By Celia Coates
In this week filled with terrible news, a welcome email came from Dean Radin, the chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. It included these words:
“Crisis is an evolutionary driver. Crisis signals to organisms that incremental change will no longer suffice to survive. The materialistic world view that has led our march toward crisis will not help us evolve. This is the moment to reinvest in the promise of consciousness, and to be bold in our search for alternative ways to heal, connect, and create.”
The evolution of consciousness, I believe, involves much more than the expansion of individual consciousness. Each one of us can expand our own consciousness – our ability to perceive different levels and kinds of awareness. When we are dreaming, for example, we are in a level of consciousness different from the one we’re in when we are filling out a grocery list. And the enlightened state of consciousness is far from the one most of us operate in most of the time, although we are all capable of becoming enlightened. In a world in which many people have expanded, higher levels of awareness we could take the next step – the evolution of human consciousness. A majority in our communities would know how to go beyond the incremental, materialistic ways we have for meeting crisis and then show the way to solve, and avoid, terrible conflicts.
David Spangler, an extraordinary spiritual philosopher, wrote a foreword to A HEALER’S JOURNEY TO INTUITIVE KNOWING: The Heart of Therapeutic Touch by Dolores Krieger that is one of the best sets of words I’ve read about the nature of that subtle side of reality we can perceive with a more developed consciousness:
“I like to say that we live in two ecologies. Both are all around us, but one is tangible and visible – the physical world we see and with which we interact every day. The other is just as real but is less tangible. Less visible, and often in our materialistic society viewed as non-existent, a figment of our imaginations. This is a nonphysical – or what I call ‘subtle’- ecosystem, filled with forces, energies, and lives that are as much a vital component of our living planet as the physical world around us. Knowledge of this invisible, subtle dimension has been categorized in various ways: religious, mystical, shamanic, psychological, even magical. I think of it simply as ‘the other half of Earth’s ecology,’ an integral part of our planet’s wholeness.
As a species, we actually have a great deal of knowledge and insight about this subtle dimension, gained over millennia of human experience and exploration. In our time and culture, much, if not most, of this is scattered, lost, or kept in a fragmented state as different insights remain the proprietary and separated knowledge of one group or another.”
Spangler wrote that he believed “…our fate as humanity and even the fate of our world as we know it depend on understanding the wholeness of our planet, how we fit into this wholeness and how we must act to support and enhance it.” That vitally important project is about “…exploring and understanding how the two great ecosystems of our world – the physical and the non-physical – interact with and affect each other.”
What the mystics and sages of all ages have taught is that love is what matters most and that we are all one. All of us – whatever our nationality, race, or religion – all of us have our origin in the same, single creative force. No matter what our status, power, wealth, or home territory are, we can make choices that include the values of that other non-tangible ecosystem. When we know the reality of the subtle ecosystem, we live differently. And we can live from love, not fear.
Astronaut Edgar Mitchell created the Institute of Noetic Sciences after having a profoundly enlightening experience on his way back to earth from the moon that altered his understanding of the nature of reality. He then combined his clear-sighted, scientific approach to knowledge with discovering ways to use intuitive wisdom. This combination of exploring both ecosystems is central to IONS and reflected wonderfully in the lives and work of both Dean Radin and Helane Wahbeh, the head of research at IONS. They are both skilled researchers of the material world and experienced explorers of psychic truths and intuitive wisdom.
We do best when we can see both the mountain and the sky – the image that leads this post.
If you don’t already know about it, you can learn more about IONS at their website: www.https://noetic.org 
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Dolores Krieger’s book is wonderful and unusual – she explores the consciousness of the healer more than the techniques of Therapeutic Touch, her method for healing. It was published by Bear and Company in 2020.