September, 2008 Volume 8, No. 3 BOOKS Russian DNA Discoveries Summarized by Baerbel Vernetzte Intelligenz" von Grazyna Fosar und Franz Bludorf * Edited and translated Esoteric and spiritual teachers have known for ages that our body is programmable by language, words and thought. This has now been scientifically proven and explained. The human DNA is a biological Internet and superior in many aspects to the artificial one. The latest Russian scientific research directly or indirectly explains phenomena such as clairvoyance, intuition, spontaneous and remote acts of healing, self healing, affirmation techniques, unusual light/auras around people (namely spiritual masters), mind’s influence on weather patterns and much more. In addition, there is evidence for a whole new type of medicine in which DNA can be influenced and reprogrammed by words and frequencies WITHOUT cutting out and replacing single genes. Only 10% of our DNA is being used for building proteins. It is this subset of DNA that is of interest to western researchers and is being examined and categorized. The other 90% are considered "junk DNA." The Russian researchers, however, convinced that nature was not dumb, joined linguists and geneticists in a venture to explore that 90% of "junk DNA." Their results, findings and conclusions are simply revolutionary! According to there findings, our DNA is not only responsible for the construction of our body but also serves as data storage and communication. The Russian linguists found that the genetic code - especially in the apparent "useless" 90% - follows the same rules as all our human languages. To this end they compared the rules of syntax (the way in which words are put together to form phrases and sentences), semantics (the study of meaning in language forms) and the basic rules of grammar. They found that the alkalines of our DNA follow a regular grammar and do have set rules just like our languages. Therefore, human languages did not appear coincidentally but are a reflection of our inherent DNA. The Russian biophysicist and molecular biologist Pjotr Garjajev and his colleagues also explored the vibrational behavior of DNA. In brief the bottom line was: "Living chromosomes function just like a holographic computer using endogenous DNA laser radiation." This means that they managed,
for example, to modulate certain frequency patterns (sound) onto a laser-like ray which influenced DNA frequency and thus the genetic information itself. Since the basic structure of DNA-alkaline pairs and of language (as explained earlier) is of the same structure, no DNA decoding is necessary. One can simply use words and sentences of the human language! This, too, was experimentally proven! Living DNA substance (in living tissue, not in vitro) will always react to language-modulated laser rays and even to radio waves, if the proper frequencies (sound) are being used. This finally and scientifically explains why affirmations, hypnosis and the like can have such strong effects on humans and their bodies. It is entirely normal and natural for our DNA to react to language. While western researchers cut single genes from DNA strands and insert them elsewhere, the Russians enthusiastically created devices that influence cellular metabolism through modulated radio and light frequencies, thus repairing genetic defects. They even captured information patterns of a particular DNA and transmitted it onto another, thus reprogramming cells to another genome. So they successfully transformed, for example, frog embryos to salamander embryos simply by transmitting the DNA information patterns! This way the entire information was transmitted without any of the side effects or disharmonies encountered when cutting out and re-introducing single genes from the DNA. This represents an unbelievable, world-transforming revolution and sensation: by simply applying vibration (sound frequencies) and language instead of the archaic cutting-out procedure! This experiment points to the immense power of wave genetics, which obviously has a greater influence on the formation of organisms than the biochemical processes of alkaline sequences. Esoteric and spiritual teachers have known for ages that our body is programmable by language, words and thought. This has now been scientifically proven and explained. Of course the frequency has to be correct. And this is why not everybody is equally successful or can do it with always the same strength. The individual person must work on the inner processes and development in order to establish a conscious communication with the DNA. The Russian researchers work on a method that is not dependent on these factors but will ALWAYS work, provided one uses the correct frequency. But the higher developed an individual's consciousness is, the less need is there for any type of device: one can achieve these results by oneself. Science will finally stop laughing at such ideas and will confirm and explain the results. And it doesn't end there. The Russian scientists also found out that our DNA can cause disturbing patterns in a vacuum, thus producing magnetized wormholes! Wormholes are the microscopic equivalents of the so- called Einstein-Rosen bridges in the vicinity of black holes (left by burned-out stars). These are tunnel connections between entirely different areas in the universe through which information can be transmitted outside of space and time. The DNA attracts these bits of information and passes them on to our consciousness. This process of hyper-communication (telepathy, channeling) is most effective in a state of relaxation. Stress, worry or a hyperactive intellect prevent successful hyper-communication or the information will be totally distorted and useless. In nature, hyper-communication has been successfully applied 2
for millions of years. The organized flow of life in insects proves this dramatically. Modern man knows it only on a much more subtle level as "intuition." But we, too, can regain full use of it. As an example from nature, when a queen ant is separated from her colony, the remaining worker ants will continue building fervently according to plan. However, if the queen is killed, all work in the colony stops. No ant will know what to do. Apparently, the queen transmits the "building plans" even if far away - via the group consciousness with her subjects. She can be as far away as she wants, as long as she is alive. In humans, hyper-communication is most often encountered when one suddenly gains access to information that is outside one's knowledge base. Such hyper-communication is then experienced as inspiration or intuition (also in trance channeling). The Italian composer Giuseppe Tartini, for instance, dreamt one night that a devil sat at his bedside playing the violin. The next morning Tartini was able to note down the piece exactly from memory. He called it the Devil's Trill Sonata. For years, a 42-year old male nurse dreamt of a situation in which he was hooked up to a kind of knowledge CD-ROM. Verifiable knowledge from all imaginable fields was then transmitted to him that he was able to recall in the morning. There was such a flood of information that it seemed a whole encyclopedia was transmitted at night. The majorities of facts were outside his personal knowledge base and reached technical details of which he knew absolutely nothing. When hyper- communication occurs, one can observe in the DNA, as well as in the human, supernatural phenomena. The Russian scientists irradiated DNA samples with laser light. On screen, a typical wave pattern was formed. When they removed the DNA sample, the wave pattern did not disappear, it remained. Many controlled experiments showed that the pattern continued to come from the removed sample, whose energy field apparently remained by itself. This effect is now called phantom DNA effect. It is surmised that energy from outside of space and time still flows through the activated wormholes after the DNA was removed. The side effects encountered most often in hyper-communication in humans are inexplicable electromagnetic fields in the vicinity of the persons concerned. Electronic devices like CD players and the like can be irritated and cease to function for hours. When the electromagnetic field slowly dissipates, the devices function normally again. Many healers and psychics know this effect from their work: the better the atmosphere and energy, the more frustrating it can be for recording devices as they stop functioning at that exact moment. Often by next morning all is back to normal. Perhaps this is reassuring to read for many, as it has nothing to do with them being technically inept; it means they are good at hyper-communication. In their book Vernetzte Intelligenz, Grazyna Gosar and Franz Bludorf explain these connections precisely and clearly. The authors also quote sources presuming that in earlier times humanity had been just like the animals: very strongly connected to group consciousness and thereby acted as a group. In order to develop and experience individuality, however, we humans had to forget hyper- communication almost completely. Now that we are fairly stable in our individual consciousness, we can create a new form of group consciousness - namely one in which we attain access to all information via our DNA without being forced or remotely controlled about what to do with that information. We now know that just as we use the internet, our DNA can feed proper data into the network, can retrieve data from the network, and can establish contact with other participants in the network. Remote healing, 3
telepathy or "remote sensing" about the state of another can thus be explained. Some animals know from afar when their owners plan to return home. This can be freshly interpreted and explained via the concepts of group consciousness and hyper-communication. Any collective consciousness cannot be sensibly used over any period of time without a distinctive individuality; otherwise we would revert to a primitive herd instinct that is easily manipulated. Hyper-communication in the new millennium means something quite different. Researchers think that if humans with full individuality would regain group consciousness, they would have a god-like power to create, alter and shape things on Earth! AND humanity is collectively moving toward such a group consciousness of the new kind. Fifty percent of children will become a problem as soon as they go to school, since the system lumps everyone together and demands adjustment. But the individuality of today's children is so strong that they refuse this adjustment and resist giving up their idiosyncrasies in the most diverse ways. At the same time more and more clairvoyant children are born. Something in those children is striving more towards the group consciousness of the new kind, and it can no longer be suppressed. As a rule, weather for example is rather difficult to influence by a single individual. But it may be influenced by group consciousness (nothing new about this to some indigenous tribes). Weather is strongly influenced by Earth resonance frequencies (Schumann frequencies). But those same frequencies are also produced in our brains, and when many people synchronize their thinking or when individuals (spiritual masters, for instance) focus their thoughts in a laser-like fashion, then it is not at all surprising that they can influence the weather. A modern day civilization which develops group consciousness would have neither environmental problems nor scarcity of energy: for if it were to use such mental powers as a unified civilization, it would have control of the energies of its home planet as a natural consequence. When a great number of people become unified with higher intention as in meditating on peace - potentials of violence also dissolve. Apparently, DNA is also an organic superconductor that can work at normal body temperature, as opposed to artificial superconductors which require extremely low temperatures between 200 and 140°C to function. In addition, all superconductors are able to store light and thus information. This further explains how DNA can store information. There is another phenomenon linked to DNA and wormholes. Normally, these super-small wormholes are highly unstable and are maintained only for the tiniest fractions of a second. Under certain conditions stable wormholes can organize themselves, which then form distinctive vacuum domains in which for example, gravity can transform into electricity. Vacuum domains are self- radiant balls of ionized gas that contain considerable amounts of energy. There are regions in Russia where such radiant balls appear very often. Following the ensuing confusion the Russians started massive research programs leading finally to some of the discoveries mentions above. Many people know vacuum domains as shiny balls in the sky. The attentive look at them in wonder and ask themselves, what they could be. 4
I thought once: "Hello up there. If you happen to be a UFO, fly in a triangle." And suddenly, the light balls moved in a triangle. Or they shot across the sky like ice hockey pucks: they accelerated from zero to crazy speeds while sliding silently across the sky. One is left gawking and I have, as many others, too, thought them to be UFOs. Friendly ones, apparently, as they flew in triangles just to please me. Now, the Russians found - in the regions where vacuum domains often appear - that sometimes fly as balls of light from the ground upwards into the sky, and that these balls can be guided by thought. Since then it has been found that vacuum domains emit waves of low frequency that are also produced in our brains and because of this similarity of waves they are able to react to our thoughts. To run excitedly into one that is on ground level might not be such a great idea, because those balls of light can contain immense energies and are capable of mutating our genes. Many spiritual teachers also produce such visible balls or columns of light in deep meditation or during energy work, which trigger decidedly pleasant feelings and do not cause any harm. Apparently this is also dependent on some inner order, quality and origin of the vacuum domain. There are some spiritual teachers, like the young Englishman Ananda, for example, with whom nothing is seen at first, but when one tries to take a photograph while they sit and speak or meditate in hyper-communication, one gets only a picture of a white cloud on a chair. In certain Earth healing projects, such light effects also appear on photographs. Simply put, this phenomena has to do with gravity and anti-gravity forces that are ever more stable forms of wormholes and displays of hyper-communication with energies from outside our time and space structure. Earlier generations that experienced such hyper-communication and visible vacuum domains were convinced that an angel had appeared before them: and we cannot be too sure to what forms of consciousness we can get access when using hyper-communication. Not having scientific proof for their actual existence, people having had such experiences do NOT all suffer from hallucinations. We have simply made another giant step towards understanding our reality. Official science also knows of gravity anomalies on Earth that contribute to the formation of vacuum domains. Recently gravity anomalies have been found in Rocca di Papa, south of Rome. The full article can be viewed - in English - on the Kontext website below. All information is from the book "Vernetzte Intelligenz" von Grazyna Fosar und Franz Bludorf, ISBN 3930243237, summarized and commented by Baerbel. The book is unfortunately only available in German so far. You can reach the authors here: Kontext - Forum for Border Science http://www.fosar-bludorf.com James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds, New York: Anchor/ Random House 2005. 306 pp Notes 20 pp This is a very important book. James Surowiecki presents a wonderful spectrum of examples of how collective consciousness is superior to individual contributions to that consciousness. In the simplest example, Francis Galton, a British scientist, attended a country fair. He was curious in a weight-guessing contest to see how close the average of all guesses came in assessing the weight of an ox after it had been slaughtered and dressed. The meat was the prize for the closest estimate. He expected that the average of the 787 legible submissions would be considerably off the mark, because many people with no expertise whatsoever were participating in the hopes of winning. 5
“Many non-experts competed,” Galton wrote... in the scientific journal Nature, “like clerks and others who have no expert knowledge of horses, but who bet on races, guided by newspapers, friends, and their own fancies.” The analogy to a democracy, in which people of radically different abilities and interests each get one vote, had suggested itself to Galton immediately. “The average competitor was probably as well fitted for making a just estimate of the dressed weight of the ox as an average voter is of judging the merits of most political issues on which he votes,” he wrote. (p. xii) The average of all guesses was 1,197 pounds and the ox weighed 1,198 pounds. Surowiecki notes that many have expressed serious skepticism about the wisdom of groups of people. Notable among these have been Charles Mackay, a Scottish journalist, who wrote about the madness of crowds in 1841; Bernard Baruch, an early 20th century speculator; Henry David Thoreau; and Friedrich Nietsche. Surowiecki acknowledges that there are situations in which crowds demonstrate execrably poor wisdom, as in the crowds who egg on people to jump when poised for suicidal leaps to their death. Countering the skeptics and the dictates of simple logic as stated by Galton, Surowiedki, with a marvelous gift of pattern recognition, expands upon his original example, considering the wisdom of crowds in addressing various types of problems. He demonstrates repeatedly, in diverse situations, how the collective wisdom of groups of people outweighs the wisdom of any of the participants in the group – even the judgments of the most educated and expert participants in these groups. A lovely example is that of the US submarine Scorpion, which disappeared in the Atlantic with no known cause. ... Although the navy knew the sub’s last reported location, it had no idea what had happened to the Scorpion, and only the vaguest sense of how far it might have traveled after it had last made radio contact. As a result, the area where the navy began searching for the Scorpion was a circle twenty miles wide and many thousands of feet deep. You could not imagine a more hopeless task. The only possible solution, one might have thought, was to track down three or four top experts on submarines and ocean currents, ask them where they thought the Scorpion was, and search there. But as Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew recount in their book, Blind Man’s Bluff, a naval officer named John Craven had a different plan. First, Craven concocted a series of scenarios – alternative explanations for what might have happened to the Scorpion. Then he assembled a team of men with a wide range of knowledge, including mathematicians, submarine specialists, and salvage men. Instead of asking them to consult with each other to come up with an answer, he asked each of them to offer his bst guess about how likely each of the scenarios was. To keep things interesting, the guesses were in the form of wagers, with bottles of Chivas Regal as prizes. And so Craven’s men bet on why the submarine ran into trouble, on its speed as it headed to the ocean bottom, on the steepness of its descent, and so forth. Needless to say, no one of these pieces of information could tell Craven where the Scorpion was. But Craven believed that if he put all the answers together, building a composite picture of how the Scorpion died, he’d end up with a pretty good idea of where it was. And that’s exactly what he did. He took all the guesses, and used a formula called Bayes’s theorem to 6
estimate the Scorpion’s final location. (Bayes’s theorem is a way of calculating how new information about an event changes your preexisting expectations of how likely the event was.) When he was done, Craven had what was, roughly speaking, the group’s collective estimate of where the submarine was. The location that Craven came up with was not a spot that any individual member of the group had picked... The final estimate was a genuinely collective judgment that the group as a whole had made, as opposed to representing the individual judgment of the smartest people in it. it was also a genuinely brilliant judgment. Five months after the Scorpion disappeared, a navy ship found it. It was 220 yards from where Craven’s group had said it would be. (pp. xx-xxi) Cognition problems Surowiedki examines the unusual situation of the TV show, Who wants to be a millionaire? Contestants could walk away with a million dollars if they correctly answered 15 successive multiple-choice questions of increasing difficulty. Contestants could call upon a trusted outside advisor or on the TV audience (who responded by computerized votes). We might guess that logic would suggest that the smartest person contestants could pick ought to score better than the random collection of people sitting in a TV studio on a weekday afternoon. Well, guess again. The experts answered correctly 65 percent of the time, while the audience was 91 percent on target. Surowiedki reviews many research studies of guesses similar to Galton’s original situation, such as estimating beans in a jar or ranks of items by weight. Invariably, the average of group guesses is closer to the actual number than the vast majority of individual guesses. In another example, gamblers’ betting odds show that the public is extremely savvy, and those who set the odds are likewise very astute at guessing outcomes of events. What is even more fascinating is that a diverse group that includes experts and non-experts in fields relevant to a problem being addressed will usually do better than a group composed only of experts in the relevant field. He then expands to consider votes by public purchases and sales of shares on the stock market following the space shuttle Challenger disaster of 1986. Within minutes following the disaster, the prices of shares of contractors that could have been involved in causing the disaster dropped: Lockheed (ground support manager); Martin Marietta (manufactured the external fuel tank); Rockwell International (builder of the shuttle and its main engines); and Morton Thiokol (built the booster rocket). By the end of the day, the price of Thiokol had dropped 12 percent, while the other prices had each rebounded from 6 percent to 3 percent drops. It took six months to identify what caused the disaster (O-rings designed by Thiokol), but the wisdom of the stock market crowd was right on target on day 1 of the disaster. Detailed investigations (including scrutiny of possible insider trading) turned up no clues to how the public immediately identified the culprit. Surowiecki believes that the wisdom of crowds explains this unusual finding. He identifies four contributing components to this wisdom: diversity of information and opinions; individual participants’ independence in their contribution to the guesses; decentralization of sources of knowledge; and aggregation of the individual opinions into a collective decision. Coordination problems 7
The wisdom of groups of people is challenged when they must coordinate the opinions and actions of large numbers of people. There are situations in which it is very difficult to sort out how to achieve the maximum benefits from the inputs of individual group participants, as in factories with many separate steps in production lines. Surowiecki demonstrates that the wisdom of groups of workers can often overcome these potential difficulties in successful collaborations.
Trusting strangers is something we do all the time, without thought, particularly in commerce. Surowiecki discusses how such trust developed as international commerce developed, and presents various studies on how people will cooperate in market settings.
The broader implications of the issues discussed in this book are far-reaching. Surowiecki makes a good case for a trust in democracy as a form of government, if the special interests of lobbying influences can be controlled.
What I found of most interest was a hope in the collective wisdom of mankind to deal with the challenges of global heating.
A serious deficiency in this book, however, is a total lack of consideration of intuition and collective consciousness – for which there is a major body of substantiating research. These constitute major further potential strengths in the wisdom of groups of people. A prime example is in the collective guesses that led to the location of the Scorpion.
Another annoying deficiency of the book is the lack of an index.
Book review by Daniel J. Benor, MD IJHC Editor
Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, New York: Little, Brown & Company 2000. 301 pp Notes 12 pp. $14.95
This is an important book in today’s world, where global heating (‘warming’ is an unacceptable euphemism), exhaustion of natural resources, pollution; and the potentials for major wars over dwindling food, water and other necessities of life are threatening the continuation of life as we know it on our planet. No one knows when we might reach a point of no return, a crucial tipping point, in any of these processes – as well as in countless, possibly even unrecognized and unknown other ones.
Malcolm Gladwell discusses various elements that contribute to the development of, transition through, and adaptations to the effects of varieties of tipping points. In a very readable and engaging manner, he takes us through the sudden breakthroughs of awareness in individuals that then spread rapidly through segments of society, sometimes just locally and sometimes globally.
Consider major shifts of consciousness
In clothing – such as Hush Puppies, the brushed suede shoes that jumped from sales of 30,000 pairs per year in 1994 to 430,000 pairs in 1995: What led this sudden fad to catch on?
In health – such as the outbreak of syphilis in Baltimore, where cases jumped by 500 percent between 1995-1996: What social changes occurred to cause this many new venereal
In education – such as “when the number of professionals [in the local community] dropped below 5 percent, the problems explode. For black schoolchildren, for example, as the percentage of high-status workers falls just 2.2 percentage points – from 5.6 percent to 3.4 percent – drop-out rates [from schools] more than double. At the same Tipping Point, the rates of child-bearing for teenaged girls... nearly double.” (p. 13) What shifts occur in the communal consciousness at that point in time in the social flows of existence?
In crime – such as the rapid decrease in criminal activity in New York City in the 1990s. Gladwell hypothesizes that there are three rules which help to understand such tipping points: 1. The Law of the Few: It only takes a small number of people to spark a shift; 2: The Stickiness Factor: Words or concepts that have an impact; and 3: The Power of Context: People are more likely to respond in distinct manners within particular contexts. Considering the importance of shifting consciousness towards more healing ways of relating to each other and to our planet, these laws suggest that it may be possible to develop the healing memes (conceptual viruses) that could tip global consciousness towards survival rather than suicide of humanity and genocide of most other living organisms on our planet. Gladwell continues with further suggestions for how the rules can be deliberately activated in creating desired tipping points. Potential contributors to these processes are mavens, who are unusually knowledgeable people with gifts for lateral thinking; connectors, who are people with extensive lists of people who are relevant to given areas of social consciousness and activity; and salespeople, who are gifted at getting the new concepts across to all and sundry. Gladwell presents another fascinating fact contributing to harmonious communications. People can comfortably and harmoniously communicate with 150 other people in a working or living environment. Within that number, it is possible to know everyone personally. This facilitates mutual understanding and cooperation. Beyond that number, people become anonymous; it is more difficult to understand and trust their intentions and actions; and it is easy for mistrust and disharmony to creep in and wreak havoc. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for anyone considering working towards making positive changes in our world. Review by Daniel J. Benor, MD, ABHM Editor, IJHC Larry Dossey, The Extra-Ordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things: Fourteen natural steps to health and happiness, New York: Harmony/ Random House 2006. 305 pp Notes 32 pp $24.95 Larry Dossey is one of my favorite authors. I always look forward to reading anything he has written, as there is always information and wisdom with healing in his writings. This book is certainly no exception. His fourteen chapters consider the topics of optimism, forgetting, novelty, tears, dirt, music, risk, plants, bugs, unhappiness, nothing, voices, mystery and miracles. In each, Dossey considers how
aspects of each of these elements can enrich our lives. I particularly enjoy Dossey’s gifts of pattern recognition and lateral thinking, which point out fresh awarenesses and understandings of the world. Here are just a few of the numerous gems you will find in this lovely, informative book: Under Dirt: Throughout history, rituals evolved as a way of acting out and neutralizing the dirt of the shadow [deeply buried aspects of our awareness], thus functioning as a kind of safety valve for the psyche. These rituals were bawdy, relatively innocuous, and fun. For centuries the Church didn’t make much headway in its attempts to clean up the behavior of parishioners. They were still trying to sanitize things when, in 1444, the Theological Faculty of Paris issued a letter to all the French bishops fulminating against festivals known as “Fools’ Holidays.” Even the priests joined in these celebrations, in which worshippers gleefully elect a “Fools’ Pope,” which was a deliberate insult to His Holiness. These events must have been quite a show. “[In} the very midst of divine service masqueraders with grotesque faces, disguised as women, lions and mummers, performed their dances, sang indecent songs in the choir, ate their greasy food from a corner of the altar near the priest celebrating mass, got out their games of dice, burned a stinking incense made of old shoe leather, and ran and hopped about all over the church.” (p. 88-89) While we all enjoy bawdy humor, which is today shared broadly and generously in internet passalongs, the ritualization of such humor as a release for negativity is largely missing in our lives. Under Plants: ...African and Asian immigrants [to the ecologically isolated island of Madagascar] confronted nearly fiteen thousand species of flowering plants, 90 percent of which they were totally unfamiliar with from their previous habitats. Yet in a mere hundred generations they managed to sort through this huge inventory of exotic plants, so that today they have an impressive array of useful herbal remedies for sale in any market. How did they do it? there simply hasn't been time to test every strange plant, and determine which part of the plant, in which season, and from which species, works best – and whether it should be eaten whole, boiled, dried, or fresh. As Watson succinctly puts it, they must have had help. And the help, it seems, comes from the plants themselves. When Watson asked a local healer how they know that an extract from the leaves of a local flowering plant, picked in the spring, is good for a condition they call ‘milky blood,’ he always gets the same answer, “Oh, it’s easy,” they say, “we ask the plants.” (p. 137-138) As with any of Dossey’s observations, there are always quotes and references that enrich his discussions and invite deeper explorations by interested readers. Under Risk: Do risk and safety really contradict each other? Many ancient philosophers said no. they maintained that opposites were actually in cahoots with each other. Oppositional relationships were fundamental, they said, a kind of glue that held the world together. As the ancient Greek sage Hermes Trismegistus allegedly said, “By the friendship of contraries, and 10
the blending of things unlike, the fire of heaven has been changed into light, which is shed on all below...” Dossey considers a variety of evidence of health benefits of risk-taking, such as a study showing that men who are moderately more aggressive having stronger immune systems, and women who risked joining the work force evidencing better cardiac health. This is a great book to keep by your work station or bedside for a few delectable minutes of refreshing ideas. Christina Baldwin. Storycatcher: Making Sense of Our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story. Novato, CA: New World Library, 2005. 237 pp. Notes 8 pp. $14.95. Christina Baldwin, a pioneer in the art of journaling and narrative as methods of self-reflection and observation for personal growth, has written books that have become classics in journal writing, such as One to One: Self-Understanding through Journal Writing and Life’s Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest. Her fervor for her life’s work is evident in Storycatcher, her most current book. It is through story that we define our life. It is also through story that we are able to make connections, teach ourselves, gain meaning to our lives, leave a legacy, and heal ourselves. In Storycatcher, Baldwin takes the reader even beyond the role of the self-reflective writer to the role of “storycatcher.” Storycatchers are those individuals who are aware of the gifts cloaked within the ordinary stories of our everyday lives. They are those who are inquisitive, empathic, nonjudgmental, and attentive to the narrative, whether it be their own or another’s story. Through these qualities, a synergy is possible between storyteller and listener, which can build a connectedness that remains long after the story is told. Whether the story is “caught” orally or on paper, what may have seemed to be an ordinary narration is revealed as a gift through the storycatcher’s ability to ask focused questions and listen actively for the richness beneath the surface. Although Baldwin takes the reader into aspects of her personal life journey through glimpses of her past experiences, this book is not merely a memoir in the disguise of a guide. Being a storycatcher herself, Baldwin weaves stories about herself and other people among factual data to illustrate and reinforce the importance of story. She expands her discussion into brain function as related to language, the history of personal journal writing, and the ability to transform our personal future, as well as those of our community, through story. The book has three primary premises (p. xii): • Our perception of our experiences and how they are languaged in our story shapes our lives. • What is accentuated and brought forward in our collective story determines our relationship in community. • Our belief in the possibilities of our future world is determined by what we carry on through our larger human story. These premises are beautifully explored through Baldwin’s gift of storytelling and recognition of insightful experiences in hers and other’s story. Storycatcher is more than a narrative of the power of story; it can also be used as a guide to become a storycatcher. When “catching” our own self-story, the author offers four activities to employ – linking, editing, disorienting, and revisioning. (p. 123) Linking is gathering the evidence 11
to back up our story. The significance of linking is that we have the ability to unlink – whether the evidence is reinforcing a strength or a weakness. Editing is updating our self-identity and how we relate our story. As we gain new experiences and insights, editing is a necessity. Disorientation is that uneasiness we feel when progressing through a period of growth. When questioning our feelings of disorientation, we move into the alchemic process of revisioning, where we modify our story to reflect our growth and build the foundation for moving forward with purpose.
Baldwin contends that, as our personal stories are revised and retold, we become capable of stepping out of our small world into the bigger picture view, recognizing our connections to a larger community. Through this awareness, we start believing that our personal actions make a difference and we can be of service to others.
The last half of Storycatchers shares a spectrum of narrativesh: a young African woman who started a learning village to train community leaders; an elderly woman from Arizona healing the heritage of alcoholism in her family; a Danish visionary who works with organizations to recover their purpose; and four clergymen reevaluating their personal beliefs to cultivate a religion of grace.
By the end of Storycatcher, the reader is drawn into the call to become a storycatcher. It is a call to become an activist in changing the world through the power of words. “Story can save us,” (p. 236) declares Baldwin, and the reader is caught up in the movement to preserve the stories of our times so that future generations will know the history that created their world, whether it be private or global. Baldwin maintains, “[Story] can lift us beyond the borders of our individual lives to imagine realities of other people, other times and places; to empathize with other beings; to extend our supposing far into the universe; to even imagine God.” (p. 63) Her words express the power available through story in breaking down the illusion of separateness that is prevalent in our society and, thus, bring spiritual healing to the world.
Baldwin writes in a style that reflects a loving, gentle spirit who is able to hear a storyteller’s heart language. She is an inspirational writer who clearly conveys her passion for story. She provides questions at the end of each chapter to draw out stories from the readers in their quest to become storycatchers. The back of the book includes a guide for establishing a reading group to cultivate meaningful conversation and writing.
Review by Karla Giminez
Holos University Graduate Seminary www.HolosUniversity.org
Matthew Fox, Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2002. ISBN 1-58542-178-2. 246 pp. $21.95.
Matthew Fox, an Episcopal priest and author of more than 20 books, believes that human beings are born to co-create with God. In his words, “the work of the artist in all of us is to be in dialogue with our hearts, for God dwells therein. And the work of the artist is nothing less than to ‘put divinity into things.’” (p. 52-53)
The ultimate goal of this holy artistic communion is service. Fox weaves together beautiful and poetic excerpts from different spiritual traditions that are rich in depth and symbolism, and point to one unifying truth – that creativity is both our fundamental essence and responsibility. In this age of colossal self-destruction and multiple crises in ecology, global-warming, terrorism, and energy, the author urges us to recognize our individual impact on the rest of the world and begin manifesting our creative purpose with more compassionate consciousness. Fox calls us to reassess our approach to the planet, emphasizing that it is through our imagination that we can launch the necessary change.
The author offers various ways for integrating creativity into life, including through learning to praise, embracing both joy and darkness, welcoming our child-like and playful innocence, practicing intimacy, meditating and developing spiritual routine, and opening to gratitude. Fox further elaborates on improving society and transforming the systems and dynamics in education, relationships, politics, and worship. As an example, he encourages us to reinvent the way our schools are currently organized with growing drop-out rates and to return to the ancient teachings of diverse cultures that “valued creativity as being the heart and soul of education.” (p. 201) Making this shift will motivate children to study because it will be fostering in them reverence for existence and more profound understanding of sustainability. Fox believes in living simply and with appreciation. This can be achieved through art, for it brings us into the present moment, filling us with gratefulness for the harmony of nature and re-connecting us with Sophia, our inherent wisdom. He observes that because we are not ready for liberation as a species yet, we tend to get absorbed in cynicism. However, instead of succumbing to pusillanimity, or fear of our own creativity, and sinking deeper into negativity, we have a choice to begin cultivating a more healing environment, where we are being honest and maintain a holistically- oriented view of life. Embracing creativity leads us to begin to worship the universe in awe and to gather the courage to alter reality. Fox supports the idea put forward by psychologist Rollo May that Greek and Judeo-Christian myths have led us to associate creativity and consciousness with guilt. Fox states that in both the Prometheus and the Adam and Eve stories, the punishment of humans is “for an act of learning and creative consciousness that comes close to Divinity’s ways.” (p. 89) As a result, today, too many of us are afraid of our divine co-creative abilities. Fox further notes that there is a deep need within each one of us to create. To reject this yearning is equivalent to “a soul-death. A concealment of one’s truth. Hell.” (p. 128) The author reminds us that we are not machines and are meant to be uninhibited because being wild is the sacred spirit of life. Through art, we can reclaim and free our souls. Fox highlights the importance of being comfortable in solitude and listening to our inner voice in full concentration. Meditation can assist us in finding the stillness and spiritual centeredness necessary in developing the inner artist and thus, in “birthing Divinity.” (p. 67) In this regard, art “can be meditation itself: It is a discipline that opens us up to the joy of Divinity at work.” (p. 139) When we are unrealized as artists in life, we are also joyless. Freedom is about authentic self-expression of our total being and is reflective of the ecstatic union with God. While creating from our very core, we connect directly with God and co-birth together as partners. If we deny ourselves this organic companionship, we experience loneliness associated with isolation. Throughout the book, Fox is calling us to awaken to our purpose and transcend the collective amnesia to our inborn and infinite capacities. The author is prompting us to be more aware and to love life rather than take it for granted. He shows the way for re-discovering joy and observes that “to know joy, we must know the heart. We must live where the heart lives.” (p. 167) Fox is optimistic, yet he acknowledges that suffering is a fundamental part of creation and urges us to learn from pain rather than either deny or dwell on it. The author considers that there is no reason to be intimidated by the darkness and furthermore, it is part of our mission as artists in life to communicate to others the insights we gain during difficult times. Fox compels us to delve deeper into our souls mirroring the entire universe and seek that which is beyond the ordinary senses, to connect with the cosmos and bring the wisdom back to share and uplift humanity. Fox inspires us to live in the now and focus on the artistic process rather than on outcomes, in order to empty our minds and experience contemplation or “unity of forgetfulness of separation and duality. And then creativity surely flows.” (p. 196) Our minds are imbued with the remarkable power of intention and imagination because they reflect God’s own mind, allowing us the capability to create any form and therefore, redesign the entire world. Essentially, Fox emphasizes that all the structures upon which our modern civilization is built have to be re-imagined because as he states, “they all lack feminine energy, wisdom energy. They lack cosmology and creativity.” (p. 229) It is time to infuse them with our integral artistic power. The book is pulsating with newly emerging life. It is well-articulated and full of enthusiasm and empowerment to immediately start to initiate a personal change. I found it to be a wonderful resource about the intersections of creativity and spirituality and highly recommend it to other artists-pilgrims walking towards creating Heaven on Earth. Review by Veronica Shipilov Doctoral Student Holos University Graduate Seminary 13
www.HolosUniversity.org 14 Shakti Gawain. Developing Intuition: Practical Guidance for Daily Life, Novato: New World Library, 2000. 160 pp. $12.95. Shakti Gawain, a best-selling author in the field of personal growth, offers this inspiring short guide on cultivating intuition amidst day-to-day living. Gawain proposes that intuition brings spirituality directly into our lives, leading to greater clarity and success in all our endeavors. Since we are heavily programmed by Western society to be externally oriented and to develop our rational capacity, we need to create balance through shifting the focus inward and fostering intuition. The author organizes the twelve chapters around twelve key steps to living more intuitively, accompanied by easy to follow exercises and meditations. The tools and examples are practical and useful in understanding how to effectively consult, interpret and integrate intuition in life. Gawain affirms that “there is a universal, intelligent life force that exists within everyone and everything.” (p. 21) She suggests that we can access this deep inner wisdom through intuition as we become more conscious of using it. Intuition is our inborn faculty and even though we may have grown to doubt it, we can reclaim this gift through practice. The author distinguishes between the logical mind on which we are taught to rely on and intuition, or the “universal mind.” (p. 24) Intuition links us to the realm beyond ordinary senses and helps calibrate our lives based on what we truly need. According to the author, it differs from instinct because instinct is the survival and procreation response, common to all species, while intuition is particular to humans and contributes to our evolution in alignment with unique higher purpose. Gawain notes that socially, we are expected to behave in ways that lead us to “to repress and disown our instinctual energies, such as aggression and sexuality,” which can make us lose contact with intuition. (p. 26) Therefore, we have to “develop a healthy balance of intellect, instinct, and intuition.” (p. 27) Additionally, Gawain points out that while all people possess intuitive capacity, some are particularly sensitive and are considered to be "natural psychics." (p. 28) However, even individuals with average intuitive abilities can intentionally opt to nurture and enhance intuition to the extent that they will reach a similar level of competence. Gawain observes that as we become more aware, we can better detect and incorporate inner cues in life. From early on, we are trained to depend on outside authorities for directions on what proper living entails and cease to honor our innate knowledge. To recover self-trust, Gawain suggests taking notice of the intuitive signals and learning to relax to be centered and receptive. She offers meditation exercises to access intuition and instructs regularly tuning in and not dismissing any incoming