fittest as least as we know the world makes absolutely no sense that's right yeah I mean the the inequality of consciousness which kind of moves in parallel with complexity physical complexity so the more complex things become physically the more conscious they become that doesn't really connect with the idea of the survival of the fittest and in fact there's a in the book where I question the whole idea about whether humans needed to be kind of needed to struggle to survive there's a lot of evidence suggest that early human beings had actually had a fairly easy life you had a lot of leisure time there was an abundance of food populations were so low that there was the very little warfare but a very little competition so the idea of competition as a driving force of evolution is flawed and so instead of that the driving force of evolution is actually this dynamic tendency towards complexity so and when we talk about evolution I'm gonna jump way ahead we've been moving all around this is this beautiful beautiful book that you've got here and if we talk about awakening experiences and maybe we'll dive into yours in a second I guess actually let's define what awakening experience is and then let's talk about how there are glimpse I love that you call it a glimpse into a higher stage of evolution awakening experiences temporary experiences and where awareness intensifies and expands so there's a sense in which the limitations of normal awareness fade away and the world becomes more real more vivid and as a sense in which we transcend separateness we connect with nature we connect with other people and we also seem to connect with deeper aspects of our own being so awareness expands outwardly but also inwardly so mo if we look at awakening experiences well first off what happened to you when on holiday in Wales well this happened to largely several times when I'm on holiday on a holiday we're more often you should go if you haven't been there there is a natural quality in the landscape maybe it's there the Celtic yeah the ancient Celts and the landscape I don't know Celtic atmosphere but there you had this particular instance which I write about in the book we were staying at a bungalow and I decided to go for a walk one evening about sunset and I just opened a gate into a field which I hadn't been aware before and there were hundreds of in this field and the sunset was so beautiful that I couldn't stop looking at it I kept looking at the sky I kept looking at the fields I love the light shining under the greenness of the fields making them incredibly vivid and the scene was just so beautiful that I just had to stop and couldn't stop looking and and after a few minutes there was a certain shift in my perception as if somebody pressed a switch or as if a light had been turned on and the landscape seemed to suddenly reveal a new dimension an extra dimension and it was almost as if you know everything became incredibly intensely bright and vivid and I also felt this sense of oneness I felt that somehow my own being was part of the sky my own being was part of the hills there was no separation between myself and what was outside what seemed to be outside so the concepts of inside and outside had no meaning so there was this sense in which my being seemed to just expand out of my body and seemed to expand into the landscape in the sky it seemed thank you for sharing on that it seems like and I don't believe this show could exist if this weren't occurring that's completely unscientific and biased for that matter these are weakening experiences are happening more and more frequently absolutely yeah there's even research showing that in the u.s. these kind of experiences have become more common over the past 50 years I think in the nineteen sixties about 30% of people reported having had one of these experiences and now it's something like something like 70% so it's more than doubled in the last 40 years or so my primary research in as a psychologist at my university is on awakening experiences and I sometimes put out requests have you ever had an awakening experience would you like to talk to me about it and you know so many requests come in a lot of people say that they've never talks about it before because they were afraid of being thought of as weird and so I tell them don't worry you know you're not weird these experiences are incredibly common or sometimes people say oh I'm an atheist I don't believe in God but I've had one of these experiences is that possible and I say yeah don't worry I know you don't have to be religious to have these experiences so a lot of people equate these experiences with the religion or they're afraid of talking about it so I mean I think if if there was more awareness and more openness about these experiences we would we would realize how common they are and I love where they're trending or where they're pointing another word that shows this trend – I don't know how common this is hundreds of years ago but now as somebody who's who's experienced two of these it seems like you can walk down the street and and somebody to your left or to your right has had an MD e-class true yes I was quite shocked when I read research showing the 6% of German people about and E's and as 6% is a lot and that's who would actually admit it exactly yeah there's also what the research showing that a lot of people who have n DS are afraid of talking about it because you know as I just said they're afraid of being thought of as weird so a lot of people don't talk about them and sometimes people struggle to make sense of them because from a material that I had a friend actually and I write about this in the book he he had a near-death experience he had a heart transplant and many years ago he was one of the first people in my area of England to have a heart transplant he was in the 1980s so while he was undergoing the procedure when he was unconscious he suddenly found himself above his body in the operating theatre floating above his body and he thought what's going on here you know where I am but he felt this strange sense of calmness and he also heard a music classical music being played that's strange well how come they're playing classical music anyway so he floated away from his bother and from his body and he met his father who had died about 15 years previously his father said are you doing here you know you shouldn't be here it's not your time yet you know you should go back to your body and so after a while he went back down to his body and then he woke up in recovery several hours later and he said to the surgeon how come you were playing classical music in the operating theater and the surgeon was at Wow Wow how did you know that and so it was a kind of fairly typical near-death experience but the thing about my friend was that he was a kind of a materialist he was a skeptic you know he thought of himself as a very rational person who didn't believe any in any New Age nonsense so he didn't quite know what to make it the experiencing it just confused him really and he never talked about that I was the first person he told about it because he was you know in some ways it contradicted his worldview so he wasn't he tried to repress it now I want to ask more about NDEs and science but but just like out on this stuff so I've got to ask did he have any strange memories afterwards that he talked about or cravings for different food not that I'm aware of no says the Uwe well I've read about different people that there was an early example and I don't remember the full story so I'm gonna butcher it here for everybody please forgive me about somebody who's very health consciousness who afterward had this strong craving for pizza and beer and it turns out the person that they got the heart from loved pizza here I've heard about that yeah yeah yeah I'm not sure if he had those experiences but I have heard that you know about de7 sometimes so can science explain NDEs or can it explain away and bees such as a result of a dying brain or any of those sort of thing that's that's how most mainstream scientists respond to these you know it contradicts the material's worldview it contradicts the assumptions of scientism and therefore they try to explain them away in the same way that you know early Ivan used this analogy in the book that early and you know early scientists faced a lot of hostility from the religious authorities because you know they were there coming up with evidence that suggested that the biblical worldview wasn't so a lot of the religious authorities to suppress and interview scientists and sometimes they burn them at the stake so you know in the same kind of tradition a lot of scientists just try to explain away any phenomena which don't correspond to their view of the world so you know scientists often say the Andes are produced by a dying brain or maybe when the when the brain is dying there's a lack of oxygen to the brain and that produces the experience some people say it's due to the release of psychedelic chemicals as a person when a person is close to death but none of these explanations are really valid partly because you know take example of psychedelics you know there are some similarities between psychedelics and near-death experiences but there are also you know major differences so it's not common for people who take psychedelics to meet deceased relatives or to have a live review and you know they're two of the most common features of NDEs and also with the idea that n DS are produced by a lack of oxygen to the brain actually when people have an oxy lack of oxygen to the brain their experiences are very chaotic very hallucinatory very confused completely alike the ND which is a very structured very calm very ordered experience and there are also many cases of what are called for radical perceptions which is that when people are just that my friend John you know he heard classical music when people are floating above their bodies they witness certain things in the operating theatre or it could be in a different environment maybe it could be an ambulance or maybe in a different maybe in the after her aftermath of a car crash but they witness events which are actually confirmed later on and obviously that can't happen if these experiences are just produced by a brain which is dying thank you and so on that note I want to jump from there into SCI phenomena we had dr. Dean Radin on the show several times and it's just been phenomenal I believe we've all not almost we've all actually experienced this we've just reasoned it away yesterday I was dry being home to the house we live up a mile mile long hill in the mountains a lightning storm is out and I told my wife I said be careful when you get out of the car I feel like right as we park lightning is going to strike almost right at the house we pulled up to the car to the house we paused for a second kaboom and I'm like I have no idea did you just see that and I think we're all experienced psychic phenomena what exactly is psychic phenomena well there are different varieties of sight phenomena but I guess the two most common or maybe the two that have been researched the most precognition which is when you just like you did like you described then when you have an inkling or sometimes it may be a dream about something which is gonna happen so it's kind of like a glimpse of the future precognition or telepathy which is when we somehow become aware of the thoughts or intentions of another person without speaking to them without even being in the presence just like what one common form of telepathy is telephone telepathy which is you know most people have experienced that you know you were I had it just I actually had an email telepathy I love you a few days ago you know but back in the summer about two months ago I went to Germany to stay with some friends and I forgot to write to my friend to thank him for looking after me and picking me up at the airport and so on so this has like several weeks later thought but a better right to Henry to to to thank him so even up my computer and just as my computer was open an email right from Henry like exactly at that moment of course saying you saying it was great to see you in in Germany and so on so notice I think that it's a case of email telepathy so what is the science behind actually maybe we go down and look at an example or two John Godley and racehorses oh yeah well that's one of the most interesting examples of precognition this was back in the 1940s and 1950s in England and this gentleman John Godley he had a dream in which he was looking at a new paper and he saw the winning the name of a racehorse which had won that day and he woke up isn't that strange but I'll just go to a newspaper so he went to a newspaper job on a newspaper and he saw that that day there was a race which included the horse he saw in the newspaper so he thought that's interesting I'll take about that and he won you know the horse came in first and he won quite a lot of money and it happened several times over the next it didn't happen regularly but six or seven times over the next two or three years so every time he took a bigger and bigger bet every time he saw himself reading the newspaper he saw the name of the horse which won the race and the next day he looked in newspaper he took a bet on that horse and the final time by this time he became quite a famous it was run about the newspapers and the final time you know it was very they did it very scientifically he wrote the name of the horse and a piece of paper it was locked in a bank vault there were lots of witnesses and all his friends took out bets as well and they all made lots of money because again the horse came in first so what is the scientific evidence of this phenomena and is there a preponderance of the evidence at this point there is I mean I think one of the one of the standard ways in which skeptics or science scientists if you want to use that term one of the ways in which they deal with syphon AMA is to claim that there was no evidence they claimed that there was no scientific laboratory evidence for them and sometimes they say well maybe there is occasionally but it's just due to fraud or it's due to the file drawer effect which is when you know you only publish positive results when you hide away all the negative results but that's not actually true there is actually many you know there are many studies which have been extremely rigorously conducted where there are positive results indicating that side phenomena are real there's a guy called Darrel ban one of the most famous Syre searchers along with people at Dean Radin and in 2012 he probably just the results of I think it wasn't experiments eight of which showed very significant evidence for precognition or he got a presentiment which was like feeling the future he called it and you know the evidence was published in a very respected scholarly journal but immediately a lot of scientists said this this can't be true it's nonsense it contradicts our view of reality and there are there are meant every year there are you know multiple studies conducted along the same lines which confirm that these phenomena are real but actually I think I think the the landscape may be changing because in the new edition in this September 2018 edition of the american psychologist journal which is published by the American Psychological Association there's actually a really good article which surveys the the present state of research inside phenomena and concludes that there is something happening that's something real is going on wow that's a really good sign yeah going from there you could talk real briefly about ganzfeld experiments but what excited me most what was what happening with undergrads from Juilliard oh yeah that's the study that showed that creative people such as musicians at Juilliard that they are more likely to have psy abilities we I think that one of the things about psy bilities is they're not you know they're not well though they vary from person to person it just just like creativity some people are highly creative some people not particularly creative and some people have very strong psychic abilities some people have a lot of telepathic experiences a lot of precognitive experiences and other people have none of them but the study yeah you're talking about it showed that people who are highly creative and much more likely to also be highly psychic and I wonder what that means for our upbringing and kids and how we train their minds as they're growing up yeah I think one of the you know one of the unfortunate aspects of secular education and is that you know we're trained to accept this materials worldview which kind of implicitly denies the existence of side phenomena or any anomalous phenomena and I think as we take on that view of the world as children take a view view of the world on they they're kind of unconsciously repress any psychic abilities they may have or if they do have any psychic experiences they may be explained them away and you know I think the more you doubt something the less likely you are to experience it so I want to go from there real briefly back to Darwin again survival of the fittest which actually came from th Huxley as as you share in your book I didn't know that I just knew that Darwin was a lot more and boy were his writings different after his experiences it wasn't just about genetic evolution as we know it but what does altruism have to do with this whole thing altruist is one of those things which normal scientists find really difficult to explain no because if we are genetic machines if we are made up of surface genes and we're only really concerned for our own survival and reproduction oh well strictly speaking the survival and reproduction of our genes then wider should we be altruistic you know why should we sometimes risk our own lives for other people's well-being why should we place ourselves in danger terrible the people who are not related to us all or even other species you know why should I why should I help a spider you know why should I you know free a spider from my bathroom so that he won't drown in the water and it doesn't make any sense and sometimes scientists say oh well it's due to you know we're trying to show off to show how good we are we're trying to prove to ourselves that we're good people trying to get more get more respect and so on but it doesn't really explain it because there are so many situations where people wrists realize for the well-being of others but I think you know if you if you take the viewpoint that we do share this fundamental consciousness that we share the same essence that we are all interconnected the now tourism altruism is completely natural you know because we have the ability to sense of the people's pain and suffering through empathy so if I have the ability to sense your suffering and pain then I feel the instinct to help you to alleviate the suffering and pain and that gives rise to altruism beautiful so from there as we begin to wind things down here what could we learn from what happened with Rupert Sheldrake and a TED talk well I had my Rupert Sheldrake because he is faced a lot of hostility from mainstream scientists and the TED talk issue was a was an example of that because he gave a talk I can remember what the topic of the talk was but it was about he's kind of attacking the principles of modern scientists and yeah it's like top ten things that show that materialism or it was more than more materialism but modern scientists ISM isn't what we think that's right yeah but somehow there were a group of skeptics in the US and they got in contact with that would Ted the Ted organization and they said this man is a charlatan is a pseudo scientist you know you should not promote his teachings and because the skeptics have such authority and such respect Ted agreed and they took down his talk which is really in over an act of suppression it's again it's just they're just behaving like they're religious authorities did in the 17th century when Galileo told them about you know about the truths of the universe so it's really asked and as a scandalous example of scientific fundamentalism so from there if we talk about go back to span spiritism what are a few of the key tenets of it or a few of the key points we should keep in mind well first of all it's important to remember that the mind is not just produced by the brain in some sense the mind is independent of the brain and it has its own laws its own functions which are not connected to the brain in fact rather than mind just being produced by the brain you could turn it around and say that brain activity is a reflection of what happens in mind so it's not there's not a sort of one way causal relationship and because of that because mind is more fundamental than matter the mind can also affect the body in a very pronounced way so the mind can actually have a healing effect on the body our mental attentions intentions can you know heal they can kill pain they can have a pain killing effect and there are many ways in which our mental attentions affect the functioning of the body but and yeah I think what's really important to remember is that we are not separate from the world or from each other I think materialism implies that we are kind of separate isolated beings living inside our own bodies inside a road mental space but in reality there is no separateness you know we we share the same essence with other human beings we share the same essence with all other living beings and we share the same essence of nature and in fact with the space around us the essence of the space around us is also the essence of our being so rather than separateness being you know a basic condition of human life I would say that unity and connected necessarily the basic principle of human life on that note going back to mind really briefly two brief things first off what do we need to know about depression well at the moment because of the the medical the so-called medical model of depression which sees depression as the result of chemical imbalances in the brain or some kind of malfunctioning in the brain there's an assumption that depression can be fixed with medication just like you know a physical illness can be fixed with medication but in reality depression is not caused by brain malfunctions there's really no evidence that depression is caused by low levels of serotonin for example that's a bit of a myth you know there's no events for it and there's also very little evidence that the medication which is used to increase people's serotonin that this actually works there was some evidence that it works for very serious cases of depression but in in most cases in nine out of ten cases it's prescribed for mild cases of depression and there's no evidence that it actually works a lot of the evidence a lot of the seeming evidence was supplied by pharmaceutical companies you know who paid researchers to come up with positive results so it's a big it's a big myth you know the idea that depression is caused by brain malfunctioning and you can fix it with chemicals by chemical intervention but you know but sadly that myth is so prevalent that millions of people take antidepressants which have very little positive effect and actually which often have bad side effects which cause withdrawal symptoms and the side effects and withdrawal symptoms are probably much worse than the original condition which the person was trying to alleviate so you have to look for other causes of depression and often they are situational their environmental it could be due to a lack of love a lack of attention a lack of meaning a lack of purpose a lack of contact with nature you know so there are many other kind of more holistic even spiritual sources of depression thank you on that note bringing you two back full circle you say something towards the end of the book life is not empty and meaningless but bliss yeah well I think that the the essential quality of consciousness is bliss every spiritual tradition talks about this you know in the in the Hindu tradition Brahman is the essential spirit of the universe which pervades everything which is also the source of all material things does this phrase sat-chit-ananda which literally translates as being consciousness bliss and it basically means that the essential quality of consciousness is bliss just has just as water as the quality of wetness and consciousness has a natural quality of bliss and we pick up on that you know when we are in meditation when our minds become empty we feel this bliss inside our own being because it is the it is the essence of our being because the essence of our being is consciousness so when we touch into the pure consciousness of our own being we feel we sense this natural quality of bliss and we can also experience it in our surrounding so sometimes when like ice you know my experience in whales when you look at the sky when we look at the countryside maybe even the city maybe in the city landscape we just sense this meaning this harmony in the space or in the in the buildings and in the natural phenomena and I think Marie just perceiving this natural quality of harmony and bliss which is just there in the universe beautiful on that note what would you call self evolution self evolution is when we consciously practice spiritual exercises or spiritual disciplines in order to expand or intensify our own consciousness so we said before that evolution has is natural or evolution has this natural tendency towards complexity and it has this natural tendency towards intensifying consciousness consciousness becomes more and more intense as there is more physical complexity but I think when we follow spiritual paths when we practice meditation or yoga or any other kind of spiritual practice we are undergoing self evolution we are intensifying consciousness within our own being and in a sense we're becoming agents of evolution we're taking evolution into our into our own hands and we're furthering the process of evolution I love it it's it's part of our mission here with with inspire nation to raise the consciousness vague consciousness raised people's vibration help humanity shift to a new level and and I see us just as you talked about awakening experiences is being a glimpse glimpse into our future evolution I see us like atoms that are about our electrons about to pop to a next state I won't say shift or go to a next thing because you never see it from one to the next but I see us all vibrating and if we work on this as the purpose of our life self evolution individually it helps the whole to spring up yeah I completely agree I think in a sense we have a responsibility we have a responsibility to to wake up to expand our consciousness to evolve individually in order to wait in order to help a whole species evolve you know whatever contribution we make individually within our own being that spreads to a whole the whole species and as you say it becomes easier and easier for the people to make the same same effort and the same you know the same journey I've got somewhere between tears and goosebumps at the moment here so on on that no do thank you for the work you're doing thank you thank you thank you for the work what one homework assignment would you give people today on their process of self evolution mmm I would I would say that in the in the crazy modern world and in our crazy modern lives there is a lack of of quietness and stillness so I sometimes recommend to people you know take your diary or your weekly planner and take three spaces three afternoons or three evenings and just strike them out and just write stillness or inactivity in those spaces so you know take away your your cell phone your smartphone close down your computer maybe you can read a little bit listen to a bit of music but just for that period just experience quietness and stillness be free of activity be free of conversation and be free of busyness and just embrace the stillness what advice would you give parents for their kids today we talked earlier about the the natural creativity of children and how children you know they their boundaries are very soft you know adults have these kind of strong egos which make us separate to the world but children are very soft very fluid egos if they have egos at all so they feel this natural sense of participation in their experience and this this natural sense of connectedness but I think you know our educational systems and our attitudes as parents they often close down that kind of fluid connectedness we kind of create separateness by encouraging the children to think abstractly and by stopping them by kind of dampening their curiosity and their natural sense of wonder so I'd say that you know just allow your children to be as creative as possible and encourage their sense of wonder when they ask questions you know the why questions don't get impatient encourage them to ask more why questions and be okay saying I don't know yeah and it's good not to though sometimes it's good not to know sometimes it's good to to leave things mysterious so what personally brings you the greatest happiness or what I call the whoo-hoo factor um I'd say probably nature you know I a lot of mornings I'd love to go for a run on the local fields and the local park and I just love it I love looking at the sky looking at the Sun I love the trees that I pass and the bushes and the fields and it just sometimes it's just so beautiful it just sort of overwhelms think wow I'm just so lucky to be alive I'm so lucky to to be able to perceive this this beauty you know and I think wow our life is life is glorious it's fantastic to be alive I love it and you dive down the more you dive down into intricate details the more you step back the more that you see there's something into woven in everything to me fall foliage what we're starting to experience now to me is all the proof I need that there's something more going on here we didn't need to see or get the Magnificent colors that we get it's a gift mm-hmm that's right and the more the more we evolved as individuals and more our consciousness expands the more beauty we perceive and it's it's in today just by innocence you know in a sense we took we were talking about children I think in a sense it's kind of a return to childhood you know I think children perceive for the world in that way they're aware of so much beauty and so much vividness and the world is so fascinating to them but I think to recapture that as an adult is really something special you know couldn't agree more so on that note I'm capturing something special where can people go to find your beautiful book spiritual science and to find out more well to find out more the best place to go is my website which is Stephen M Taylor comm Steven with a V M for mark Stephen M Taylor comm and there's information about that about spiritual science and about my other books and lots of essays lots of poems and the book itself is available through every of these available through practically every online retailer such as Amazon Barnes and Noble and and lots of book shops as well fantastic and before we go into a meditation real brief meditation any last words of wisdom you want to share with people today yeah well I think it's some what I would say finally is that don't believe that that you are just a biological machine and if you experience some quietness if your mind becomes quiet for a while and if your thoughts begin to fade away and you feel your Innerspace opening up you can touch into the essence of your being the pure consciousness of your being and when you touch into this you're also touching into the sensual reality of the whole universe you're touching into your pure consciousness of the whole universe so rather than being a separate being consisting of jeans and other material particles you're actually and a part of the whole universe and you share the same spiritual essence as a whole universe this is since so beautiful Steve this has been a brilliant interview and I felt like we've been in flow guided I guess you could say from from word number one this is just a dumbfounding interview hmm yeah I've already enjoyed it too your time is going so quickly you know a sign of flow would you have time for a very brief meditation of course in fact I'll just lead on from the idea we were just discussing perfect so let's begin by closing our eyes unless you're driving do this later and first of all just be aware of your breath of your breathing just take a few slow breaths and be aware of the air brushing the inside of your nose as you breathe in and out and with each breath feel yourself becoming a little more relaxed feel a warm glow of well-being beginning to fill you with each breath now bring your attention up to your mind up to your mental space and just be aware of any thoughts that arise that pass by in your mental space and imagine that you're you like a person sitting on a riverbank watching the river flow by so your thoughts are like the river flowing by and you're sitting apart from your thoughts watching them pass so just sit there on the riverbank what's in your thoughts arise take form and pass away and bring your attention to the place where you are observing your thoughts – you're observing yourself just let your thoughts fade away and feel yourself rooted in your witnessing serve the place where you watch your thoughts feel yourself centered in that place of awareness and feel our space begins to arise around you as you're centered in that place of awareness the space seems to expand around you so that if there are still any thoughts passing by they seem to be further away separated by their space that you can feel around you I also feel yourself moving down away from your mental space down into your body away from your mind down towards the area of your stomach so feed yourself rooted there in your stomach but also you can still feel the space stretching around you in every direction and now that you're in a state of inner quietness maybe you can sense a natural glow of well-being that seems to fill you it seems to flow from the center of your soul through the space around you just a very subtle glow of well-being like a candle it seems to fill the space inside you and be aware that this pure awareness you can feed inside you this essence of your being doesn't belong just your being it belongs to everything around you you share it with every other human being with every other living being with the whole world so maybe and the deepest part of your being you can feel that connectedness through the essence of your being spreading out of you into the space around you stretching and spreading throughout the whole world as the essence of all beings and the essence of the whole universe so just for a few moments let's just rest within that essential self that we share with everything and just feel its natural quality of wholeness and well-being and let's retain that glow of well-being as we return our attention to the sounds inside this room feel your body again on the chair that you're sitting on your feet on the floor and let's slowly open our eyes again and bring this meditation to a close awesome so awesome yeah it's been great yeah thanks a lot Michael it's been pretty nice thank you so so much gotta crank it back up bring myself back into my body for the finish here for everyone out there this is Michael Sandler saying be well have fun get spiritual science and begin reshaping your worldview today and shine bright thank you so so so so much Steve thank you that was really nice it's one of the probably the best things you've ever done a thing oh well thank you thank you my job is done but we were in flow it just all stitched itself together perfectly yeah that's great that's that's what flow is what something seems to take you over and somehow it always takes you in the right direction yeah thanks so much for watching if you enjoyed it be sure to LIKE like below also leave your comments have some real fun with it subscribe to our channel where you're gonna get more great videos more interviews coming up and check out our website inspire nation show calm that's where you'll find tips blogs information videos you won't find anywhere else and useful and helpful resources to really help you kickstart your life and to shine bright thanks so much again thank you for your support like like like comment subscribe see the website thanks so much and have fun of course shine bright

Please have this gentleman back on,!!!! Thank you both so much. Wonderful show, truth from start to finish

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Seek Ye the Kingdom of God
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Seek Ye the Kingdom of God

The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? He said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater. There will I bestow all …